Category: Blog Tour

Blog Tour: The Healing Stone

Today I am helping spread the word out about the third book in the Starchild series: The Healing Stone by Vacen Taylor. This series is aimed for children from ages 9-12 and is 176 pages.  **There is even an International Giveaway to win all the books in the series!**

Book Description:

A riveting ice adventure full of incredible challenges, bravery and friendship.

When they escape the attacking forces, Mai, Akra, Kalin know they must find a way to purge the evil of the dark peddle that has consumed Long.  But as the news of the Underworld king spreads, gloom and fear begin to sweep over the lands.

The children must face a dangerous adventure across the ice to reach the healing stone. Once they reach the stone they must face the truth.

Have they made the journey in time to save Long ⸺ or is he lost to the Underworld forever?

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Odyssey Books

About the Author:

Vacen Taylor is a children’s author with a portfolio of screenwriting and stage play achievements.  A selection of her poetry has been published in Art and Literature Journals. One of her plays was selected to be part of the Playwrights Program 2017 and then directed and performed as a performance reading at HOTA (previously the Gold Coast Arts Centre).

Her feature film script received a special commendation for Best Unproduced Screenplay titled Grandfathers at the British Independent Film Festival in 2018.  The logline can be found under Special Commendations for Unproduced Screenplays here.

Her TV pilot for a series (teleplay) was selected as a semi-finalist in the Hollywood Just4Shorts Film and Screenplay Competition in Los Angeles, CA. This pilot was listed in the top 50 for the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition in 2018.

She presented the first mental health panel at OZ Comic-Con in 2017. This panel was a fantastic opportunity to discuss openly and honestly about artists and their mental health to help support wellbeing, foster connectivity and provide a culture of support.

In 2018 she presented the panel, ‘An artist’s guide to creative happiness: How to strengthen your creative performance’ at Oz Comic-Con in Brisbane. Her panels are extraordinary opportunities to explore ideas with people who are currently working in the industry. She aims to discuss subjects like individualism, the community, mental health, wellbeing, happiness, creativity, co-creating and self-awareness which often leads to interesting questions from the audience.

What else does she do? Vacen is also a creative workshop facilitator and proficient in, teaching, speaking and concept creation. Guest Speaker. Workshop Presenter. Creative Panel Facilitator. Mentor. Support Worker. Counsellor. Social Welfare Advocate.

Contact Vacen:
Instagram @vacentaylor
Twitter @VacenTaylor


Win all four books of the Starchild Series by Vacen Taylor

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*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 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: Unborn by Rachel McLean

Today I am sharing my review as a part of the blog tour for Unborn by Rachel McLean.  This is a dystopian novel with a bit of a legal thriller that shows one direction that our society could be heading.

Book Description:

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

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

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

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

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

Find out by reading Unborn, a chilling dystopia combined with a gripping legal thriller.

Author: Rachel McLean

Published: Today, February 21, 2020
271 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: February 2-11, 2020

Jessica’s Review:

Set in the not too distant future, women have lost their rights and all abortion is considered murder. If a woman suffers a miscarriage then she may possibly be charged with manslaughter if it is deemed as an abortion.  And let’s not talk about what women are forced to do as a part of their sentencing for the ‘benefit’ of others…

In this chilling future in the United States, we find ourselves involved in the lives of three women whose differing circumstances eventually come together. You can’t help but like and also feel for all three women and the situations they are in: Kate, Grace, and Cindee.

Unborn is a thriller that also has a court element which was just as intriguing as the rest of the novel.  It is a quick read that leaves you thinking about morality and legalities of this time.  Unborn also helps you to be fearful that this could be the direction we may be heading in one day, but hopefully not as quickly as the time that this novel is set in.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

My name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.

What does that mean?

In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.

Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?

My books aim to fill that gap.

If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at I’ll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.

Contact Rachel:
Instagram: @rachelmcwrites


Blog Tour: Five Wakes and A Wedding

Today I will be sharing a guest post written by the author for my spot on the blog tour for Five Wakes and A Wedding by Karen Ross. She will be sharing about jobs.  Do we choose them, or do they choose us? This has to do with Nina, our protagonist in this novel.

Book Description:

Undertaker Nina Sherwood is full of good advice. For example, never wear lip gloss when you’re scattering ashes.

Nina is your average 30-year-old with a steady job, a nice home – and dead bodies in her basement. As an undertaker, she often prefers the company of the dead to the living – they’re obliging, good listeners and take secrets to the grave.
Nina is on a one-woman mission to persuade her peers that passing on is just another part of life. But the residents of Primrose Hill are adamant that a funeral parlour is the last thing they need… and they will stop at nothing to close down her dearly beloved shop.
When Nina’s ‘big break’ funeral turns out to be a prank, it seems like it’s the final nail in the coffin for her new business. That is, until a (tall, dark and) mysterious investor shows up out of the blue, and she decides to take a leap of faith.
Because, after all, it’s her funeral…

The perfect antidote to all those books about weddings, this book will make you laugh until you cry, perfect for fans of Zara Stoneley’s BridesmaidsFour Weddings and a Funeral and The Good Place.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Jobs.  Do we choose them, or do they choose us? 

It’s a question I asked myself about the protagonist of my new novel, Five Wakes and a Wedding.  Why did thirty-year-old Nina Sherwood become an undertaker? 

When I started writing my romantic comedy noir, I had a vague idea.  But it wasn’t until I was well into the story, that all became clear.

Nina’s having supper with Kelli, a new friend.  After a couple of drinks Kelli asks the inevitable question about Nina’s job, and Nina explains about her best friend at university, who died of meningitis:

 ‘I went to Glasgow for the funeral and even though I’d never seen a dead body before – unless you count a budgie and a couple of guinea pigs – I needed to see Lin beforehand. To say sorry . . . and to say goodbye.’

‘You poor girl,’ Kelli says softly. ‘And that’s why you became an undertaker?’

‘No. Sorry. Haven’t got to the point, yet.’ Despite myself, I smile. ‘I was so terrified at the thought of having to go into that room and look at Lin. Didn’t know if I was going to faint. Or throw up. My heart was thumping so hard they must have heard it in the Highlands. The coffin was set up beneath a window in the corner of the room. Eventually I managed to look. And there she was. Except she wasn’t.’

I see it again, now. Yes, Lin did look as if she was asleep. People had been right about that.

But . . .

‘For a start, Lin hated pink lipstick,’ I say. ‘Cherry Lush was her colour. That was the first thing I noticed. Then the nails. She always wore navy blue nail varnish, but that was gone, too. And the silver earrings she wore every single day. As for her hair, someone had inserted a parting into her curls and flicked the ends. It looked so weird. And her clothes. All brand new. Lin looked as if she was off to a job interview.

 ‘I felt I’d let her down all over again. How can I put it . . . In death, she was everything she had not been in life.’

Kelli nods her understanding.

‘As for the funeral itself, it was dreadful. Just plain wrong. They chose “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, “I Vow to Thee My Country”, and “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”. I stood there mouthing the words along with everyone else but all I could think was how Lin would have hated her parents’ playlist. She was so much more of a “Dancing Queen” kind of a girl.’

Kelli touches my hand, nudges me back to the present. ‘So you became an undertaker after you graduated?’

‘I dropped out.  Did a backpacking thing to India. It felt good to be in a place where nobody knew me. But eventually, I knew it was time to go home and work out what I was going to do next. I saw an advert that asked if I had ever considered a career as an undertaker. Which, until then, I hadn’t. But it was my chance to apologise properly to Lin. I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure a funeral reflected at least something about the person whose life had ended.’

We sit in reflective silence, until Kelli says, ‘Sometimes, you don’t choose a job. It chooses you. And in a manner of speaking,’ she continues, ‘you became a social worker, with or without a degree. You do everything you can to protect the integrity of someone who’s died. You work with people who are going through a crisis. Help them come to terms with grief and loss. And I bet you’re always there if they want to talk to you any time after the funeral.’

Social work for dead people. I’ve never thought of it quite like that.

And why did I become a writer?  Well I love putting words down on paper, trying to make sense of the world around me.  I also enjoy making people laugh. 

Five Wakes and a Wedding has given me scope to explore an important, zeitgeisty topic – the way in which funerals are changing and becoming more individual, rather than a one-size-fits-all – while including a fun storyline that places the book firmly in the romantic comedy genre. 

There’s  even some useful advice.  For example, never wear lip gloss when you’re scattering ashes…

If you decide to take a look, I’d love to know what you think:

About the Author:

As a former journalist, broadcaster and advertising copywriter, Karen Ross has followed a fairly traditional path into writing fiction.   Five Wakes and a Wedding is her fourth book, and like its predecessors, the novel has two common threads:  the setting is London’s Primrose Hill – Karen’s own neighbourhood – and one of the characters is a dog . . . this time he’s called Chopper and he’s almost the same size as a Shetland Pony

Karen has been self-employed for many years, and continues to work as a marketing consultant, in the absence of an offer to manage Tottenham Hotspur.  By way of credentials, her other ‘job’ is trading profitably on the world’s first football stockmarket, a platform called Football Index, where you buy and sell players with real money.

Contact Karen:
Twitter: @ComedyKaren