The Walls We Build Cover Reveal

Today is the day for the big cover reveal for The Walls We Build by Jules Hayes. I think this sounds like a really interesting book, and I will be reviewing it soon so watch this space for my thoughts on it. The cover is lovely, but before we get to that, here are all the important details.


Three friends … 

Growing up together around Winston Churchill’s estate in Westerham, Kent, Frank, Florence and Hilda are inseparable. But as WW2 casts its menacing shadow, friendships between the three grow complex, and Frank – now employed as Churchill’s bricklayer – makes choices that will haunt him beyond the grave, impacting his grandson’s life too.

Two Secrets …

Shortly after Frank’s death in 2002 Florence writes to Richard, Frank’s grandson, hinting at the darkness hidden within his family. On investigation, disturbing secrets come to light, including a pivotal encounter between Frank and Churchill during the war and the existence of a mysterious relative in a psychiatric hospital.

One Hidden Life … 

How much more does Florence dare reveal about Frank – and herself – and is Richard ready to hear?

Set against the stunning backdrop of Chartwell, Churchill’s country home, comes a tragic story of misguided honour, thwarted love and redemption, reverberating through three generations and nine decades.

For readers of Kate Morton, Rachel Hore, Katherine Webb, Lucinda Riley and Juliet West.

“Passion, intrigue and family secrets drive this complex wartime relationship drama. A page turner. I loved it.”  #1 bestselling author, Nicola May

If you like the sound of that, then I am sure you will love the cover. Is everyone sitting comfortably ready for the big reveal?

Corrigan_The Walls We Build_Ebook

You can pre-order your copy of this book here:-

Amazon UK

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DSC_1027_Sepia_crop1Jules Hayes lives in Berkshire with her husband, daughter and a dog. She has a degree in modern history and holds a particular interest in events and characters from the early 20th century. As a former physiotherapist and trainer – old habits die hard – when not writing Jules likes to run. She also loves to watch films, read good novels and is a voracious consumer of non-fiction too, particularly biographies.

Jules is currently working on her second historical novel, another dual timeline story.

Jules also writes contemporary thriller and speculative fiction as JA Corrigan.






Website (JA Corrigan)

Twitter (JA Corrigan)

Facebook (JA Corrigan)

Instagram (JA Corrigan)

Guest Posts

Cloth of Grace – Rachel J Bonner

I am delighted to by joined today by Rachel J Bonner who is sharing a fascinating insight on birthdays as part of the blog tour for Cloth of Grace, book four in the Choices and Consequences series. Many thanks Rachel for taking the time to write this piece, and also to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting my to be a part of the tour. Before I share Rachel’s post with you, here are the blurb and purchase details for Cloth of Grace.


When the fate of the world rests on your shoulders, how do you choose between what you ought to do and the only thing you really want?

Leonie finally knows who she is. But now she needs to decide who she is going to be. Her choice will affect not just her family, not just those she knows, but tens, hundreds of thousands, millions of people that she doesn’t. And every path that’s open to her will put Perry under the pressures that caused his breakdown before. How can she do what she must and still protect Perry?

Perry desperately wants to make things easier for Leonie. Somehow he has to find the strength to face the things that all but destroyed him in the past. But every way he turns, some aspect of his past lies waiting to pounce – even during his happiest moments. And he can never forget that Leonie’s life is in danger from someone, somewhere.

Gabriel has managed to negotiate peace, at least in theory. Now he must put that into practice and reunite Leonie with the family she never knew she had. Then disaster strikes right in the middle of his own sanctuary. Can he still protect those he loves, or has he been harbouring a villain the whole time?


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Cloth of Grace final front


Birthdays. We all have them, of course. We wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t been born. Most of us – though perhaps not all – know when our birthday is, and consider the date a fact, a fixed piece of information. It’s probably registered somewhere, on our birth certificate, our driving licence, our passport. But if you research your family tree you’ll find that birth dates are rather more fluid than you’d think.

For a start, the year can vary. Not so much now but in the past people might alter their declared age – and hence their implied birth year – for any number of reasons. I’m sure we’ve all heard of young men who’ve lied about their age to enable them to join the military in times of war. Both men and women would misrepresent their age at their marriage so that the woman appeared younger than the man – or so that they were both old enough to marry without parental approval. And I have several ancestors who have only aged six or seven years in the ten years between censuses.

It’s not only the year you can’t trust. In the early days of birth registration in England there were fines for late registration. Rather than declaring the correct date of birth and paying the fine, parents would give a later date of birth for their child to avoid the fine. And, once in the formal records, that later date of birth would then follow the child throughout their life. If the family celebrated the birthday on the correct day, this could lead to a lot of confusion as to when their birthday really was.

Of course, it’s much harder to create an incorrect birth date in today’s information age. But as a child, at what age do you learn and understand the significance of your date of birth? Perhaps around four or five, when you start school and learn about the calendar. If as a child you lose those people who know your birth date from first-hand experience, and you don’t have access to any records, how can you be sure you know the right date? You could tell someone that date in good faith, but equally how confident can they be that you’ve got it right?

In my Choices and Consequences series, the heroine, Leonie, loses her immediate family by the time she’s five years old. But she knows her birthday because it’s a distinctive date. As she says in the prologue to Weave of Love, book 3 –

“It’s my birthday,” she said to him proudly. “My first real birthday. The one that doesn’t happen every year.”

Her birthday is leap day, 29th February, a distinctive date, one a child can remember without knowing the actual date, and an adult can interpret from limited information. After all, there’s no other date that doesn’t happen every year. Of course, that causes its own problems as Leonie describes in Strand of Faith, the first book in the series –

The big problem was that if it wasn’t a leap year I didn’t know whether to have my birthday on the last day of February, or the first day of March.

And such a distinctive date makes it easy to work out how old Leonie is when the books start – this quote is also from Strand of Faith, just two months before Leonie’s eighteenth birthday.

“That’s Leap Day,” Prospero said. “Last year was leap year, and that means you’re seventeen.”

But now you know why Cloth of Grace, the fourth and final book in the Choices and Consequences series is launching on 29th February – it’s Leonie’s real birthday and, given it only happens once every four years, it would be a real shame to miss it!


Cloth of Grace_Rachel-036_webRachel J Bonner is the author of the compelling and enthralling four book Choices and Consequences series.  The first book in the series, Strand of Faith, was published in November 2018. Book 2, Thread of Hope, released on 2nd May 2019, followed by Weave of Love on 24th October. The story concludes with Cloth of Grace, released on 29th February 2020.

Rachel has a degree in engineering, which she followed with a career in accountancy which is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in fantasy or romance.  Rachel says that, although accountancy isn’t anything like as boring as everyone thinks, writing is a lot more fun.  When not writing, she can be found walking in the beautiful countryside near where she lives, which has influenced much of the scenery in her books, or shooting things with her local archery club.  Shooting targets only, honest.  Nothing to worry about. (Okay, sometimes we shoot Polo mints. Or cabbages. Still nothing to worry about.)

She also enjoys swimming, eating chocolate chip cookies and growing aromatic herbs, especially thyme and rosemary.  It’s no coincidence that her heroine likes the same things.

You can find out more about her books and sign up for Rachel’s newsletters at

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If you haven’t discovered the Choices and Consequences series yet, here are all the details for the first three books.

Strand of Faith (Book 1)

A girl. A monk. An unthinkable sacrifice.
When the choice is between love and life, how can anyone decide?

In a post-apocalyptic future, a girl and a monk, both with extraordinary mental powers, have compelling reasons not to fall in love. But their choices will have consequences for the rest of the world.

After the troubles of his youth, Brother Prospero has found comfort and fulfilment in the monastery. Then he discovers something that forces him to reconsider his whole vocation. How can it possibly be right to leave a life of worship and service for human desire? And if he does leave, will the pressures from his past destroy him?

Orphaned and mistreated, Leonie has found sanctuary and safety at the Abbey. When she comes into contact with Prospero everything spirals out of her control. Everyone she’s ever loved has died. She can’t do that to him. But how can she walk away from the first place she’s truly belonged?

Abbot Gabriel is faced with an impossible choice. He can do nothing and watch the world descend into war. Or he can manipulate events and ensure peace – at the cost of two lives that he is responsible for. Is he strong enough to sacrifice those he loves?

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Thread of Hope (Book 2)

What if your secrets are so dangerous they could destroy the one you love?
Is honesty always the best policy?

Leonie may have run away but Prospero will find her. He loves her and he wants a future with her by his side whatever the consequences. Only when he does find her, he ought to tell her who he really is, outside the monastery. That’ll make her run again. Dare he risk it? But if he doesn’t tell her, someone else may…

Marriage to Prospero is what Leonie wants most and the one thing she knows she can’t have. If he found out what she was really like, what she’d been, what she’d done, he’d despise her and she couldn’t bear that. Better to leave now than live a lie – but it’s harder than she expected. If only…

Gabriel is starting to discover the secrets inherent in Leonie, secrets that not even she knows, secrets that will tear the world apart. And the secrets he is keeping are tearing him apart. How can sacrificing those he loves possibly achieve peace when everything he discovers risks the death of millions?

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Weave of Love (Book 3)

What if the choice you have to make has devastating consequences for others?

How can anyone know the right thing to do?

Leonie chose to sacrifice everything to save other people. Now those around her have to face the consequences – and those consequences are not what they expected.

Prospero must deal with his own guilt. He was the one who gave Leonie the tools she needed – her life was in his hands. To make the most of what she did, he will have to face up to all the family issues he has avoided for so long. Whatever he chooses to do, someone he loves will be hurt. For Leonie’s sake, is he now strong enough to make the choice he couldn’t make before?

The crisis predicted by Lord Gabriel has come and gone. But his task isn’t over. Leonie’s very existence may be out in the open but Gabriel discovers that the past is never what it seems – and nor is the present. How can he use what he now knows to bring together those who have been enemies for as long as anyone can remember? If he fails in this, everything he’s had to do so far will be in vain.

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Other Retailers

Google Play


Cloth of Grace Giveaway - IMG_20200214_103643294Win a complete, signed Choices and Consequences series and matching bookmarks (Open INT)

  • Prize includes signed copies of Strand of Faith, Thread of Hope, Weave of Love and Cloth of Grace.

*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.


Don’t forget to check out the other blogs taking part in this tour for more information on Cloth of Grace, and the rest of the Choices and Consequences series.

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The Charm Bracelet Cover Reveal

I am delighted to be taking part today in the cover reveal for The Charm Bracelet by Ella Albright. Read on for all the details, and to see the cover for yourselves.


A moving and heartwarming love story perfect for fans of Me Before You and One Day in December…

Leila’s charm bracelet tells a story of love, a story of loss, a story of hope.

This is the story of her … and the story of Jake.

When Leila Jones loses her precious charm bracelet and a stranger finds it, she has to tell the story of how she got the charms to prove she’s the owner. Each and every one is a precious memory of her life with Jake.

So Leila starts at the beginning, recounting the charms and experiences that have led her to the present. A present she never could have expected when she met Jake nearly twenty years ago…

I don’t know about you, but I think this book has the potential to be a real heartbreaker. Are you all ready for the big cover reveal? Here it comes…

The Charm Bracelet


Ebook – 21st August 2020



Paperback – 12th November 2020




IMG_8983A self-confessed reading addict, Ella Allbright writes commercial women’s fiction set in her beautiful home county of Dorset. Her first novel in this genre, The Charm Bracelet will be published in August 2020 by One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins, and she’s currently hard at work on her next book. Ella is represented by agent Hattie Grünewald at The Blair Partnership, who represent J.K. Rowling.

Ella also writes as Nikki Moore, the author of the popular #LoveLondon romance series. A number of the novellas featured in the Top 100 short story charts on Kobo and the Top 20 in the Amazon UK bestsellers Holiday chart, and in 2018 the collection was released in Italy. Her first published work was the short story A Night to Remember in the best selling Mills & Boon / RNA anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply. Her debut romance Crazy, Undercover, Love was shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award 2015.

When not writing or reading, she can be found working in her HR day job, walking the family’s cute beagle puppy or watching a Netflix series!





You Tube

I will be joining the blog tour for this book later in the year, so watch this space for a review.

Book Review

The Word-Keeper -Veronica Del Valle

It’s my stop on the blog tour for the charming book, The Word-Keeper by Veronica Del Valle today. Many thanks to Veronica and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.


What would happen if words disappeared forever?

Set in a whimsical town called Inkwell, a place with an ancient secret history, this fairytale-like adventure will uncover the key to the power hidden within words.

The Word-Keeper is a tale about a savvy bookmark named Ben that unwillingly becomes an evil imp with only one objective: follow the orders of his master and destroy the words that live inside books.

Only one girl can stop him. Her name is Florence Ibbot. She is eleven years old, oddly eloquent and a quiet observer of the world. But above all, Florence is a keen logophile and is willing to sacrifice everything to protect the words.

She sets out to discover who is behind all this. The journey will take her to the origins of writing and inspiration. But she’ll also have to face the most treacherous adversary, Zyler, a ruthless sorceress whose sole mission is to ruin one of humankind’s most precious possessions: the gift of language.

As the final battle approaches, Florence will have to learn how to wield words instead of the sword. Is Florence brave enough to become who she was born to be?

The Word-Keeper Cover


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Although The Word-Keeper is aimed at readers from the pre-teen market, there are important messages for all ages, from the consideration of the words we use, and the good or harm they can do, through to the way that Florence herself deals with her bullies at school. In light of the times we find ourselves in, this book felt incredibly relevant, and should be on all school reading lists to help children understand the power of the language they use.

The language of this book was so wonderful and just flowed off the page. In my mind I could just picture readers of Florence’s age reaching for their own dictionary to discover the meanings behind the beautiful words used. It is almost as though the author has selected the most beautiful words, and the most fun words to say, and used as many of them as possible so that when they start to vanish it comes as a hammer blow as you have so recently been reminded of the wonder of the human language.

Florence is a wonderful, quirky little character, but it was Ben the bookmark who stole my heart. I loved his interaction with the bookworms, and his chats with the words in the book each night, each of whom had a personality to match their own meaning. As for Grandpa Davey, he really is the grandfather that every child should have, and Inkwell is the town where all book lovers should live.

The book is littered with illustrations that made me wish I was reading the book in hard copy, rather than on my Kindle, so that I could examine them in closer detail.

Veronica Del Valle’s love of language is obvious in every page of this book, and I would urge people of all ages to read it.


The word keeper author imageVeronica Del Valle grew up in Argentina, but life eventually led her to live in London, the city that was her home for many years.

Veronica’s always had a fondness for words, language and the magic of storytelling. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University.

Veronica currently lives in Buenos Aires with her husband, Ale, and her daughter, Tomiko. She teaches creative writing at Universidad de San Andres and is a contributing editor and writer for one of Argentina’s leading news organizations.

When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s either a) meditating or b) enjoying life with her family (which, in a way, is another beautiful way to meditate).

The Word Keeper is the first novel she’s written.




Make sure you pay a visit to the other blogs taking part in the tour for this beautifully crafted book.

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Meet the Author

CM Angus

Today, as part of the blog tour for Overstrike, book one in the Fixpoint series, I am honoured to be able to share with you a Q&A that the author took part in for me. Many thanks to CM Angus for taking the time to do this, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour.

What made you decide to move from writing technical non-fiction to writing fiction?

That’s probably not how I look at it. I guess I’m more of an opportunist. Back in 2006 I found myself working with a couple  of technologies which were new enough to have literally no books written about them. As I was learning the hard way to get to grips with these I saw there was an opportunity for a technical publication.

Likewise in 2014 when I found myself with the embryo of the story that went on to become Overstrike, I decided to give it a go.

It was certainly very different, but I believe the past is a dream that doesn’t define us – each of us has the capacity to continually reinvent ourselves..

What authors inspire you?

I’d have to say: Ones that make it happen against the odds. People like David J. Kowalski – whose 2007 debut The Company of the Dead I enjoyed a lot. The fact that he managed to write a pretty awesome novel whilst being a Obstetrician, inspired me to believe maybe I could somehow find time to write also.

Thank you David.

Do you have a literary hero? How about a favourite literary villain?

In a lot of ways, this is likely to be the stream of consciousness everyman like Bukowski’s semi-autobiographical Henry Chinaski, or The Narrator (Phaedrus) from Pirsig’s Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Whoever it is, they’re likely to be a thinker, a drunk and a little unhinged. In a lot of ways, I find characters, or for that fact, people in general, become far more interesting when they don’t conform. As for hero’s and villain’s, I tend not to think in those kind of binary terms, I think that there are angels and devils in all of us –  that everyone is both good and evil. The most interesting characters, for me, are ones that either fall from grace or seek redemption – whether that’s Milton’s Lucifer in Paridise Lost, Rowling’s Snape,  Jane Austen’s Mr D’Arcy, Dickens’ Scrooge or even Martin’s Jaime Lannister, the idea that a character’s drivers and motives are fluid, makes them interesting to me.

What is your favourite under-appreciated novel?

Not sure whether this counts, but I’d have to say The View from Gallows Hill by Nick Stead. I was lucky enough to be a beta-reader on this and liked it a lot – certainly one to look for when it comes out. 

Where do you do your writing? Do you have a special place to go for calm and inspiration or are you a write anywhere kind of guy?

I’d have to say wherever the muse takes me. But it’s more about finding the headspace than than a particular location or time. If things are too noisy I’ve got no chance. If things are too quiet – again; that’s an issue. So it feels like I’m forever in search of my own Goldilocks zone *laughs*. Sometimes I find it in my local park with a laptop, sometimes it’s in a bustling coffee shop – I seem to change like the wind. Invariably it ends up being stolen moments interspaced between other activities – I try to use technology so that I can switch between desktop, laptop, tablet and phone and keep going in between being Dad’s taxi! So I guess I’m a write anywhere kind of guy…

What is the strangest thing you have had to Google for writing research?

Man, now that’s going to be quite a list…

I guess it would include:

* Current theories on quantum entanglement and the plausibility of time travel.

* Elements of the Holocaust during WWII.

* Key players in early electroconvulsive therapy.

* Details of Schizophrenia.

* Large parts of London and its transport network. 

However I’m sure I must be missing something.

You seem to be a man of many talents – how do you fit everything in? I find I am easily distracted from one hobby or interest by another – do you find the same?

Definitely. It’s not just a question of passion. I need to set myself goals and make these public – actively throw myself under the bus, if you will, to force myself to complete things. Then its a case of multitasking and combining things, but it isn’t easy and without the support of my family I couldn’t do any of it.

At the end of the day though, it’s about setting realistic goals and keeping on with these – even if the progresses glacial. For instance: Overstrike has taken around 5-years, so I’d say it’s more to do with perseverance and pig-headedness than some kind of silver bullet.

Thanks again to CM Angus for taking the time to answer my questions. For more information about Overstrike, read on!

Fixpoint Overstrike


When Matt Howard’s grandfather told him he must alter history to protect his newborn son, Matt thought the old man was crazy…

…Then he realised it was true.

Overstrike spans 4 generations of a family haunted by the prospect of an approaching alternate reality where their child has been erased from history.

Touching on themes of retro-causality, ethics and free will, and exploring ideas of cause, effect and retribution, it follows the path of Matt Howard, whose child, Ethan, is at risk, as he, his father and grandfather attempt to use their own abilities to manipulate reality in order to discover and prevent whoever is threatening Ethan.

Overstrike is volume I of Fixpoint, a trilogy about a family who discover their inherited ability to manipulate reality. It enables them to effect changes in order to safeguard themselves and all that they hold dear. But even seemingly small changes in a timeline can have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences. Follow the stories of the Howards, on a journey exploring reality, time and our own sense of self.


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CM Angus author and writer of Speculative fiction, Sci-fi and Horror grew up in the North East of England and now lives in Yorkshire with his wife and children. He is interested in all things creative & technological.

Currently working on Fixpoint, a series of books with each piece tackling different aspects of discontinuities in time and is a Speculative Fiction spanning 4 generations of a family haunted by the prospect of an approaching alternate reality where their child has been erased from history.

Overstrike, Volume 1 of Fixpoint, will be published by Elsewhen Press in early 2020.









Win 5 x Overstrike T-shirts  (Open INT)

*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 dispatch or delivery of the prize.


To find out more about Overstrike, head on over to the other blogs taking part in the tour.

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Book Blogger Hop – 21.02.20

This week’s book blogger hop question comes courtesy of Amanda from Give Me Coffee and Books – thanks for this great question Amanda!

What is your go-to recommendation for someone who doesn’t read often?

Book Blogger Hop


This is a bit of a tricky one for me because my favourite books tend to be fairly big fantasy books which might be off-putting for someone who doesn’t read much. If I was to recommend anything from this genre, it would probably be something like Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere rather than, say, the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. As much as that is one of my all time favourites, the sheer size of it might be a bit daunting for the casual reader.

My other favourite genre is YA fiction, which again is difficult to recommend because a fair few people in my age group would maybe be unwilling to try something with a much younger target audience. For this, my recommendation would have to be Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, or maybe something by John Green.

I think though for someone who really doesn’t read much, I would recommend a thriller from someone like Louise Jensen or Mark Edwards, both of whom write books that are impossible to put down because you just have to know what is going to happen next. Of Louise’s books, it’s a toss up between The Surrogate and The Family as to which is my personal favourite, but all her books are great. The same goes for Mark, but The Lucky Ones was my introduction to his books, and it led me on to read all of his others.

If they were a more romantic soul, it would have to be The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper, or something by Isabella May, books that just sweep you away on a wave of emotion. I think Costa del Churros might just pip the others to win the title of my favourite Isabella May read, but I would recommend The Cocktail Bar as the best book to start with.

There are so many great books out there, and I love introducing a new author to my friends and finding that they fall as in love with them as I am.

What books would you recommend to someone who isn’t an avid reader?


Book Review

Unborn – Rachel McLean

It is a privilege to welcome Rachel McLean back to my blog today as I review her latest thought-provoking book, Unborn. Many thanks to Rachel, and to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to be a part of this tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.


She killed her unborn child. The punishment will fit the crime.

America, 2026.
Feminism has been defeated.
Equality is a memory.
And abortion has been criminalized.

Three women find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Kate, carrying the child of a sexual predator.
Grace, whose baby will be born with a fatal deformity.
And Cindee: abused, abandoned and pregnant.

Can these three very different women come together to fight an oppressive system and win their freedom?


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Unborn cover


Having read many of Rachel’s books before (I think I was up to seven at last count), I really should know better by now than to start reading her newest book at 11:30 at night. I really am my own worst enemy. It was 2:00 in the morning before I put my light out, having devoured the entire book in one sitting.

From reading the synopsis, I knew this would be a challenging book to read, being just that little bit too close to reality to be comfortable. It is an even more challenging book to review without getting on my soapbox about a woman’s right to choose.

Each of the women we meet in Unborn has a different, but equally heartbreaking, reason for wanting to terminate their pregnancy, and as we get to know each of them, their suffering caused by the introduction of new laws becomes almost tangible. Their treatment at the prison they found themselves in, and the terms of their “punishment” really made my skin crawl at times. The fact that these new laws and the rights of women are so vastly different to what we live with today, and yet the book is set just six years into the future just added to the whole feeling of unease that this book gave me.

I realise reading back over this review that it might appear that I didn’t enjoy this book, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, if you can use the word enjoy to describe a book that makes you itch with discomfort. Rachel’s books never shy away from the important issues, regardless of how uncomfortable they are to write about. They force you to face the issues that you would probably rather brush under the carpet and forget about, and in this Unborn is no different to her previous books.

If you haven’t already discovered Rachel’s books, I urge you to go out and buy them all now.


rachel mcleanMy 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.





Remember to check out all the other blogs taking part in the tour.

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Book Review

The Guest List – Lucy Foley

I am thrilled to be helping kick off the blog tour for The Guest List by Lucy Foley. Many thanks to Lucy, and to Anne Cater at Random Things Blog Tours, for inviting me to be a part of the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.


Another murder. Another mystery.

Guests are called to a remote island off the Irish coast to celebrate the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules and Will. Everything has been meticulously planned, the scene is set, old friends are back together.

It should be the perfect day.

Until the discovery of a body signals the perfect murder.

A groom with a secret.

A bridesmaid with a grudge.

A plus one with motive.

A best man with a past.

It could be any, it could be all . . . But one guest won’t make it out alive. 

The Guest List Cover


‘It grabs you from the off and keeps you guessing until the very end. A genuine treat of a read.’ Lisa Howells, Heat

“Both a classic whodunnit and a very contemporary psychological thriller that left me guessing right to the end – a wonderful read.’ Kate Mosse

‘Great fun. Lucy Foley is really very clever.’ Anthony Horowitz





I read The Hunting Party last year, and wasn’t sure if Lucy Foley would be able to top it. I mean, once you’ve written a thriller set in the eerie surrounds of a hunting lodge cut off from the rest of the world by snow, where do you go next? The answer, an isolated island filled with its own dangers in the middle of a raging storm. I was instantly put in mind of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, and as I started reading, I was already on edge about what was to come.

The author’s style of writing, using multiple points of view, and not only keeping the killer’s identity a closely guarded secret, but also not revealing who the victim is, really builds tension. There is a simmering undercurrent of secrets and lies throughout, and as the storms grows in intensity so too do the revelations that slowly come to light. The storm feels like a character in its own right, making the whole situation feel increasingly ominous.

As the book progressed, I did have my suspicions about who the victim was going to be, although I did change my mind on a couple of occasions. Even as I became more sure about this though, it was still impossible to settle on who the killer might be. The interwoven lives and histories of each of the characters created a story full of unexpected developments, and every time I thought I was making progress in figuring everything out, something else happened to turn my thoughts on their head.

I read this book in one sitting, and I was a scrunched up ball of tension throughout! I love Lucy’s writing and can’t wait for her next book.


Lucy Foley Author PicLucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party, an instant Sunday Times and Irish Times no.1 bestseller, was Lucy’s debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination. Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages. Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more.





Make sure you stop by the other blogs taking part in this tour for more details on this great book.

Guest List BT Poster


From Here To Nashville – Julie Stock

Happy book birthday to Julie Stock and From Here to Nashville. As part of the birthday celebrations, I am sharing an extract from the book with you all. Many thanks to Julie for allowing me to share the extract, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the festivities.


Two worlds, 4,000 miles apart. Is their love strong enough to keep them together?

Rachel Hardy dreams of being a successful country music singer in Nashville’s Music City, four thousand miles away from her lonely life in Dorset. When Jackson Phillips, an independent record label owner, encourages her band to audition for a nationwide ‘Open Mic’ competition, she decides they have nothing to lose.

But when she starts to fall in love with Jackson, the stakes suddenly get higher and she finds herself with a great big dilemma on her hands. Should she abandon her dream and take the easy way out or should she leave the life she has always known behind and take a gamble on a man who has personal demons of his own?

Follow Rachel and Jackson as they learn to trust in love again to see whether their music really can unite them.


Purchase here



This extract is from the beginning of the second chapter and introduces the idea that Sam is not quite so pleased about Jackson’s arrival on the scene.

After some breakfast the next morning, I called Sam to talk over last night’s concert, still buzzing with excitement from all that had happened.

‘Hello, Rach, how are you feeling today?’ his gravelly voice resonated down the line.

‘I still can’t get over how brilliantly it went for us last night, can you?’

‘No, better than we could have expected really, given that we’re still quite unknown.’ He fell silent at the other end of the phone, making me wonder what he was really feeling. He didn’t seem his usual laid-back self.

‘Hey, Sam, is everything all right? You seemed a bit upset with me at the end of the gig last night and I didn’t know why.’

There was an awkward pause while I waited for his reply.

‘I’m feeling a bit tired, that’s all and I’ve got a sanding job to finish today as well. I’ll be fine later on, I’m sure. Do you want to meet up for a drink tonight as usual?’

‘Yes, I’d like that, shall we say six o’clock?’ I was sure he was bluffing but I didn’t want to push him over the phone.

‘See you then, bye.’ He rang off quickly as though he couldn’t wait to get away.

I remembered the strange look I’d seen on Sam’s face last night when Jackson had offered to walk me home and a seed of doubt began to niggle away in the back of my mind.


From Here - JSAuthorPhotoJulie Stock writes contemporary feel-good romance from around the world: novels, novellas and short stories. She published her debut novel, From Here to Nashville, in February 2015 and her second novel, The Vineyard in Alsace in March 2017. Over You (Sam’s Story) and Finding You (Jenna’s Story), her follow-up novellas to From Here to Nashville were published in 2018, making the From Here to You series complete. She has also published a boxed set of the From Here to You trilogy of books.

The Bistro by Watersmeet Bridge was published in August 2019, followed by Bittersweet, a collection of 12 Short Stories for Modern Life in September 2019.

Julie is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.

Julie is married and lives with her family in Bedfordshire in the UK.







Win a signed paperback copy of From Here to Nashville, a bookmark and a guitar magnet (Open to UK Only)

From Here to Nashville Giveaway Prize - IMG_0515

*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.


Book Review

The Night Country – Melissa Albert

Today I am review The Night Country by Melissa Albert. My thanks to Melissa, and to Penguin Random House, for providing me with a copy of the book which I received via NetGalley.


Alice has fought hard for a normal life. Having escaped the Hinterland – the strange, pitch-dark fairy tale world she was born into – she has washed up in New York City, determined to build a new future for herself.

But when her fellow survivors start being brutally murdered, Alice must face the fact that the Hinterland cannot be so easily escaped, and that, from the shadows of her past, something – or someone – is coming for her . . .




I hadn’t realised just how much The Hazel Wood had stayed with me until I picked up The Night Country and was instantly sucked back in. All the sinister feelings The Hazel Wood had generated came flooding back before anything had even happened. The Stories that resided in the Hinterland were terrifying enough when they stayed where the belonged, but to discover that the very worst of the ex-Stories had followed Alice back to the human realm was a truly horrifying thought.

I enjoyed the “whodunit” element to Alice’s story – this is something that you don’t often see in YA fantasy, and it added an unusual twist. It was Finch’s story that I truly loved in this book though. The telling of it had an almost fairy tale style to it, and even as the Hinterland unravelled around him, it retained a certain innocence that wasn’t present in Alice’s dark and twisty life. The mirrored styles of each of their stories enhanced each other and balanced the book beautifully. Everything around Finch’s adventures, from using books as doors to other worlds, to the way he communicates with Alice was just filled with wonder.

As the story built towards its climax, my heart was in my throat as I couldn’t see any way there was going to be the happy ending I longed for. Did I get my happily ever after, or did they all die in the end? You’ll just have to read it to find out.

The Night Country really is a satisfying sequel to a book that made my Top Ten of books I read in 2019, and I have a suspicion that it could be making its own appearance in this years Top Ten.