#BlogTour #Review : The Promise of Tomorrow by AnneMarie Brear. @annemariebrear  @rararesources 

I’m thrilled today to be taking part in this blog tour. Many thanks to the author and Rachel’s Random Resources for having me on the tour. I have a review today so read on and find out what I thought of this historical story. 

Blurb:  Charlotte Brookes flees her lecherous guardian, McBride, taking her younger sister with her. After a year on the road, they stumble into a Yorkshire village. There, they are taken in by the Wheelers, owners of the village shop. This new life is strange for Charlotte, but preferable to living with McBride or surviving on the roads. Harry Belmont is an important man in the village, but he’s missing something in his life. His budding friendship with Charlotte gives him hope she will feel more for him one day, and he will have the woman he needs.  

However, when McBride finds out where Charlotte lives, his threats begin, and Harry takes it upon himself to keep Charlotte safe. Only, World War I erupts and Harry enlists.  Left to face a world of new responsibilities, and Harry’s difficult sister, Charlotte must run the gauntlet of family disputes, McBride’s constant harassment and the possibility of the man she loves being killed.

Can Charlotte find the happiness that always seems under threat, and will Harry return home to her?

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GHCXQ8Y/

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GHCXQ8Y/

My Review: This is not the first book I’ve read by this author and it certainly won’t be the last. I could barely put this book down, I went to bed one night planning on reading a few pages and ended up reading for over an hour, most unlike me. The characters in this story are very realistically written and leap off the page. I visualise while I read and, for this book, didn’t have to even try to visualise anything, it all came into my head the minute I started reading which, for me, is always the sign of a good book. It’s also a beautifully descriptive story, the village and the mine came to life quite clearly for me.

I really enjoyed watching the character development in the story, particularly Charlotte, Harry and Petra. It was really nice to experience that with them and watch as they changed over the course of the years. The story moves forward in different amounts, at one point only by a month and at another point it is by quite a few months. These leaps in time are well managed though, the date is at the beginning of the chapter and so the flow of the story is not interrupted by this but rather skipped forward so we see snippets of how the war and other issues impact on the main characters. 

If you like historical fiction then this is one author I would definitely recommend trying. 

About the author:

Australian born AnneMarie Brear writes historical novels and modern romances and sometimes the odd short story, too. Her passions, apart from writing, are travelling, reading, researching historical eras and looking for inspiration for her next book.

Social Media Links – 

http://www.annemariebrear.com   http://annemariebrear.blogspot.co.uk   https://www.facebook.com/annemariebrear   

Twitter @annemariebrear


#BlogTour #Extract : Some Old Bloke by Robert Llewellyn. @bobbyllew @unbounders @annecater #RandomThingsTours

Today I am thrilled to bring you a different type of book from my usual. I’m taking part in the blog tour for Robert Llewellyn’s book, someone I know from many, many episodes of Scrapheap Challenge (I loved that programme!). From the book I have an extract, part of the first chapter, to give you a taster of what to expect in the rest of the book so read on and see what you think.

Blurb:  When writer, comedian and Red Dwarf actor Robert Llewellyn’s son scrawled a picture of him at Christmas and titled it ‘Some Old Bloke’, Robert was cast deep into thought about life and what it means to be a bloke and an old one at that.

In this lighthearted, revealing and occasionally philosophical autobiography, we take a meandering route through Robert’s life and career: from the sensitive young boy at odds with his ex-military father, through his stint as a hippy and his years of arrested development in the world of fringe comedy, all the way up to the full-body medicals and hard-earned insights of middle age.

Whether he is waxing lyrical about fresh laundry, making an impassioned case for the importance of alternative energy or recounting a detailed history of the dogs in his life, Robert presents a refreshingly open and un-cynical look at the world at large and, of course, the joys of being a bloke.


The Plaque

Early one morning in May 2013 I received a text from the comedian Ross Noble.

Ross is a lovely fellow and he wanted me to be on his telly programme, although this flattering request was imbued with a microdot of low-status subtext.

This was very much a last-minute thing. He wanted me on  his show but not later in the year or three months ahead as might be expected with a traditional TV production.

No, he wanted me to be there that day.

The text from Ross had an air of panic about it: they couldn’t get any properly famous celebrity at such short notice, so they tried me.

I’m not suggesting that I’m under constant pressure to make public appearances, but I can, occasionally, be quite busy.

On the morning I got the text from Ross I was under enor- mous pressure to feed the chickens and put the rubbish out, so   I replied, ‘Yes.’

Then I looked in the bathroom mirror.

The slightly backlit reflection confirmed that I was (then) a fifty-seven-year-old bloke, and while that could be – and often is – a depressing realisation, on this particular morning I was gently elated at how lucky I’d been.

I’d been around the block a bit, but I’d never spent a night in a hospital, never had to wear a uniform or fight in a war.

I’d never been challenged to survive a post-apocalyptic Armageddon, zombie apocalypse or a tsunami; I hadn’t experi- enced starvation or been put in prison for my opinions; I hadn’t been oppressed or brutalised because of my gender or the  colour of my skin.

If, as the writer and doctor Abraham Verghese argues, ‘geog- raphy is destiny’, then I’ve been lucky from the get-go.

Of Indian heritage, Verghese was born in Ethiopia, had to flee the civil war when he was a kid, and went to America with his family. There he studied medicine, worked as a doctor in India, went back to America and became a writer.

His destiny was very much defined by geography; he is part of the massive diaspora of many people around the world.

I didn’t have any of that. I’m a white-skinned bloke born in a European country where my antecedents had been living for, who knows, possibly thousands of years.

However, the acknowledgement of coming from where I do, being my age and acknowledging my privilege is, I will argue, very important.

It’s a political stance and it seems quite rare among my peers. There are many men living in developed Western countries the same age as me who, it would seem, feel hard done by. They might express this disappointment through fake jocularity to disguise the fury and frustration they feel inside.

About the author:

Robert Llewellyn is an actor, novelist, screenwriter, comedian and TV presenter, best known for Red Dwarf and Scrapheap Challenge. He lives in Gloucestershire.

#BlogTour #Review : The Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond. @GaryRaymond_ @Martinsville @damppebbles 


Within the dark heart of an abandoned city, on an island once torn by betrayal and war, lies a terrible secret…

Francis Benthem is a successful artist; he’s created a new life on an island in the sun. He works all night, painting the dreams of his mysterious Russian benefactor, Illy Prostakov. He writes letters to old friends and students back in cold, far away London. But now Francis Benthem is found dead. The funeral is planned and his old friend from art school arrives to finish what Benthem had started. The painting of dreams on a faraway island. But you can also paint nightmares and Illy has secrets of his own that are not ready for the light. Of promises made and broken, betrayal and murder…

The Golden Orphans offers a new twist on the literary thriller.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Golden-Orphans-Gary-Raymond-ebook/dp/B07BSP5QNM/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Golden-Orphans-Gary-Raymond-ebook/dp/B07BSP5QNM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538303201&sr=8-1&keywords=the+golden+orphans&dpID=4198UgMGu5L&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-golden-orphans/gary-raymond/9781912109135

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Golden-Orphans-Gary-Raymond/9781912109135?ref=grid-view&qid=1538303257382&sr=1-1

NOOK: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-golden-orphans-gary-raymond/1128322874?ean=9781912109272

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-golden-orphans

My Review:  I have to admit this is a book that perplexed me. The way it was written left me realising how little we really know about the people we meet in life. The world that exists in the book is probably very real but at the same time feels almost disconnected from the reality that most people know. As with everything it’s all about how you experience it and if the experiences in this book do not correspond with yours then it might not feel like a reality you recognise, it certainly didn’t for me and that was quite refreshing.

This is one of those stories that makes you think and stays with you for some time after you’ve read it. It’s been almost a week since I finished it and it’s still in my head, popping up at random times and making me think. The writing style was, for me, quite distinctive and fitted the story really well but also added to that layer of puzzlement that I felt almost all the way through. This story is definitely a twist on the usual crime fiction and worth reading if you’re looking for something different. 
About the author:

Gary Raymond is a novelist, critic, editor and broadcaster. He is the presenter of BBC Radio Wales’, The Review Show, and is one of the founding editors of Wales Arts Review. He is the author of two novels, The Golden Orphans (Parthian, 2018) and For Those Who Come After (Parthian, 2015). He is a widely published critic and cultural commentator.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GaryRaymond_

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/forthosewhocomeafter1/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gary-Raymond/e/B07FTSDY12/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

#BlogTour #Review : Night Shift by Robin Triggs. @FlameTreePress @RobinTriggs @annecater #RandomThingsTours

I am thrilled to be taking part in another blog tour for Flame Tree Press. Although these are new publishers they are fast becoming a favourite of mine with their excellent and unusual taste in books and this one is no exception. Many thanks to them and to RandomThingsTours for having me on this tour. 

Blurb:  Antarctica. A mining base at the edge of the world.   

Anders Nordvelt, last-minute replacement as head of security, has no time to integrate himself into the crew before an act of sabotage threatens the project. He must untangle a complex web of relationships from his position as prime suspect.  

Then a body is found in the ice. Systems fail as the long night falls. Now Anders must do more than find a murderer: he must find a way to survive.  

Will anyone endure the night shift, or will ice and frozen corpses be all that remains?

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Night-Shift-Fiction-Without-Frontiers/dp/1787580377/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1538750232&sr=1-1&keywords=night+shift+robin+triggs

My Review: Anyone who reads my reviews and/or knows me personally will know I’m a huge fan of crime fiction so when the email about this book arrived I was intrigued. What crime fan could possibly resist a book with limited suspects, suspicion, tension and impending peril for the characters? Hence why I agree to take part in the tour.  

This is definitely a crime story, there is sabotage and murder, but added to that is a layer of sci-fi because this is not just a base on Antarctica, this is a base on Antarctica in the future at some unknown point when the world has changed. There are familiar things mentioned, such as television and the UN, alcohol and books but apart from that the world is different and the reader only finds that out through little snippets of information throughout the story.  Those snippets add to the story and the understanding of the characters and of why these people are on Antarctica in the first place.

Anders Nordvelt arrives as a replacement for the previous security officer and he comes on the last transport to the base for six months. After he arrives the sabotage and murder happens so obviously he is viewed as a suspect, after all no one on the base truly knows him. The story is told from Anders perspective, we see what he is thinking, feeling and doing. It’s very cleverly written because having only his perspective makes it almost like the reader becomes him. We see nothing of what the other characters do when Anders is asleep or in a different room from them, all we see is his view and what happens directly to him and everything else is an unknown. I know, this is exactly how we experience our own lives but I think that the isolation and suspicion on the base and the crispness of the writing make it really clear that Anders (and the reader) have absolutely no idea what is going on outside of his experience. 

I really enjoyed this book. The basic premise is not new, there are lots of other stories, book and film, with a cast of characters cut off from the outside world and a murder among them. However, what makes this story work and feel fresh is the writing, the very narrow perspective of only Anders view of everything and the ramping up of the tension and peril as the story develops. 

As I’ve said I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to discovering more by this author and Flame Tree Press themselves. 
About the author:

Writer of speculative fiction and extremely poor cricketer.
 #Proofreaderand #SfEP member. 

Debut novel NIGHT SHIFT out Nov 2018. 

He/Him/The Monstrosity


Twitter: @RobinTriggs

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.