Where Does It Hurt? – a memoir of life with chronic pain by Tim Atkinson #authorguestpost @dotterel

Where Does It Hurt? written and self-published by Tim Atkinson is available NOW in ebook, kindleunlimited and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Tim’s first-hand account of what it’s like to live with chronic pain has been called “A very special book that occupies a category all of its own”;  “A chronic pain-thriller-page-turner” and “A thoroughly fabulous book that I could not put down!” Someone also cheekily suggested that ‘Where Does it Hurt?’ was “Like Geoff Dyer, but with something important and interesting to say”! What it does say is how strange pain can be, how little understood it is and how the opioids taken to kill it might actually be making it worse. But that’s not all. The more you understand how the brain processes pain the more you realise that other things you take for granted aren’t as straightforward as they seem… and that pain can even be a pleasure for some people.

Here’s a link to the book on Amazon: 

I am delighted to share a guest post from the author, Tim Atkinson, to tell us a little about his book:

‘Where Does It Hurt?’ is a book about pain: my own long-term pain, the pain that comes with swollen, damaged and deformed joints. I suffer from inflammatory arthritis and although I’m something of a medical ostrich, I’ve been inspired to write this book by what I’ve discovered, by the people I’ve met and by some exciting new ideas about pain.
Pain protects us from harm; that’s what it’s for — to tell you to take your hand out of the fire. But chronic pain – the so-called ‘silent epidemic’ that affects over two fifths of the UK population – is almost always counter-productive. Pain like this is something our bodies learn to feel, and the feelings can continue long after the initial cause has passed. Phantom limb pain is the obvious example. Some patients feel all sorts of sensations – including pain – from limbs they no longer have, and that’s just one of many strange facts about pain I’ve discovered – facts that have helped me come to terms with my own pain and begin to develop strategies to help me cope. Because knowledge is power and there’s nothing worse than feeling helpless in the face of pain. Understanding your pain and what it means can help you deal with it. Our brains ‘learn’ to feel pain and can just as easily unlearn it, too. It’s a habit we can break; it isn’t easy, but it can be done. And it’s done by doing something, anything (almost) as long as it’s something we believe can help. In fact it’s possible to train your mind to do what pain- killing drugs do all the time, making the unbearable, bearable or even invisible. In talking to a number of experts across a range of disciplines and trying alternative remedies from yoga to acupuncture, I come to the conclusion that the key to managing chronic pain isn’t necessary what you do as much as doing something; it’s about taking back control. I’m sharing my own journey of discovery in the hope that it’ll help others understand pain better and perhaps approach it in a new way. After all, as Morgan Harper Nichols says: “Tell the story of the mountain you climbed, your words could become a page in someone else’s survival guide.”

About the Author

Tim Atkinson is a teacher, author and award-winning blogger. He was born in Colchester, brought up in Yorkshire and now lives with his wife and family in Lincolnshire. Having studied philosophy at the University of Hull he worked at a variety of jobs including filing clerk, lay-clerk, chain-man and school teacher. He has taught philosophy at a boys’ grammar school and psychology at a girls’ high school and is now a full-time writer. For the past five years he has been researching and writing a book about the aftermath of World War One called The Glorious Dead. A special hardback subscription edition of this book was published by Unbound in November 2018 after which the trade edition was released to the general public

Website: https://www.timatkinson.info/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTimAtkinson/

Twitter: @dotterel

The Orchard Girls by Nikola Scott @nikola_scott @rararesources @HeadlineFiction @headlinepg #blogtour #guestpost #recipe #HistoricalFiction

The Orchard Girls written by Nikola Scott, publisher Review, is available NOW in ebook and audiobook format. The paperback is due out in the autumn.

Book Blurb

London, 2004. Frankie didn’t always have it easy. Growing up motherless, she was raised by her grandmother, who loved her – and betrayed her. For years, the rift between them seemed irreparable. But when their paths suddenly cross again, Frankie is shocked to realise that her grandmother is slowly losing control of her memory. There is a darkness in her past that won’t stay buried – secrets going back to wartime that may have a devastating effect on Frankie’s own life.

Somerset, 1940. When seventeen-year-old Violet’s life is ripped apart by the London Blitz, she runs away to join the Women’s Land Army, wanting nothing more than to leave her grief behind. But as well as the terror of enemy air raids, the land girls at Winterbourne Orchards face a powerful enemy closer to home. One terrible night, their courage will be put to the test – and the truth of what happened must be kept hidden, forever . . .

Purchase Link – https://bit.ly/OrchardGirls

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Nikola Scott’s latest historical novel: The Orchard Girls. Firstly, I’d like to apologise to the author, publisher and blogtour organiser for publishing my post a day late, life just simply happened. I have the pleasure of posting a guest post from the author, Nikola Scott, which includes a delicious sounding Apple Cake, a perfect recipe for the land girls and their harvest of apples. Definitely one I will try.

Land Girls, apple orchards, and a delicious ‘drunken’ apple cake

My mum recently cleaned out her attic. She’s always attacking various areas of her house (she’s lived there for almost fifty years!) and I love being there when she does, because she inevitably unearths some kind of ‘rubbish’ which turns out to be a priceless gem. A clutch of old letters in a hatbox; doubles of my grandmother’s old photographs (she was a professional photographer and sold all sorts of beautiful black-and-white shots to newspapers and magazines); an old bag with a tarnished mirror still lodged in an inside pocket. The kind of thing, in other words, that might well look like rubbish, but is pretty thrilling to a historical fiction writer.

Recently, I was asking her about a cake we used to make all the time. My new novel, The Orchard Girls, is set among a group of Land Girls working on an apple orchard in 1940 Somerset, and I wanted to share one of our favourite apple cake recipes in honour of its publication.

With many family recipes you’re usually handed a butter-spotted piece of paper stuck on the kitchen noticeboard, containing a heavily annotated list of ingredients with rather cryptic measurements. But wouldn’t you know it, my mother disappeared for a bit and came back with a whole stack of old notebooks and cookbooks, including – wait for it – an ancient collection of recipes, hand-written by my great-grandmother in 1901! It made my day.

So here it is for you, our Drunken Apple Cake, a deceptively simple and unashamedly delicious afternoon tea cake. There is nothing boozy about it, by the way. The original recipe was in German, where ‘drunken’ and ‘drowned’ are close linguistic cousins. In this case it simply means that the apple pieces are submerged – ‘drowned’ – in the dough.

Drunken Apple Cake

160 g butter

135 g sugar

¼ ts salt

4 eggs

335 g flour

1 tbs baking powder

80 ml milk

1 ts vanilla essence

5 apples (more, if you’d like it heavy on the apple front)

Extra butter for dotting

Extra sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees and butter & flour a 23 cm springform.

Peel, core and cut the apples into eighths.

Cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Sieve flour and baking powder together, mix milk and vanilla essence. Alternate adding the flour mix and the milk mix, beginning and ending with flour, until you have a wet, sticky dough that drops off the spoon with a little reluctance.

Smooth the dough into the springform and arrange the apple slices in a circle on top, prodding them a little to make them ‘sink’ with the tops still sticking out. Dot small bits of butter liberally across the tops and sprinkle with sugar. This last bit is technically optional but in my book absolutely essential because it gives a lovely crunch and goes really well with the apples. You could go crazy and add a little cinnamon here if you like.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, testing the cake parts with a cake tester towards the end and covering with a loose piece of foil if the surface gets too brown before the time is up.


Author Bio –

Nikola Scott started out in book publishing and worked as a crime fiction editor in America and England for many years. Turning her back on blood-spattered paperback covers and dead bodies found in woods, she sat down at her kitchen table one day to start her first novel — and hasn’t stopped writing since. Obsessed with history and family stories (‘How exactly did you feel when your parents gave the house to your brother?’) she is well-known – and feared – for digging up dark secrets at dinner parties and turning them into novels. 

Her first two books, My Mother’s Shadow and Summer of Secrets, have both been international bestsellers and were translated widely around the world. Nikola lives in Frankfurt with her husband and two boys (and a kitchen table). 

Once a month, Nikola sends out a popular newsletter about writing, reading, book news, freebies and loads of therapeutic baking. Join in here if you’d love to be a part of it all: bit.ly/NikolaScottNews

For more info on Nikola, visit her website at www.nikolascott.com  

Social Media Links –



Twitter: @nikola_scott

The Summer Island Festival by Rachel Burton #blogtour #guestpost @rachelbwriter @Aria_Fiction @rararesources

The Summer Island Festival written by Rachel Burton, publisher Aria, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

When Willow walks out on her own wedding, there’s only one place she can go…

Growing up in the island village of Seaview, Willow always dreamed of a bigger life. Then her childhood sweetheart Luc betrayed her and she ran, resolving never to look back. Now, twelve years on, her glamorous London life is a mess and the island is her only option.

But she’s not the only one back for the summer. Luc is now a world-famous heartthrob musician, and he’s finally come home to headline the Isle of Wight’s annual music festival.

As Willow untangles her messy past, she stumbles on a secret that could destroy her family, the island’s fragile community – and her second chance at love…

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Island-Festival-Burton/dp/1800246064

US – https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Island-Festival-Burton/dp/1800246064

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the latest novel by Rachel Burton; The Summer Island Festival. I have the pleasure of hosting a guest post from the author today.


When people ask me where I get my ideas from, I never really know what to say. Ideas seem to just appear in my head apropos of nothing (and sometimes they don’t which is very frightening as I wonder if I’ve run out of ideas). Characters in particular tend to appear fully formed, names come out of nowhere. I have a lot of work to do to understand the characters once they’ve shown themselves, but initially they are just there.

This was partly true for The Summer Island Festival. Luc, Willow and Skye just appeared in my head one day (although Willow was originally called Laurel – a name I gave to her parents’ band in the end) as did the bones of their back stories and the history of the festival that they grew up around. I knew there was something missing though, something else I needed to flesh out the plot, to be an obstacle in both Willow’s journey and her and Luc’s second chance at love.

Anyone who knows me well knows I have deep running passions for The Beatles, William Shakespeare, yoga, tea, and Midsomer Murders (for those of you who don’t know, that last one is a British TV detective series which is outstanding in its bizarreness – in one episode someone was killed by a wheel of cheese) – and it was Midsomer Murders that gave me the idea for that extra bit of plot I needed.

There is an episode called ‘The Ballad of Midsomer County’ which is absolutely one of my favourites. It takes place at a folk festival and revolves around a famous folk singer called Johnny Carver who killed himself years before. The first time I watched it, I spent the entire episode convinced that Johnny Carver would reappear, that he’d faked his own death to disappear from the music scene which was destroying him. This isn’t what happens in either Midsomer Murders or The Summer Island Festival so I haven’t spoiled anything for you!

But it gave me the beginnings of an idea, the mystery that could lie behind Willow and Luc’s story, another layer, an additional problem to stop them from being together.

How can you disappear from your life though? How easy is it really in these days of GPS and 5G and Facebook and rolling news? I’m fairly sure it would be quite hard. Years ago, though, before all those things existed, if you had enough money it would probably have been easy enough, surely? So rather than have a contemporary character disappear maybe I needed to set part of the story in the past.

And along came Storm Tyler, lead singer of King Silver – a band that became, for a short time in the mid-80s stratospherically famous until they imploded and Storm disappeared for so long that many people thought he was dead.

The rest is history – well, in all honestly the rest was seven edits and two years of work but eventually I got there and my crazy idea about a folk festival, inspired by Midsomer Murders and with a lot of hard work from the team at Aria Fiction/Head of Zeus, became the book you can hold in your hand today. I hope you enjoy Willow and Luc’s story and the race against time to find Storm Tyler!

I’m really looking forward to reading this novel, thanks so much to the author, Rachel Burton, for joining me on the blogtour.

About the Author

Rachel Burton has been making up stories for as long as she can remember and always dreamed of being a writer until life somehow got in the way. After reading for a degree in Classics and another in English Literature she accidentally fell into a career in law, but eventually managed to write her first book on her lunch breaks.

She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and their three cats. She loves yoga, ice hockey, tea, The Beatles, dresses with pockets and very tall romantic heroes.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @RachelBWriter or follow her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com. 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….

Social Media Links – Twitter: @rachelbwriter ; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rachelburton74/ ; website: rachelburtonwrites.com

Banana Devil Cake by Susan A. King @SusanKing63 @EyeAndLightning @rararesources #guestpost #Q&A #comedycrimecaper

Banana Devil Cake written by Susan A King, publisher Lightning Books, is available NOW in ebook format.

Banana Devil Cake

With the murder of last year’s fête judge now but a hazy memory, the village of Elmesbury has retired to its former tranquil existence. That is, until a mysterious newcomer sets in motion a series of events that will see members of the W.I. crossing wooden spoons at dawn.

In the midst of preparing for her long-awaited engagement party, redoubtable village busybody Beattie Bramshaw not only finds herself embroiled in a one-woman campaign to save the elm tree from which the village gets its name, but having to contend with an outbreak of unrest within her beloved W.I. group. Rivalry to win favour with the judge of this year’s fête has fuelled dissent within the ranks and, when two members are found dead in mysterious circumstances, suspicions run rife.

Confident the devil is not only in the cake but in the detail, Beattie determines to uncover the clues that will ultimately lead to the killer’s conviction. But can she solve the mystery before another member of the W.I. is picked off?

Banana Devil Cake is a comedy crime caper in the spirit of Agatha Raisin and one that is guaranteed to lift your spirits. Prepare yourself for a tale of tea, cake and riotous goings-on from the author of Marrow Jam.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08SWDG367

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08SWDG367

Author Bio

Susan A. King lives with her husband in a quiet suburb in Hampshire. Between them they have four grown-up sons.

The inspiration for her Beattie Bramshaw novels comes from her long experience and observation of competitors at the local Romsey Show, where she regularly aspires to win Best in Show with her floral arrangements.

Social Media Links – Twitter @SusanKing63 Insta @susan.king63

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating Banana Devil Cake (Book Two in the Beattie Bramshaw Mysteries) and also Marrow Jam (Book One in the Beattie Bramshaw Mysteries) written by Susan A King. You can find my review for both books here: Beattie Bramshaw Mysteries by Susan A. King Double Review @SusanKing63 @EyeAndLightning #bookreview #cosycrime | kraftireader (wordpress.com)

As I had previously read both books in the series I have the great pleasure of inviting the author to my blog with a Q & A spot:

Q: I loved both Marrow Jam and Banana Devil Cake where did you get the inspiration for the premise of the storyline?

Thank you, I’m so pleased you enjoyed them. The idea initially came to me when I entered a floral display at a large show held annually close to where I live. Overheard conversations and whispers between competitors caught my ear and from there my imagination took over. How far would someone go to win top prize?

Q:  Beattie’s character is very multi layered, one minute you loathe her the next you love her. Did you have this in mind when devising the characters?

Spot on! I wanted to create a character people would remember, someone quite loud and with a seemingly hard exterior but who actually has quite a soft centre.

Q:  I’ve noticed we share a love of tea, it goes perfectly with reading. What is your go to cuppa and what is Beattie’s favourite cuppa?

I drink tea from the moment I wake until well into the evening. My favourite is good old PG Tips decaf but I think Beattie would prefer to tell people she drinks something a little more exotic, perhaps a Lapsang souchong.

Q:  The books are set in the late 1990’s, why did you choose this decade?

It seemed right for the characters and the world I had created in my mind. Had the answers Beattie needed required a simple google search on her home PC or she could text friends instead of visiting them, I don’t think the village and the relationships between people would have had quite the same feel.

Q:  What’s next for Beattie?

Beattie is preparing for the wedding of the century (in Elmesbury at least) and, of course, everything is being checked and double-checked down to the minutest of detail. But when someone in the village is murdered in the lead up to her big day, she determines to uncover the identity of the culprit in super quick time. But will she?

Q:  I’d love to see the Beattie Bramshaw mysteries as a televised comedy drama, who would you like to play Beattie?

That would be a dream come true! Whoever plays her will probably have to gain a few pounds, but I’ve always thought Patricia Routledge would make an excellent Beattie.

Thank you for your questions, they really made me think (whilst enjoying a cup of tea of course).

Thank you so much Susan for joining me on my blog today. I can definitely imagine Beattie drinking Lapsang Souchong in a vintage china tea cup and I always look forward to a wedding.

The House in the Hollow by Allie Cresswell @alliescribbler #guestpost #extract #historicalfiction

The House in the Hollow written and self-published by Allie Cresswell is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

The Talbots are wealthy. But their wealth is from ‘trade’. With neither ancient lineage nor title, they struggle for entrance into elite Regency society. Finally, aided by an impecunious viscount, they gain access to the drawing rooms of England’s most illustrious houses.

Once established in le bon ton, Mrs Talbot intends her daughter Jocelyn to marry well, to eliminate the stain of the family’s ignoble beginnings. But the young men Jocelyn meets are vacuous, seeing Jocelyn as merely a brood mare with a great deal of money. Only Lieutenant Barnaby Willow sees the real Jocelyn, but he must go to Europe to fight the French. The hypocrisy of fashionable society repulses Jocelyn—beneath the courtly manners and studied elegance she finds tittle-tattle, deceit, dissipation and vice.

Jocelyn stumbles upon and then is embroiled in a sordid scandal which will mean utter disgrace for the Talbot family. Humiliated and dishonoured, she is sent to a remote house hidden in a hollow of the Yorkshire moors. There, separated from family, friends and any hope of hearing about the lieutenant’s fate, she must build her own life—and her own social order—anew.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/32UYCG2

I am so pleased to welcome the author, Allie Cresswell, to my blog today sharing an extract with a brief explanation. Thank you for joining my blog Allie …

The House in the Hollow has as one of its themes the idea of things that are concealed beneath the veneer of Regency respectability. To this end I decided to introduce characters who work for the Talbot family in the capacity of servants; those who, out of sight, make their elegant lifestyle possible. Researching what life was like for Regency servants, and how a large country house functioned with what seems to be smooth and effortless efficiency, was very interesting. Obviously life was much harder for servants than it was for the wealthy and privileged but the tenets of essential morality remained the same, and this included the appalling way that women were victimised for moral lapses whereas men were forgiven. Girls who were compromised by men always got the blame, and had to suffer the consequences alone. This was true for women at all levels of Regency society.

Here a servant girl, Sally, has been found injured and unconscious in the middle of the night by Annie, another maid.

‘You did right to wake me, Annie,’ the housekeeper said, ‘although I wish Miss Nugent had been here. She is more practiced than I. Now we must examine every inch of Sally to see where her injuries are. You begin at the head and I will start at her feet.’

Annie ran her hands carefully over Sally’s skull, feeling for swellings or cuts. Sally’s hair was badly matted and tangled with straw—she would be upset, Annie thought, to have it so. Sally’s one vanity was her lovely, lustrous hair. Annie could feel no contusions, however. She inserted a finger into Sally’s mouth, feeling for loose teeth. One on the left felt spongy but otherwise all were firm. She leant closer and smelled Sally’s breath. Cider.

‘Is she intoxicated?’ she asked Mrs Butterwick. ‘Perhaps she drank too much cider, and fell? She may have hit her face …’

‘I don’t think so,’ Mrs Butterwick said grimly. She had lifted Sally’s wounded knees and now peered up beneath the material of her chemise. ‘There is much swelling here, bleeding and bruising. I think she has been forced.’

‘Forced?’ Annie’s mouth was dry.

‘Yes. A man has forced her.’

Mrs Butterwick turned to Sally’s hands. ‘Her nails are broken. I think she tried to defend herself.’ She felt gently up the length of Sally’s arms. ‘No bones broken, though, and no fever that I can discern.’

Annie thought of Jackie Silver, but did not voice her thought.

‘Her knees,’ Annie said.

‘Yes, she has crawled on them. There is gravel in them that will have to be got out.’

Between them they managed to lift Sally on to Annie’s bed. It was unusual for Annie to see the housekeeper engage in any physical endeavour. Her habit was to direct and supervise and then to confirm that her orders had been carried out. She might sweep a hand over furniture that should have been dusted, pull back a sheet to ensure that a bed had been properly made. But now Annie found Mrs Butterwick quite capable of the lifting and shifting required to settle Sally comfortably, by no means shirking of what needed to be done.

They removed the rest of Sally’s clothes and bathed her body, applying salves to her injuries and packing the place between her legs with some of the rags the girls used for their courses. Mrs Butterwick picked the gravel from Sally’s knees and cleaned them with liniment. Sally winced and whimpered, but did not wake. Annie washed the dirt and crusted blood from Sally’s eye and put a pad of clean material over it. She combed the worst of the straw from her hair. All the time she murmured reassurance although Sally made no sign of being able to hear. If anything the girl looked worse rather than better. Her jaw and cheek became blacker and more bloated as the night went by. She spoke no sensible word. Her good eye was glazed and unfocussed.

‘I fear concussion,’ Mrs Butterwick said, ‘and her jaw may be broken, but I cannot tell.’

They worked in the light of a single candle. Its flame flickered in the draught as they moved about their task, throwing shadows across Sally’s distended features, rendering them even more horrific. Annie’s throat was clogged, tight with anxiety, and tears pressed the backs of her eyes. Beneath her concern lay a ventricle brimming with caustic anger at the man who had done this.

‘Will she live, do you think?’ Annie asked when they had covered Sally with a clean sheet and managed to dribble a little willow bark tea between her poor, swollen lips. They sat either side of the little bed. A greyish glow divided the square of skylight from the gloom of the rest of the room. Above them, in the eaves, the first sparrows began to stir.

‘She will, if there are no injuries that we cannot see. If she is not awake and sensible by morning the surgeon must be called. She has been badly used, that’s clear enough. But Sally’s character speaks against her.’

‘Because she is a flirt?’

Mrs Butterwick nodded. ‘We must hope and pray there is no child. However it is come by, whether Sally be guilty or no, she will be dismissed.’

‘And the man who did this to her? I believe it might have been Mr Silver. I know he has hurt her before. I saw the bruises on her arms. Surely he’ll be sent packing?’

Mrs Butterwick pressed her lips together but did not reply.

About the Author

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

Social Media Links –

Website – http://www.allie-cresswell.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler/
Twitter – @alliescribbler

The Boy Between by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley @MrsAmandaProwse #guestpost #mentalhealth #TheBoyBetween @BOTBSPublicity

The Boy Between: A Mother and Son’s Journey From a World Gone Grey written and self-published by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley is available NOW in ebook, audiobook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one…

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of this remarkable story by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley. I am honoured to share a guest post from Amanda with you all.

Guest Post  “The Boy Between” by Amanda Prowse.

            Having written many books that have been described as “issue” fiction over the years, covering subjects as diverse as anorexia, alcoholism and postnatal psychosis, I am used to readers getting in touch to share their own personal stories and experiences on the topics covered. I consider it one of the greatest privileges of being a writer that someone wants to share with me such emotive messages that are often told in confidence and are nearly always heartrending. It means the world to me when the story I have written so closely mirrors someone’s real life experience. I take this as the highest compliment.

            The experience of writing “The Boy Between” and the reaction from readers has been different to any other book I have written. Josh and I have been inundated with messages of love and support that have meant the absolute world. I can’t tell you what it means to open up my laptop and read words from people all over the world telling me that they are willing Josh on, offering words of advice or simply sending us love. I certainly feel that love! And trust me when I tell you it makes all the difference on the dark days. The dark days, which are getting less, but are still there.

            One of the most consistent messages I receive is from mothers and others who are caring for someone with depression or whose mental health is suffering. Their words of kinship are uplifting and it really helps to know that I am not alone, as I struggle to know how best to help Josh and what to do or say that might make things better. I know it is not my fight, as Josh says in the book, “it is not your battle. It’s mine. I am the boy between…” and whilst this is the truth, that doesn’t mean I don’t take every step with him along the bumpy road to recovery.

            “The Boy Between” is the book we hoped we would not have to write. I wish my son did not, like so many young men, suffer with a debilitating depression that lead to him to try and take his own life while a student at university. That said, I know it’s the book I wanted to reach for when I struggled not only to find ways to help him, but also to understand what had turned my outgoing son with the whole world at his feet into a sleeping shell of himself. And as Josh says, he might be a British boy, but sadly young male depression and suicide is a universal problem and for each young man like him suffering, there is a family like ours trying to make sense of it all. We hope this book brings comfort to the millions of people all over the world suffering from depression and those who care for them. Ours has been a tough, lonely and devastating journey, but we can finally, finally see small glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel.

            Knowing that there are days when my beautiful boy would rather not exist is something I will never fully understand and I will never, ever accept. I will fight until my last breath to keep Josh here. To keep Josh with me. He is my heart. It really is that simple.

Author Bio – Amanda
Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author whose twenty three novels and six novellas have been published in dozens of languages around the world. Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres. Her books, including the chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’, ‘My Husband’s Wife’, ‘The Girl in the Corner’ and ‘The Things I Know’ have sold millions of copies across the globe.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘The queen of family drama’ Amanda’s novel, ‘A Mother’s Story’ won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award while ‘Perfect Daughter’ was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

Praise for Amanda Prowse:

‘A powerful and emotional work of fiction’ – Piers Morgan
‘Deeply moving and emotional, Amanda Prowse handles her explosive subjects with delicate skill’ – Daily Mail
‘Uplifting and positive, but you will still need a box of tissues’ – Hello!
‘A gut-wrenching and absolutely brilliant read’ – The Irish Sun
‘You’ll fall in love with this…’ – Cosmopolitan
‘Deeply moving and eye opening. Powerful and emotional drama that packs a real punch.’ – Heat
‘Magical’ – Now magazine  

Author Bio – Josiah
Josiah (Josh) Hartley is 22 and lives in an isolated farmhouse in the West Country, but close enough to Bristol to enjoy its music scene. He is an animal lover and servant to two French Bulldogs. Equally happy at a music festival or watching rugby with his mates, he likes the outdoor life and with Devon only a short drive away often heads to the sea to surf and sit on the beach watching the sun go down. After two stints at The University of Southampton and The University of Bristol and one unsuccessful suicide attempt Josh decided to write about his descent into mental illness and the depression that has held him in its grip for the past few years. The Boy Who Nearly Jumped carries the overriding message that things can and often do get better. It’s a book of reflection, raw, honest and full of hope: the proof being that Josh is still here and now excited about what comes next. He is ready to catch any opportunities that life throws his way, quite a thing for someone who only 3 years ago was ready to jump from the face of the earth…  

Her Dark Knight’s Redemption by Nicole Locke @NicoleLockeNews @MillsandBoon @rararesources #blogtour #guestpost #HistoricalRomance

Her Dark Knights Redemption

Her Dark Knight’s Redemption written by Nicole Locke, publisher Mills & Boon Historical, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

“This man was shadow and night. He was Darkness.”

Homeless Aliette is saved from punishment for stealing by a mysterious knight. To stay alive, she’s informed by this stranger that she must claim his child as her own. She should fear the dark knight’s power, yet it’s clear there’s more good to this man than he’s prepared to show. Can she break down the barriers of the tortured knight she calls Darkness?

Purchase Links



Barnes & Noble

Mills & Boon

Her Dark Knights Redemption Full Tour Banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Nicole Locke’s latest novel: Her Dark Knight’s Redemption.  I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post from the author.

Top Five things About Aliette from Her Dark Knight’s Redemption:

1. She’s the absolute opposite of the hero, Reynold of Warstone. Why? Because he’s been a villain and deserves all the complications she brings him.
2. How opposite is she? He’s educated; she’s not. He has a family who’s out to murder him…so he really doesn’t want to do anything with them; she’s busy adopting people from the streets to care for them. He’s wealthy; she’s from the streets. He sits and waits and watches and likes to play games; she cannot stand waiting. Who has time for dilly dallying or games?
3. Aliette doesn’t know how to read when the story starts, but she learns right quick. Why? Well, Reynold keeps picking up this one book in his collection and setting it down. He looks tortured by that book and she wants to know what’s inside. Funnily enough, it’s all about this hero who yearns for someone who loves him. The story: Tales of Odysseus.
4. She doesn’t mind the cold, she really really doesn’t (especially when there’s kisses involved).
5. Oh, and despite Reynold being a villain and all tough and everything? She saves his life (he kind of deserves that, too).
Nicole Locke

Author Bio

Her Dark Nicole Locke1aNicole is the author of Harlequin’s Lovers and Legends and The Lochmore Legacy series. If she isn’t working on the next book, she can be reached at NicoleLocke.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Social Media Links –




Twitter:  @NicoleLockeNews

Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of Her Dark Knight’s Redemption (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.





Five Wakes and a Wedding by Karen Ross @ComedyKaren @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #guestpost #romcom

Five Wakes and a Wedding cover

Five Wakes And A Wedding written by Karen Ross, publisher 0ne More Chapter, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Undertaker Nina Sherwood is full of good advice. For example, never wear lip gloss when you’re scattering ashes.

Nina is your average 30-year-old with a steady job, a nice home – and dead bodies in her basement. As an undertaker, she often prefers the company of the dead to the living – they’re obliging, good listeners and take secrets to the grave.

Nina is on a one-woman mission to persuade her peers that passing on is just another part of life. But the residents of Primrose Hill are adamant that a funeral parlour is the last thing they need… and they will stop at nothing to close down her dearly beloved shop.

When Nina’s ‘big break’ funeral turns out to be a prank, it seems like it’s the final nail in the coffin for her new business. That is, until a (tall, dark and) mysterious investor shows up out of the blue, and she decides to take a leap of faith.

Because, after all, it’s her funeral…

The perfect antidote to all those books about weddings, this book will make you laugh until you cry, perfect for fans of Zara Stoneley’s BridesmaidsFour Weddings and a Funeral and The Good Place.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Five-Wakes-Wedding-Karen-Ross-ebook/dp/B07NXYXFSB

US – https://www.amazon.com/Five-Wakes-Wedding-Karen-Ross-ebook/dp/B07NXYXFSB

Five Wakes and a Wedding Full Tour Banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Five Wakes and a Wedding by Karen Ross.  I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post from the author:

As a novelist, the question I get asked most often is, ‘Where do your story ideas come from?’
My new romantic comedy noir, Five Wakes and a Wedding owes its existence to the rise and rise of online shopping, which in turn is leading to the death of so many local high streets.
Here’s an excerpt from one of the early chapters about a shop that’s gone past its sell-by date:
Noggsie’s General Hardware Store had been a local landmark for longer than Gloria could remember. As the years passed, his business had survived and thrived. Car showrooms, coal merchants, computer shops, curry houses, coffee shops . . . butchers, bakers, bookshops, betting shops, builders’ merchants . . . dry cleaners and drapers . . . fish-and-chip shops, furniture shops, florists . . . laundromats and lending libraries . . . glaziers, greengrocers, Apple Stores . . . Their custodians came and went, but the General Hardware Store was a permanent fixture, a family business that continued undaunted by the changes happening around it, rather like Ian Beale in EastEnders, which was one of Gloria’s many guilty pleasures.
This time last year, Noggsie’s shop was still a much-loved anachronism, its green-tiled façade a shabby yet proud island in the present sea of Michelin-starred restaurants, cupcake shops, art galleries, pampering places, frock shops, interior designers, more cupcake shops (mostly gluten-free; some of them also vegan), wine bars and – briefly – a pop-up shop that specialised in miniature replicas of fairground attractions whose price tags might reasonably have been thought sufficient for the full-size originals.
Now Noggsie was gone and the General Hardware Store along with him. It had been shut for several months, and was one of several shops in the high street that continued to stand empty. It had come as an unwelcome surprise to many of the locals – Gloria included – to discover that even Primrose Hill was not immune from the toxic effects of hard times, greedy freeholders, ridiculous business rates, and the residents’ own growing tendency to go shopping without ever leaving home.

I wrote this not long after I’d been chatting with friends about the growing number of empty shops in our neighbourhood. We started crunching numbers to try to work out what sort of a business could operate profitably, and decided it would need to be a pole dancing club. One idea led to another and we were soon thinking about other businesses that could make money, but wouldn’t go down well with our neighbours. A funeral parlour seemed like a natural fit . . . people don’t want to have death staring them in the face when they’ve just popped out for a pint of (non-dairy) milk!

So there was half an idea. Then a week or two later I read in a local newspaper about a group of residents who were organising a petition to protest about plans to covert a disused church on a busy street into a funeral home and mortuary. I got myself online, discovered several similar cases, and duly started writing what turned out to be the first draft of Five Wakes and a Wedding.
A story was born, but there was still a long way to go. I knew my protagonist, Nina Sherwood, was going to have a tough time of it, and I knew I’d need to tread a careful line between death and comedy, which is my brand of fiction. The eventual result – the book I hope your readers will take a look at and perhaps buy – was described by an early reader as ‘Romantic Comedy Noir’.
Five Wakes and a Wedding is more about living – and living well – than it is about death. A lot of the feedback I’ve had is that once they’ve finished reading, people have started thinking about the sort of send-off they’d like for themselves . . . did you know it’s possible to have your ashes made into a vinyl record? Or even perfume . . .
If you decide to take a look, I’d love to know what you think: karen@karenross.online

Author Bio – As a former journalist, broadcaster and advertising copywriter, Karen Ross has followed a fairly traditional path into writing fiction.   Five Wakes and a Wedding is her fourth book, and like its predecessors, the novel has two common threads: the setting is London’s Primrose Hill – Karen’s own neighbourhood – and one of the characters is a dog . . . this time he’s called Chopper and he’s almost the same size as a Shetland Pony

Karen has been self-employed for many years, and continues to work as a marketing consultant, in the absence of an offer to manage Tottenham Hotspur. By way of credentials, her other ‘job’ is trading profitably on the world’s first football stockmarket, a platform called Football Index, where you buy and sell players with real money.

 Social Media Links – @ComedyKaren





In Too Deep by Elly Redding @ellyredding @rararesources #guestpost #romcom

In Too Deep Cover

In Too Deep written by Elly Redding, publisher Silverwood Books, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb
Set in the rolling countryside of Devon, ‘In Too Deep’ is the emotional story of a woman’s determination to win the trust of the man she’s adored since they were thrown together as children, by forcing him to confront the darkness of his long-lost past.

One little lie. A guilty secret. And the man she mustn’t love…

It’s been six years since Isy Forrester left home. In that time, she’s strived to forge a new life for herself in London, away from Jack Mancini, her father’s adopted son, and his devastating betrayal of everything she thought they had.

Only now her father’s in hospital, and the house that’s been in her family for generations is at risk. Forced to return to Devon, she finds Jack as infuriating and stubborn as ever, and just as irresistible. Soon she realises the bright lights of London can’t hold a candle to him.

But Jack has a past, one which he refuses to share with her. And until he can trust her with these deepest secrets, how can she risk her heart? How can she even begin to help him, when he won’t tell her what happened all those years ago – before her father brought him home to Hambledon Hall?

Purchase Links –
UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QSHpYd
US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FMkRSV

In Too Deep Full Tour Banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Elly Redding’s latest novel: In Too Deep.  I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post from the author with you:

Hello, and thank you so much for inviting me to write a blog post. I thought I’d chat a little about my love for my characters in my current novel, ‘In Too Deep’, and how they came about. Are they purely figments of my imagination or do I draw on my own experiences, or those of people I know?
I write second-chance romances, where dreams really do come true. Or, at least, I hope they will. In my latest novel, ‘In Too Deep’, Jack is doing his very best to thwart me. He strongly feels Isy would be better off without him, and won’t budge. Isy, on the other hand, is wondering if she can ever bring herself to trust him again, after he let her down so badly six years ago. They are two characters, who have been affected by their pasts. They are, of course, not alone. All of us are constantly being affected by what happens to us. It is how we react to these experiences that fascinates me the most and gives me the opportunity to bring my characters to life. Many of us will experience self-doubt at some stage, from ‘does my bum look big in this?’, to fully fledged bullying in the workplace. Do we run away and hide? Or do we stand our corner, and fight? Is it nature that defines us, when faced with such dilemmas, or nurture? Do we really have the chance to change?
One thing I do know is that, if you present half a dozen people with the same situation, their reactions will be different. And some might even surprise you. A few years ago, I found myself in the actual waters of the Atlantic Ocean, being pulled along by a rather muscular crew member towards an equally attractive Caribbean island, simply because I didn’t want to be left alone on the boat. I should add, at this stage, that I can’t swim, am terrified of water, and have major issues of trust. But I also wanted to see what everyone else was going to see. So, I decided to take the risk and I didn’t regret it for a moment. I learnt a lot about myself on that sunny morning, and, hopefully, so will my characters, as I take them on life-changing journeys of their own.
Isy was a wonderful heroine to write. She’s been badly hurt by the man she loved. So she does what so many of us do, she runs away and parks her pain so far out of reach, that she forgets all about it. Well, almost. Only now, six years later, Jack’s back in her life, which throws everything she thought she knew about herself into total disarray. She questions herself at every turn, knowing she has to take charge of her future and she does so, in her own inimitable way, sometimes surprising me too.
And this is one of the many joys of writing, when the characters take charge. It’s a bit like giving birth. You’ve agonised over this and that for 9 long months, then suddenly, before you know it, they are running around by themselves in the school playground. How did that happen, you ask yourself? I wish I knew. I do know that snippets of myself ooze out into my characters. It’s hard to keep them out, as our experiences form our understanding, and this gives us the chance to help our characters grow. All these insights from people we’ve met, from our family and friends, from avid research – whether it’s learning how to ride a motorbike or fly a plane – all give our characters a touch of depth, of realism, that hopefully allows our readers to feel empathy for them. To care about their struggles and delight in their journey, as they, finally, find a way to cope with life and claim their happy ever after.

In Too Deep AuthorElly Redding is an award-winning romance writer. Having originally written screenplays, her first novel, ‘True Colours’, won the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award, and third prize in the Independent Author Book Award “Words for the Wounded”, as well as being voted Chill with a Book Readers’ Book of the Month Award and receiving a B.R.A.G. Medallion.
Born in London, she now divides her time, with her husband, between Bedfordshire and Devon, where she loves art, dancing and watching the waves.
Elly is a member of the Society of Authors and Alliance of Independent Authors, and would love to hear from you. She can be found @ellyredding on Twitter, Elly Redding Author on Facebook and Elly Redding on Instagram.
Her website is http://www.ellyredding.com

Giveaway to Win a signed copy of In Too Deep and a box of chocolates (Open to UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK 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.


A Shape on the Air by Julia Ibbotson @JuliaIbbotson @rararesources #blogtour #guestpost #historicaltimeslip

A Shape on the Air cover 18.11.19

A Shape on the Air written by Julia Ibbotson, publisher Endeavour Media, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

Unlocking a love that lasts for lifetimes – and beyond! When Dr Viv DuLac, a medievalist, slips into 499 AD and into the body of Lady Vivianne, little does she realise that both their lives across the centuries will become intertwined as they fight for their dreams … and their lives. How can the key which Viv bring back with her to the present unlock the love they both crave, and help them through the dangers they both face? And how can they help each other across the centuries, without changing the course of history?

Purchase Links – http://myBook.to/ASOTA

A Shape on the Air Full Tour Banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting Julia Ibbotson’s historical time-slip novel: A Shape on the Air.  Sadly I haven’t had time to review but I am so pleased to share a guest post from the author.

Fancy writing a time-slip novel?
Fancy writing a time-slip mystery romance novel? How hard can it be? All you have to do is tell the story of someone from the present day finding herself in a different time – easy, right? Wrong! In fact it’s very difficult. There are all sorts of issues you have to work out. Why would this person suddenly fall into another period? How would she do it? What would be the trigger? If she could do it, why couldn’t everyone else? What makes her have this unique ability?
I love reading time-slip; I’m especially keen on Pamela Hartshorne’s novels of time-slip into the Tudor age in York (Time’s Echo, House of Shadows). They’re intriguing and exciting. I’m fascinated by theories of time and the whole concept of what time actually means? All these weird and wonderful theories: quantum mechanics, the Einstein-Bridge theory of portals and worm-holes!
When I wrote A Shape on the Air, I’d wanted to write a time-slip story of my own for a long time, but in my case one set in the early medieval times because that’s the period I know best and am most interested in. And I wanted an intriguing mystery involved in the dual time periods. But working it all out resulted in many a restless night, loss of hair and bitten fingernails! I wanted the tone and atmosphere to be a little spooky but still feel realistic and convincing (which isn’t easy if you’re writing about what we normally think of as ghosts). In the end I found writing the ghostly parts the easiest and the mechanics of the time-slip the most difficult.
It seemed to me that my main character, Viv, needed to be someone that anybody could identify with, someone pretty ‘normal’, but make her have a traumatic event in her life which might make her vulnerable and more susceptible to the paranormal. I made her an academic who deals with facts not fantasies, and gave her an awful partner in Pete who announces that he’s leaving her for her best friend – goodness, that would send anyone off balance! – and made her lovely home and the life she knew be at risk. I also made her drink rather a lot of red wine (understandable in the circumstances!) then go for a walk beside a lake!
I then had to make someone in a responsible job commanding authority and respect, empathise and become involved with her strange experience. Who might believe her? Someone whose job is connected with other-worldly things but could be a ‘pillar of society’? It had to be a vicar. So Rev Rory was born. And so was the love interest.
Although it would have been easier for the time-slip trigger to be the lake that started it all off, I didn’t want it to be that obvious, so I had to create a whole back-history for Viv, involving her parents, especially her mother, and their untimely death. Gradually it was coming together like a jigsaw. I can’t explain any more because it would give away the secrets of the book. You’ll just have to read it and find out! I hope you feel intrigued enough to do that, and I hope you enjoy the story. I certainly enjoyed writing it – and guess what? I’m writing another time-slip, so now to work out all the ins and outs all over again …
Thank you so much for taking part in my book tour and for having me guesting on your blog today – much appreciated!

Thank you so much for the insightful guest post from Julia Ibbotson.

Author Bio

A Shape author photo image 3Acclaimed, award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then an academic as a senior university lecturer and researcher. As well as medieval time-slip, she has published a number of books, including memoir/history of food (The Old Rectory), children’s medieval fantasy (S.C.A.R.S), a trilogy opening in 1960s Ghana (Drumbeats), and many academic works. Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

 Social Media Links –

Website/blog   https://www.juliaibbotsonauthor.com

Facebook         https://www.facebook.com/JuliaIbbotsonauthor

Twitter             @JuliaIbbotson

Pinterest           http://www.pinterest.co.uk/juliai1

A Shape on the Air RRR GiveawaysGiveaway to Win a Paperback copy of The Old Rectory, book mark, postcard, key ring, handbag fob. (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK 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.