Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The Gathering by Bernadette Giacomazzo + #Giveaway


The Gathering by Bernadette Giacomazzo
Self published in America in March 2018.

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository (unavailable)
Wordery (unavailable)
Waterstones (unavailable)
Amazon (ebook)

Add The Gathering to your Goodreads

The Uprising Series tells the story of three freedom fighters and their friends in high — and low — places that come together to overthrow a vainglorious Emperor and his militaristic Cabal to restore the city, and the way of life, they once knew and loved. In The Gathering, Jamie Ryan has defected from the Cabal and has joined his former brothers-in-arms — Basile Perrinault and Kanoa Shinomura — to form a collective known as The Uprising. When an explosion leads to him crossing paths with Evanora Cunningham — a product of Jamie’s past — he discovers that The Uprising is bigger, and more important, than he thought.


Meet the author:

With an impressive list of credentials earned over the course of two decades, Bernadette R. Giacomazzo is a multi-hyphenate in the truest sense of the word: an editor, writer, photographer, publicist, and digital marketing specialist who has demonstrated an uncanny ability to thrive in each industry with equal aplomb. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and many, many more. She served as the news editor of Go! NYC Magazine for nearly a decade, the executive editor of LatinTRENDS Magazine for five years, the eye candy editor of XXL Magazine for two years, and the editor-at-large at iOne/Zona de Sabor for two years. As a publicist, she has worked with the likes of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit record label, rapper Kool G. Rap, and various photographers, artists, and models. As a digital marketing specialist, Bernadette is Google Adwords certified, has an advanced knowledge of SEO, PPC, link-building, and other digital marketing techniques, and has worked for a variety of clients in the legal, medical, and real estate industries.

Based in New York City, Bernadette is the co-author of Swimming with Sharks: A Real World, How-To Guide to Success (and Failure) in the Business of Music (for the 21st Century), and the author of the forthcoming dystopian fiction series, The Uprising. She also contributed a story to the upcoming Beyonce Knowles tribute anthology, The King Bey Bible, which will be available in bookstores nationwide in the summer of 2018.

Author links: 
Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


And now it's time for the Giveaway!

The prize is a paperback copy of The Gathering (Open Internationally until 23:59 UK time on the 17th August)

*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Winner will be asked if they prefer a paperback or a digital copy. 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 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 Rachel's Random Resources will delete the data. Rachel's Random Resources is not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




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Books by Bernadette Giacomazzo / Dystopian fiction / Books from America

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

How To Love A Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs


How To Love A Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs
First published in the UK by Picador on the 9th August 2018.

One of my August Authorfest reads

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository
Wordery
Waterstones
Amazon

Tenderness and cruelty, loyalty and betrayal, ambition and regret – Alexia Arthurs navigates these tensions to extraordinary effect in her debut collection of short stories, How to Love a Jamaican, about Jamaican immigrants and their families back home. Sweeping from close-knit island communities to the streets of New York City and Midwestern university towns, these eleven stories form a portrait of a nation, a people, and a way of life.

In ‘Light Skinned Girls and Kelly Rowlands’, an NYU student befriends a fellow Jamaican whose privileged West Coast upbringing has blinded her to the hard realities of race. In ‘Mash Up Love’, a twin’s chance sighting of his estranged brother – the prodigal son of the family – stirs up unresolved feelings of resentment. In ‘Bad Behavior’, a mother and father leave their wild teenage daughter with her grandmother in Jamaica, hoping the old ways will straighten her out. In ‘Mermaid River’, a Jamaican teenage boy is reunited with his mother in New York after eight years apart. In ‘The Ghost of Jia Yi’, a recently murdered international student haunts a despairing Jamaican athlete recruited to an Iowa college. And in ‘Shirley from a Small Place’, a world-famous pop star retreats to her mother’s big new house in Jamaica, which still holds the power to restore something vital.

The winner of the Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize for ‘Bad Behavior’, Alexia Arthurs emerges in this vibrant, lyrical, intimate collection as one of fiction’s most dynamic and essential young authors.

How To Love A Jamaican is a captivating short story collection which, I felt, captured a lot of the experiences of Jamaicans living outside their country and of families split by emigration. The stories are each self-contained narratives, but I liked that they are linked by little hooks and details such as the recurrence of a family name or the reappearance of a man with green eyes. This allowed me to think of the Jamaican characters as people within a larger community, a diaspora perhaps, rather than purely as individuals. The device reminded me of Yoko Ogawa's short story collection, Revenge.

Arthurs' first story explores the importance of race and how a person's family background can affect their perception of this. Several tales depict mother-daughter relationships and ask whether the traditional Jamaican style of upbringing might be a better school for adulthood than the the open American way. I think my favourite story was Island which follows a lesbian woman back to Jamaica for a holiday there with heterosexual female friends. Jamaica, as a former British colony, still has our bizarre and outdated laws that ban homosexuality only for men, although lesbianism is also not tolerated. Yet Arthurs focus is on the attitude to and behaviour of the heterosexual friends which creates a great story with interesting ideas and tensions.

I took away a lot to think about from How To Love A Jamaican. The collection is deceptive in that the stories are good light reads that can be simply entertaining, but they also contain real nuggets of truth concerning families, relationships and interactions. Jamaican culture is obviously at the forefront of these characters' experiences, but I felt that the situations here have a far wider relevance than purely one island. The stories do have a distinctly Jamaican flavour, but their messages and ideas are widely relatable.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Alexia Arthurs / Short stories / Books from Jamaica

Monday, 13 August 2018

The Love Fool by Lorenzo Petruzziello + #Giveaway


The Love Fool: A Rome-antic Comedy by Lorenzo Petruzziello

Category: Adult Fiction, 314 pages
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Quill (Inkshares)
Release date: March 13, 2018
Tour dates: Aug 6 to 24, 2018
Content Rating: PG

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository (PB)
Wordery (PB)
Waterstones : (unavailable)
Amazon (used PB)

Add The Love Fool to your Goodreads

Set in Rome. Follow the whirlwind antics of a publicist as he struggles to manage his first TV chef client, his new life, and an unexpected visit from his ex-girlfriend.

Alex recently moved to Italy for an opportunity at a PR firm in Rome. His first client is the beautiful Danish chef Pernille Bjørn, a popular model, TV personality, and cookbook author just entering the booming televised cooking show market in Italy.

Alex's single-minded career focus is soon thwarted by Emily, an ex-girlfriend he hasn't heard from in almost a decade.

Italy's modern culture and enchanting sights set the backdrop to this Rome-antic comedy.

To follow the tour, please visit Lorenzo Petruzziello's page on Italy Book Tours.


Watch the book trailer:





Meet the Author:



Lorenzo Petruzziello holds an MBA in global marketing from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. His background includes publicity and marketing for many of public television’s popular cooking and travel shows. He lives in Massachusetts focusing on his writing. THE LOVE FOOL is his first novel.


Connect with Lorenzo: Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram


Enter the Giveaway:

Win a signed paperback of The Love Fool and a specialized bookmark (open to USA & Canada / 1 winner)
Ends Sept 1, 2018







Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Lorenzo Petruzziello / Romantic fiction / Books from America

Sunday, 12 August 2018

The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh + #Giveaway


The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
First published in America by G P Putnam's Sons in May 2015.

One of my Books From The Backlog and ReadingWomen selections
One of my August Authorfest reads

How I got this book:
Swapped for on the book stall at Torquay Indoor Market

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository
Wordery
Waterstones
Amazon

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

I've been keen to read The Wrath And The Dawn since I first saw it enthusiastically reviewed on Sarcasm And Lemons way back in September 2015. I was delighted to spot an unread copy on a local book sale table last summer and I've now finally managed to get to read it! With all that build up I was a little concerned that the novel might  not live up to the gushing reviews I've read of it and, erm, I am afraid that this is the case. Not that this is a bad story - far from it! It's just that I wanted to be completely enthralled and I actually felt more pleasantly diverted.

On the good side of the scale our heroine Shahrzad is fantastic. She is witty, highly intelligent, impetuous, brave and also kind. At the time of the original Sheherezade legend I think a female character like our Shahrzad would have been male! I loved her maid Despina too. Ever practical but also mischievous and just a little romantic, I could have happily spent far more of the story with just these two young women. Surrounding them however are various factions of power-seeking men, some chasing revenge and others more concerned with personal glory. The best scenes for me were when Shahrzad pits her wits against the most pompous or patronising of these men and bests them!

I had misunderstood that The Wrath And The Dawn is only inspired by the story of Sheherezade and isn't a full retelling. I felt let down that there weren't more stories in this story! The initial tension of Shahrzad's situation didn't seem to me to be explored in as much depth as I would have liked and that aspect faded too swiftly. This was a recurring issue for me in that I think I wanted The Wrath And The Dawn to develop into a full literary historical work and I had to remind myself that it is a young adult novel. Still, Ahdieh beautifully evokes the gorgeous luxury of Khalid's palace and its lush gardens. I loved all the food descriptions too - this is a novel that encourages snacking! By the second half, I did feel myself becoming swept into Shahrzad and Khalid's world and am intrigued by how certain aspects of their tale will pan out in the sequel. This is a good escapist read and I could understand how others rave about it.

And now it's time for the Giveaway!


The prize is my (very carefully read) hardback 'rough cut' edition of The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh.
Open internationally until midnight (UK time) on the 26th August 2018.

Entry is by way of the Gleam widget below. This giveaway is entirely my own and is not affiliated with either the author or the publisher
(GDPR: Gleam will ask for your email address so that I am able to contact the winner. I will then need the winner's postal address in order to send out the book.)

The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh HB giveaway



Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Renee Ahdieh / Mythology / Books from America

Saturday, 11 August 2018

The Last Lie She Told by K J McGillick + Excerpt + #FreeBook


The Last Lie She Told by K J McGillick
Self published in America on the 7th July 2018.

The Last Lie She Told ebook is 99p/c on Amazon until the 14th August plus get Three: Deception Love Murder ebook also by K.J. McGillick FREE until the 13th August!

Where to buy this book:


The Book Depository (PB)
Wordery (PB)
Waterstones (unavailable)
Amazon (ebook)

Add The Last Lie She Told to your Goodreads

Lies and misdirection rule the game.

To some, Fiona O’Dell is clever and manipulative. To others, she is a dangerous sociopath. One thing is certain - she’s trouble wherever she goes. Now she has vanished from her job, but not before being seen leaving a motel room where one man is found dead, another on the edge of death. Is this grisly crime scene a BDSM encounter gone wrong? Or is it related to a company data breach where all three are employed? 

Private security expert Lee Stone and NYPD Detective Belle Hughes are assigned to the case. In a race to find Fiona, they track her across four states and are shocked to find men from her past are being murdered. With little information and even less evidence, each new crime scene brings more questions than answers.

While secrets are revealed, there is only one conclusion: Fiona controls the game, the players, even the course of the investigation. The danger escalates, and the game must be mastered, or all fall victim to it. As Lee and Belle struggle to put all the pieces together, the two investigators find their relationship heats up as they are drawn to each other. 

Looking for a murder mystery with a feisty female detective that’s filled with twists and turns? Explore The Last Lie She Told for a thrill ride that leaves you guessing until the end.


Excerpt

Benjamin gave us a rundown of the crime scene. “The pictures were nauseating, Jackson,” Benjamin said. “Dennis’s ankles looked like barbequed pulled pork. The blood-crusted handcuffs had dug so far into his skin I’m positive the metal met bone. The handcuffs had chunks of skin and hair embedded in the small wells; they had rubbed his wrists raw and had cut into the tendons.”

Mary made a face of disgust while Benjamin paused to collect his thoughts. He sounded exhausted, but he pushed on.

 “I don’t understand how people stomach the savage destruction people do to each other. What the hell is wrong with people?”

  “You’d be surprised how desensitized our civilization has become,” Lee, the new member of my team, said. “When I worked Chicago’s gang division and then homicide it felt like I was in the middle of some tribal war.”

  Benjamin let that sit and continued. “The crime scene photos showed three stab marks inflicted without hesitation at points that would cause the most damage. I’m not a blood splatter expert, but it looked like someone had straddled Dennis at the hips and plunged the blade from a back overhead reach into his stomach until the blade hilt fully sank into his stomach. The attacker ripped the blade upward and then tore it out. Think of the brutality it took to cut him open like that—gutted like a deer. The stab penetrated his aorta and killed him.

  “But from what the report indicated, the punctures in his femoral arteries triggered the gusher-like blood spray, which was easy to visualize pulsating in rhythm with each heartbeat. Jackson, I swear, the room looked like Pollock had risen from the dead just to put his signature splatter and drip marks on the cream-colored walls,” Benjamin said, taking a deep breath through his nose. 

  “They found Ryan passed out next to Dennis. His chest was smeared with dry blood, and his face was painted with blood in a war paint manner. He had no visible injuries but was in a coma. They transported him to the hospital.

  “A long blade, like a hunting knife, was found on the floor. Part of the handle was still sticky with brown, crusted blood. The sheets were soaked with whatever blood hadn’t hit the walls. The report said the room had a metallic and urine smell.”

  Benjamin’s voice wavered, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he bolted to puke. I suppose that visual of all that blood burned into your brain would haunt you forever.

  “So, what makes you think this Fiona person was with them?” Lee asked as he jotted notes on his short yellow pad.

  “There aren’t any cameras at the motel. But when the police took statements, one witness said she’d seen a woman matching Fiona's description knock on the door ten minutes after the men entered. However, the witness appeared inebriated, so they’re taking what she said with a grain of salt. There’s no physical evidence placing her in the room,” Benjamin said.

  “What a mess,” Lee said.

  “But I don’t understand why you need us,” I said. “You need to let local law enforcement handle this mess. This is a job for them.” 

  “I need you to find Fiona. The police are treating this case as a murder. Ryan’s in the hospital with high levels of ketamine. If he wakes up, he might not remember anything, and there’s no physical evidence he murdered Dennis. But I believe they feel strongly that Ryan is the main suspect in the murder. The police aren’t going to look for Fiona. They’re going to focus on the murder, and unless Fiona becomes a person of interest or she’s dead too, she’s not on their radar. Fiona is an adult, and the police said our only option was to file a missing person report, if warranted. 

  “Here’s my dilemma, Jackson. Ryan, Fiona, and Dennis were working on a sensitive project. Someone in that department stole the entire research project and wiped the server and cloud of all data.” He hesitated.

  “So why not alert the FBI or local law enforcement?” Mary interjected, raising an eyebrow and leaning forward to get closer to the speaker on the table. 

  Benjamin cleared his throat. “We acquired the project from a lab in Berlin. Berlin found a mechanism that allows the alteration of DNA at the base level. The implications are enormous. Upon completion of the project, our price to sell it would be in the neighborhood of half a billion. It could be used for good, to cure disease, or for bad, to alter existing DNA after someone committed a crime. Whoever stole the project, wiped all the servers of the information after they completed the transfer to an external drive. On the dark web, it could be sold for billions. We wanted to sell it to one entity, so that party could fully develop it and market it. On the dark web, however, it could be sold again and again. So where is it? Either Dennis hid it, or Ryan or Fiona have it. I need you to find out which one of them has it, or where they hid it.”


Meet the author:

K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that's what New Yorkers do. Right?

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing.

Author links: 
Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook 




Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Val Penny / Crime fiction / Books from America

Friday, 10 August 2018

Blood Ribbon by Roger Bray


Blood Ribbon by Roger Bray
Self published today, the 10th August 2018.

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository (unavailable)
Wordery (unavailable)
Smashwords (ebook)
Amazon (ebook)

Add Blood Ribbon to your Goodreads

When there’s more than secrets buried, where do you start digging?

When Brooke Adams is found battered, bleeding, and barely conscious, the police are at a loss as to who her attacker is or why she was targeted.

Then, PI Rod Morgan turns up convinced that Brooke’s attack is the latest in a string of unsolved disappearances dating back twenty-five years. The police, however, aren’t convinced, so Brooke and Rod must investigate the cases themselves.

As secrets from the past start unravelling, will they find Brooke’s attacker before he strikes again, or is that one secret that will stay buried forever?


Meet the author:

I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.

My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.
Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

Author links: 
Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook




Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Roger Bray / Crime fiction / Books from Australia

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Resin by Ane Riel


Resin by Ane Riel
First published in Danish as Harpiks in Denmark in 2015. English language translation by Charlotte Barslund published by Transworld today, the 9th August 2018.

R for my 2018 Alphabet Soup Challenge
One of my August Authorfest reads and a ReadingWomen selection

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository
Wordery
   Waterstones
Amazon

Suspenseful and heart-breaking, Resin is the story of what can happen when you love someone too much – when your desire to keep them safe becomes the thing that could irrevocably harm them.

Liv died when she was just six years old. At least, that’s what the authorities think.

Her father knew he was the only one who could keep her safe in this world. So one evening he left the isolated house his little family called home, he pushed their boat out to sea and watched it ruin on the rocks. Then he walked the long way into town to report his only child missing.

But behind the boxes and the baskets crowding her Dad’s workshop, Liv was hiding. This way her Dad had said, she’d never have to go to school; this way, she’d never have to leave her parents.

This way, Liv would be safe.

I can't remember the last time a book actually left me almost gasping for air as I finished it. I hadn't realised that I'd been holding my breath the whole time I was reading it! Of course that's not completely true, but it is how I felt! Resin is mesmerising, engrossing, immersive and unlike anything else I think I have ever read. It's just incredible. (Am I gushing too much?)

Resin is almost impossible to review because I really don't want to give anything away to potential readers - and if you like an intense thriller, you Need this novel on your TBR. In fact, I'd say, skip the TBR stage and go straight to Purchase-and-Read! I loved the setting, the characters, the storyline and the sheer unexpectedness of pretty much every page. Resin is almost unreal, yet heart-breakingly real on every page and its translation is first class. Praise I feel is as much due to Charlotte Barslund as Ane Riel because, other than the Danishness of the whole book, I easily forgot I was reading in translation.

Resin is dark and shocking, yet it is also full of a warped love that is strangely heartwarming. I haven't felt as steamrollered by a book since The Dollmaker and I can't see how any other could beat Resin to be my Book Of The Month. I suspect it might also become my Book Of The Year. It's that good!


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Ane Riel / Thrillers / Books from Denmark