The Gifts by Liz Hyder#Blog Tour @Rachel’sRandomResources Historical Fiction#Womens’ Stories Patriarchy#Fantasy#Magic Realism

About The Book:

The Gifts

A young woman staggers through the woods. Something is happening deep inside and as she’s thrown to her knees in agony, the world around her stops. When she comes to, she is astonished at the sight of her shadow – it has wings.

Meanwhile when rumours of ‘fallen angels’ cause a frenzy across London, a surgeon desperate for fame and fortune will find himself in the grip of a dangerous obsession, and the women he seeks in the most terrible danger . . .

THE GIFTS is the astonishing debut adult novel from the lauded author of BEARMOUTH. A gripping and ambitious book told through several female voices and set against the luminous backdrop of nineteenth century London, it explores science, nature and religion, enlightenment, the knife-edge roles of women in society and the dark danger of ambition.

My Thoughts:

This is my first read by this author but it wont be my last. This book was a delight to read and the story will have you turning the pages furiously.

This book is told from five viewpoints; four of which are women and the fact they dare to question their place in society and the other is an ambitious surgeon, who in his quest for fame and glory forgets the oath he took to serve mankind and instead serves his own ambition. This has disastrous consequences or him and others in his orbit.

This book is set in the 1840’s and sets the tone of the period and draws on folklore and legends; one being The Angel of the Thames a legend which persists in the present day. This could also be classed as a feminist novel but this does not stand in the way of a well written story.

For me a well written and well crafted story with quality writing that wraps the parcel up nicely. Highly recommended.

The Author:

Author Bio – Liz Hyder has been making up stories for as long she can remember. She has a BA
in drama from the University of Bristol and, in early 2018, won the Bridge Award/Moniack Mhor Emerging Writer Award. Bearmouth, her debut young adult novel, won a Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Branford Boase Award and was chosen as the Children’s Book of the Year by The
. Originally from London, she now lives in South Shropshire. The Gifts is her debut adult novel.Social Media Links – Twitter: @LondonBessie ( )Website:

Life On Mars:The Vikings Are Coming by Hugh Duncan# Blog Tour#Book Review#Science Fiction @ welcometoearth@geoffnelder @MaighreadMackay @maximka25@Sensim

About The Book:

Racing against time, Jade and her friends must hide evidence of Life on Mars to stop the probes from Earth finding them

Jade is on her way to meet up with her dad, Elvis, for her sixteen-millionth birthday (tortles live a long time in spite of the harsh conditions on Mars), when she gets side-tracked by a strange object that appears to have fallen from the sky. Elvis’ travelling companion Starkwood, an electrostatic plant, is hearing voices, claiming that “The Vikings Are Coming”, while their football-pitch-sized flying friend Fionix confirms the rumour: the Earth has sent two craft to look for life on Mars.
It then becomes a race against time to hide any evidence of such life before Earth destroys it for good. Can Jade and her friends succeed, with help from a Lung Whale, a liquid horse, some flying cats, the Hellas Angels, the Pyrites and a couple of House Martins from the South of France? Oh, and a quantum tunnelling worm – all while avoiding Zombie Vegetables and trouble with a Gravity Artist and the Physics Police?! A gentle and lightly humorous science fantasy adventure.

My Thoughts:

Straight up I have a confession to make. I don’t read very much Science Fiction. Why? The Science part usually goes right over my head. Fourth dimensions, alternative universes etc. But I had a look online and something appealed to me. The thought of Martians banding together to stop probes from Earth finding out about life on Mars; which humans have long considered lifeless but have long been intrigued by canal like features. Do or did they ever contain water and the possibility of life. What Martians don’t want is humans coming to Mars and making the same mess of Mars as they have of their own planet. I started to read this book with some trepidation as I’m not a readerin of Science Fiction normally; but as I got more and more into the book the more I enjoyed it. Sure the science still went over my head. But I love the humour which was was very tongue in cheek and full of parodies.

A mad urban graffiti artist named Hanskie. No prizes for guesses of his earth equivalent.

A mad bunch of gravel named Echers and when they attacked the were called Echer-schmidts.

And the pyrite pulling pulling in his beer belly before going into battle. How many middle-aged men have done this when they have wanted to impress. And also the thought of Tortles(turtles) leading the fight to save a planet is too ridiculous for words

If you want science this book has it and laughs too. Highly recommended.

About The Author:

Hugh Duncan hatched in Leicester in 1957. He studied astronomy at University College London and, though very lazy, got his degree. His final thesis was on Martian craters and, after, he worked at the UCL observatory cataloguing the Viking Mission photos. Having fallen in love with a French woman and wanting to live happily ever after, he ruined that plan by becoming a science teacher. The temporary job became a lifelong career, first in the UK then for 32 years at the International School of Nice, from which he has recently retired. A few years ago, UCL launched the maths journal Chalkdust, in which Hugh has had a number of articles published. In 1997 Oxford Study Courses, asked him to write revision guidebooks for IB Physics, which continues to this day. Hugh started in science fiction aged five, when he wrote ‘Dr Who goes to the balloon planet’ and some have said it’s his best work to date. Nearly sixty years later, Life on Mars is his first published novel. Inspired by the Mighty Terry Pratchett, for school charity projects he started writing his own ‘Deskworld’ stories, parodying his school as one for witches and wizards. Three dozen stories sold using a captive audience scared of getting bad grades if they didn’t buy them, hmm… Hugh has been married for 40 years and has four children – most don’t seem to want to leave home in spite of being adults and having to listen to his songs and stories all the time. He lives in the South of France, not very far from the village with two famous house martins who appear in Life on Mars. He owns a Hermann’s tortoise called Sophie Rose. 

6 Ripley Avenue

6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten One House, Eight Killers, No Witnesses Blog Tour#RandomThingsTours Standalone Book.

About the Book:


Jeanette is the manager of a probation hostel that houses high risk offenders released on license.

At 3am one morning, she receives a call telling her a resident has been murdered.

Her whole team, along with the eight convicted murderers, are now all suspects in a crime no one saw committed…

Don’t miss the first nerve-shredding standalone thriller from Noelle Holten, author of the Maggie Jamieson series.

My Thoughts:

Ok call me biased if you want. You could be right; in fact you totally are, I am! This is Noelle’s first and I hope not last standalone novel. All I can say she has excelled herself again and created a story that will have the reader turning the pages furiously and find themselves not wanting to put it down.

I love Noelle’s previous books in the Maggie Jamieson series and I wondered how she would handle a standalone novel. I needn’t have worried because I know Noelle is a brilliant writer.

It the story of three women and their impact on the story and the story of the hostel for violent offenders.

Firstly we have Sloane, a journalist who for her own reasons is against the hostel opening.

Secondly we have Jeanette who as a senior probation officer has the odious task of running and keeping the hostel and occupants in order.

And then we have Helen, a neighbour who is initially against the hostel’s opening but strangely decides to volunteer to work in the hostel.

Three women with different reasons to be involved with the hostel.

In lots of ways this is a closed door mystery, we have a body and plenty of suspects. But which suspect is the killer.

It is testament to the quality of Noelle’s writing that I could not guess who was the killer. Just when I settled on one, something happened to have me second guess my choice. Then when the killer is revealed I didn’t see it coming.

A brilliant book, great storyline and satisfying ending all wrapped up in brilliant writing. Highly recommended.

The Author:

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.

Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Praise for Noelle Holten:

‘Hugely confident … harrowing, visceral … recommended’ Ian Rankin

‘Kept me hooked’ Angela Marsons

‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole

‘Gritty, dark and chilling’ Mel Sherratt

‘Unputdownable’ M. W. Craven

Thief by Owen Mullen#Blog Tour Glass Family#4…..Crime Series @Rachel’sRandomResources

The Book:


It takes a thief to catch a thief…

Charley Glass arrived in her family’s lives like the hurricane she’d escaped. But she hadn’t run far enough: the ruthless Giordano family are on her tail and want two things – her life, and the return of the property she stole from them. No matter how many bodies stack up.

After years of longing, Charley finally has the family she’s always wanted, but now she’s going to have to tell them the real reason she came looking them. There is only one way she’s going to stay alive, and that is to employ the muscle of the notorious Glass Family.

The head of the family, Luke, has become embroiled in a dangerous political plot and isn’t sure they’re strong enough to take on one of New Orleans’ biggest crime gangs. But he’d put his life on the line to protect the empire they’ve built – even if they’ll have to take on an enemy hurting enough to cross an ocean for revenge.

Page-turning, gritty, and utterly compelling, Thief is Owen Mullen’s best book yet. Perfect for fans of Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers and Mandasue Heller.

Purchase Link –

My Thoughts:

Well here we are at book four in the Glass Family Series. A great series that I would recommend to all readers of gritty gangland crime. You can read this as a standalone but you will be missing some backstory, so I recommend starting at book one.

I personally think this book focuses more on Luke’s sisters; Nina who is battling demons of her own and Charley whose past catches up with her. Is Luke trying to be the respectable business man and taking his eye at the divisions in his family. Is his family becoming less of a family and more three disparate individuals. It is for you to to grab a copy and make your own mind up. To get the best out of this book read the series from the start.

This book is quite brutal at times and not for the faint-hearted but if you like your crime gritty go for it. It will grip you by the throat and will not let go and you will turn the pages furiously.

Owen’s writing is great, of a high quality. Full of well rounded and fleshed out characters. Not a wasted word and the narrative pushes the story along at a brisk pace, dragging the reader along with it.

Luke, Nina and Charley are great characters standing tall in their own right but my favourite character is George Ritchie, but all the characters work to tell a great story. Highly recommended.

The Author:

Owen Mullen is a highly regarded crime author who splits his time between Scotland and the island of Crete.  In his earlier life he lived in London and worked as a musician and session singer. He has now written 11 books and his first gangland thriller for Boldwood.

Social Media Links –  




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Life & Death Decisions By Dr. Lachlan McIver… Blog Tour Medicine On The Rough Side @RandomThingsTours

About the Book:

Life and Death Decisions
Fighting to save lives from disaster, disease and
Dr Lachlan McIver
An action-packed tale of medicine in the most remote, poverty-torn areas of
the globe from a Médecins Sans Frontières doctor. Set to appeal to fans of War
Lachlan was sixteen when he found his father dead on the side of a dirt road in North
Queensland, Australia. He had suffered a sudden heart attack and died alone. It was this
tragedy that motivated Lachlan to train as a doctor specialising in providing medical care
for people living in remote, resource-deprived locations.
Lachlan’s work with the World Health Organization and Me´decins Sans Frontie`res has
taken him to some of the world’s most extreme environments from the sinking islands of
the Pacific to epidemics and war zones in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.
In this no-holds-barred memoir, Lachlan recounts his experiences treating patients
ravaged by tropical diseases, managing war wounds with drug-resistant infections,
delivering babies by the light of a head torch, dealing with the devastating effects of
climate change and narrowly avoiding being kidnapped by militia in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo.
Tackling such impossible problems day in and day out inevitably takes a personal toll.
Lachlan is ultimately forced to face his own battles with depression, alcohol abuse and
Life and Death Decisions is a deeply human look at the personal cost of our broken global
health system and a vital call to action.

My Thoughts:

This is a book that will let you know how good non-fiction can be; and this book certainly delivered. A memoir of how a man finds his father dead at the roadside, becomes a doctor and throws himself into more work than the human body can take.

He does not shy away from the hard decisions he has to make; or indeed the wrong decisions he has made in his life. Not for him the cosy life of the rural GP. or the life of a junior doctor in a city hospital. Lachie, as he calls himself is on a mission to bring medicine to the have nots in this world as well as the more affluent among us. Lachie writes an engaging account of his studies of and the practise of medicine in Australia and the far reaches of the world.

He finds himself in places where medicine and its advantages are few and far between for the majority of his patients. In fact medicine can be used as a tool of warfare. Lachie is his own worst enemy as he cannot resist a challenge. This is always to the detriment of his own life.

Instead of curing people he finds himself broken,depressed, suicidal, bankrupt and ruining his personal life. It also shows how selfish one man can be in pursuit of a goal to the exclusion of all others; even if he is doing it with the best of intentions.

A highly recommended and engaging memoir.

About The Author:

Dr Lachlan McIver is a rural medicine and public health specialist with a PhD in the
health impacts of climate change. He currently works as the Tropical Diseases and
Planetary Health Advisor at the headquarters of Médecins Sans Frontières in Geneva.
Lachlan is an Associate Professor at James Cook University and is the founder and past
Chair of Rocketship Pacific Ltd – an international non-profit organisation dedicated to
improving health in Pacific island countries. Lachlan’s work has taken him to thirty
different countries and he has published over fifty scientific articles and textbook
chapters. He regularly speaks at international conferences on health. For more
information, visit

The Invisible by Michelle Dunne Blog Tour# Ireland/ Cobh Co. Cork @Rachel’sRandomResources

About The Book:

A migrant crisis. A corrupt harbour town. Who will stand for those who have become invisible to the rest of the world?

People have become one of the world’s most valuable commodities. Trafficked on the promise of a new life only to be hidden away as modern day slaves. When Lena, a raped and badly beaten Syrian woman, literally falls into Lindsey Ryan’s life, she’s left with no choice but to find her part in this new war and play it as best she can.

But before she can work out a safe plan to get Lena away from her very own hell at the hands of Patrick Adebayo, Lindsey hears of an unconscious child being smuggled into Patrick’s building just two doors up. Despite having Patrick’s unwanted attention, she has to help the child and get Lena to safety regardless of the cost. In doing so, she finds herself face to face with the worst of humanity.

Added to her own private battle with PTSD, former soldier Lindsey Ryan is in a race against time and must once again fight for her life. But if she fails to protect those around her, what if anything, will that life be worth?

Purchase Links amazon.

My Thoughts:

2nd book in the Lindsey Ryan series. Read as a standalone. Lyndsey battles PTSD and unwillingly the gang dealing with human trafficking of immigrants in prostitution etc.

My first read by Michelle but it wont be my last. This book gripped me from the first page and wouldn’t let go. A fast paced adventure thriller that packs a lot into its 300+ pages

It tells the story of Lindsey an ex Irish soldier who suffers from PTSD and is attempting to start a new life in Cobh, where she is running a cafe. Life is pretty good until When Lena, a raped and badly beaten Syrian woman, literally falls into Lindsey Ryan’s life, she’s left with no choice but to find her part in this new war and play it as best she can.

Lindsey Ryan has a past, a history that she can’t shake off and one that has left her permanently scarred, both physically and emotionally. As a former soldier with the Irish army, Lindsey was based near the Golan Heights and was left severely impacted by an explosion of an IED. She lost many friends and the memories of that day keep playing on repeat in her head.

But unfortunately she finds herself fighting on a new front in the murky war against the local crime boss who is involved in drugs, prostitution and human trafficking.

As said earlier this is a read all thriller fans will love. A superb narrative that will grip the reader. I highly recommend this book.

The Author:

Born and raised in the harbour town of Cobh, Co Cork, Michelle joined in Irish army at the age of 18, where she went from recruit, to infantry soldier, to Peacekeeper with the UN, to instructor back home in Ireland.

​During her time in Lebanon, as tracer rounds lit up the sky above her and artillery rained down, she got to experience first hand the camaraderie between soldiers and the sense of humour that got them all through some frightening situations. She also got to experience how ordinary families tried to live in conflict zones and these experiences have inspired so much of her work to date.

The Invisible is Michelle’s fourth book, but the second in The Lindsey Ryan series, following on from While Nobody is Watching, which is currently in development for television and inspired by her military experiences and the types of relationships that form within army ranks.

What Happened To Uncle Norman Sue Cavill# Skeletons In The Cupboard@RandomThingsTours

About the Book:

For the first forty-one years of his life, Norman made many mistakes.

He went on trial at the Old Bailey, was deprived of his corporal stripe innumerable times, went AWOL twice, was handed a twenty-eight day detention, three days under close arrest and charged with dangerous driving.

He was without doubt an extremely determined and talented musician and played trumpet obligato at a society wedding.

But then, tragedy struck. How did it affect him and will he be able to redeem himself?

Author as seen in Who Do You Think You Are magazine (June 2022 out now)
The family long believed he had deserted during WW2 and absconded to Canada leaving behind his wife and six children.

This book examines what the whole family want to know “What happened to Uncle Norman?”

Become part of the family as his Great Niece gives out first hand clues that answers this puzzling question.

My Thoughts:

A great wee book made up of fact and fiction. Every family has a skeleton or black sheep. In this case Uncle Norman. Sue Cavill conjures up a tale as she dives into the life of her enigmatic family member. 

Sue Norman’s great niece has heard the whispers and has decided to investigate. The result is not a biography or a novel; but rather a mash up of the two. Altogether a great read. Sue uses newspaper cuttings of Norman’s life sprinkled with a bit of fiction. As you read this book you will find yourself going through a range of emotions in regard to Norman and his life. He comes across as arrogant, selfish and bullish. What you have to remember is Norman is a man of his times. Men were meant to be the breadwinners and women the homemakers and rightly or wrongly little was taken into account of the effect of child bearing and home making on a woman’s mentality.

Having lost his father at an early age, and being show little love he in return couldn’t show affection.

A life full of fabrications, lies and deceptions is finally turned around in Australia, not Canada where everyone thought he had disappeared to. You can loath and love Norman but as the saying goes” walk a mile in his shoes” before you judge. I’m glad I read this book, maybe you will like it to.

The Author:

Born In Hertfordshire England, and still resident of aforementioned County.

My writing journey started in 2021 but in my family history research journey started around 2002. After a family party my daughter asked me how we knew those people, a simple sketch showed me I knew nothing passed my Grandmother, the rest as they say is self taught history.

Using the Subtitle Skeletons from the cupboard, I explore Family History stories

During a clean up, of my tree, I noticed I had a mysterious Great Uncle who I knew nothing about. My first story is based around the facts that I chased down, over a period of some 11/12 years. Resulting in “What Happened to Uncle Norman?”

Using the Subtitle Grumpy Woman, I write about workplace trauma (bullying) and help moving forwards. These will be available from July onwards.

My coaching journey started after things that had happened and a lot of research, I have books coming out about workplace trauma/bullying. And how to start finding your you.

Blog Tour@RandomThingsTours The Real Prime Suspect/Jackie Malton. Memoir/A Woman In The Force.

About The Book:

The Real Prime Suspect is a jaw-dropping,
gritty memoir from Jackie Malton, former DCI
and the inspiration for legendary TV detective
Jane Tennison in Lynda La Plante’s Prime
Jackie Malton was a no-nonsense girl from
Leicestershire who joined the police force in the
1970s. It was a time of sex segregation in the police
force. Male recruits were given a truncheon; female
recruits received a handbag and were assigned
social work duties. But Jackie desperately wanted
to become a detective.
Feisty and determined, Jackie made her way into
some of the most male-dominated departments
of the police force. She worked in CID and the
famous flying squad before rising to become one of
only three female detective chief inspectors in the
Metropolitan Police.
In The Real Prime Suspect, Malton describes
the struggles she faced as an openly gay woman
in the Metropolitan Police, where sexism and
homophobia were rife.
Utterly compelling, the book is rich with
fascinating cases and intriguing characters from
Jackie’s time on the force. Jackie dealt with rapists,
wife beaters, murderers, blackmailers and armed
robbers but it was tackling the corruption in her
own station that proved the most challenging.
Ostracised and harassed by fellow officers furious
that she reported the illegality of some colleagues,
Malton used alcohol to curb her anxiety.
A chance meeting with writer Lynda La Plante
five years later changed the course of her life.
Together they worked on shaping Jane Tennison,
one of TV’s most famous police characters, in the
ground-breaking series Prime Suspect. Not long
after, Malton recovered from alcoholism and
now works as an AA volunteer in prison and as
a TV consultant.
Jackie Malton is a true trailblazer. She forged
a path in a male-dominated world and through it
all she remained true to herself. Jackie has spent
her life working in crime. Now she’s ready to share
her story

My Thoughts:

Like many people I have watched Prime Suspect, staring the excellent Helen Mirren. This portrays a female DCI and the problems she faces in a force dominated by men. She faces misogyny all dressed up in the old boys club. While this portrays a DCI and her problems, Jackie’s excellent memoir details her journey from a young police cadet to the rank of DCI and beyond.

This book is a no holds barred memoir of a woman’s journey through the murky waters of law enforcement, which unfortunately was a reflection of society at that time. To paraphrase Gilbert and Sullivan a (police)woman’s lot is not a happy one. This is a book I think all should read but especially men who are of the same age as Jackie; and ask yourself was I guilty of this mindset.

A book that is an easy though some what disturbing read. A book that we will all get something out of, as we follow Jackie on her journey as a woman in the police force. Also a double whammy; if not being a woman is hard enough, she is also gay and a functioning alcoholic.

Please read this book. I’m glad I did and hopefully you will be too. Recommended!

The Authors:

Jackie Malton was a police officer for twentyeight years. During her career she worked in the
drugs squad, CID, the flying squad (famously
known as The Sweeney), fraud squad and as a
hostage negotiator. She rose to become one of
only three female detective chief inspectors in the
Metropolitan Police.
Jackie has acted as an adviser on some of
the most successful British crime dramas,
including Prime Suspect, The Bill, Cracker, Life on
Mars, Ashes to Ashes, Trial and Retribution and
Murder Investigation Team. In 2019 she presented
the documentary series, The Real Prime Suspect
in which she revisited some of the most notorious
murder cases. Most recently, she was interviewed
for BBC 2’s documentary Bent Coppers: Crossing
the Line of Duty; she appeared in Steve McQueen’s
BAFTA-award-winning documentary Uprising
about the New Cross Fire; and made a guest
appearance on the new BBC Sounds podcast,
Lady Killers with Lucy Worsley.
Jackie regularly gives talks on policing and
currently volunteers in a male prison supporting
offenders recovering from addiction.
Twitter: @thursley.
Hélène Mulholland has been a journalist for
over twenty years and previously worked at
the Guardian as a political reporter. Hélène now
works on a freelance basis. The Real Prime
Suspect is her first book.