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Gap Years

19 year old Sean hasn’t seen his father since he was twelve. His mother has never really explained why. An argument with her leads to his moving to the other side of the country.

Martin, his father, has his life thrown into turmoil when the son he hasn’t seen in nearly eight years strolls back into his life immediately killing his dog and hospitalising his step-daughter.

The one thing they have in common is the friendship of a girl called Rhiannon.

Over the course of one summer Sean experiences sexual awakenings from all angles, discovers the fleeting nature of friendship and learns to cope with rejection.

Martin, meanwhile, struggles to reconnect with Sean while trying to delicately turn down the increasingly inappropriate advances of a girl he sees as a surrogate daughter and keep a struggling marriage alive.

Gap Years is an exploration of what it means to be a man in the 21st Century seen from two very different perspectives – neatly hidden inside a funny story about bicycles, guitars and unrequited love.

Purchase Links: Amazon UK   Amazon US

About the Author

Dave Holwill was born in Guildford in 1977 and quickly decided that he preferred the Westcountry – moving to Devon in 1983 (with some input from his parents). After an expensive (and possibly wasted) education there, he has worked variously as a postman, a framer, and a print department manager (though if you are the only person in the department then can you really be called a manager?) all whilst continuing to play in every kind of band imaginable on most instruments you can think of. Gap Years is his third novel – following on the heels of Weekend Rockstars and The Craft Room, and he is currently working on the fourth (a folk horror set in his native mid-Devon) and a sequel to Weekend Rockstars.

Social Media Links – Facebook Twitter Goodreads  Instagram Blog  Website

My Review

I admit when I first spotted the title of this book I figured it would be a couple of kids taking a journey full of discovery before university .. then I noticed the author, Dave Holwill, that pricked my ears up. I read his last book, The Craft Room and told him at the time I nearly didn’t get any further than the first couple of pages due to the cat incident. He was very humble and at that point his sarcasm matched his writing … perfect!

So I eagerly began Gap Years and what does Dave do to me …. not an incident with a cat this time but a dog!!!! This guy is really pushing my buttons now (joking!) I dread to think what poor unfortunate animal will be next on the hit list.

Having said all that, this book is everything and more a coming of age story should be. We have two main characters, Martin and Sean (Sean with an E) father and son who have been estranged for most of Sean’s teenage years it’s only after a spat with his mother that he considers searching for dad.

This is a mish mash of a family that seems to be the norm these days (whatever normal is) .. there are step mum’s, step-sister’s, girlfriends and a whole jumble of folk who all find themselves part of this home. It’s that diversity which makes it so enjoyable to read, it is so unpredictable and with Dave’s acerbic tongue it is gritty and honest. We see these people at their lowest at some points and with the spin of a coin happiness shows up. 

I think the complexities of some of them make them difficult to like and the situations they find themselves in isn’t always the best but out of all of them Alison had to be the one who deserved a medal for tolerating some of the activity. I don’t have her patience even if I share her name. 

And just as I thought I had got to the end with my thoughts and feelings intact the author tweaks my eyes and causes a few tears, happy ones this time! You will just have to read Gap Years to find out why.

Thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel from Random Resources. I read and reviewed voluntarily.


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An Impossible Thing Called Love

Don’t miss the new delightfully uplifting book from the author of A Recipe for Disaster!

A second chance at love…

When globe-trotting Emmy first fell for first-aider William on a freezing New Year’s Eve, she really believed that their love would go the distance.

But when she returns to Australia, her letters start to go unanswered and her emails bounce back unread, Emmy decides it’s time to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and start afresh in London.

So she’s shocked when William walks in on her very first day at her new job! Even worse, he’s hotter than ever. But why did he disappear for so long? What has he been hiding? And could this really be their second chance at falling in love…?

Perfect for fans of Carole Mathews, Mhairi McFarlane and Carrie Hope Fletcher.

Purchase Links: Amazon UK  Paperback  Amazon US  Amazon AU  Book Depository Kobo  iTunes

About the Author 

Belinda Missen is an award-winning and best-selling author, screenwriter, and freelance writer from Geelong, Australia. She lives with her car-obsessed, but wonderful husband, two loopy cats, and more books than she cares to count.

In late 2017, Belinda signed a six-book contract with HQDigitalUK (HarperCollins). A Recipe for Disaster was released in August 2018. An Impossible Thing Called Love appeared by magic in November 2018.

Social Media Links – Website Facebook Twitter  Instagram

My Review

An Impossible Thing Called Love is one of those books you pick up to read when you know you need ‘something’ but not quite sure what. After reading a few pages to allow the story to envelope you with it’s well rounded figures who encapture your heart, you then find yourself going on a journey with them to satisfy your need.

Well written, if you are looking for a nice warm, funny book that is full of sweet romance and the usual mix of will the boy and girl finally realise what they have is a worthy relationship if only they took the time to work at it and fix it then you will love this. 

Emma feels her relationship with William is strong enough to cross the oceans but soon finds it’s not the easiest situation to be in, so gives up moves on, starts again by returning back home. And lo and behold who should she bump into …. yeah, you’ve guessed it. This then allows the reader to go along for the ride to see how these two spend their future.

Cute and sweet, perfect for a cosy read if you have a few hours to spare.

Thanks to the author, publisher, netgalley and Rachel from Random Resources. I read and reviewed voluntarily.

Giveaway to Win 2 x PB copies of An Impossible Thing Called Love (Open Internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*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 dispatch or delivery of the prize.


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It Never Goes Away

From No.1 Private Detective to No.1 Suspect

A cryptic message from an old friend leads Joe Grabarz to an abandoned farmhouse in the middle of the South Downs. But Joe is too late, someone else has got there first: his friend is dead, and all the evidence points to him.

Ten years ago the farmhouse was the scene of three infamous murders when a young boy killed his mother, father and little sister. Now an adult, he was released from prison with a new identity. Could he be involved? The farmhouse also sits on valuable land, fought over in a struggle between building houses and drilling for shale gas. But could it really be worth killing for? Whatever is going on, Joe knows one thing for sure: his friend’s murder is just a tiny part of it.

To bring the killer to justice Joe must dig up the past, and reckon with his own, because no matter how hard you work, it never goes away.

 Purchase Here  Available 1st March

About the Author

Born in Brighton, I went to school in here, worked many jobs here, and have never lived anywhere else. I first started writing at school, where I and a group of friends devised and performed comedy plays for assemblies, much to the amusement of our fellow pupils. The young ones would cheer (and the old ones would groan) as we stepped up onto the stage, the buzz was tangible. It has been with me ever since.

As an adult I have written a short comedy play that was performed at the Theatre Royal Brighton in May 2014 as part of the Brighton Festival; Daye’s Work, a television pilot for the local Brighton channel; and won the Empire Award (thriller category) in the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest. I published my first novel, You Can’t Make Old Friends, in 2016; my second, Choose Your Parents Wisely, in 2017, my third, The Benevolent Dictator, in 2018, and now my fourth, It Never Goes Away, in 2019. When I’m not writing books, I’m writing about writing, books, and film on Medium.

My inspirations as a writer come from a diverse range of storytellers, but I have a particular love for the works of Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Joel & Ethan Coen, Arthur Conan-Doyle, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Bryan Fuller, Ira Levin, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Towne, JRR Tolkien, and many many more books and films beside. If you can’t find me, or I’m not answering my phone, I’m probably at the cinema.

Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Website

My Review

Yes, I’m back again with the third book in the series. By now I have got used to the author’s style so I was reliant on the story to have enough differences from the other two books to keep my interest intact.

As before, I enjoyed the locations used because I know them so well which makes it easy to lose myself in amid the action. Joe the big PI has gone from being in demand for solving crimes to being a suspect in this case. All his experience now has to go towards saving his own ass and determining how something that happened a long time ago might be catching up with the times or involving environmental issues to complicate things further.

It Never Goes Away seems a touch more serious than the other two in the series or maybe that just came across because it took longer to read or get into this one. Perhaps it would have been beneficial to intersperse the trio with other genres or at least authors to give myself a break and reignite some interest. 

It would possibly pay for me to read this again at a later date to reach it’s full potential.

Thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel at Random Resources for the opportunity to be involved. I read and reviewed voluntarily.


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Choose Your Parents Wisely

One missing girl and the whole city goes crazy.

It’s been three days, and now everyone in Brighton is looking for her. There is an army of police searching, her picture is on every front page, and the public can’t get enough of it. Gangs of good citizens are going door to door, turning their neighbours’ houses upside down, but still no one can find her.

For Brighton’s No.1 Private Detective, Joe Grabarz, it brings back too many memories of his first case, another missing girl, when he learnt too many lessons the hard way. No one was going door to door then. No one cared. But her mum and dad weren’t nearly as photogenic, nor quite so saintly.

It’s a lesson Joe learnt long ago that has come back to haunt him: choose your parents wisely.

 Purchase Here

About the Author

Born in Brighton, I went to school in here, worked many jobs here, and have never lived anywhere else. I first started writing at school, where I and a group of friends devised and performed comedy plays for assemblies, much to the amusement of our fellow pupils. The young ones would cheer (and the old ones would groan) as we stepped up onto the stage, the buzz was tangible. It has been with me ever since.

As an adult I have written a short comedy play that was performed at the Theatre Royal Brighton in May 2014 as part of the Brighton Festival; Daye’s Work, a television pilot for the local Brighton channel; and won the Empire Award (thriller category) in the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest. I published my first novel, You Can’t Make Old Friends, in 2016; my second, Choose Your Parents Wisely, in 2017, my third, The Benevolent Dictator, in 2018, and now my fourth, It Never Goes Away, in 2019. When I’m not writing books, I’m writing about writing, books, and film on Medium.

My inspirations as a writer come from a diverse range of storytellers, but I have a particular love for the works of Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Joel & Ethan Coen, Arthur Conan-Doyle, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Bryan Fuller, Ira Levin, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Towne, JRR Tolkien, and many many more books and films beside. If you can’t find me, or I’m not answering my phone, I’m probably at the cinema.

Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Website

My Review

So I’m back reading book two from Tom, Choose Your Parents Wisely, rather an interesting concept. Once again I get my fix of Brighton life, it used to be my next door town but I have since moved to the other end of the country so doubt I will see Brighton again other than visually via story line. 

It was nice to reacquaint myself with Joe the PI, he made quite an impression on me in the first book so I was curious to see what standard this one would reach. A missing child, just what Joe needs to get his teeth into.

This author has a distinctive style isn’t afraid to use ‘colourful’ language so if that isn’t your thing just respect the fact it’s in the story for a reason. The book is dark and gritty, it tells the tale of unpleasant events .. kidnapping/murder are never going to be light entertainment but for me personally this is why I enjoy a story with substance, in this case a cracking detective story.

This involves two story lines so bear with it while you adapt to the style and understand the characters, absorb the clues along the way and enjoy!

Thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel from Random Resources. I read and reviewed voluntarily.


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One Last Prayer for the Rays

DCI Michael Yorke faces his most harrowing case yet.

When 12-year-old Paul disappears from school, Yorke’s only clue is a pool of animal blood. Fearing the worst, he turns toward the most obvious suspect, recently released local murderer, Thomas Ray.

But as the snow in Salisbury worsens, Ray’s mutilated body is discovered, and Yorke is left with no choice but to journey into the sinister heart of a demented family that has plagued the community for generations. Can he save the boy? Or will the evil he discovers changes him forever?

One Last Prayer for the Rays introducing DCI Michael Yorke.

Purchase Links Amazon UK  Amazon US

One Last Prayer For The Rays is at 99p for today only and the price will rise on the 12th February!

About the Author

Wes Markin is a hyperactive English teacher, who loves writing crime fiction with a twist of the macabre.

Having released One Last Prayer for the Rays he is now working on the second instalment of DCI Michael Yorke’s wild ride, The Repenting Serpent. He is also the author of Defined, a prequel to his DCI Yorke novels, which takes the reader back to his blood-soaked university days.

Born in 1978, Wes grew up in Manchester, UK. After graduating from Leeds University, he spent fifteen years as a teacher of English, and has taught in Thailand, Malaysia and China. Now as a teacher, writer, husband and father, he is currently living in Harrogate, UK.

Twitter  Facebook

My Review

Whoa, what can I say! Now I have been to or through Salisbury plenty of times, it’s a typical charming Cathedral city, picturesque, plenty to do for everyone but I think their tourist reputation bit the dust with the arrival of the Rays.

A particularly loathsome lot who are trying to put the evil actions behind them, all is going seemingly well until their son goes missing from school. 

Now this book had me hooked from the start, the overwhelming feeling of dread, horror and pure ickiness makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up but the desperate desire to find out what or who is behind the crime and what dastardly deeds the Rays may still have up their sleeves keeps the momentum going.

There are scenes that made me want to turn the pages or pretend they didn’t exist but the mesmerising writing kept my eyes glued even though I couldn’t process the violence or gore quickly enough.

For fans of UK police procedurals with a real mix of characters (sometimes too many to remember) give One Last Prayer for the Rays a go and put it on your wish-list of books this year.  

Tense, gripping a pretty amazing debut from this author … I’m an animal lover so that kinda made me less keen in parts but it reminds me of a few ‘video nasties’ back in the day!

Thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel from Random Resources. I read and reviewed voluntarily.

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You Can’t Make Old Friends

Blacklisted by the police. Being sued by a client. And broke. Things can’t get any worse for Brighton’s No.1 Private Detective, Joe Grabarz.

That’s when his best friend’s body washes up on the beach.

Could it really have been ten years? What happened? How could his life have ended like this? He needs answers.

But with the city in the grips of organised crime, and struggling to deal with an influx of legal highs, who cares about just another dead drug dealer?

Joe, that’s who. After all, you can’t make old friends.

 Purchase Here

About the Author

Born in Brighton, I went to school in here, worked many jobs here, and have never lived anywhere else. I first started writing at school, where I and a group of friends devised and performed comedy plays for assemblies, much to the amusement of our fellow pupils. The young ones would cheer (and the old ones would groan) as we stepped up onto the stage, the buzz was tangible. It has been with me ever since.

As an adult I have written a short comedy play that was performed at the Theatre Royal Brighton in May 2014 as part of the Brighton Festival; Daye’s Work, a television pilot for the local Brighton channel; and won the Empire Award (thriller category) in the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest. I published my first novel, You Can’t Make Old Friends, in 2016; my second, Choose Your Parents Wisely, in 2017, my third, The Benevolent Dictator, in 2018, and now my fourth, It Never Goes Away, in 2019. When I’m not writing books, I’m writing about writing, books, and film on Medium.

My inspirations as a writer come from a diverse range of storytellers, but I have a particular love for the works of Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Joel & Ethan Coen, Arthur Conan-Doyle, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Bryan Fuller, Ira Levin, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Towne, JRR Tolkien, and many many more books and films beside. If you can’t find me, or I’m not answering my phone, I’m probably at the cinema.

Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Website

My Review

I do love a book that creeps around a town so well to a reader that you don’t need any directions when the author drags you along his windy trail of twists and turns.

Now Brighton has a few levels, it can be the bawdy night out for hen and stag parties, a day trip to the seaside for the younger or older members of the family alike or as Joe knows only too well it can be a dark, edgy, gritty hole where the dirtier members of society hang, the alcoholics, drug dealers, gangs etc

I got the inkling from the blurb it was going to be full of vulgar language and action which may not appeal to the faint-hearted but personally that is what kept my attention and kept me intrigued for the whole of the book. 

The author has a fairly distinct style of writing which will either pull you into the story or possibly do the reverse depending on the expectations of the reader. Private Detective, Joe Grabarz is down on his luck and not against taking a few risks to make ends meet, when the rent needs paying a few corners might want cutting, perhaps that’s why the local police are so against him, not really the folk you want to annoy but it adds much of the sarcastic banter to the storyline.

When a body gets washed up on the beach, desperate Joe is up for the case … but what do you do when the mutilated corpse is your old best friend!?

First in a series, I liked the introduction to Joe and I look forward to the next books to see if the author can keep up the standards he has created so far.

Thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel from Random Resources. I read and reviewed voluntarily.

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