Book Review: Cultivating a Fuji by Miriam Drori

The release of Cultivating a Fuji was perfectly timed to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week. One of the topics discussed on the news and social media was social anxiety so I was keen to read how Miriam Drori tackled the subject in a fictional novel.

Book Review: Cultivating a Fuji by Miriam by Drori

Cultivating Cover - Front

Cultivating a Fuji by Miriam Drori

Title: Cultivating a Fuji

Author: Miriam Drori

Genre: General Fiction

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Release Date: 15th May 2019

Blurb

Convinced that his imperfect, solitary existence is the best it will ever be, Martin unexpectedly finds himself being sent to represent his company in Japan. His colleagues think it’s a joke; his bosses are certain he will fail. What does Martin think? He simply does what he’s told. That’s how he’s survived up to now – by hiding his feelings.

Amazingly, in the land of strange rituals, sweet and juicy apples, and too much saké, Martin flourishes and achieves the impossible. But that’s only the beginning. Keeping up the momentum for change proves futile. So, too, is a return to what he had before. Is there a way forward, or should he put an end to the search now?

Gradually, as you’ll see when Martin looks back from near the end of his journey, life improves. There’s even a woman, Fiona, who brings her own baggage to the relationship, but brightens Martin’s days. And just when you think there can be no more surprises, another one pops up.

Throughout his life, people have laughed at ‘weirdo’ Martin; and you, as you read, will have plenty of opportunity to laugh, too. Go ahead, laugh away, but you’ll find that there’s also a serious side to all this…

Purchase Link – mybook.to/cultivatingafuji

My Thoughts

Within pages, I connected with Martin when he became tongue tied talking to anyone, refused to use the telephone and struggled with all aspects of communication. In the past, I have suffered from anxiety in similar situations and could feel my heartbreaking for him as I remembered the terror of being unable to answer the ringing phone and the crippling fear of talking out loud at school. Luckily, I have mine under control but am aware how easy it is to slip back. This thought provoking novel is told by alternating between his adult life and his childhood and is a clever study of how childhood experiences, peers and bullying can adversely affect adulthood and shows the devastating impact social anxiety can have. It is told in multiple perspectives which gives a rounded view of how people interpret his actions as well as his version of events; this highlights the need for greater understanding and awareness in the general public. I enjoyed seeing how this intelligent man dealt with all the situations he found himself in especially in Japan and how is character grew as the novel progressed. The back stories of the side characters especially Fiona added depth to the story and gave a greater understanding of the events.

The ending was an unexpected emotional twist but one I shall never forget.

Would I recommend?

Yes. Miriam Drori has sensitively exposed the reality of living with social anxiety and the impact it has on all involved while creating a character I love in an uplifting, memorable novel. It has an important place in spreading awareness for this hidden condition.

Author Biography

Cultiveating Author Photo

Miriam Drori

Miriam Drori has decided she’s in the fifth and best stage of her life, and she’s hoping it’ll last for ever. It’s the one in which she’s happiest and most settled and finally free to do what she wants. Miriam lives in a delightful house and garden in Jerusalem with her lovely husband and one of three children. She enjoys frequent trips around the world. She dances, hikes, reads and listens to music. And she’s realised that social anxiety is here to stay, so she might as well make friends with it. On top of that, she has moved away from computer programming and technical writing (although both of those provided interest in previous stages) and now spends her time editing and writing fiction. NEITHER HERE NOR THERE (currently unavailable), a romance with a difference set in Jerusalem, was published in 2014. THE WOMEN FRIENDS, co-written with Emma Rose Millar, is a series of novellas based on the famous painting by Gustav Klimt. SOCIAL ANXIETY REVEALED (non-fiction) provides a comprehensive description of social anxiety from many different viewpoints. CULTIVATING A FUJI takes the social anxiety theme into fiction, using humour to season a poignant story.

Social Media Links – Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram, Wattpad, website/blog and social anxiety blog.

Amazon page: Author.to/MiriamDroriAtAmazon

Giveaway to Win copies of Neither Here No There and Social Anxiety Revealed (Open Internationally)

I am delighted to offer the chance for you to win copies of Miriam Drori’s other books.

Click here to enter.

Good luck!

Thanks to @rararesources for inviting me to this tour and the opportunity to read an ARC of Cultivating as Fuji so I could give an honest, unbiased review.

Have you read any books by Miriam Drori? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy reading!

*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.

Blog Tour: Thread of Hope by Rachel J Bonner @rararesources

I enjoy paranormal romances so I was excited to be invited by @rararesources to join this blog tour. Unfortunately, it has been a difficult few weeks and I have been battling brain fog so reading has been put on hold. Instead of the review I was hoping to post I am pleased to share with you the information of the book waiting patiently on my TBR and an exciting giveaway. Thread of Hope is the second book of the Choices and Consequences series by Rachel J Bonner. When  my reading mojo returns, I  will share my review so watch this space.

During this blog tour the first book of the series Strand of Faith is available for the promotional price of 99p but if you would like a chance to win both books, read on.

Thread of Hope by Rachel J Bonner

Thread Front Cover

Thread of Hope by Rachel J Bonner

Title: Thread of Hope

Author: Rachel J Bonner

Publisher: Isbin Publishers

Release Date: 2nd May 2019

Blurb for Thread Of Hope

The enthralling sequel to the compelling Strand of Faith.

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?

Purchase Links:

 Amazon Kindle – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NBH7J2T

Google Play –
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rachel_J_Bonner_Thread_of_Hope?id=bMCSDwAAQBAJ

Other ebook retailers – https://books2read.com/threadofhope

Need to know more about the first book? Here is the blurb.

Strand of Faith by Rachel J Bonner

Blurb

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?

 Strand of Faith Purchase Links

Strand of Faith Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GKZT8LF/

Strand of Faith Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rachel_J_Bonner_Strand_of_Faith?id=bQyBDwAAQBAJ

Strand of Faith Other retailers    https://www.books2read.com/strandoffaith

Author Biography

Rachel J Bonner

Rachel J Bonner

Rachel J Bonner is the author of the four book Choices and Consequences series, the first of which, Strand of Faith, was released in November 2018.

Getting a degree in engineering, followed by a career in accountancy is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in paranormal 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.  Target shooting only, honest.  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.

Website                               http://www.racheljbonner.co.uk/

Blog                                       http://www.racheljbonner.co.uk/blogofweek.html

Twitter                                 https://www.twitter.com/racheljbonner1

Facebook                            https://www.facebook.com/racheljbonnerauthor

Newsletter sign up          http://www.racheljbonner.co.uk/newsletter.html or https://www.subscribepage.com/o8x8t3

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Thread of Hope you have a chance  to win a signed copy of both Strand of Faith and Thread of Hope, plus bookmarks and business cards that match each book, and one of the Holding Crosses that the monks and nuns have.  (Open INT)

Thread of Hope Giveaway Prize

Bundle of goodies to win

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494222/?

Good luck!

Have you read the series? I would love to know your views in the comments below.

Love

 

*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.

 

 

 

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke

Welcome to a birthday post for The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke. Thank you @raresources for inviting me to this celebratory blog tour and the free book to read so I could review. Scroll down for my thoughts on this romance novel and the giveaway.

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Book Review for The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke.

TheSecretToFallingInLove_V2 copy

The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke

Title: The Secret to Falling in Love

Author: Victoria Cooke

Publisher: HQ Digital

Genre: Romance

Release Date: 9th February 2017

Blurb

Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta’s and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.

That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!

Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.

If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…

Purchase Link – getBook.at/TheSecrettoFallinginLove

My Thoughts

I have a confession I am addicted to my phone. It is my constant companion and I find it difficult not to scroll through the social media apps. The premise of this novel struck a cord and I was intrigued how the story would evolve.

Melissa was instantly likeable as she struggles to find the man of her dreams when everyone around her is settling down and I could relate to her. She doesn’t plan for her sabbatical from technology so with no preparation it instantly shows how reliant we are on it for our social interaction even on the simplest level. The world opened up to her as she saw the activity around her, new relationships formed and she began to live. This thought-provoking novel is humorous and uplifting. It made me remember the time before I had access to the internet. I would be unable to last month without my phone but it made me consider whether I need to use it as much as I do.

Would I recommend?

Yes it is an enjoyable, entertaining read which makes you leave the phone alone and appreciate the world around you. This was her debut; I am pleased there is a back catalogue of her books to catch up on.

 Author Biography

Victoria Cooke Image

Victoria Cooke

 

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

 

 

 

 

Social Media Links 

https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaCookeAuthor

https://twitter.com/victoriacooke10

https://www.instagram.com/victoriacookewriter

Giveaway – Win an ARC of The Secret to Falling in Love and a box of Belgian Truffles (UK Only)

I am pleased to share a chance to win your own advanced copy of The Secret to Falling in Love and chocolate. Good luck!

Click here to enter

I hope you have a good weekend with time to read. What is your current book? Feel free to share below.

Happy reading!

Love

 

 

*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.

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour & Book Review: Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman (@LucyColemanAuth) @Aria_Fiction @RaRaResources

It is a miserable grey day outside and I am reluctant to move from under my duvet. I am pleased to share my review of Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman which brightened up these recent wintery days. Thank you to Rachel Random Resources for my free book and inviting me to this tour.

Book Review for Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman

Lakes yellow

Title: Summer on the Italian Lakes

Author: Lucy Coleman

Publisher: Aria

Genre: Romance, General fiction

Release date: 5th February 2019

Blurb

Bestselling Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping – and steamy – love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling… Not only does she have writer’s block, but she’s a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.

So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer’s retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda – owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson – could this be just the thing to fire up Brie’s writing – and romantic – mojo?

Brie’s sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer’s very own happy-ever-after…

Escape the January blues with this sun-drenched, heart-warming story from the bestselling author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Italian-Lakes-bestselling-feel-good-ebook/dp/B07HPD2KNV

US – https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Italian-Lakes-bestselling-feel-good-ebook/dp/B07HPD2KNV

My Thoughts

As soon as I met the main character of this book, Brie surrounded by snotty tissues while she dealt with her heartbreak I knew I was in for a treat. I love this book for three reasons.

1.The characters – Brie is an open-hearted, old-fashioned romantic and is usually a strong woman who is a defender of romance novels against those who look down at them. She comes across as balanced and despite her confidence plummeting at the beginning, current doubts and loneliness, she has a certainty about herself which makes this a refreshing read. Handsome Arran is aloof, and comes with a back story that drew me in, making me care for him. Along with Brie’s editor and best friend the characters leapt from the page making it easy to see the story like a good rom-com in my imagination.

2.The scenery – oh my! Lucy Coleman paints a picture with her words and I was there in the sunshine enjoying Lake Garda with Brie and strolling through the streets of the Italian towns. The landscapes are stunning making them the perfect location for some literary escapism.

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Lake Garda, Italy

3.The writing tips – as an aspiring writer the tips and insights Brie offers her students at the writing retreat and the reader are invaluable. They are cleverly blended into the story but cover topics such as characterisation, writer’s block, doubts and joy of romance novels. It is a romance writing companion in disguise. I only wish I could be at the retreat in reality to soak up the tranquillity and expertise while learning how to write 3000 words before breakfast.

Would I recommend?

Summer on the Italian Lakes is uplifting and entertaining making it a perfect summer read or a pick me up on a grey, miserable day. With the characters, landscape, sun and chemistry I was reluctant to come out of the book into reality. It will be a story I will return to again and again.

Author Biography

LBH

Lucy Coleman

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LinnBHaltonAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanAuth

Giveaway – Win a Chocolate dipping set (UK only)*

Writing Retreat Prize

Chocolate Dipping Set

Enter here

If you want to know more about the book and author why not pop along to the other blogs on the tour, details below.

Thank you again to Rachel at raresourses for inviting me to this tour and NetGalley for the chance to read it for free.

Happy reading and good luck.

Love

Summer on the Italian Lakes Full Tour Banner

Other bloggers on this tour.

 

 

*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.

 

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Forgotten children by Isabella Muir

Last year I read about the disturbing child migration scheme in The Vanished Child  where children in children homes were sent to Australia and Canada. When I read the blurb of The Forgotten Children I knew I had to read it so I was excited to be invited on this blog tour by Rachel Random Resources and given a copy to read. Scroll down for my review and a giveaway for a signed copy.

Book Review: The Forgotten Children by Isabella Muir

 

the forgotten children paperback front

The Forgotten Children by Isabella Muir

Title: The Forgotten Children

Author: Isabella Muir

Genre: General fiction, historical

Release Date: 29th November 2018

Blurb

A woman’s search to find her son uncovers the shocking truth about one of Britain’s darkest periods

Struggling with the demons of her past, Emily is a children’s author with a dark secret, and a guilt that threatens to consume her.  For twenty years she has lived in Brighton, England, trying to forget the day they took her baby from her, just hours after he was born.  But now, in the summer of 1987, she decides to begin the search for her son. 

Emily takes refuge in a small town on the Isle of Anglesey to plan the search, where she meets Walter, a gentle stranger, who helps her with his words of wisdom and kindness.  But it is when she decides to return home to Hastings, that she really has to face her demons. 

Estranged from her parents when she was just sixteen, Emily is shocked by what her mother has to tell her about events that occurred before Emily was even born.

Beside her, throughout her search, is Emily’s beautiful Irish friend, Geraldine, recovering from her own sad experiences.  Together they uncover a truth that shocks them all.

The Forgotten Children draws the reader into lives affected by narrow-minded beliefs and blinkered thinking at the highest level. Children who weren’t allowed to be born, children who were abandoned, and children who were taken, forced to lead a life thousands of miles away from everyone and everything they knew – leaving scars that may never heal.

At its heart, The Forgotten Children is a story of survival, but the journey that Emily has to take is painful.  Even more so because she knows it was allowed to happen by individuals, religions and governments, who should have known better.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgotten-Children-chilling-inspired-events-ebook/dp/B07GZYHLKV

US – https://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Children-chilling-inspired-events-ebook/dp/B07GZYHLKV

My Thoughts

Children’s author, Emily brims with anger and despair as she struggles to come to terms with a recent miscarriage which stirs her memories of her first child who she was forced to give away. I connected to her even when she made decisions I could not understand including the one which leads her to Anglesey. This a place I long to visit and Isabella Muir’s descriptions of the landscape and area increased my desire to visit. The environment and people Emily meets leads her to make the decision to search for her son. Walter, a character I loved, acts as a welcome calming influence for Emily anger and balances out the book. Reading about the heartbreaking act of migrating children to Australia and Canada is still shocking despite reading about it in a few books now and is unbelievable it is in our recent history and not something from a century ago. The focus on the families searching for their children rather than the experience of the adopted child works well because you discover the horrors with the main character. It is a well researched and emotional. The complex feelings of estranged families, high expectations and grief is tackled sympathetically and pulled at my heart-strings. A box of tissues was required.

The story takes place in 1987 so sent me down memory lane with telephone boxes and not being able to do a quick internet search for information. It is amazing how much has changed in the last three decades.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is emotional read which reveals the haunting actions of the British government of that time and highlights the turmoil the regime caused for all involved.

Author Biography

the forgotten isabella muir

Isabella Muir

Isabella Muir has been surrounded by books her whole life and – after working for twenty years as a technical editor and having successfully completed her MA in Professional Writing – she was inspired to focus on fiction writing.

As well as her newest title, The Forgotten Children, Isabella is the author of the Sussex Crime Mystery series.  These Agatha Christie style stories are set in the sixties and seventies and feature a young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke, who has a passion for Agatha Christie. All that Janie has learned from her hero, Hercule Poirot, she is able to put into action as she sets off to solve a series of crimes and mysteries.

Aside from books, Isabella has a love of all things caravan-like. She has spent many winters caravanning in Europe and now, together with her husband, she runs a small caravan site in Sussex. They are ably assisted by their much-loved Scottie, Hamish.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMuirAuthor/

https://twitter.com/SussexMysteries

https://isabellamuir.com/

Giveaway

I am pleased to share the chance to win a signed copy of The Forgotten Children ( UK only -sorry).

Click here to enter

 

Why not visit other blogs on this tour to find out more on this book and author.

Thank you Rachel giving me the chance to read this book.

Happy Reading!

Love

the forgotten children full tour banner

Guest post: When is a clever dog not a clever dog? When it’s a werewolf!

Last year I had the pleasure of reading Heide Goody and Iain Grant’s humorous and quirky A Spell in the Country as part of a blog tour and now they are back with a new book. I am pleased to have them here today to talk about clever dogs and a character Pickles in A Heart in the Right Place.

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When is a clever dog not a clever dog? When it’s a werewolf!

Iain and I try not to tell the same joke or use the same idea across multiple books. Iain noticed, a few books ago, that we had introduced a clever dog into our work more than once.

This was partly based on the insistence of my husband, whose yardstick for an engaging book is Dean Koontz’s book Watchers. He declared that any book worth reading must contain a clever dog, so a super-smart border collie called Jessie was introduced in Heide and Iain’s second book, Pigeonwings, where an ancient plot is unravelled, partly by Clovenhoof, (Satan sent to live on earth), but Jessie plays an important part in solving the mystery.

Disenchanted gave us another dog called Buster, who wasn’t exactly super-smart, but who certainly livened things up when he teamed up with the unhelpful dwarfs who were tasked with keeping the fairytale on track, by fair means or foul (mostly foul).

Beelzebelle, another book in the Clovenhoof universe, featured a demonic Hellhound, created in a laboratory. Transformed into a miniature Yorkshire terrier, the Hellhound lives on in tamer form as a regular character after its reign of terror in this novel.

Iain had spotted a pattern. “No more clever dogs.”

This was a new informal rule.

When we came to write A Heart in the Right Place, somehow we broke the rule again. The dog that Nick christens Pickles is an unplanned passenger on the road trip that Nick takes with his father. Nick wants this trip to be perfect, hoping that it will patch up the slightly remote relationship between the two of them. Nick’s over-zealous approach leads to some unintended consequences like a body in the boot and that awful smell that isn’t discussed for many miles. Pickles, meanwhile is not the last of the dog-like creatures in this story, because somehow, Nick and his father have got involved with assassins, boars and werewolves. Will Pickles be a help or a hindrance? Almost certainly both! Is this the last time that Heide and Iain will write about a clever dog. Yes, almost definitely yes…

Here is a brief excerpt from A Heart in the Right Place, where it becomes clear that the dog is going on the road trip with Nick and Tony.

“Tony gave him a sceptical look but stepped up to the rear door. “And why’s there a dog in your car?”

Nick cursed his own stupidity. How could he have forgotten about the dog? “Yeah. Funny that. I’ve, um, got a dog. It was a fairly recent thing. Just fell in love with him.”

“Great stuff!” said Tony, reaching in to fuss the dog. “Joining us for the ride, huh? What’s your name then, pooch?”

“Pickles,” said Nick instantly. “He’s called Pickles.”

“Really? Well unless I’m very much mistaken, this is a bitch.”

“Yes,” said Nick. “And her name is Pickles. It can be a girl’s name.”

“But you called her he. Is this one of those gender things I hear them going on about?”

“Probably that. Exactly that,” said Nick. “I don’t want to put labels on things. He. She. Pickles can be what she wants to be.””

 

a heart kindle cover

A Heart in the Right Place

 

Title: A Heart in the Right Place

Author: Heide Goody and Iain Grant

Genre: fiction

Release date: 30th November 2018

Blurb

All Nick wants to do is take his dying father for a perfect father-son weekend in the Scottish Highlands. It’s not much to ask, is it? A log cabin, a roaring fire, a bottle of fine whisky and two days to paper over the cracks in their relationship.

However, Nick didn’t plan on making the trip with a dead neighbour in the back of his car. Or the neighbour’s dog. He really didn’t plan on being pursued by a psychotic female assassin intent on collecting body parts. And he really, really didn’t plan on encountering a platoon of heavily armed mercenaries, or some very hungry boars, or a werewolf.

A Heart in the Right Place – a horror comedy about setting out with the very best intentions and then messing everything up.

Purchase Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07K4CCR74

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K4CCR74

Author Biography

 

a heart -iain and heide by pete c b+w

Heide Goody and Iain Grant

Heide Goody is the stupid one in the writing partnership and Iain Grant is the sensible one. Together, they are the authors of over a dozen books.

The ‘Clovenhoof’ series (in which Satan loses his job and has to move to Birmingham) has recently been optioned by a Hollywood production company.

Heide and Iain are both married, but not to each other.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Clovenhoof-Books-285544508177333/

Website: http://www.pigeonparkpress.com/

Twitter: @HeideGoody and @IainMGrant

Giveaway – Win a gorgeous Moleskine Passion Traveller’s Journal (Open Internationally)

“The Moleskine Traveller’s Journal is a structured before and after record of every journey you make, from weekends away to life-changing trips and everything in between. Note down your travel plans before you leave and list all the things you hope to see and do, then add maps, photos, tickets and keepsakes when you r#eturn. The Traveller’s Journal is a place to dream, get practical and create a unique and lasting paper archive of your travels that you’ll want to revisit again and again.

a heart - giveaway prize - moleskin travel journal

  • premium box with themed graphics related to your passion
  • hard cover with themed debossing, rounded corners, elastic closure
  • 2 ribbon bookmarks
  • double expandable inner pocket
  • front endpaper with ‘in case of loss’ notice
  • ivory-coloured 70 g/m² acid-free paper
  • tabbed sections to guide your note-taking
  • themed introductory pages
  • 400 pages
  • themed stickers to customize your journal
  • Moleskine S.r.l. creates and sells FSC®-certified products”

Click here to enter

Thank you Heide and Iain for popping over. I agree with Heide’s husband a clever dog is always good in a book.

If you would like to read more on this writing duo and reviews for A Heart in the Right Place why not pop over to the other blogs on this tour.

Good luck in the giveaway and happy reading!

Love

a heart in the right place full tour banner

Blog tour dates

*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.

Blog Tour: Book review for The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker by Jenni Keer

It is the start of a new week and there are rumours the weather is turning bitterly cold so I am pleased to bring you a review for Jenni Keer’s debut The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker. You may be tempted to stay under the duvet, in the warm with a cup of tea and read.

Book Review: The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker

the hopes and dreams final cover

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker Book Cover

Title: The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker

Author: Jenni Keer

Publisher: Avon Books UK

Genre: Romance

Release Date: 10th January 2019

Blurb

Meet Lucy, aged 25, and Brenda, aged 79. Neighbours and unlikely friends.

Lucy Baker is not your usual 25-year-old. She is more at home reading and knitting in her cluttered little flat than going out partying and socialising.

79-year-old Brenda is full of wise and wonderful advice, but when she’s diagnosed with dementia her life begins to change. Before her memories slip away for ever, Brenda is desperate to fulfil one last wish – to see Lucy happy.

Gifting Lucy the locket that helped Brenda find her own true love, she hopes to push her reticent neighbour in the right direction. But is Lucy Baker ready for the opportunities and heartbreaks of the real world? It’s about time she put her knitting needles aside and found out…

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker will be the most charming, heart-warming and feel-good novel you will read this year, perfect for fans of Ruth Hogan and Gail Honeyman.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hopes-Dreams-Lucy-Baker-heart-warming-ebook/dp/B07DQ7HKPX/

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Hopes-Dreams-Lucy-Baker-heart-warming-ebook/dp/B07DQ7HKPX/

My Thoughts

When Brenda with her purple hair, mystical air and cheeky side arrived in the first few pages I knew I would love this book. The warm, honest writing style drew me into Lucy’s life and kept me there until the last page.

This charming, quirky story is driven by the characters Jenni Keer has created; I loved them all from the main ones Lucy, Brenda and George to the men in the warehouse where Lucy works and Scratcat the stray. They all have distinct personalities and feel real. Where I could relate to Lucy with her tendency to prefer romantic books and knitting to experiencing life or rock the boat by saying “no”, it was Brenda who captured my heart. She is who I would like to be when I am older; full of life, humour and kindness with a penchant for magic. I did not want the book to end because I did not want to leave her behind. Maybe a prequel of her youth is needed, I am sure she will have an interesting tale to tell. Her battle with dementia is heartbreaking but the topic is dealt with sympathetically and gives an insight into the pressures of caring and the challenges it creates. The love and deep friendship between Lucy and Brenda shines and proves age does not matter when you are friends.

The introduction of Scratcat, George and the locket created many memorable moments and I will never forget the knitted Poldarks which also feature in this tale of friendship, love and personal growth. I enjoyed Lucy’s journey as she tackles the insecurities at work, her colleagues and potential relationships. This debut has got under my skin and I am still thinking about the characters a couple of weeks since I read The End.

I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

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Knitted Poldark one of the stars of the book

Would I recommend?

This beautiful story is perfect for snuggling down under the duvet with a cup of tea or on the beach in the summer. The humour and strong characterisation means I will revisiting this book in the future and needs to be on my forever shelf.

Author Biography

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Author Jenni Keer

Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing women’s fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.
Social Media Links

FaceBook Jenni Keer Writer

Twitter @JenniKeer

Instagram jennikeer

Website – https://jennikeer.co.uk/

Competition

I am pleased to share with you the chance to win a bundle of The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker goodies (UK only – sorry)*. The prize contains – Thornton’s fudge, a Nu notebook, a Hopes and Dreams bookmark and a set of five “Scratbag” blank greetings cards designed by Jenni Keer.

the hopes and dreams giveaway prize

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker prizes

Enter here

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for inviting me on this blog tour and the opportunity to read this book early. This my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading!

Love

the hopes and dreams of lucy baker full tour banner

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. 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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Blog Tour and book review: A Hollow Sky by M.Sean Coleman

Book Review: A Hollow Sky by M.Sean Coleman

 

A_Hollow_Sky_eBookCover_NEW

Title: A Hollow Sky

Author: M.Sean Coleman

Publisher: Red Dog Press

Genre: Mystery and suspense

Release Date: 21st November 2018

Blurb

A SUSPENSEFUL, ATMOSPHERIC THRILLER.

Jane Hewitt had been miraculously healed—cured of a terminal cancer that had been eating away at her body for months. After one meeting with an incredible young woman, Jane rose from her wheelchair and walked out, believing that her lifetime of devoted faith had been rewarded.

The next day, Jane died in her husband’s arms, devastated that her God had deserted her. Her husband, Ian, blames her hastened death on the faith healer she visited. But that faith healer is a teenage girl called Megan, who has been in a coma for five years, and has no say over how her gift is used.

When Ian is arrested after being accused of breaking in to Megan’s house and trying to tamper with her life support, he turns to the only person he knows can help clear his name, and stop this family deceiving any other victims—Dr Alex Ripley, the so called Miracle Detective.

Fascinated by Megan’s case, and needing a distraction, Ripley finds herself on Holy Island, off the coast of North Wales, caught up in an investigation that will prove more sinister and dangerous than she could have imagined. Ian is not the first person to complain about Megan and her supporters, but he seems to be the only one left alive. For now.

A Hollow Sky is the second Alex Ripley Mystery

Purchase Link

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hollow-Alex-Ripley-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07H9DTFM8

US – https://www.amazon.com/Hollow-Alex-Ripley-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07H9DTFM8

Direct from Red Dog Presshttps://www.reddogpress.co.uk/shop

My Thoughts

The first book in the series, The Cuckoo Wood was an ideal spooky story for Halloween and this book begins soon after on 1st December so reading it now was perfect timing. When it is grey and gloomy in the book, it matches the weather outside.

Dr Alex Ripley is still living with the aftermath of the previous case when another case arises and she is drawn to investigate. She travels to North Wales where a teenager is known to be performing miracles but all may not be as it seems. The premise of investigating miracles is a different take on a crime, suspense novel and the balance of Dr Alex Ripley cynicism is perfect — she wants the truth and does not readily accept a miracle has happened but she does not disregard the possibility either. She wants the truth and answers. The more I learn about her the more I love her strength, focus and stubbornness even when she is faced with danger or barriers. In this case, more of her backstory is revealed and the relationship with her husband, enticing me to read more of the series when published. I need to know what happens next.

M. Sean Coleman’s talent for creating an eerie atmosphere shines through again in the description of the bleak setting of the coastal village. I enjoy the quick pace of his books, there is no waffle. This immediately immersed me into the story making it easy read in one sitting because I kept reading just one more chapter. The menace he portrayed led me to be unsure who to trust  as the story unfolds; the possibility of danger lurks on every page and I would never have guessed the climax at the end.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is a highly enjoyable, thrilling read for a cold winter’s night. This series is one to watch.

Author Biography

A Hollow Sky MSeanColeman_AuthorPhoto_HiRes

M.Sean Coleman

Born in the UK and raised in South Africa, M. Sean Coleman developed a love for reading and writing novels in his early teens, thanks to two incredibly passionate English teachers who infected him with their love of words and stories. Over the intervening years, he has written film and television drama, cross-platform series, an interactive children’s storybook and a graphic novel series.
He finally found his niche as a thriller writer when he was asked to write a novel as part of the cross-platform project, Netwars. His first book, The Code, was published six months later, with the sequel, Down Time, hot on its heels. There was no going back.
He is obsessed with crime, mystery and thriller stories, especially those with a fresh or surprising angle. He writes novels from his home in The Cotswolds, where he lives with his husband and their three red dogs.

Social Media Links 

www.facebook.com/mseancoleman.author

www.twitter.com/mseancoleman

Giveaway

Giveaway Prize.jpg

I am pleased to share an opportunity to win paperback copies of The Cuckoo Wood and A Hollow Sky, a cool tote bag with book quote from the publisher, a branded bookmark and some chocolates (Open INT)

Enter here

If you would like to find out more about M.Sean Coleman, why not visit the other blogs on his tour? The details are below.

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and the opportunity to read an advanced copy of A Hollow Sky.

Happy reading and good luck.

 

*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

A Hollow Sky Full Tour Banner

 

Blog Tour: I Give You My Heart

Book Review and Giveaway: I Give You My Heart by SarahJane Ford

Today I am happy to bring you my book review for I Give You My Heart by SarahJane Ford as part of a blog tour from Rachel’s Random Resources. With a tagline ‘A terminal diagnosis. A life-saving sacrifice’ I was prepared with a box of tissues before I opened the first page.

I Give You My Heart Cover

I Give You My Heart Book Cover

Title: I Give You My Heart

Author: SarahJane Ford

Release Date: 29th Aug 2018

Genre: Romance, Woman’s Fiction

Purchase from Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Give-You-My-Heart-ebook/dp/B07G3LHX7P/

Blurb

𝗔 𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗱𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗻𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘀. 𝗔 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲-𝘀𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗮𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗲. 𝗔 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗻 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁.
Alice Richards looked forward to watching the seeds of love she and her husband planted bloom and grow well into their old age. But her plans for the future shrivel up and die when she learns she has an inoperable brain tumour.
Determined that she won’t die in vain, she decides to become an organ donor. With a few precious months left, Alice begins documenting her fairytale romance—from their first meeting to the children they dreamed of having. She’ll pass on every detail to her heart’s next owner… along with careful instructions to send her husband reminders of her undying love. Before her time runs out, Alice must find the perfect candidate to guide her husband through unimaginable grief and hold the memory of their love in her heart.I Give You My Heart is an emotional romantic fiction novel with an uplifting message.

If you like strong-willed women, undying love stories, and honest portrayals of coping with a terminal illness, then you’ll love SarahJane Ford’s heart-warming epic.
An unmissable love story full of warmth, beauty and with a huge, beating heart. Perfect for fans of Cecilia Ahern’s ‘P.S. I Love You’ and Jojo Moyes’ ‘Me Before You’.

My Thoughts

This is a strong debut with a heart breaking but positive tale. It is the ultimate tearjerker celebrating true love and the joy of life.

Alice’s happy, upbeat personality, her zest for life and with her appreciation of all small things made me instantly connect with her and the more I read the more I wanted to have her as a friend. This was cemented further as she is a florist with the speciality of language of flowers which I have recently started to appreciate. From the start of this emotional novel, I felt her pain of diagnosis and love she feels for those around her as she creates the manual of her heart.  The book she writes is more than a list of instructions, it is a celebration of her overwhelming love for Alex and the strong bond she has with her best friend, Ryan. The positivity and happy memories shared made me want to experience some of it meaning hot chocolate was a must while reading as well as digging out the Abba CD to dance to when on my own.

By the last page, I was left wanting more. I feel the need for a continuation of this beating heart’s story. I want to know if the heart’s recipient goes along with Alice’s wishes or whether they are a little creeped out by receiving a manual alongside a much needed organ as I suspect I would. I want to know how Alex’s copes without her and whether he is as perfect as Alice believes.  This story will stay with me for a long time.

I am looking forward to reading more from SarahJane  Ford and follow her career.

Would I recommend?

Yes, but be prepared to use boxes of tissues and feel envious of the fairytale love most people can only dream of.

Author Biography

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SarahJane Ford

SarahJane is the debut author of ‘I Give You My Heart’ which is due to be published on September 1st 2018.
SarahJane was born in Scotland but grew up in the Cheshire countryside, which is home to her. After a few years living in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, where she went to secondary school, she has now settled back in Cheshire in a quirky flat surrounded by trees, birds and rolling fields.A marketing professional since finishing her formal education SarahJane is delighted to be following her writing dream. She still works part-time as a Marketing Manager, whilst furiously penning her second novel.
Harbouring an adventurous spirit, SarahJane loves to travel, be surrounded by the wilderness or be riding Cornish waves.
SarahJane loves to read (ideally by the sea!). She was raised on the greatest love stories, which is where her romantic soul comes from. She is in love with love…Mr Darcy’s brooding looks in Pride and Prejudice; Julia Roberts and Richard Gere’s arresting chemistry in Runaway Bride; the intensely emotional Titanic; going weak at the knees for Danny Zuko in Grease; Cecilia Ahern’s heartbreaking P.S. I Love You and Patrick Swayze’s mega moves in Dirty Dancing.
Social Media Links

Facebook : www.facebook.com/sarahjanefordauthor/
Website: www.sarahjaneford.com

Giveaway

I am pleased to share the chance for you to win signed hardback of I Give You My Heart with a personalised message (UK Only)*

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494128/?

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for the opportunity to join this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. If you would like to know more about the book and author why not drop into the other blogs below.

Happy Reading!

*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

I Give You My Heart Full Banner

Giveaway: The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye

The Second Cup was originally published on 19 July 2017 and to celebrate it’s first anniversary, I am excited to share a chance to win a copy with you.  Thank you Rachel Random Resources for inviting me to share this news and happy anniversary Sarah Marie Graye.

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First book anniversary

The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye

The SecondCup-FlatCover

The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye

Title:The Second Cup

Author: Sarah Marie Graye

Publisher: Pict Publishing

Release Date: 19th July 2017

Blurb

Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.
Faye knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.
Faye is left wondering how to move forward – and whether or not Jack’s best friend Ethan will let her down again. And the news of Jack’s death ripples through the lives of her friends too.
Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor Olivia is juggling her job and her boyfriend and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest, even though she never knew him.
Is Beth about to take her own life too?

Amazon links

https://getbook.at/SecondCup

Amazon author page: https://author.to/SarahMarieGraye

Both Amazon links are “universal” links, so you can use the same link for both UK and US links on your blog.

Social Media Links
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahmariegraye

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahMarieGraye

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahmariegraye

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

Author bio

The Second Cup SarahMarieGraye-HeadshotSarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester in 1975, to English Catholic parents. To the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing, until aged nine, when she was diagnosed with depression.
It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision, including the one to write a novel.
Sarah Marie wrote The Second Cup as part of an MA Creative Writing practice as research degree at London South Bank University – where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder.
Sarah Marie was diagnosed with ADHD in November 2017 and published an extended edition of The Second Cup in February 2018 that included character interviews so she could diagnose one of her characters with the same condition.

Giveaway

I am excited to reveal there is an opportunity to win one of 3 signed copies of The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye (Open Internationally)*

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494107/?

Good luck and happy reading!

The Second Cup Full Blog Blitz Banner

 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.