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George the Orphan Crow and the Creatures of Blossom Valley

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Author – Helen Fox.

I love Nature and all creatures great and small. I live close to a beautiful Park in North London, where I can often be found feeding the squirrels and birds. I love all birds but I am drawn to crows in particular, for though they are the least loved of all birds, they are very intelligent and charismatic.
During my daily walks at the Park, I found that three crows would be at the same spot each time I went to feed them and before long I discovered they favoured meaty foods to seeds, so I tried my best to oblige. I noticed that when one would fly off the grass the other two would follow suit, so I gathered they must be a family; father, mother and perhaps their son?
One afternoon, my crows weren’t there and as I sat at the bench and waited, the younger one landed on the grass walking anxiously around. Seconds later, he took to the air circling low over the trees and cawing his little heart out. Was he calling his parents? Were his carks cries of fear and despair, had his parents abandoned him or even worse been killed?
It was this scene that inspired me to write ‘ George the Orphan Crow and the Creatures of Blossom Valley,’ a traditional storytelling that has been loved by many readers.

Helen Fox

Social Media Links –

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Athens1965Eleni

Publisher – AG Books

Pages – 111

The Blurb – After his parents are killed, George, the Orphan Crow, starts a new life among the lively creatures of Blossom Valley and the enchanting butterflies that live there. But all is not as it seems… an evil ladybird, envious of the butterflies’ beauty lures them to a remote place with a wicked plan in mind. George becomes suspicious and flies out looking for them. But is he too late? Has the wicked ladybird already put her plan into action? This original, intriguing story is mainly told by the colourful characters that make up the community and will fascinate readers of all ages.

My thoughts – This is a beautiful book that children and adults will both equally enjoy. After the loss of his parents George finds himself alone, until an owl guides him to Blossom Valley. Blossom Valley is full of animals and I loved the descriptions the author used, I could easily visualise the surroundings and every character. I also love how she has given each animal a distinctive personality.

This is made more relevant when George uncovers a plot by the ladybirds, the once peaceful valley is threatened by their jealousy. Each animal uses their own individual skill to help.

This is important for children to read as I think it emphasises that everybody is an individual. Not every body is good at everything, but everybody is good at something.

A beautiful read for adults and children alike.

Purchase Links – George the Orphan Crow

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Screamcatcher

Author – Christy J. Breedlove

Social Media Links –

Amazon Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

Christy’s Website:  https://christysyoungadultfabuliers.com/

Blog:  http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/

Publisher – Fire and Ice Young Adult Books

Pages – 220

The Blurb – When seventeen-year-old Jory Pike cannot shake the hellish nightmares of her parent’s deaths, she turns to an old family heirloom, a dream catcher. Even though she’s half blood Chippewa, Jory thinks old Indian lore is so yesterday, but she’s willing to give it a try. However, the dream catcher has had its fill of nightmares from an ancient and violent past. After a sleepover party, and during one of Jory’s most horrific dream episodes, the dream catcher implodes, sucking Jory and her three friends into its own world of trapped nightmares. They’re in an alternate universe—locked inside of an insane web world. How can they find the center of the web, where all good things are allowed to pass?

My thoughts – This is such an unique book. YA is not my usual genre but the blurb really caught my attention and I am glad I read it.

The author cleverly uses a dream catcher as a character in this book. A dream catcher, an innocent object found in bedrooms around the world, I wonder how many will still be up after reading this book.

After catching too many horrific dreams, this dream catcher implodes and drags its owner and her friends into the web world. Can they navigate this fantasy world and get themselves freed?

I really enjoyed this, it is well written and all credit to the author for such a innovative story line.

Purchase Links – Screamcatcher

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Troublemaker

Author – Heather Beck.

Heather Beck is a Canadian Author and Screenwriter who began writing professionally at the age of sixteen. Her first book was published when she was only nineteen years old. Since then she has written eleven well-reviewed books which have sold in six continents.

Heather received an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree from university where she specialized in English and studied an array of disciplines. Currently, she is working on two young adult novels and has three middle grade anthologies slated for publication. As a screenwriter, Heather has multiple television shows and movies in development. Her short films include: Young Eyes, The Rarity, Too Sensible For Love, and Circular.

Besides writing, Heather’s greatest passion is the outdoors. She is an award-winning fisherwoman and a regular hiker. Her hobbies include swimming, playing badminton and volunteering with non-profit organizations.

Supernatural nominated for Best Elementary/Middle-Grade Speculative Fiction, The Cybils, 2013

The Rarity winner of Best Supernatural Short Film, Gold Coast Film Industry Event, 2012

The Rarity winner of Best Short Film, The Australian Screen Industry Network Awards, 2012

The Rarity nominated for Best Screenplay, The Australian Screen Industry Network Awards, 2012

Whispers In The Shadows finalist for Best Anthology, Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll, 2012

Creatures Of The Night finalist for Best Children’s Book, Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll, 2012

Creatures Of The Night nominated for Best Fantasy/Science Fiction Book, The Cybils, 2012

Haunted finalist for Best Children’s Book, Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll, 2010

Young Eyes silver finalist for Best Short Film, The Creative Spirit Awards, 2010

Vocations nominated for Best Fiction, Shelfie Awards, 2009

Vocations nominated for Best Young Adult Book, Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll, 2009

What Legends Are Made Of nominated for Book of the Week, The Long and The Short Of It, 2009

“Strawberry Hill” third place finalist for Best Novella, Golden Rose Awards, 2008

“Strawberry Hill” nominated for Best Short Story, Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll, 2008

What Legends Are Made Of nominated for Sunburst Award for Literature of the Fantastic written by a Canadian author, 2007

What Legends Are Made Of nominated for Best Anthology, Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll, 2007

“The False Reality” winner of The Fledgling Press Can You Write? Contest, October 2004

“The Gap” winner of The Fledgling Press Can You Write? Contest, July 2004

Social Media Links –

Website – Heather Beck

Publisher – Kiss and Tell Publishing

Pages – 321

The Blurb –

All that glitters isn’t gold…

Seventeen-year-old “It Girl” Ava Riley has it all – stunning good looks, her own reality show, and endorsement deals with the hottest brands. It’s just too bad that she also has a stalker who’s hell-bent on destroying her life.

Desperate to keep Ava safe, the Rileys move to Mar de Lágrimas, a small coastal town in the Yucatán Peninsula. Ava knows it’s the perfect place to hide, to keep her true identity a secret until the police catch her stalker. What she doesn’t expect is to fall in love with the vibrant culture, the breathtaking scenery, and a sexy local named Javier.

Javier is passionate, strong, and chivalrous – everything Ava wants in a guy – and even though a relationship is the last thing she needs right now, she can’t stay away from him. Their chemistry is intense, the time they spend together unforgettable, but she’s about to learn that he’s keeping some pretty big secrets, too.

Will Ava get her happily ever after with Javier, or will their troubled pasts put them both in danger?

My thoughts – This is a really interesting book that takes a look at the celebrity lifestyle. A lot of people dream of becoming a star but forget the reality of what it must be like.

Ava is a star at only 17, the world at her feet she wants for nothing,well maybe some peace. Fame has not only bought her stardom but a stalker that seems to be hellbent on destroying her.

To keep Ava safe, her family move to Mexico, where Ava can assume a new identity until the police find and capture her stalker. Once there she discovers a slower pace of life, time to just be herself without the pressure of having to be Ava the star.

Along with the beautiful country, Ava also finds Javier. He has no idea of who she is, so Ava knows he likes her for herself not the persona. As her time continues in Mexico, Ava finds herself torn between a normal life with Javier and her real life. But she is about to learn that she is not the only one keeping secrets..

Purchase Links – Troublemaker

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The Bus Ride

Author – Joanie Chevalier.

Joanie Chevalier is a multi-genre Indie Author; Founder & Editor of RAC Online Magazine: Promoting and Encouraging the Reader/Author Connection; and Founder of Our Indie Author Room FB Group, a place where writers in all stages of their career go to learn, inspire, and teach.

Joanie loves the outdoors and nature, reading and supporting fellow indie authors. Her writing is a blend of everything she likes to read: suspense, horror, crime, psychological, non-fiction, and a good short story. She thinks her two Chihuahuas look adorable in sweaters.

Joanie Chevalier

Social Media Links –

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Joanie-Chevalier/e/B00P1946MS 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoanieChevalier  

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JoanieC

RAC Website: https://readerauthorconnection.com/

Pages – 135

The Blurb –

The Bus Ride: A Zany Busnapping Adventure is a character-led novella. “I feel if an author creates rich characters, the story will propel itself.” – Joanie Chevalier, Author.

“As quirky as the story is, the diverse characters are definitely the main driving force for Joanie Chevalier’s The Bus Ride.” 5-Star Review by Lit Amri, Readers’ Favorite

Devon, the busnapper, decides to give each passenger a nickname: “We won’t be using our real names here. I want each of you to come up here and I’ll choose a nickname for ya. Cuz if I have to call on you, I don’t want to say ‘Hey, you.’ That’s not personal, and kinda rude. I like one-on-one personal stuff.” 

Here, I’d like to introduce you to passenger LonelyBoy aka Frankie. LonelyBoy is a tween and wants his family back to the way it was, which is impossible. Facing a sudden opportunity, he impulsively decides to run away, to get far away from his mom and her new boyfriend.

Excerpt –

He continued to pace until he came in front of the safe and noticed it was still open. Frankie used his knuckles to push the door open all the way; he had watched too many cops shows to leave fingerprints. His eyes widened when he saw the stacks of money. 

He stood up and argued with himself. He could take the money and start a new life. Just him and his mom. No, it was wrong, his conscience told him. 

Frankie cocked his head to listen. No noise came from the other room. He grabbed a gym bag sitting next to the desk and thinking no more about it, he stuffed the gym clothes into the bottom drawer of the desk and hid the tennis racket behind the plant in the corner. After glancing over his shoulder to the door, he crouched in front of the safe and began stuffing the bag with banded stacks of hundreds, fifties, and twenties. He then threw in wads of loose bills. 

When the bag was full, he zipped it up and closed the safe. Maybe Lance would forget he had it opened and wouldn’t discover the missing money until tomorrow. Frankie planned to be long gone by then. After that, well, he couldn’t think of what would happen after. He didn’t have the energy. 

Frankie heaved the heavy bag strap over his shoulder. He stumbled from the weight and stood still as he restored his balance. He tiptoed to the door and leaned his ear against it. Nothing. He was careful not to make any noise as he turned the knob and opened it a nudge, peering through the gap with one eye. Lance and his mom were embracing. 

He put his hand over his nose and mouth so he wouldn’t shout with disgust. The only thing he regretted at this moment was he didn’t have his notepad so he can tell his dad about this. His dad would be sickened about this situation as much as he was, he was sure of it. 

He closed the door and took a deep breath. It was now or never. He was getting out of here. His mom could have Lance, she was welcome to him.

Frankie somehow forgot he was only a twelve-year-old boy as he crept down the hall, past the embracing couple, hiding behind the couch when the cook passed by on her way to the kitchen. He opened the front door, walked through, and closed it. His finger shook as he pressed the elevator button, looking over his shoulder. 

When he walked out the front door to the sidewalk, he turned right and began running, the heavy bag bumping against his thigh. It was an awkward trot, but he knew where he was going. To the bus depot, to wait for any bus out of here. “…I think I liked Frankie’s story the best because it felt like it came from a very real place for some people that I know…” 5-Star Review by K.C. Finn, Readers’ Favorites 

Author Giveaway –

Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of The Bus Ride: A Zany Busnapping Adventure (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.

To enter click here

Purchase Links – The Bus Ride

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Don't Get Involved

Author – FJ Curlew.

Fiona dropped out of school aged 15, because being the consummate rebel, she hated it! After becoming a single parent she decided to return to education, graduating in 1996 with an honours degree in primary education. Ah, the irony!
As soon as she graduated she packed everything she owned into her Renault 11, including her daughter, two dogs and a cat, and headed off to Estonia to become an international school teacher. After fifteen years of teaching, predominantly in Eastern Europe, she returned to the UK and had a battle with a particularly nasty cancer, which she won.
She now lives on the east coast of Scotland with a rescued Ukrainian street mutt (heavy sigh – now deceased…), a rescue Black Lab and Springer Spaniel and a Portuguese cat who doesn’t like the weather!
‘To Retribution’ was her first novel. The semi-biographical, Dan Knew, her second.

Social Media Links –

Twitter – @FJCurlew

Pages – 341

The Blurb –

Ukraine 2001, a time of lawlessness and corruption. Dima, Alyona and Sasha, three street-kids with nothing but each other, stumble on a holdall full of cocaine. This could be it. A way out. Leonid, a Mafia hit man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals, is sent to retrieve the cocaine and dispose of the children. Failure isn’t an option. Nadia, a naive expat is looking for a new beginning. She wasn’t expecting this! As their paths get tangled up in the biting cold of a ferocious winter in Kyiv all of them will need to find more strength and courage than they ever imagined they had if they are to survive. When you have nothing left to call on, sometimes something magical happens.

My thoughts – Wow, what a read. You always see pictures and hear the term ‘street kids’ but in this book the author takes you into their lives. Their desperate fight for survival and what lengths they will go to just to live.

Nadia who has recently moved to the Ukraine, is looking for a fresh start, but meets these street children and very quickly gets wrapped up in their world. Heartbroken by their plight she resolves to help them,unaware that she is getting herself into danger. The chapters are told from different perspectives, Nadia’s and Dima one of the children.

Dima, and the other children inadvertently find themselves on the the wrong side of the Mafia, as they steal a bag of cocaine belonging to them. Using their street smarts, they have to keep themselves alive whilst hiding from the men after them.

Although this book sounds bleak it is a really well written tale of hope when you feel like despairing.

Highly recommended.

Purchase Links – Don’t Get Involved

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Solo: Survival Guide for Creative Freelancers.

Author – Palle Schmidt.

I’m a Copenhagen-based writer and artist, published in Denmark and in the US (graphic novels The Devil’s Concubine and STILETTO, and Thomas Alsop from BOOM! Studios, (dubbed “best mini-series of 2014” by USA Today). My latest project is a non-fiction book called SOLO – Survival Guide for Creative Freelancers. My attempt to pass on all the lessons I’ve learned in the past 20 years of working freelance.

SOLO is written for people who believe in creative living on their own terms. It will focus on people who want a sustainable career, mixing freelance work with creating and selling their own art. My promise is that diving into the tactics and strategies of this book will help you set realistic, actionable goals and give you the tools to carve out your own creative career path.

Palle Schmidt

Social Media Links –

Twitter – @Palle_Schmidt

Publisher – Avanti

Pages – 246

The Blurb –

If you’re planning to build a freelance career in an artistic industry, SOLO is the perfect field guide for creative entrepreneurs at every level. Whether you’re starting out, or a seasoned professional, this book will give you the tools you need to push forward on your journey to building your brand and becoming a sought-after commodity. Drawing from his own experiences as a twenty-year professional in the comic book and commercial art industries, author Palle Schmidt guides you through the process of transitioning from amateur to creative professional with an emphasis on longevity, sustainability and happiness in whichever field you’ve chosen. Complete with real-life examples, pre-written forms and psychological business strategy, SOLO will be the book you reference throughout your career for advice and inspiration as you turn your brand into an empire.

SOLO is written for people who believe in creative living on their own terms, who want a sustainable career, mixing freelance work with creating and selling their own art. Diving in to the tactics and strategies of this book will help you find a clearer vision to strike out your own path.

Here’s some of what the book covers:

– How to get started with freelancing
– How to create a network of people to help build your career
– How to handle clients and pricing your work
– How to handle the business side of things
– How to gain new clients and create several income streams
– What tools, tactics and templates you can use to sustain you over the long haul

My thoughts – This is an excellent book that takes you through all the advantages and setbacks of going freelance. The author documents his own journey and shares it with the reader, allowing you to gain from his experiences.

This book features all sorts of gems, from handling your finances to networking. The author works as a freelance artist, but this book works for any kind of creative freelance work. He shares templates you can use and links to sites he has used, that have proved useful to him.

I would recommend this book to self employed person, whether it is a new venture or a long standing business. There is something for every person within these pages, it contains lots of useful business information.

Highly recommended.

Purchase Links – SOLO: Survival Guide for Creative Freelancers

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The Regret

Author – Dan Malakin. When not writing, Dan works as a data security consultant, demonstrating to corporations that should know better just how easy it is for hackers to access their most sensitive information. As a writer, his short stories have been widely published both in print and online, and he has twice been shortlisted for the Bridport prize. His debut novel, The Regret, was published by Bloodhound Books in Summer 2019. He lives in North London with his wife, daughter, and very, very hairy dog.


Dan Malakin

Social Media Links –

Twitter – @DanMalakin

Website – www.danmalakin.com

Publisher – Bloodhound Books

Pages – 250

The Blurb –

What if someone wanted to ruin your life?

Rachel Stone’s world was destroyed by a stalker, Alan Griffin. After he went to prison, she rebuilt her life.

Now she has a three-year-old daughter and is in a new relationship. But someone is stalking her again. Her phone, her emails and her social media are hacked.

Rachel believes it’s Griffin, out of prison and looking for revenge. She needs to find him and make him leave her alone. But as Rachel is drawn into a hunt, she realises that something even more horrific is happening – something that will make her confront the childhood that has lingered inside her like a ghost, and will force her to face the truth about her new life.

Is Griffin the one ruining her life? Or is someone far more dangerous responsible?

What everyone is saying about The Regret:

‘After having finished reading ‘The Regret’, I can think of only one word to describe the book ‘ brilliant’… right up there on my list of top 10 reads of 2019’ – Ginger Book Geek

‘OUTSTANDING! That’s the short review/version and the word that came to my mind as I read the last word of this terrifyingly brilliant book!’ – ‘Book Mark’ FB Group

‘I am so impressed with this novel. Definitely a contender for my book of the year’ – Keri Beevis (author of Dead Letter Day and The Darkness Beneath)

The Regret is a gripping and suspenseful psychological thriller which will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you are a fan of authors like Rachel Abbott, Cara Hunter and C.L. Taylor, you’ll love this unmissable crime thriller.

My thoughts – What a brilliant read this is, and scary. A great story that could happen to anybody. With the increase of cyber crime, how safe are our details online?

After suffering with a stalker after a photo of her was posted online, Rachel resorted to underhand methods to stop him. Years later, she has a daughter, a good relationship with her ex and a partner she is hoping to spend her life with. She is a trained nurse and life is going well.

Until she clicks on a link that will turn her world upside down, in that push of a button. She has handed her details and life to someone who wants to ruin her. When the photo from years ago, resurfaces online, Rachel is sure her partner’s friends is responsible, but when her money disappears too she realises that life is about to repeat itself.

Her stalker has recently been released from prison, is he starting his pursuit of her again?

An excellent read.

Purchase Links – The Regret