Hello readers! I’m pleased to be part of blog tour for The Honeysuckle Dream by Kate Frost, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources. Check out book details in this post.
The Honeysuckle Dream ( The Butterfly Storm #3)by Kate Frost Publication Date: 27th July 2019 Genre: Women’s fiction; Romance
Two men. Three decades. One decision.
Pregnant at nineteen from an affair with a married man, Leila goes against her parents’ wishes. Alone in an unfamiliar city, a fresh start is terrifying.
Leila struggles to navigate between being a single working mum, new friendships, and her bad choices in men. The heartache of past mistakes haunts her. Disillusioned, lonely, and with a fractured mother-daughter relationship, she swaps the vices of city life for the peace of the country. Yet new-found happiness is short-lived and old habits return.
Frost writes character-driven women’s fiction and romances, alongside Time Shifters, an award-winning time
travel adventure trilogy for 9-12 year olds. She has a MA in Creative Writing
from Bath Spa University where she’s also taught lifewriting to creative
writing undergraduates. She is the Director of Children’s and Teen events for
Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, and she’s the co-founder of Storytale
Festival, the first city-wide children’s book festival in Bristol.
The Honeysuckle Dream is Kate’s ninth book and the third (standalone) novel in her popular The Butterfly Storm series. She lives in Bristol with her husband, son, and Frodo, their cute Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Giveawayto Win a Paperback copy of The Honeysuckle Dream by Kate Frost (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.
Anbatar: Legacy of the Blood Guard by Anne Dolleri Series: The Legend of the Samerians book 2 Publication Date: September 14th 2019 Genre: Fantasy / High fantasy Pages: 488 Stars: ★★★★★
Zessalon’s war with the Northern Kingdom has ended, their enemy once more defeated. But Nareth—ruthless Samerier warrior and half-brother to the Southern king—can find no rest behind the battered walls of the Golden City. Craving unity after centuries of bloodshed, he rides north to initiate peace talks with his kingdom’s lifelong enemies. There, he discovers the Northerners’ hatred of him and his people runs far deeper than he suspected. In the dark alleys of Anbatar, Nareth encounters a fierce enemy, turning his quest into a battle of life and death.
*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author for free copy. ***
Anbatar was fantastic high fantasy, second in series but can read as standalone. It revolved around Nareth, a Samerier and prince of southern kingdom trying to bring peace between Northern and Southern kingdom. The book was about prejudice and misconception, dispute between kingdoms, politics, betrayal, loyalty and friendship.
were many characters in this book. All played important role. I loved their descriptions
and introduction. I cannot talk about all characters and surely not in detail
without giving away much so I will tell about my favorite characters only.
Nareth– He was a Samerier- a
supernatural being who draws strength from emotion. The more angrier, more
dangerous. You can say he was a mortal, vulnerable, self-destructive hulk. If
you have Samerier in your army you wouldn’t need cannons. Everybody feared and
hated them because of their ruthlessness. But Nareth was different. He was
learned, wise, and smart, more controlled of his emotions and knew how to hold
back his anger and power. His love for his country and people was tremendous. His
impatience was his biggest flaw and people around him kept testing his limits.
It was easy to empathize with this character. He gone through a lot after
battle and hatred in people’s eye didn’t help. They consider him an animal. All
he wanted was respect and treated as normal human being. The more I knew about
him the more I loved him. I liked his prejudice towards Artherians changed by
the end of the book.
Asrodin was my second favorite. Can I
have a whole book featuring this character? He was simply amazing. This most
feared and reputed thief of Anbatar was highly unpredictable and mysterious character.
His ways, knowledge, and plan awed me. I
couldn’t guess what he would do next. I liked the bits of his backstory.
Illion was amusing, brought smile on my
face. Asekha was brilliant heroine. I wish
things were different for her and Nareth.
I thought I wouldn’t like that arrogant nephew
of Artherian but he grew on me by the end of the book. Keni was cleaver kid. I liked his
and Nareth’s friendship.
I didn’t like Yaron or any politician. I honestly didn’t get why Yaron disliked
Nareth, maybe it was prejudice or jealousy but most of the time his apathetic
nature irked me.
Oh and my favorite animals in the book- Alhar–
Nareth’s war horse and Revo– his
smart dog who saved him few time in the book.
turned out a lot much more better than I expected. Writing was perfect. It gave life to creative characters and mesmerizing
world. Author balanced characters and plot wonderfully. Book was third person narrative mostly from
Nareth’s POV but we also get to see some parts from Asrodin, Asekha’s view as
As said in the synopsis book started after the big war between Southern (Zessalonn) and Northern kingdom (Anbatar). Nareth heading towards Northern kingdom after defeating them and capturing the king, to convince working government about peace treaty between the nations. He was sent to spy the condition and gather information until delegates and small troop arrive and then work together on their mission of putting an end to centuries of bloodshed.
Now that synopsis didn’t give away
anything. Story was much more complicated than it looked. First there was no king in Anbatar
after they got the news of defeat of old king, council was the working
government but were bound within the walls of palace unable to act until king
was elected by their votes. Now there started all the problem. To facilitate
the coronation of favored council member, Nareth and his men had to undertake
dangerous mission- take the secret sect called The Blood Guard out of commission-
and protect council member’s daughter from them. Nareth and his men knew
nothing about The Blood Guards- where they were and who they were. The more how
they worked on their mission putting the future king on throne and sign peace
treaty looked more uncertain and difficult. It turned into battle of life and
death, surviving Northerners’ hatred and prejudice of towards Nareth and devious
plan that can end the treaty and Nareth’s life.
I loved this world. Both capital cities of kingdoms
were beautifully narrated. What I loved
most was legends and stories aroundBlood Guard and Samerier. It was told
bits by bits throughout the story. The more I progressed in the story the more
I knew about the world and Samerier and about this intricate group of Blood Guard.
I enjoyed the stories of big battle which
was not in detail (might be what first book was about) but I could connect the
stories to the current situation and how characters were affected by it. We get
to see views and differences of both
kingdom and how it affected people over the centuries. It baffled me to see
people’s prejudice not just towards Samerier but Artherian bloodline. Corridors
of castle, deathly traps of tunnel, and alleys of Anbatar, all was captured in
the story vividly.
Conversation between characters was realistic
and engaging. Banter between Nareth and his diplomat, Yaron was a bit overdone.
Inevitable Romance was important
part in the book. I could see it was going to bring another trouble but I
enjoyed sweet moments. I liked author took practical approach here which made
it different from romance we see in other high fantasies. I bet you will feel
all kind of emotions. There was so
much adrenalin push, tension, humor and I even shed a tear or two after climax.
it is massive book small part (beginning, middle, just before climax) seemed
little slow and I was thinking to cut half star but many twist and turns kept
me excited and engaging. So many things happened since climax. Climax was predictable but the way it
happened and events followed was out of the box. The twist was shocking and my
guesses were all turned out wrong. End
was perfect. I liked Nareth’s attitude and closed the book with smirk and smile
on my face.
only complaint is, why second book was translated first! I would have loved to
know Zessalonn story from the first book. I was going to rate it 4 but when I
thought about it, I couldn’t find anything negative and I actually enjoyed it.
Overall, it was fantastic, thrilling, filled with twist and turns, and interesting high fantasy.
Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens #1) by Kelly Coon Publication Date: October 29th 2019 Publisher: Delacorte Press Genre: Fantasy / High Fantasy Pages: 416 Stars: ★★★★☆
The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.
In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.
When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.
But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.
Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.
*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to PRHGlobal for free copy. ***
was unique and fascinating fantasy that take place in ancient land where sacred
maidens were chosen to bury along with dead king i.e. Gravemaidens. It revolved
around this concept, a healer and her journey trying to save her sister who was
chosen to be one of the gravemaiden. It was about injustice and ill-treatment towards
low class people and women, ancient dogmatic tradition and cruel practices,
family, friendship, sisterhood, grief and loss and how people react to it
Kammani was brave and strong willed young
healer. She dreamed to be best healer in the city like her father and followed
his footstep ever since she was a child. I adored her love for family. She kept
her promise to her dead mother and became breadwinner, a mother to her young
siblings and a daughter who supported her father who was lost in grief and
alcohol. But she was also very flawed character. I didn’t appreciate Kammani’s
stubborn nature towards Dagan and his love. It was clear she loved him but
never admitted it and kept pushing his love away and also any help and support
from her best friend Iltani. The reasons she gave felt empty. I could see why near
the end but still it was a bit annoying. I adored her for not leaving her
family behind and risking her life to save them.
Iltani and Dagan were the best in the
They kept the tension and my annoyance at bay. Iltani was character I would
love to be friends with. You never get bore with her. She had a way to every
problem. Her impromptu plans, bold nature, and smart mouth made me smile
whenever she appeared in the story. Dagan was sweet. He was gentle, generous
and humble handsome farmer’s son. I instantly liked him and I was ready to swap
places with Kammani telling her ‘girl you can have your dream and let me have
this charming man’. 😉
secondary characters fit in their role perfectly. Most of them were naïve and
stupid specially Nanaea. Villain was evil, chilling and full of deceit.
That cover is perfect for the story. Writing
was great. It gave life to interesting characters and brilliant setting. Book was first person narrative that
started with Kammani introducing her world, traditions of Alu and her
family. How they were cast out, what happened to her mother and father since
then, how unfair Lural (king) was to her family and how she hated the concept
of sacred maidens. Her world turned upside down when her sister was announced
as one of the maidens. And so her journey started towards saving Lural and so
her sister from being buried with him.
I was curious to know how she was going to save the king. As
soon as she entered the palace and started healing king I knew who was behind
such cunning plan, where the story will head and if she will succeed in saving
king and her sister. I must say author
did great job at misleading my guesses and I almost believed them. I
enjoyed finding answers and culprit, reading the twist and turns, and learning
more about the world along with Kammani’s journey.
What I loved most was the world. The city – Alu, kingdom, palace and its structure, market, people and
their orthodox nature, their discriminating mentality, blind belief in their
religion and tradition was brilliantly displayed. It made sense as the story
was set in the ancient world where they still used tablets not paper. I also
liked the some Mesopotamian mythical aspects, the God Enlil they worshiped and story
of boatman they believed in so religiously. All descriptions were vivid. Ancient treatments methods, childbirth,
tonics and tinctures were well researched. As a pharmacist I loved reading this
part of the book. Author’s note at the
end was enlightening. Few things in the book like burial rituals of royalty
and treatment to lower class and women were actually facts and was inspired
from the Sumerian history.
Another thing that I loved was
Kammani’s family, their history and what happened to them. It was emotional
and it pained me to see Kammani grow so fast without letting herself grieve,
and pushing away all the help she needed. Her relationship with her sister was
strained and frustrating but it developed near climax and I loved how it grew
by the end of the book.
Message behind the story was nice. It was about giving yourself time to
grieve, not push others away who meant well for you specially your loved ones. How
loss and grief affects differently and how one can turn evil if they let their
grief fester in them.
Pace was bumpy, first 30% was steady, middle part
was bit slow, but after 60% story pick up the speed. Twist and turns were
simply amazing. Climax was
surprising, shocking, and tense. I absolutely
loved the end and I’m curious to see where Kammani’s journey will take her
and what they will decide to do in next book.
Half of the story was predictable. I guessed most of the turns. As I said I was bit annoyed with main character.
Overall, it enjoyable, enthralling, and fascinating fantasy with interesting ancient world and characters.
Hello readers! Today is my stop during the blog tour for XYZ by William Knight, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources, and I’m sharing a snippet from the book below. I hope that pick your interest in this general fiction filled with humor.
XYZ by William Knight Publication Date: 2nd September 2019 Genre: General Fiction / humour
Jack Cooper is a depressed, analogue throwback; a cynical, alcoholic Gen-Xer whose glory days are behind him. He’s unemployed, his marriage has broken down, he’s addicted to internet hook-ups, and is deeply ashamed of his son Geronimo, who lives life dressed as a bear.
When Jack’s daughter engineers a job for him at totally-lit tech firm Sweet, he’s confronted by a Millennial and Zoomer culture he can’t relate to. He loathes every detail – every IM, gif and emoji – apart from Freya, twenty years his junior and addicted to broadcasting her life on social media.
Can Jack evolve to fit in at Sweet, or will he remain a dinosaur stuck in the 1980s? And will he halt his slide into loneliness and repair his family relationships?
XYZ is for every Gen-Xer who ever struggled with a device, and for everyone else who loves emojis … said no one ever.
Jack Cooper reminisces on what went wrong for the computer industry and his own career.
Background: Our hero, Jack Cooper is a 55
year-old computer genius, but he’s lost his way. In this scene, from the
prologue, he’s reminiscing on what was, and what might have been, for both his
career and the computer industry.
When my mum threw a party to celebrate my
leaving home to go to university, my aunt came up to me, holding a prawn
cocktail in a wine glass, and said, “Computers, that’s the new thing isn’t it?”
She got it. I was part of a small wave of
silicon-brained cool kids that was destined to become a tsunami. My generation
was going to make the world a better place and in record time. We had ideas of
perfect information, total transparency, evidence-based-government and
university for all. We were the builders of Utopia and the founders of global
prosperity. We were Gods.
“Yeah, I guess,” I said.
I hadn’t then realised the destiny for
which I was headed. It was nothing more than fun. Fun to spend 10p on a video
game and bash the console into submission. Fun to program pretty patterns on a
screen and load games from a floppy disk, and fun to be part of the BBC’s Micro
Live phenomenon, when the broadcaster sponsored its own computer as part of its
remit to educate the masses.
And it remained fun until it became a trap,
when computers ceased to be the promise of progress and instead became the terrorists
of truth. Somewhere along the way, I turned from God of Silicon to an
anorak-wearing dweeb, and from dweeb to a lonely fifty-five-year-old bastard.
One at the end of his career, hopelessly out of touch, and unable to operate
his own phone.
is British born writer and technologist currently living and working in
Wellington, New Zealand. He’s chased a portfolio career which began in acting,
progressed to music, flirted with handbag manufacturing and was eventually
wired into technology in the late nineties.
“I had my first feature published in Computing magazine back in 2003 and
subsequently wrote about the many successes and failings of high-tech for the
Guardian, Financial Times and the BBC among many others publications. I now
work as an IT consultant, and write blistering content for technology firms
:-)” says William
The Donated (formerly Generation), his debut novel and a Sci-tech Thriller,
started in 2001 and was ten years in development. XYZ, “A mid-life crisis with
a comic vein”, took far less time. “But I think it’s funnier and better. Yay.
Giveaway to Win $10 Amazon voucher and a signed copy of XYZ (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.
Hello Readers! Today I’m happy to shine spotlight on Relatively Strange, first in paranormal series by Marilyn Messik. Check out more details of this relatively but wonderfully strange fascinating story in this post.
Relatively Strange (Strange Series Book 1) by Marilyn Messik Genre: Paranormal / Psychological Thriller
Forced to call on resources she didn’t know she possessed and thrust headlong into the violence of a situation for which nothing could have prepared her, Stella’s suddenly face to face with the stark reality of medical experimentation and its horrifying consequences.
But in a world of uncertainties, she’s sure of one thing – this hero stuff really isn’t her. Normal, or as near as damn it is what she wants, and if that means smothering her instincts and adjusting her expectations well so be it. At least she’ll know should she slip off the wagon occasionally, it’ll be choice not chance, and to suit herself.
Isn’t it a fact though, just when you think you’ve got yourself on track, events can overtake and derail you?
Relatively Strange, the first in the Strange Series introduces Stella; her irreverent sense of humour, the conviction she always knows best and an overdeveloped sense of justice. Throw into the mix a complete inability to keep her nose out of other people’s business and some serious psi abilities, and results are as unpredictably uncomfortable as you might expect.
For a short while, we sat
and munched our crustless sandwiches in ladylike silence, but clearly it was
going to be the usual boring afternoon unless a livelier note was introduced.
Luckily, I knew just the person.
“I brought Beady to see
you today,” I announced cheerfully “We can play fairies and witches if you
like.” My mother paled.
“Who’s Beady then?” asked
Stephanie without much interest.
“My invisible friend,
haven’t you got one?” Stephanie chewed for a moment or two while she thought.
“No.” she said finally.
And there the subject might well have safely languished and died, had it not
been for Aunt Cynthia, sticking her oar in. With a light laugh she pointed out
that Steph had so many real friends she’d never felt the need to make one up.
Well, I’m sorry, but I took umbrage, so would you, so certainly, did Beady.
The little bronze bell
next to Auntie Cynthia’s plate suddenly jerked up and swung irritably from side
to side. Long and loud it rang – once, twice and then, just as it was sinking
slowly down, a third time, for good measure.
“That’ll be Beady.” I
said helpfully. Two pairs of horrified eyes fastened on the bell, a third pair,
equally horrified, on me. Two mouths fell unattractively open on half-chewed
egg and cress, another pursed into an unmistakeable and familiar wait-till-I-get-you-home
And into the following,
heavily pregnant pause, strode an irate Irene. A satisfyingly swift response, I
felt. Flushed-faced, breathing hard and
divesting herself fiercely of her apron, she was not best pleased and proceeded
to put forward a couple of startlingly frank and interesting suggestions as to
exactly where Auntie Cynthia could stick her bleeding bell. She went on to
suggest that room might also be made there for her frigging airs and graces,
her shitty wages, her stinking stew and last but certainly not least, her
sodding silver candlesticks, the polishing of which apparently fell into
Irene’s regular sphere of activities. Having thus made her feelings abundantly
clear and giving a good trample to the abandoned apron for final emphasis,
Irene swung neatly on her heel and exited, slamming the dining room door behind
her. On an adjacent shelf, one of Aunt Cyn’s precious Capo di Monte pieces
teetered. We all watched. I could, of course, have stopped it falling. I chose
“No,” my mother muttered
tersely as we made our way briskly home, “An imaginary friend wasn’t a bad thing as such. However, it was
precisely because she was imaginary
that people such as Auntie Cynthia,” last seen pouring herself a recuperative
glass of sherry with a shaking hand, “Were entitled to be somewhat startled if
she suddenly started doing things.”
“But,” I protested,
trotting to keep up with her agitated stride and grasping at last with relief
exactly wherein lay the problem, “It wasn’t really Beady, it was me.”
“Oh sweetheart, I know.”
she said. And she sighed heavily and then, unexpectedly she gave a little
“It’s wasn’t funny..” she said, “And I’m certainly not laughing, young lady.” but inside her head, she kept seeing the gob-smacked faces on Aunt C and Steph and her mouth twitched all the way home, whenever she thought I wasn’t looking. I don’t remember going round there for tea again.
About Marilyn Messik
Marilyn was a regular feature and fiction writer for national magazines
when her children were small. She set up her first business from home, selling
toys, books and party goods, before opening first one shop then another. When
she sold both shops, she moved into the world of travel, focusing on B
& B’s and Country Inns in New England, USA. Her advisory, planning and
booking service flourished and she concurrently launched a publishing company,
producing annual, full-colour accommodation guides to the areas.
In 2007 she set up a copywriting consultancy, to help businesses shape their messages to optimum effect. She’s blogged for The Telegraph online; published the Vintage Ladies Collection; written four Business Books and four Paranormal Thrillers. She’s been married to her very patient husband for more years than he deserves, and they have two children, five grandchildren and, somewhat to their surprise, several granddogs.