blog tour · excerpt · paranormal · urban fantasy

Blog Tour: A Spotlight on Wild, Dark Times


WDTimes Digital coverWild, Dark Times

Expected Publication Date:July 23rd, 2019

Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal

It’s the summer of 2012 and Elizabeth Megalos is a disillusioned art-school grad getting by as a bank teller in St. Louis. One evening, she’s attacked by a possessed coworker and saved by a mysterious, wise-cracking sorcerer named Eddy. He drags Elizabeth and Hugh—a skeptical scholar of the occult—to Europe, where he introduces them to his three magical celebrity friends. Once there, Eddy explains the group’s mission: preventing a Demiurge—a creature out of Gnostic Christian mythology—from fulfilling the visions of doom in the Book of Revelation. The Demiurge has been drawing power from the misguided beliefs in the Mayan apocalypse and is set to start the destruction on Dec. 21st, 2012. Through ritual magic and a series of psychedelic experiences, the group learns that Elizabeth is the key to taking down the Demiurge, though she can’t imagine how she will be the one to stop Armageddon.

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“OK. Seriously. Please. Tell me exactly who you are, what you’re doing, how you made my phone fly into your hand, and why the fuck my co-worker just assaulted me,” said Elizabeth, the last of her patience dwindling.

“You can call me Eddy,” he said. “The milk is for the protection spirit I called to keep us safe for now. As for your coworker… well, she’s possessed by a qlippoth, which is pretty much a vampiric assemblage of cravings, guilt, self-loathing, and a whole other mess of nasty emotional energies. Most are made when the sad and pathetic losers of the world jerk off to some of the sickest porn the bowels of the Internet can shit out. Obviously, there’s a fair number of these icky beasties around. This particular one’s been coalescing around your back alley. Probably feeding off of your used tampons or something. They like those. Used condoms and jerk-off rags too. Genital fluids are like bonbons for these things. And sometimes they’re able to possess people with very little emotional control and/or intelligence during certain astronomical phases. My guess is your coworker wasn’t exactly a shining example of emotional stability. As for the phone: involving the cops would just complicate things, so I used a little arcane prestidigitation to take it from you for the moment.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” asked Elizabeth.

“OK, we need to skip past the whole ‘Spirits? Magic? Are you crazy?’ shit because we’ve got a hungry, demon-possessed hippie trying to break in and drink our nether juices, and I for one don’t want that chick anywhere near my junk.”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

jason_gray-1-2 (1) (1).jpg

Austin Case received a Master’s Degree from the University of Amsterdam in Western Esotericism and Mysticism. His academic knowledge of the occult and other peripheral phenomena has given him a unique take on fantasy and speculative fiction.

Austin Case | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Blog Tour Schedule

August 26th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight)

Jessica Belmont (Review)

Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight)

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight)

Tranquil Dreams (Review)

August 27th

The Faerie Review (Review)

Breakeven Books (Spotlight)

Touch My Spine Book Reviews (Spotlight)

August 28th

My Bookish Bliss (Review)

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight)

Shalini’s Books and Reviews (Spotlight)

August 29th

Inked and Blonde (Review)

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight)

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Spotlight)

August 30th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview)

J Bronder Book Reviews (Spotlight)

Blog Tour Organized By:


R&R Book Tours

blog tour · book review · must-read · mystery · there's a dog · thriller

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Where the Snow Bleeds

Where the Snow Bleeds

“You want to know what I’ve learnt after living in Lone Creek all my life? I know the snow bleeds here …”

Former police officer Dean Matheson has been playing it safe since the case that cost him almost everything. But working as a PI doesn’t quite cut it, that is until a British woman walks into his office with a job that Dean can’t resist. 

The woman’s daughter, Hannah Walker, and her friend Jodie have gone missing whilst working at a ski resort in Colorado. It’s clear there’s something sinister about the girls’ disappearance, but then why are the local police department being so unhelpful?

So begins Dean’s journey to Lone Creek on the trail of the missing girls – and he’ll soon find out that in Lone Creek, everyone has something to hide …

Purchase Links:

UK –


Author Bio:

Wendy is a former Coroner’s Assistant turned crime writer who lives in the UK with her husband.

Who Cares If They Die and Where the Snow Bleeds are the first two books in the Dean Matheson series, with more on the way. As well as her crime thriller series, Wendy has written a YA crime novel – The Girl Who Died – and she has several short stories published in UK and US anthologies. She has also been shortlisted and longlisted for various competitions, including the Mslexia Novel Competition.

For behind the scenes gossip and updates on her books (or photos of her cats), follow her on social media!


Twitter: @WendyDranfield



My Review

First up, I have to admit to not having read the first book in the series; in fact, I didn’t realise there was one. That said, it did not matter one iota, since the author gave enough backstory on Dean Matheson to follow this storyline without an urgent need to know more. That doesn’t mean, I don’t want to know more though … and I reckon the first book will be winding its way to my kindle any time soon.

Anyway, back to business as I saw it: After a traumatic time in the police force, Dean Matheson cannot give up the need to be on the right side of the law, and so has been working for some time as a PI. Unfortunately, interesting cases are few and far between until a British woman contacts him about her missing daughter who, together with a friend, has gone missing from a ski resort in Lone Creek where they were both working.  With little to no information forthcoming from the police, the mother is desperate for help, especially since learning the police have closed the case. Dean wastes no time in heading to the resort with his faithful four-legged friend, Rocky.

Over at the police station, the cop in charge is only too glad to close the case – it gives him more time for golf! Unfortunately, one of his team is less than impressed with police efforts. Eva Valdez has just lost her policeman husband, killed in the line of duty, and has returned to work only to find few of her colleagues even seem to care. Eva and the cop in charge of the girls’ case do not have the best working relationship; it’s safe to say they despise each other. He thinks Eva is an interfering woman who should mind her own business, she thinks he is a good-for-nothing time-waster and a disgrace to the force. To avoid any further clashes between the two, Eva persuades her boss to let her further investigate the missing girls.

And so it happens that Eva and Dean find themselves in Lone Creek, shortly before a major snow storm hits the town, cutting them off from the rest of the country. Each is unaware of the other’s reasons for being there, and so there conversation is initially restricted to pleasantries in the dining room. It soon becomes evident to them both that they are on the same side, and together they are quick to pick on significant issues with the police investigation. The incoming blizzard only compounds their problems as they begin to join the dots and discover exactly who is behind the girls’ disappearance.

What follows is harsh reality, as secrets are uncovered that indicate evil exists within the resort, and its impact has much closer links to the town and its police force than anyone could have imagined.

I’ll not say any more on the plot, suffice it to say that it was a compelling read, with amazing twists coming at such a rapid pace it was impossible to put down.

Now you know why I will be catching up on the author’s first book, and eagerly awaiting the next.

While there are gory elements to this story that made me squirm, it was Rocky who brought me to tears – not that that’ll surprise anyone #sorrynotsorry LOL

For more news and reviews, you can check out these blogs too.

As always,

PS – my Amazon reviews are posted to the UK and ES sites sites, under the username of meandthemutts 😉

book review · historical fiction · recommended · women's fiction

Book Review – A Guardian of Slaves


Willow Hendricks is now the Lady of Livingston. She manages this plantation with her father and best friend Whitney Barry. The two women continue her parents’ secret abolitionist mission. They use the family’s ships and estates to transport escaped slaves along the channels to freedom. Willow’s love for Bowden Armstrong is as strong as ever, but she is not ready to marry and have a family because of her attention to these noble pursuits. Torn by her love for him, can their bond survive his reluctance to support her efforts with the Underground Railroad?

Meanwhile, whispers among the quarters sing praises of a mysterious man in the swamps helping slaves escape. He is called the Guardian. They believe he will save them from brutal slave catchers and deliver them to the promised land. Masked bandits roam the countryside, but the Guardian and the criminals evade capture. A series of accidents and mysterious disappearances raise alarm throughout the region. Who can Willow and Whitney trust? One false move or slip could endanger the lives of everyone they love and bring ruin to the Livingston Plantation.

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My Review

5/5 stars

After reading book one – A Slave of the Shadows – I couldn’t wait to get started on this second book in the series.

As expected, Naomi Finley delivers more of the same high quality historical fiction in a story that is filled to the brim with heart and hope. The pain and horrors that the characters have to endure is offset by this hope and the knowledge that the forces of good are doing their damnedest to right these  many, many wrongs.

Told from numerous viewpoints, the story will suck you in. Seeing the story develop from every angle is what gives it such depth and quality, added to which the author’s descriptive scene setting will make you feel you’re in the midst of everything. It’s truly an immersive read that kept me reading late into the night.

Since her father’s untimely death, Willow is now running the Livingston Plantation, and her desire to give all the slaves freedom has not waned. But with that not an option, she and her uncle (Ben) and best friend, Whitney continue to do whatever they can to help the slaves, particularly those being hunted. Of course, she has to keep up appearances, for to be caught aiding the slaves in any way would be a hanging offence. This double life, naturally, brings her face to face with all sorts of obstacles – some pleasantly surprise her, while others are horrendously shocking and life-changing.

There are mysteries galore in the story, particularly around the “Guardian” who is deemed the saviour of the slaves, and the “masked men” who are the complete opposite. A newcomer – in the form of Silas Anderton – brings drama and speculation to town, and his links to Willow’s past are horrifying and dangerous for her.

Yet, all this runs alongside several emotional storylines – some heartbreakingly sad (Mary Grace & Gray) and others heartwarmingly wonderful (Jimmy & Ruby).

The relationship between Willow and Bowden is on and off throughout until it really seems dead in the water. Willow and Ben grow closer as they reveal more secrets in her father’s journal. Of course, it goes without saying that Whitney and Willow are a tour de force, a formidable twosome, until the idea of marriage raises its head and challenges their bond. Mammy and Jimmy are two of the most beautiful souls you could ever care to meet, so full of love despite all that has befallen them. Indeed, every character plays a part in making this an epic tale of its time. It feels authentic in each and every detail (as I can neither verify nor deny how life was lived in those times, all I will say is that the story flows effortlessly and doesn’t shy away from the harsh horrors which makes for a well-rounded tale).

A third book is in the offing, but not planned until late 2020.

What will I do until then? 😦

I do know I’ll be waiting for it.

As always,




blog tour · book review · British · family · historical fiction · saga · women's fiction · WWII

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Lost Daughter – with Giveaway

The Lost Daughter

Hull, 1930. A terrified woman runs through the dark, rain-lashed streets pursued by a man, desperate to reach the sanctuary of the local police station. Alice Goddard runs with one thing in her mind: her daughter. In her panic she is hit by a car at speed and rushed to hospital. When she awakes, she has no memory of who she is, but at night she dreams of being hunted by a man, and of a little girl.

As the weeks pass and her memories gradually resurface, Alice anxiously searches for her daughter, but no one is forthcoming about the girl’s whereabouts – even her own mother is evasive. Penniless and homeless, Alice must begin again and rebuild her life, never giving up hope that one day she will be reunited with her lost daughter.

Purchase Links

From 22nd – 29th August, The Lost Daughter will be at the bargain price of 99p.

Amazon UK

Amazon US –


Author Bio – Sylvia Broady was born in Kingston upon Hull and has lived in the area all her life, though she loves to travel the world. It wasn’t until she started to frequent her local library , after World War 2, that her relationship with literature truly began and her memories of war influence her writing, as does her home town. A member of the: RNA, HNS, S of A and Beverley Writers. She has had a varied career in childcare, the NHS and East Yorkshire Council Library Services, but is now a full-time writer. Plus volunteering as a Welcomer at Beverley Minster to visitors from around the world, and raising money for local charities by singing in the choir of the Beverley Singers, both bringing colour and enrichment to her imagination and to her passion for writing.

Social Media Links –


Giveaway – Win 2 x paperback signed books of The Lost Daughter and The Yearning Heart (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link 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.



My Review

There’s a huge amount of story going on in this book. Despite a large cast, the focus remains on Alice and her daughter, Daisy, who was taken from her in such an uncaring manner.
The story spans several decades, beginning in the 1930s, covering World War II, and then the post-war years. Throughout, Alice becomes ever more determined to find her Daisy but, as needs must, carries on with her life assuming Daisy is in a loving home and well cared for.
The multiple viewpoints in the story bring an ever-increasing poignancy to the desperation they both share: Alice to find Daisy, and Daisy to be found.
An enjoyable read, though a little repetitive at times, but nonetheless giving great insight to the issues faced by mothers and children during those years. The inability of the authorities to right the wrong done to Alice is unfortunately a sign of the times, but fortunately as the years pass we see things – including the law – change in Alice’s favour.
The large cast – Alice’s family, Johnny, Evelyn and Talli among others – brings hope for better times, though good fortune is not always forthcoming for all of them.
Entertaining, interesting sub-plots are beautifully interlinked, resulting in a well-told tale with a great emotional pull.

You can find more news and reviews on these blogs:

As always,

book review · chick-lit · fun · NetGalley · romantic comedy · summer reading

Book Review – Probably the Best Kiss in the World

Jen Attison likes her life Just So. But being fished out of a canal in Copenhagen by her knickers is definitely NOT on her to do list.

From cinnamon swirls to a spontaneous night of laughter and fireworks, Jen’s city break with the girls takes a turn for the unexpected because of her gorgeous, mystery rescuer.

Back home, Jen faces a choice. A surprise proposal from her boyfriend, ‘boring’ Robert has offered Jen the safety net she always thought she wanted. But with the memories of her Danish adventure proving hard to forget, maybe it’s time for Jen to stop listening to her head and start following her heart…

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My Review

Probably the best rom-com I’ve read this year!

Just like brewing beer, a good romantic comedy requires a mix of great ingredients. In this case, the author has created probably the perfect blend of characters. (And, yes, I will probably overuse the word probably in this review – but that’s probably a good thing, right?)

So, we have a reluctant leading lady in Jen Attison. As a list-maker myself, I can relate to her organisation prowess, although she definitely has better ‘follow-through’ skills than I do. Jen is – or so she thinks – content with her lot, and would happily continue with her job, her brewing, and her relationship with Robert …unless something out of the blue happens. Luckily for Jen, it does.

Enter our leading man (Move over Robert!) in the form of Yakob (as he is known for most of the book).

While Jen might be sceptical and wary of romance, Yakob most certainly isn’t. He knows when he’s found the one for him. The trouble lies in convincing Jen too. Added to the fact that she is engaged to Robert – and Jen is nothing if not loyal – then any relationship with Yakob is out of the question.

To be honest, sometimes I wanted to scream at Jen, and tell her to put herself first for a change. But there’s no telling some people. Well, unless you have a sister like Lydia. Where Yakob fails to convince Jen of anything, Lydia charges like a bull in a china shop, determined to make her big sister see beyond her so-called duties and responsibilities. You see, Jen feels she has to protect Lydia (for reasons why, you’ll need to read the book 😉 LOL), add that to the fact that she has already accepted Robert’s proposal and couldn’t possibly let him down (cue screaming from me!), and Jen is bogged down by a sense of loyalty and duty. Probably not the most ideal mindset with which to enter into marriage!

Jen digs her heels in (she gives “stubborn” a whole new meaning), a move that threatens her relationship with Lydia – something she could never, ever have foreseen. Could her sense of duty ruin everything? Does she really want to marry Robert? Could she settle for a life without brewing her wonderful, artisan beers?

Jen may well be the main character in this story, but without Lydia, Yakob, and even Robert’s family, she wouldn’t be able to carry the story. She is well meaning, but somewhat smothering towards Lydia; at work, she’s dismissive of her bosses (Robert’s sisters) and a little condescending of their ideas (well, crocheted tampons are real 😉 so maybe they’re not as ridiculous as Jen might think). Yet, despite having control-freak tendencies, she seems to fall apart when Robert maps out their future, one in which her brewing passion is denigrated to hobby status at best. Where did the real Jen go? Well, it took a dip in a canal in Copenhagen to start the process, and a few secrets to railroad it too.

This is a story filled with humour, emotion, travel, drama, and beer. The romance aspect is slow burning in nature, and there are plenty of twists in the tale as the story develops. A great summer read that I’d recommend to rom-com fans who are looking for originality, fun, family, and a HEA – probably!

I received this book from Netgalley, and this review is given voluntarily.

As always,

book review · historical fiction · recommended · women's fiction

Book Review – A Slave of the Shadows

In 1850 Charleston, South Carolina, brutality and cruelty simmer just under the genteel surface of Southern society. Beautiful and headstrong Willow Hendricks lives in an era where ladies are considered nothing more than property.
Her father rules her life, filling it with turmoil, secrets, and lies. She finds a kindred spirit in spunky, outspoken Whitney Barry, a northerner from Boston. Together these Charleston belles are driven to take control of their own lives as they are plunged into fear and chaos on their quest to fight for the rights of slaves. Against all odds, these feisty women fight to secure freedom and equality for those made powerless and persecuted by a supposedly superior race.
Only when they’ve lost it all do they find a new beginning.
Book 1 presents Willow and Whitney—and the reader—with the hardships the slaves endure at the hands of their white masters.

About the author

Naomi is an award-winning author living in Northern Alberta. She loves to travel and her suitcase is always on standby awaiting her next adventure. Naomi’s affinity for the Deep South and its history was cultivated during her childhood living in a Tennessee plantation house with six sisters. Her fascination with history and the resiliency of the human spirit to overcome obstacles are major inspirations for her writing and she is passionately devoted to creativity. In addition to writing fiction, her interests include interior design, cooking new recipes, and hosting dinner parties. Naomi is married to her high school sweetheart and she has two teenage children and two dogs named Egypt and Persia.

My Review

5/5 stars

I absolutely loved it. It has movie-like qualities that drew me into the period with dazzling detail, tension and emotion. Strong women throughout battle to control the descent into shame and degradation that afflicts the South as a result of slavery laws. This story is brutal in its depiction of that era, but with a thumping heartbeat that strives for change.

The story starts with a prologue that entices, and sets the tone for what follows. It totally captivated me and I had to see how those events connected with the main character of the book, Willow Hendricks.  Willow grew up without her mother, and was raised by Mammy together with Mammy’s daughter, Mary Grace. As such, her relationship with the slaves on her father’s plantation is based on love and a desire to see them freed. Convinced her father does not hold the same opinion, Willow cannot imagine running her father’s plantation one day, particularly not in the same manner.

Willow also rebels at the thought of not marrying for love, and when an arranged marriage is proposed, her reaction is fiery but also – happily so – effective. Her suitor-to-be, Kip, is just as affronted that she was unaware of the potential match, and insists it will not go ahead. So, while they may not ever be married, their form a strong and enduring friendship.

It’s clear that Willow is opinionated, and not just about her future, but also about the treatment of those she considers friends, not slaves. In particular, her relationship with James, the blacksmith on her father’s plantation, is sweet and heartwarming; she sometimes imagines him to be the father she herself wants, especially during those moments when she and her father are at loggerheads.

There is plenty of tension off the plantation too, primarily in the form of Bowden Armstrong. They seem so diametrically opposed, and their confrontations only fuel Willow’s fiery nature further. There are plenty of subplots running throughout, and the joining of the dots is beautifully done. Change is afoot, but there’s a link to the past that cannot be ignored. Willow faces several surprises and finds she has misjudged those closest to her.

Oh my, I cannot wait to read book two.


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As always,

blog blitz · series · thriller · trilogy

Blog Blitz – One of Us

One Of Us

‘Leave, or die.’

Jess Dyer has won safety for her sister-in-law Ruth and proved her worth as the leader of her refugee community.

Sarah Evans has stood up to her parents and discovered who she can trust.

But the villagers still aren’t welcome. When the local population expresses its anger, can Jess keep everyone safe? And can she hold it together as Steward when someone she loves dies?

And how will Sarah react when her new fiancee Martin receives death threats, telling him he must leave her, and their village?

One Of Us is a gripping thriller about belonging and acceptance. It’s the third book in the Village trilogy, and the sequel to Sea Of Lies.

Purchase Link:

Author Bio 

My name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.

What does that mean?

In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.

Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?

My books aim to fill that gap.

If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at I’ll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.

Social Media Links –




As always,



blog tour · book review · mystery · relationships · romance

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Buried Treasure

Buried Treasure

Their backgrounds could hardly be further apart, their expectations in life more different. And there is nothing in the first meeting between the conference planner and the university lecturer which suggests they should expect or even want to connect again. But they have more in common than they could ever have imagined. Both have unresolved issues from the past which have marked them; both have an archaeological puzzle they want to solve. Their stories intertwine and they discover together that treasure isn’t always what it seems.

Purchase Links

UK –

US –


Author Bio

Gilli Allan began to write in childhood – a hobby pursued throughout her teenage. Writing was only abandoned when she left home, and real life supplanted the fiction.

After a few false starts she worked longest and most happily as a commercial artist, and only began writing again when she became a mother.

Living in Gloucestershire with her husband Geoff, Gilli is still a keen artist. She draws and paints and has now moved into book illustration.

Currently published by Accent Press, each of her books, TORN, LIFE CLASS and FLY or FALL has won a ‘Chill with a Book’ award.

Following in the family tradition, her son, historian Thomas Williams, is also a writer. His most recent work, published by William Collins, is ‘Viking Britain’.

Social Media Links (@gilliallan)

My Review

The title of this book caught my attention, together with the mention of an archaeological puzzle.  I expected mystery and red herrings, but wasn’t ready for the slow-burning, burgeoning romance that ensued, particularly between the two main characters Jane and Theo.

The prologue instantly intrigued, but then, if I’m honest, I struggled to get into the crux of story.
For the first 20% (Kindle reader here 😉 ) neither Jane nor Theo “excited” me to the extent that I cared enough about them.  Early chapters contained a lot of flashbacks and backstory which made it hard to follow. I was constantly flicking back to get facts straight in my head.

Things became much more interesting after that, though, so my perseverance paid off. The couple, with such different backgrounds and life experiences, seemed incompatible – or, possibly they fulfilled the old adage that opposites attract. They clearly had different treasures to uncover, and all that earlier backstory made sense of their behaviour and expectations.

I loved the detail of the archaeological explorations – as I knew I would – and that aspect of the story shone for me with a believable, and obviously well-researched setting. Much as I chose to read this book for the mystery of finding treasure, it became a much more character-focused story with a solid, emotional element running through it.

A story that proved to be much more than it said on the cover.

More content and reviews can be found here:

As always,