Ashael Rising #BookBirthdayBlitz #AuthorInterview with Shona Kinsella @shona_kinsella & #Giveaway @rararesources

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Interview with Shona Kinsella…..

Shona Kinsella

For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?

My name is Shona Kinsella and I’m a fantasy author. I live in Scotland with my husband and children. My debut novel, Ashael Rising, was published by Unbound on 06/02/2017. Ashael is an apprentice medicine woman who must learn how to protect her people from soul-sucking invaders from another world.

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

Lots of places! The idea for Ashael Rising came from a dream but for other stories it’s been a word or phrase that I’ve heard, a picture, something I see when I’m out for a walk, a funny thing one of my kids says …

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

No, not really. Some of my characters have certain traits that reflect people I know but not a whole character. What I would say more is that many of the relationships that I write about reflect the relationships I have had with other people.

How do you pick your characters names?

Generally, my main characters spring into my head fully-formed with their names already attached. With minor characters, I usually go for a linguistic theme. So, the names either share a common root or sound.

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

Sit down at the keyboard and see what falls out. I realise that sounds glib, but it really is how it works for me. I rarely have a plan, beyond a vague idea of how the next bit of the story should go and sometimes I don’t even have that.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

Only five?! In no particular order, Stephen King, Brandon Sanderson, Karin Slaughter, Kate Mosse and Terry Pratchett. But that’s just today. There are many, many authors that I admire and may pick as a favourite in a different mood.

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Stephen King, and “Can you teach me?”

Were you a big reader as a child?

Definitely, I was rarely found without a book. By the time I got my adult library card, I had read all of the children’s books, some of them more than once.

When did you start to write?

I wrote as a child and in my teens but put it aside for other pursuits, like a job. I only started to write seriously in 2014, after taking a career break to care for my children.

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?

The Returned by Jason Mott. I thought it was a really intriguing concept, but the end fell flat for me – nothing is resolved, and it felt like he had run out of time. I would have given it a bit more of a resolution, some explanation for the events of the book.

Is there a book you wish you had written?

No, because each book belongs to their author. If I had written it, it wouldn’t be the same book.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?

My Adventure in Words

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?

Is it cheating if I pick one of my own characters? I would probably choose Bhearra (the healer and spiritual leader in Ashael Rising) and take her to Tchai Ovna, a little tea house in the West End of Glasgow. They have an amazing variety of teas and the best chocolate brownies – I think Bhearra would love it there.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on book two in the Vessel of KalaDene series, Ashael Falling. In amongst that I’ve got a few projects in various stages; some short stories, two novellas and a serialised story that I’m collaborating on with a wonderful artist.

Do you have a new release due?

The serial is due to launch in spring and I hope to have two novellas out this year.

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

Have a glass of bubbly with my husband.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

You can check out my website at, follow me on Twitter, Facebook: and Instagram:

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

Thank you for reading, I’ve really enjoyed answering these questions!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Shona 🙂

Ashael Rising cover

Ashael Rising

Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe. The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land. Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of those taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance. When Ashael meets Iwan in the forest, neither realise that she is the one the Zanthar are looking for. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on her shoulders.

Purchase on Amazon UK –

Author Bio –

Shona Kinsella is the author of Ashael Rising, (Unbound, 2017) the first in her series, The Vessel of KalaDene. She is also one of the editors of the British Fantasy Society’s fiction publication, Horizons. When she is not writing or wrangling her three children, she can usually be found with her nose in a book.

Social Media Links –

Giveaway –

Win a signed copy of Ashael Rising (Open Internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!


Cragside by L J Ross @LJRoss_author #BookReview #DCIRyan #Book6


My review…..

DCI Ryan and his team might have thought things would slow down a little since the demise of The Hacker, but unfortunately it isn’t to be. When a staff member is found dead at Cragside, at the bottom of the stairs, it looks as though he probably lost his balance and fell, but did he? Something seems amiss to Ryan and he’s as determined, as always, to get to the bottom of things.

I love that Ryan and Anna are attending a murder mystery evening at the beginning of this book! Brilliant!

This is quite a different case for the team and gives the book quite a different feel. It’s equally as gripping as the previous books in the series and I was glued to my kindle paperwhite again. I had intended on reading something different in between each of these books, but I have found myself having to start the next one as soon as I’ve finished. They really are addictive! L J Ross’ style of writing just draws me in from the very first page.

I love that I feel like I know the main characters really well now. The personal relationships are just getting cuter by the book! I have my fingers crossed for Lowerson 😉 I really like Lowerson. I think his character is developing really well. Ryan and Anna remind me of me and my Steve 🙂 Not that we’ve shared any of their trauma of course.

The banter between the team members makes me chuckle.

Cragside is another excellent book in this series. A series I will happily recommend to everyone.

Brilliantly written with a clever plot and excellent characterisation. You never know who you might be living and working with, or what might have gone on in their past!

I think these books would make an awesome television series. (If this happens can I be an extra please!?)

I can’t wait to start Dark Skies, book 7!

Many thanks to L J Ross for my kindle copy.

For more details and to buy…..

My reviews for the previous books in the DCI Ryan series…..

Holy Island (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 1) by @LJRoss_author #Review

Sycamore Gap by L J Ross @LJRoss_author #BookReview #DCIRyanMysteries

Heavenfield by L J Ross @LJRoss_author #BookReview #DCIRyanMysteries

Angel by L J Ross @LJRoss_author #BookReview #DCIRyan #Book4

High Force by L J Ross @LJRoss_author #BookReview #DCIRyan #Book5




Forget Her Name #BlogTour #AuthorInterview with Jane Holland @janeholland1 @rararesources

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Interview with Jane Holland…..

For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?

My name is Jane Holland and I write contemporary thrillers. I’ve been writing since the mid-90s, and also write other types of fiction under other names – romcoms as Beth Good, historical novels as Victoria Lamb and Elizabeth Moss, and feel-good fiction as Hannah Coates.

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

I usually start with an opening image or situation, and work from there. Openings are very important to me.

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

Maybe occasionally in the planning stages. But once a novel is underway, all the characters become entirely themselves.

How do you pick your characters names?

I dislike getting confused when reading books where characters’ names are too similar, or too many start with the same letter, so that’s a major consideration for me when choosing names. All names have a particular ‘feel’ too, so I always try to ensure a name fits a character. Sometimes I have a little fun with that, and choose a deliberately quirky name. Dickens took that to an extreme, but obviously it’s hard to be too quirky in a thriller and get away with it.

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

I’m not sure I have a ‘process’ as such. I see writing fiction as a job, rather than an art. So I make a basic plan, and then start writing, and do any necessary research on the hoof. I try not to think too hard about a book, just let instinct take over, meaning the plot can change to fit how the story is shaping up, so long as it remains essentially true to my original plan. The slower I write a book, the harder I find it to ‘see’ the whole plot in my head as I write. So I tend to write as quickly as possible, while also editing as I go along. I hate having to rewrite, so adjust as I go alone, hoping to make my first draft the final draft. That way, as soon as I’ve finished one book, I can just start another.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

That’s a tough one and changes all the time, often according to what I’m reading! Currently something like: Lee Child, Georgette Heyer, Mary Balogh, Sylvia Day, Anne McCaffrey.

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

I would like to meet one of my favourite authors from childhood, the Victorian adventure writer H. Rider Haggard, the creator of Allan Quartermain and She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, and ask him if he’d like a cup of tea.

Were you a big reader as a child?

I couldn’t read until I was about 8, which was odd. My parents despaired. Then when I finally started to read, I leapt from Enid Blyton to Tolkien in a matter of months. By ten, I was a massive, prolific reader of fiction, drama and poetry. I read everything I could get my hands on, and as my mother was a writer too, and my father a Fleet Street journalist, we had a library of thousands of books.

When did you start to write?

I wrote my first novel at about age eleven, and continued to write poetry and some fiction for many years, but wasn’t published until I was nearly thirty.

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?

I would save Severus Snape in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. Poor Snape! I wept bitter tears at his passing …

Is there a book you wish you had written?

Not really. I don’t think like that.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?

The Woman Most Likely To Write Anything.

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?

Jack Reacher – probably to an American diner I used to frequent years ago called Route 66.

What are you working on right now?

I’m writing a thriller set on the lonely heights of Dartmoor.

Do you have a new release due?

FORGET HER NAME, a psychological thriller due out January 25th.

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

Write my current novel. Have a latte and a slice of carrot cake at my local cafe. I’ve had dozens of publication days over the years, so I’ve become a little immune to it all.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

Twitter is best:

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

Two kookie facts: my mother was the prolific romance writer Charlotte Lamb, and in my twenties, I was a semi-professional snooker player, ranked 24th in the world for women’s snooker!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Jane 🙂 

Forget Her Name cover

Forget Her Name

Rachel’s dead and she’s never coming back. Or is she?

As she prepares for her wedding to Dominic, Catherine has never been happier or more excited about her future. But when she receives an anonymous package—a familiar snow globe with a very grisly addition—that happiness is abruptly threatened by secrets from her past.

Her older sister, Rachel, died on a skiing holiday as a child. But Rachel was no angel: she was vicious and highly disturbed, and she made Catherine’s life a misery. Catherine has spent years trying to forget her dead sister’s cruel tricks. Now someone has sent her Rachel’s snow globe—the first in a series of ominous messages…

While Catherine struggles to focus on her new life with Dominic, someone out there seems intent on tormenting her. But who? And why now? The only alternative is what she fears most.

Is Rachel still alive?

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

About The Author

Jane Holland

Jane Holland is a Gregory Award–winning poet and novelist who also writes commercial fiction under the pseudonyms Victoria Lamb, Elizabeth Moss, Beth Good and Hannah Coates. Her debut thriller, Girl Number One, hit #1 in the UK Kindle Store in December 2015. Jane lives with her husband and young family near the North Cornwall/Devon border. A homeschooler, her hobbies include photography and growing her own vegetables.

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Follow the rest of the blog tour with these awesome book bloggers…..

Forget Her Name blog tour


#CoverReveal #FirstChapter The Things We Need To Say by Rachel Burton @bookish_yogi @HQDigitalUK @rararesources

The Things We Need to Say cover & first chapter reveal

The Things We Need to Say

Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.

Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.

Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the ways things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.

As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.


Author Bio

Rachel Burton

Rachel Burton has been making up stories since she first learned to talk. After many false starts she finally made one up that was worth writing down. After graduating with a degree in Classics and another in English, she didn’t really know what to do when she grew up. She has worked as a waitress, a paralegal and a yoga teacher. She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Leeds with her boyfriend and three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes. Her debut, The Many Colours of Us, was an Amazon Kindle bestseller. Her second novel, The Things We Need to Say, is released on 11 May 2018. She is currently working on her third novel in which the heroine follows the love of her life to live in a city in northern England. It has no autobiographical elements at all…..maybe. Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or search Facebook for Rachel Burton Author. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….

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Chapter 1


It started at the party. His hands on my hips, my forehead against his shoulder. He asked me to dance but he didn’t know how. We stood together at the edge of the dance floor shaking with laughter at his two left feet. I don’t know how long we stood there. I don’t know if anybody noticed.

He’d waited for me, sitting with my friends, not sure if I’d turn up or not. I wasn’t in the habit of going to work Christmas parties; I only went in the end because he said he would be there, because he said he would wait for me. I arrived just as the main course was being served. I slipped into the seat next to him. His hand brushed against my thigh as I sat down. He held my gaze for longer than he should have done.

I fell in love with him that night as we stood on the dance floor laughing, my hands on his waist, feeling the muscles of his back, the warmth of his body, through his dress shirt, the press of him against my hip.

That was where it began. I sometimes wonder if that should have been where it ended.

But later that evening, as I got out of his car, and I said those words I should have kept to myself, we both knew there was no going back.

JULY 2016


She wakes up in the same position in which she fell asleep, her husband’s arms around her, their hands entwined on her stomach. Neither of them have slept that deeply for months. Fran remembers something: a hotel room on a Greek island, a feeling of hope, of new beginnings. She doesn’t allow the memory to linger. This is what they have now. They can be happy again if they allow themselves to be.

The hot, humid weather has broken in the night and she listens to the sound of summer rain on the roof. Will moves gently against her, pulling her closer. She feels his breath against her neck and the sensation of hot liquid in her stomach, a combination of desire and need. This is their second chance – she can’t let it pass her by.

‘I love you,’ Will says sleepily.

‘I love you too,’ she replies. It feels good to be saying it to each other again. She’s never stopped loving him; she just forgot how to tell him for a while.

‘Do you want me to go and make coffee?’ Will asks, nuzzling her neck.

‘Not just yet,’ she replies, turning around to look at him. His brown eyes are dark, impenetrable pools. His hair is pushed back off his face. Sometimes she forgets how much all of this has affected him too. Sometimes she forgets everything except her own pain. She feels his warmth against her, his strength. She feels as though the gulf that had been threatening to open up between them for the last year is slowly closing. She realises they have so much life ahead of them. So much time to learn to be happy again.

‘I thought I’d lost you,’ Will says quietly, reaching up to stroke her face. ‘I thought you’d gone, but recently I feel as though you’ve come back to me.’

She smiles softly. ‘I thought I’d lost you too,’ she says. ‘This last year has been …’ She doesn’t finish. She can’t finish.

She watches as a shadow of anguish crosses his face, as his brow furrows, as his jaw tightens. She recognises that look, recognises the pain he is trying to hide. She hears the shudder of his breath. His eyes flick away for a moment; he pauses for a fraction too long.

‘No,’ he says. ‘You never lost me. I’ll always be here.’

She kisses him gently then, and feels his hand drift down the bones of her spine.

Later, showered and dressed, they finally appear in the kitchen; Will’s younger brother, Jamie, is already sitting at the table drinking coffee. Will and Fran are hardly able to stop touching each other.

Jamie smiles at them, raising an eyebrow. ‘You’re up late,’ he says. Fran feels herself blushing, her stomach flipping over, and turns away towards the toaster.

‘Thanks for last night,’ Jamie goes on. ‘I needed that.’ Recently separated from his wife, living apart from his children, Jamie is lonely. Last night wasn’t the first Saturday night he’d spent with them. Fran knows Will has been throwing himself into cheering his brother up. She doesn’t mind. Jamie makes Will smile and it’s good to see him smile again.

As Will and Jamie start talking about the cricket, she feels her husband’s hand on her thigh, the warm, solid sensation of him right there next to her. They have been given a second chance, and they have grabbed it with both hands. She isn’t naive enough to think everything is going to go back to the way it used to be, but she knows that they can move on; they can talk and heal together. They can take another chance on living, find a new kind of normal.

Will stretches, draining his coffee cup. ‘This weather isn’t going to let up is it?’ he says looking out of the window where the rain is rattling against the frames like beads in a jar. ‘I’m going to have to cancel the cricket.’ As captain of the village team it is up to him to reschedule this afternoon’s match. Fran is quietly delighted that the weather means she doesn’t have to spend her last afternoon with her husband before she goes away watching him play cricket. Will gets up and walks into his study, shutting the door behind him.

‘How are you feeling about tomorrow?’ Jamie asks.

‘Nervous,’ Fran replies. ‘It’s the first time I’ve been on a plane on my own, which is pathetic at my age, I know.’

‘It’s OK to be nervous.’

‘It’s the first time Will and I have been apart since …’ She trails off. Jamie knows what she’s talking about. ‘I’m worried about him too.’

Jamie smiles. ‘I’ll look after him,’ he says.

After a moment Jamie gets up and follows Will into his study. He doesn’t knock; he just opens the door and walks in. As Fran starts to clear the breakfast dishes she hears raised voices but can’t quite make out what they are saying. She rolls her eyes to herself. As an only child she has long since given up on understanding Will and Jamie’s relationship: best friends one minute, bickering the next. She just hopes Jamie doesn’t stay too long – she wants her husband to herself for the day.


It rains all day, the sky grey and waterlogged and heavy with cloud. After Jamie leaves, Will pulls Fran towards him, his hands at the back of her head where her skull meets her neck, where her hair is cut so short.

‘No cricket,’ he says. ‘I’m all yours.’

She smiles, standing on tiptoe to kiss him.

‘Can we just watch a film or something?’ she says. ‘I’m tired and I have to pack for Spain later.’ His stomach drops at the thought of her going away. He wishes he’d never encouraged her to do it.

‘I’d forgotten about Spain,’ he says.

‘No you hadn’t. It’s the only thing we’ve talked about for ages.’

Will had watched Fran spend the last few weeks flipping back and forth between excitement and terror at the thought of going to Spain on her own. He knew she was strong enough to do it; he knew she was stronger than anyone realised. But he also knew that she wondered if she was ready. When she first mentioned Spain to him he had seen it as a perfect opportunity to help her begin to put herself back together again after what had been the worst year of both their lives. He tried to believe that everything life threw at him was an opportunity.

Fran had been teaching at a studio in central Cambridge for six years and had been asked to teach for a week on a retreat in Spain. Will had always supported her teaching, always tried to put her career on a level par with his own and had done everything he could to help her find the strength to go back to work in January. None of it had felt as though it was enough. None of it would make up for the last year, the things he had said, the things he had done. Suddenly he is terrified about being on his own. Neither of them have been alone for months.

‘What do you want to watch?’ he asks, squatting down in front of the TV.

‘Can we watch Some Like it Hot?’ Fran replies.

Will rolls his eyes. He must have seen it a hundred times, but puts it in the DVD player anyway and goes to settle himself on the sofa. ‘Come here,’ he says, and she sits with him, leaning back against his chest.

‘Are you OK about Spain?’ he asks quietly.

‘I think so,’ she says. ‘I’m nervous, but I’m excited as well.’

‘Elizabeth will be there with you, won’t she?’

‘Yes, and Constance. In fact, I already know most of the other people who are going. I’ll be fine.’ She pauses. ‘Are you going to be OK?’ she asks quietly.

‘I’m going to miss you,’ he says, lying back on the sofa, wrapping his arms around her. He doesn’t know how to answer the question. He wants to tell her everything but knows that now is not the right time.

‘I’m going to miss you too,’ she replies.

He kisses the top of her head as she presses ‘play’ on the remote control. He watches her as she watches her favourite film, her lips moving along with the characters – she still knows every word by heart. They used to spend rainy Sundays like this when they were younger, when life seemed easier.

Halfway through the film he realises that Fran is crying – fat, salty tears running down her cheeks.

‘Fran?’ he asks quietly, pressing pause on the remote.

Fran doesn’t reply, she just turns around and he takes her in his arms. He feels her body against his. She clings to him as though her life depends on it and he holds her close as she cries and cries. He can’t remember the last time he saw her cry like this. They had both done their grieving in private over the last year but to Will it feels as though Fran has been holding all this in for months, shutting herself down. He’s relieved that she finally seems ready to let go.

‘I want my old life back,’ she sobs. ‘I want to be happy again.’

‘So do I,’ Will whispers. ‘And we will, in time. I promise.’

‘I wish we’d never bought this house – we had so much hope.’

‘Shhh …’ Will says softly, stroking her hair as she weeps against him.

Check this cover out…..









The Things We Need to Say cover

Perfect for fans of Katie Marsh, Amanda Prowse and Sheila O’Flanagan

Pre-order on Amazon UK –

Publication Day – 11th May 2018


#FlashbackFriday with @SusannaBeard25 @thatsueshepherd @HayleyMitchellc @writermels @RSinclairAuthor

Hi and welcome to my #FlashbackFriday feature 🙂

On the first Friday of each month I like to have a little look back at the books I was reading during the same month in previous years, since starting my blog.

Here are my reviews from February 2017 & 2016…..





Hunt For The Enemy

Rise Of The Enemy

Have you read any of the above?

Feel free to join in with #FlashbackFriday 🙂 

Thanks for reading!

66 Metres #BlogTour J.F. Kirwan @kirwanjf #GuestPost @rararesources

66 Metres banner

J F Kirwan

Just add water…..

Guest Blog by J F Kirwan

I’d always wondered why there aren’t more thrillers with underwater action. After all, diving is a dangerous pastime. The training systems are very good these days, but still fatalities occur. I used to teach risk assessment, and to get people (non-divers) into it I would ask them to list ways you could die underwater while diving. ‘Shark!’ is usually first up, though in reality it’s far from the most likely. ‘Running out of air!’ ‘Getting trapped inside a wreck!’ ‘Going too deep!’ All valid. Now, add some villains, I say. ‘Spear-guns!’ I hear. After that, the list usually runs a little wild.

All thrillers need a sense of jeopardy. Many use the concept of a ticking clock, where the heroine is running out of time. Underwater, you are always slowly running out of air, because there’s a limited supply in the tank on your back. And if you are truly running out of air and you’re also down at depth, the imminent threat is one of drowning, perhaps alone, maybe never to be found. This is serious jeopardy that anyone can relate to, whether a diver or not.

All of the above are in my Nadia Laksheva series, though the shark attack only occurs in the second book. The first one, 66 Meters, is about a very deep dive, though obviously Navy and commercial divers – and these days many diving hobbyists who do ‘technical diving’ – can go deeper. But it’s still seriously deep, and with quite a lot of risk.

I’ve only dived that deep twice in more than 700 dives, and on one of those occasions I blacked out due to oxygen toxicity, which happens at around 66 Metres (218 feet) if you are diving on air, hence the title of the book. The blackout happened in Norway some years ago, and is described in one of the early chapters. I remember a pre-reviewer writing to me and saying that this chapter was particularly vivid. She asked me if it actually happened… Obviously I survived, but experiences like that are etched in your mind.

There are five other dive scenes in the book, including a heist from a ditched helicopter, getting nitrogen narcosis (drunk on nitrogen) inside a wreck, a spear-gun fight with Navy SEALs, and a rescue inside a collapsing wreck. But one of the strongest scenes happens when someone drowns. The reader is in that unfortunate person’s point of view when it happens. One of my dive buddies, after reading that chapter, wrote to me, saying. ‘I really felt “the fear” when reading it.’ Because all divers fear drowning.

Yet there is an abundance of beauty and wonder in diving, which is why we do it. As I’m writing this guest blog I’m sitting on a boat in the Red Sea, just off the coast of Marsa Alam in southern Egypt. I’ve spent nearly a week diving in fabulous coral gardens teeming with fish, seen the occasional white-tip reef shark, played with turtles, and chased a giant Manta ray for five minutes before it was swallowed by the depths. I love diving, it’s like flying, because you can soar as if weightless around tall pinnacles studded with coral and carpeted with small and medium-sized fish in a kaleidoscope of perfectly-matched colours. It is also great to be offline, in a non-tech world where you cannot even speak to each other let alone read emails, get phone calls, etc.

But you never forget that you are there as a tourist, on a limited air supply, and that you are underwater, which is a hostile environment for us land-lubbers. So, if you want to write a thriller with a difference, take one new weapon of mass destruction, mix in some Russian Mafia gangs and a rogue CIA spook, plus one hell of a kick-ass heroine, and then, just add water…

66 Metres…..

66 Metres cover

The only thing worth killing for is family.

Everyone said she had her father’s eyes. A killer’s eyes. Nadia knew that on the bitterly cold streets of Moscow, she could never escape her past – but in just a few days, she would finally be free.

Bound to work for Kadinsky for five years, she has one last mission to complete. Yet when she is instructed to capture The Rose, a military weapon shrouded in secrecy, Nadia finds herself trapped in a deadly game of global espionage.

And the only man she can trust is the one sent to spy on her…

Book One of Nadia Laksheva spy thriller series

Purchase from Amazon UK –

Author Bio…..

J. F. Kirwan is the author of the Nadia Laksheva thriller series for HarperCollins. Having worked in accident investigation and prevention in nuclear, offshore oil and gas and aviation sectors, he uses his experience of how accidents initially build slowly, then race towards a climax, to plot his novels. An instructor in both scuba diving and martial arts, he travels extensively all over the world, and loves to set his novels in exotic locations. He is also an insomniac who writes in the dead of night. His favourite authors include Lee Child, David Baldacci and Andy McNab.



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66 Metres blog tour



The Magic Of Stars #BlogTour @JackieLadbury #Extract @rararesources

The Magic of Stars banner

I am thrilled to be joining in with Jackie Ladbury’s The Magic of Stars blog tour today 🙂

(Many thanks to Rachel.)


So, you put the bandage under your arm, the point to your elbow, like so?’ He slid the bandage under her elbow before looking at her for reassurance.

Yes.’ The word came out breathily and she cursed and straightened her spine, determined to get through this ordeal without giving anything away.

He elevated her arm. His touch, soft and warm, was unnerving, his fingertips a silken caress on her skin. She tried to speak, but her voice caught in her throat and it came out like a whimper.

Did I hurt you?’

No.’ She coughed to mask the audible moan. ‘I’m just reminding you that I have a broken arm.’

I’ll be gentle,’ he whispered, a hint of a smile crossing his face. ‘So, the next move is to secure the bandage with a knot by the collarbone, yes?’ His breath was warm, close to her ear, his all-too-familiar scent intoxicating, his voice soft and low. ‘Just so?’

She shivered as he lifted her hair gently from her neck and whispered, ‘Bei capelli.’

She understood a smattering of Italian and blinked. I have beautiful hair? Her senses heightened to full alert as he blew a loose strand away from her neck. A Sirocco wind blasting hot, dry sand would have been easier to bear – and if she had been the sort of girl to swoon, she would be flat out.

He ran his finger down the side of her neck, stopping in a natural hollow where her shoulder sloped. His thumb skimmed across the clavicle, setting her senses on red alert. Surely he knew what he was doing to her?

And you tie a knot … just here,’ he crooned, his breath tickling her ear, the mundane words sounding like a declaration of love.

Yes, very good,’ she managed, her voice strangling in her throat.

His lips twisted with concentration as he examined the sling, tested the strength of the knot. His fingers brushed hers as he slid his hand down the length of the triangular bandage to where her fingers peeped out.

Sapphire’s nerve endings tingled all the way up her arm and she stiffened, not wanting Marco to see how his touch unnerved her. Their eyes met briefly and she stepped backwards in shock, thinking she saw tenderness in his eyes.

As if on cue, he blinked and his expression once again became unfathomable, his eyes the usual flinty grey. ‘All done,’ he said, smiling firmly and then murmured something else in Italian that she didn’t understand.

His every move seemed to be larger than life to Sapphire and she was glad that he was no longer in her immediate space. She breathed freely, relieved, although her chest felt constricted – as if her lungs were full of concrete rather than air.

Marco casually rested his hip against the desk, his arms once again folded as he surveyed his handiwork. ‘How does it feel?’

Sorry?’ Why was he asking that? ‘Feel?’

The arm. Now I have made it secure?’

Oh. Fine. Lovely.’ She flapped her arm in its bandage. He was joking, right? ‘Never felt better.’ She waggled her fingers in the sling as Marco studied her, his head tilted to one side.

She blew upwards, trying to cool her cheeks down with her breath as heat washed over her. Lurching forwards on her decidedly weak legs, she turned back to face the class. ‘I think we all know how to administer bandages now, but there is one last thing to remember. Can anyone tell me what that is?’

Finbar’s hand shot up and his suggestion rang out loud and clear. ‘Is it kissing it better, miss?’ There was no mistaking his insinuation, and Sapphire, who was holding on by a thread, felt her body temperature hit meltdown.

She swallowed hard, trying to regain her equilibrium. ‘No, Fin, that isn’t the answer I wanted, although a bit of TLC never hurt anyone. You need to check that the fingertips don’t turn blue.’ She held her own burning fingers up to emphasise the point, half expecting sparks to fly out of them. ‘If they do, you’ve tied the bandage too tight.’ Her heart was thumping erratically as she glanced over at Marco. If this carried on, she would be the one needing defibrillation.

We’ll have a break now and then we’ll split into two groups. One can work on Resusci Annie while the other practises splints and burns.’ She gripped the edge of the table, trying to look nonchalant, but her mind was racing as quickly as her heart. Had she really fallen for that man’s sex appeal?

A few minutes later she watched Marco as he tried to breathe life into Resusci Annie, his lips pressed firmly over Annie’s rubber ones. For one second she imagined those lips were hers – but she cast aside the image quickly. Marco gently put his hands over Annie’s breastbone to practise heart compressions and she noticed her own breasts felt oddly tingly under her shirt. She was just too hot, that was all; it meant nothing.

The Magic of Stars cover

The Magic of Stars

Sapphire Montrose always felt like a loser in the struggle of life, but when she becomes the airline manager of a run-down airline she starts to believe she is a winner – until she unwittingly propositions her new boss and all her hard work is undone. In a moment of recklessness air stewardess, Sapphire Montrose throws caution and her dress to the wind by propositioning a handsome stranger in a hotel in Florence, only to find herself waking up alone and embarrassed in her hotel room.

Unfortunately for Sapphire, it turns out that her new boss, Marco Cavarelli, is the man she failed to seduce and she is now fighting for her job and her self-respect when he tells her there is no place in his revamped airline for an alcoholic woman with lascivious tendencies. To make matters worse she is increasingly attracted to him and he seems to be giving out the same vibes. Or is he simply testing her? One wrong move could be the end of her career. But what if he really is offering love – and is he worth the risk?

Purchase from Amazon UK –

About Jackie Ladbury…..

Jackie Ladbury

Jackie Ladbury was desperate to become a journalist when she left school but was ousted within minutes on the day of the exam at her local rag because she’d forgotten to bring a pen.

Short and sharp lesson learned.

Her budding writing career was not on hold for long, though, as Jackie found herself scribbling love stories of pilots and ‘hosties’ while she flew in aeroplanes of various shapes and sizes as a flight attendant herself.

Fast forward a good few years and, after being short-listed in a couple of prestigious romantic writing competitions, Jackie decided it was time to discard her stilettos, say goodbye to the skies and concentrate on writing romantic novels, where the only given is a guaranteed ‘happy ever after.’

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The Magic of Stars blog tour


#AuthorInterview with Philip Brady @philbradyUK

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Philip Brady to Chat About Books 🙂

Philip Brady

For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?

Thank you Kerry for the opportunity to appear on you blog. I’m Philip Brady I live in London with my wonderful wife and two children and I write comedy thriller novels parodying society’s obsession with fame and celebrities. The Meal of Fortune, is the first novel I have had published and the third I have written. I’d describe it as a comedy caper where the worlds or arms dealing, espionage and TV cookery collide head on. My first two novels are likely to remain in a dark drawer with a wet flannel over them to stop them getting too excited at the prospect of seeing the light of day now that I have finally been published. They won’t! I am currently working on the follow-up to The Meal of Fortune, which will be titled Tinker Tailor Solider Chef.

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

I kind of just make them up. Ideas have never been a problem, it’s getting them into some order and onto the page in a way that people will want to read that is more of a struggle. Despite being laced with spies, gangsters and other nefarious types my books are really about society’s ridiculous obsession with celebrities and fame. I’ve worked with celebs and quite a few more so called celebs in my day job so I guess this was the inspiration. Because the books are meant to be funny the ideas can be a bit more out there. I think readers will suspend disbelief a little more if they’re laughing.

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

Sadly I don’t know any spies. (If I do they haven’t told me – but I guess that’s kind of the point) and thankfully I don’t know any gangsters or arms dealers; although the above may also apply. The very worst characteristics of some of my ‘celebrity’ characters probably come from my brushes with real life D-listers but no individual springs to mind, or at least not one that I am naming.

How do you pick your characters names?

There isn’t really any rhyme or reason to it. For some reason I appear to be drawn to names with a two syllable first name and one syllable for the second. They just seem that bit more memorable. The publication of The Meal of Fortune was crowdfunded with Unbound. As part of the crowdfunding I offered the chance to name one of the characters – a downright unpleasant celebrity chef. He was originally called Richie Murray and for reasons only known to themselves the person decided to call him Marcus Diesel. I struggled with that for a bit until I realised it was exactly the sort of stage name the chef character would have made up for himself and managed to make a gag out of it in the book.

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

Psyche myself up, sit down and get on with it. Like many other writers I find it hard to get going, but once I’ve started I can be at it for hours and the time just flies. I tend not to set word limits per day. I am really bad at letting myself get distracted, nothing is more daunting than starting a new chapter and its surprising how suddenly minor things, like finding someone to fix the shower curtain that has been broken for months suddenly take on huge importance. In fact I am writing this now instead of dealing with a tricky piece of four way dialogue in my latest book Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Chef.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

A mixture of crime, spy novels and comedy.

Colin Bateman – hilarious and well plotted, particularly the Dan Starkey books. Reading Divorcing Jack was the initial inspiration to write comedy thrillers.

Christopher Brookmyre – ditto, although his more serious recent books are just as good.

Kingley and Martin Amis (sorry that’s two for the price of one). Kingsley mainly for Lucky Jim (three laugh out loud moments on first couple of pages) and Martin for is often overlooked first novel,The Rachel Papers, although I enjoyed London Fields too.

Lately I’ve read all of Mick Herron’s books. His Slough House series, spy novels with a comic tone and twist, are exactly what I aspire to write.

And then it is a toss-up. Ian Rankin because, well who doesn’t love Rebus? And Evelyn Waugh, just because (but specifically for Brideshead Revisited).

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Given the advent of social media and the increased opportunities it gives to interact with authors it’s got to be one who is no longer with us. So probably Evelyn Waugh. I’d have so many questions it’s impossible to pick one.

Were you a big reader as a child?

Yes, I always had a book on the go. It was reading the Lord of The Rings at about eight years old that made me want to become a writer. Back then the dream was to create whole knew fantasy worlds but as George RR Martin seems to have cornered that market I moved on to other things. I am really pleased that both my children are avid readers.

When did you start to write?

Not in earnest until I was about 26. Up until then I think I saw myself as some sort of writer in waiting; gaining the life experiences I needed to burst onto the scene fully formed and take the literary world by storm. What an idiot. Either that or it was just years’ worth of the ultimate distraction technique. I finally bought myself an old computer and got on with it.

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?

I like a book that leaves the reader guessing just a bit. The excellent 1974 by David Peace does this in spades, so I certainly wouldn’t change that. The fate of the book’s main character is hinted at but never revealed in any of the three follow-ups. More books should be like that but I wouldn’t presume to change another writer’s work.

Is there a book you wish you had written?

Bit leftfield this one; The Thought Gang by Tibor Fischer. He only fails to make me top five fav authors because of his limited amount of books. The Thought Gang is simply hilarious but deals with the issue of loss too. A washed up Cambridge philosophy lecturer goes on a fine dining and bank robbing spree in southern France with a one armed criminal and their pet rat.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?

I’d like to say it would be Fast Women and Slow Horses but that might make my life sound a little racier than it’s actually been. I think I’ll stick to the fiction; making stuff up is so much easier than baring your soul.

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?

Jim Dixon from Lucky Jim. He found the world around him ridiculous and confusing in equal measure. I’d take him to any modern coffee chain. It would be fun to see what he made of it.

What are you working on right now?

Tinker, Tailor Solider Chef. It is the follow up to The Meal of Fortune and revolves around a plan by the world’s most secretive intelligence agency to bring the UK economy to its knees by destroying the multi-billion pound entertainment business. This will be followed by an as yet unnamed finale to the trilogy which sees a US tech giant attempt to buy Wales for use as a conveniently located tax haven. It will be loosely based on the 1980s film Local Hero in which an American oil giant tries to buy a Scottish village to build a new refinery but I only realised this after I had thought up the idea.

Do you have a new release due?

I am hoping that Tinker Tailor Solider Spy will come out some time in 2018 but realistically it is likely to by 2019.

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

I’ve only had one so far. As I had crowded funded the publication we had a big party to thank all of the contributors. Not sure what I’ll do next time. Maybe a quiet cup of tea and get on with the next one.

How can readers keep in touch with you?


Twitter: @philbradyuk


Is there anything else you would like us to know?

The Meal of Fortune is available from Amazon in paperback and eBook. CLICK

As a first time writer I am really eager to hear what people think so if you do read it please post a review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Philip 🙂

The Meal Of Fortune

About The Book

The worlds of arms dealing, espionage and TV cookery collide in this fast moving comedy caper.

Failing celebrity agent Dermot Jack thinks his luck might have turned when a mysterious Russian oligarch comes to London and hires him to represent his pop star daughter.

Disaffected MI5 officer Anna Preston is just as happy to be handed the chance to resurrect her own career. Little do they know that their paths are about to cross again after seventeen years as they’re thrown together in a desperate attempt to lure a notorious arms dealer into a highly unusual trap.

Hard enough without having to deal with the lecherous celebrity chef trying to save his daytime TV career or the diminutive mafia enforcer who definitely has his own agenda. Then there’s the very impatient loan shark who ‘just wants his money back’.

And Anna’s bosses are hardly playing it straight either. But one thing’s for sure. Anna and Dermot are absolutely not about to fall in love again. That’s never going to happen, OK?

About The Author

The Meal of Fortune is Phil’s first published novel. It is the start of a planned trilogy of comedy thrillers parodying society’s obsession with celebrity.

Phil’s main rule in life is to never let tomato ketchup touch any food that is green. He is yet to work out any deep meaning behind this and suspects it is not the soundest of principles by which to live your life. But it’s better than quite a few he’s come across down the years. Best not to get started on that one though.

Phil lives in London with his wife and two children. He studied modern history at The University of Leeds, works in marketing as a day job and didn’t vote for BREXIT.


#AuthorInterview with Richie Billing @Magpie_Richie The General & The Visitor #RaisingAwarness #Dementia #Charity #Raisingfunds

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Richie Billing to Chat About Books 🙂 

Richie Billing

Having lost my lovely Grandad Adams to dementia last February, this charity is one I am more than happy to help promote.

I’d like to thank Kerry for letting me loose today. She very kindly offered to help me raise awareness for a fundraising campaign I’m currently running. Thank you, Kerry! Heaven awaits you at the end, I’m sure.

You’re very welcome, Richie. I have already downloaded a copy and I hope everyone reading this post will download a copy to. I wish you every success with your fundraising.

What’s the campaign? A few months ago my friend and I released a couple of short stories to raise money for my grandmother’s care home, Ranelagh House

When I gave up my job as a lawyer one of the reasons was to use my time to give something back. I began to volunteer at Ranelagh House, and after chatting to a few of the residents—Doreen, Albert Sheila, Edna, Eileen and my grandmother Joan too—I learned that in their younger years they went to the cinema three, four, even five times a week. Cinema played a massive part in their lives growing up. So I decided to begin a film club, and since November 2016 every Monday afternoon we sit down with popcorn and ice cream and watch a classic.

Not long ago I learned of dementia-friendly screenings at a fantastic local community cinema named ‘The Plaza‘. The perfect day out! But my hopes were dashed. Not enough money in the budget. In fact no money at all in the budget. Why? The Tory government took it all away.

I’m delighted to say that in December we managed to raise enough to take the residents out on that elusive day out! It was a wonderful day. We watched White Christmas. They sang along with a cup of tea in hand and mince pie crumbs all down their fronts. (This sounds so lovely!) The fundraising continues, though. I’d love to take them all out again, and you can help!

For just £3.00 you can buy The General & The Visitor on Amazon today. All proceeds go to Ranelagh House and enriching the lives of the people who live there.

Here is the link:

Thank you for reading. Have a great day!

Interview with Richie Billing…..

Richie Billing & cat

For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?

My name is Richie Billing, a name of subtle misfortune (my middle name is Edward, meaning my name is also Dick Ed). I’m from a place called Liverpool, known the world over thanks to The Beatles.

Last year I had the pleasure of collaborating with two very good friends of mine, Mark Brooks and Mark Vernall. Together we released The General & The Visitor to raise much-needed funds for my grandmother’s care home, Ranelagh House.

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

The General is the first ever story I’ve written. In its original form, it was a horrific thing. Over 10,000 words long, riddled with more contradictions and errors than a street cat is with fleas. After eighteen months of studying the craft and editing the shit out of it, I reached a point where I felt happy with it. And it was around the time I was thinking of ways to raise some money for Ranelagh House. Convenient. The two Mark’s kindly agreed to help, and the rest is history.

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

I think when creating any character we extract a slither of ourselves and place it inside them. One particular trait that we possess. Perhaps one we hide or temper. I like to base characters on people I know or meet too, though not in this particular story.

How do you pick your characters names?

With writing fantasy, it’s sort of expected that names will be different. Nigel the warlock doesn’t have a very good ring to it. I see a lot of difficult-to-read names in this genre. Random apostrophes thrown in the middle and what not. I’m not a fan of that. Instead, I like to keep it relatively simple. I pick a name I’m familiar with and play about with it, inserting letters, taking them away, playing around with the order. As an example, I’m writing a short story at the moment featuring a character called Jhoshan, which came from the name Josh.

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

I’ve recently had to alter my process because it was a bit slow. I always wrote a first draft by hand, then typed that up, re-read and edited it, printed it out, edited again, then back to the computer and so on. Now I just type things; it’s way faster, though I still brainstorm on paper. I love filling blank pages with a black pen.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

George R.R. Martin. This man, together with the chap immediately below, inspired me to write.

Raymond E. Feist. I’ve never devoured so many books so quickly. Twenty-seven in all in a matter of months. Like G.R.R.M, for me, a master storyteller.

James Joyce. This chap is another master. The Dubliners is one of my favourite books. And being part Irish it was only right I included an Irishman.

Brandon Sanderson. I owe a lot to Brandon Sanderson and the college lectures he made available on Youtube. They’ve helped give me a solid footing in this sometimes mind-boggling world of writing.

Ian Rankin. I’ve always enjoyed reading crime thrillers. I owe the person who recommended Ian Rankin to me a massive debt. I’ve learned so much from his craft. Sub-plots, suspense, plot twists—this guy’s another master.

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

George R.R. Martin, I’d say. So I can probe him for Game of Thrones-related secrets.

Were you a big reader as a child?

I devoured books by the dozen. When school reached its business end I stopped, academia shouldering its way into my focus. When I left university I began again and rekindled my childhood love.

When did you start to write?

I’ve always enjoyed writing. I suppose, weirdly enough, I began to fall in love while essays in university. I’d seek out subjects that were purely essay based. I found them easier and I was better at them. Play to your strengths, I say. While the content wasn’t very sexy, (law is a mundane field), I enjoyed the challenge of putting together a literary jigsaw.

When I left university I began to miss the process, so I began to write comedy with a good friend of mine, Ant Campbell, now a successful comedian. That never quite satisfied me either. That hole wasn’t filled until I got an idea for a story about two and a half years ago, which led to my current work in progress.

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?

This is a tough question. I can’t think of any endings that have particularly rankled. Maybe Frodo and Sam dying at the end of Lord of the Rings? I’m a grim bastard, I know.

Is there a book you wish you had written?

A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s everything I dream of in a fantasy series. Book two of A Storm of Swords is pure mastery. I picked it up one night when I was struggling to sleep, must have been around 12:30 am. The next time I looked at the clock it was 7 am.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?

One For Sorrow, or something a bit less depressed-sounding. I have an affinity to magpies I can’t quite explain.

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?

Tyrion Lannister. For me, he’s a perfect character. Flawed, conflicted, interesting, and forever the underdog, and I’m a sucker for an underdog. I think he may demand wine, though.

What are you working on right now?

At the moment I’m beginning the arduous task of editing a forty-seven chapter novel. I’m aiming to have it done in six months or so. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.

Tell us about your last release?

My last release was a flash fiction story called Ducks. All of my short stories are set in the world of my work in progress, looking at the lives and stories of peripheral characters who feature in it. Ducks tells the story of a young River Folk girl named Inia. After following some ducks downriver she finds herself running into the last people she expected to see.

Do you have a new release due?

Not as of yet, though I have a few short stories out in circulation amongst publishers so watch this space.

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

Have a day off! Do all of the things I enjoy doing to unwind: drink, smoke, and play video games.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

You can find my corner of the web here: I’m an active blogger. Tuesdays I dedicate to sharing writing tips and techniques I’ve picked up while studying the craft. Thursdays I share some of the best articles I’ve come across from fellow bloggers and writers. And Fridays I dedicate to all things fantasy. You can find me Facebook and Twitter as well. I have a few resources for writers on there too and links to a few published stories.

The General and the Visitor cover

All proceeds are donated to Ranelagh House Care Home, a charity based in Liverpool, UK.

The General follows the tale of a military leader ordered by his king to destroy a little-known place in a land thought to be uninhabited. What he discovers throws everything he knows into question.

The Visitor tells the story of a young man, Mike, whose grandfather is on his deathbed. The events of his grandfather’s final day forces Mike to choose how he will live the rest of his life.

Richie Billing and Mark Brooks are both Liverpool-based writers. Richie has keen interests in the genre of fantasy, with several publsihed short stories to date and a novel due in 2018. His favourite writers are Raymond E. Feist and George R.R. Martin. You can find out more at his website. Mark’s interests lie in existentialism and magical realism, his favourite writer’s being Ernest Hemingway and James Salter.


Richie Billing hat