Cover Reveal!

I thought I’d have something a bit different today, an add a cover reveal to the usual review schedule.

The Vagabond Mother


Tracey Scott-Townsend


Not every Vagabond is a Castaway…

Maya Galen’s oldest son, Jamie, left home eight years ago after a massive row with his parents and now Joe, her youngest child and apple of her eye, has cut off all contact with them too.

Called to Australia to identify the body of a young man, Maya is given her son’s journal. After a sleepless night she decides that the only thing she can do is follow in Joe’s footsteps and try to discover her most basic human self. Eschewing a monetary lifestyle, from now on she must rely on her physical and emotional strength to survive.

Following Joe’s hand-drawn maps and journal entries, she travels from Australia to Denmark and beyond, meeting many other travellers along the way and learning valuable lessons.

Eventually a crisis forces her to return home and confront the end of her marriage, but also a new understanding of what family, in the widest sense, really means.

Exploring the big questions at the heart of human existence, The Vagabond Mother shares territory with books and films such as Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, The Way, starring Martin Sheen, Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

And now, that cover.

Drum roll please.

Continue reading “Cover Reveal!”

Review: ‘Writing Fiction: a user-friendly guide’, by James Essinger

Writing Fiction – a user-friendly guide

‘Writing Fiction is a little pot of gold… Screenplay by Syd Field for film, Writing Fiction by James Essinger for fiction. It’s that simple.’

William Osborne, novelist and screenwriter

Writing Fiction – a user-friendly guide is a must-read if you want to write stories to a professional standard.

It draws on the author’s more than thirty years of experience as a professional writer, and on the work and ideas of writers including:

  • Anthony Burgess
  • Joseph Conrad
  • George Eliot
  • Ken Follett
  • Frederick Forsyth
  • Dan Harmon
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • David Lodge
  • Norman Mailer
  • John Milton
  • Ben Parker
  • J.K. Rowling
  • William Shakespeare
  • Martin Cruz Smith
  • J.R.R. Tolkien

The twenty-four chapters cover every important matter you need to know about, including: devising a compelling story, creating and developing characters, plotting, ‘plants’, backstory, suspense, dialogue, ‘show’ and ‘tell’, and how to make your novel more real than reality.

Also featuring special guest advice from legendary screenwriter Bob Gale, who wrote the three immortal Back to the Future movies (1985, 1989 and 1990), and novelist and screenwriter William Osborne, whose many screen credits include the co-writing of the blockbuster  Twins (1988), this highly entertaining book gives you all the advice and practical guidance you need to make your dream of becoming a published fiction writer come true.

Purchase Links

Continue reading “Review: ‘Writing Fiction: a user-friendly guide’, by James Essinger”

Sale on 1st Edition books


First Come First Served

In December, with any luck, I will have a 2nd edition of both Hidden Fire and Fire Betrayed available, ahead of publishing the third FIRE novel, Fire Awakened, in the new year. I know it’s been a while but I’m feeling more up to writing and stuff. I got the new Prologue written for Fire Betrayed this afternoon and some corrections made to the text.

Anyway, I have three of each of the first edition left from my author’s copies. Normally I sell them for £8 each but to clear stock, as it were, if you buy Hidden Fire I’ll send you Fire Betrayed for free. £8 + postage.

Email me if you want a signed copy. I take paypal payments.

October to December 2019 Scheduled Reviews and Promo Posts

Since it’s almost October (what a thought!) I decided I’d better start being a bit more organised again and actually write one of my ‘scheduled reviews’ post so you know what’s coming up.


  • 7th
    • Review – Folklore
    • Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women by Sharon Blackie
    • Organised by Random Things Tours
  • 10th
    • Review – Crime
    • The Birthday House by Jill Treseder
    • Organised by Random Things Tours
  • 14th
    • Review – Crime
    • Sacrificing Starlight by David Pipe
    • Organised by Rachel’s Random Resources
  • 20th
    • ReviewCrime
    • Hallowed Ground by Paul Twivy
    • Organised by Rachel’s Random Resources
  • 22nd
    • Promo Post – Crime
    • The Wife’s Revenge by Deirdre Palmer
    • Organised by Rachel’s Random Resources
  • 23rd
    • Promo Post – YA
    • Darkest Hour by Rachel Churcher
    • Organised by Rachel’s Random Resources
  • 23rd
    • ReviewNon-Fiction
    • Charles and Ada: the computer’s most passionate partnership by James Essinger
    • Organised by Rachel’s Random Resources
  • 27th
    • ReviewCrime
    • Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen
    • Organised by Orenda and Random Things Tours
  • 28th
    • Review – Children’s Picture Book
      • The Alphabet of Life by Fran Morris
      • Organised by Authoright


  • 2nd
    • Review – Non-Fiction
    • Stand Against Injustice by Michelle Diskin
    • Organised by Love Books Tours
  • 5th
    • Review – Crime
    • Demon’s Fire by Lee Cockburn
    • Organised by Authoright
  • 9th
    • Review – Crime/Sci Fi
    • Blue Gold by David Barker
    • Organised by Love Books Tours
  • 14th
    • Review – Non-Fiction
    • Frankie: the women who saved millions from thalidomide by James Essinger & Sandra Koutzenko
    • Organised by Rachel’s Random Resources
  • 18th
    • Excerpt –
    • The Devil’s Apprentice by Kenneth B Andersen
    • Organised by Love Books Tours
  • 23rd
    • Review – Crime
    • In the Wake by Helen Trevorrow
    • Organised by Love Books Tours
  • 26th
    • Review – Crime
    • Children of Fire by Paul CW Beatt
    • Organised by Rachel’s Random Resources


  • 1st
    • Review – Crime
    • Death Makes No Distinction: A Dan Foster Mystery by Lucienne Boyce
    • Organised by Rachel’s Random Resources
  • 4th
    • Promo Post – YA
    • Fighting Back by Rachel Churcher
    • Organised by Rachel’s Random Resources

As you can see October and November will be busy but I’m taking most of December and January off to read the 50+ books I’ve acquired over the summer for myself rather than doing blog tours. I also have a small mountain of books from Pen & Sword to review. At some point soon there will be a true crime review post. Maybe to tie in with Halloween. I don’t know. And now I must go, I’ve got three books to review next week, and I’m only partly through two of them and haven’t started the third. Plus I need to get some ideas written down for my fantasy novels. I’m making some pretty big edits to the already published books and will be changing the third book, but that’s another post altogether.

Promo Post: ‘The Oath’, by Michael L Lewis

The Oath




1955. The polished veneer of a boys’ boarding school in Northern England masks a cadre of wickedness. Seniors viciously torment any junior they deem unfit. Jonathan Simon, in his first term is warned that there are three monsters in his dorm; seniors Flicker, Sleeth and Tunk, and that the code of conduct mandates no snitching.

Simon befriends two other juniors; pixie-faced Ian Gracey and witty, grossly overweight Arthur Crown. During a cross-country run, the three friends take a short cut and stumble into the cadet rifle range. Corps Sergeant Sleeth puts them through a degrading punishment using human excrement. The three juniors swear a blood oath never to allow another bully to abuse them.

Will this oath be their downfall, or will they make it through the school year? Snitching could have serious consequences but keeping silent will break their blood oath.

As Simon, Gracey and Crown try to survive this perilous journey, the constant threat of harm brings their friendship ever closer…

Purchase Links

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Book Guild:





Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping):

Author Bio –

Michael L. Lewis was born and raised in England. After preparatory school in London, he was educated at Stowe School, Buckingham. Michael now lives in Los Angeles, California, has a law degree, and writes full-time. He was on the Board of Trustees for several schools and has been a member of the same book club for twenty-five years.

Social Media Links –



Giveaway to Win 3 x Paperback copies of The Oath by Michael L. Lewis (UK Only)

*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.

Review: ‘The Man in the Dark’, by Jonathan Whitelaw


The Devil’s back – and he’s STILL not had a holiday.

There’s another mystery to solve – a woman kidnapped by terrorists and the world trying to find her. While he hates doing God’s bidding, The Devil can’t resist trying to put one over on Him. But nothing is EVER that simple.

While the Devil helps the London cops crack the case, there’s trouble in the Underworld. And two of humanity’s greatest backstabbers – Brutus and Cassius – are sharpening their knives with an eye on stealing his crown.

It’s a race against time to find the girl, be the bad guy and maybe stop the apocalypse.

Buy Link To follow it is not listed yet.

Continue reading “Review: ‘The Man in the Dark’, by Jonathan Whitelaw”

Review: ‘Blood Song’, by Johanna Gustawsson

The third book in the award-winning, critically acclaimed
Roy & Castells series, featuring true-crime writer Alexis Castells and profiler Emily Roy. Previous titles in the series, Block 46 and Keeper, have won the Plume d’Argent, Balai de la découverte, Balai d’Or and Prix Marseillais du Polar awards and sold in 19 countries. A French, Swedish and English TV series is in production, adapted by and starring award-winning French actress Alexandra Lamy.

Spain, 1938

The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Teresa witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Teresa gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016

A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her
hometown rocked by the massacre.

Continue reading “Review: ‘Blood Song’, by Johanna Gustawsson”