Week in Review – 15 October 2017

Huge congratulations to my good friend, James over at This Is My Truth Now who’s debut novel was published this week. It’s called Watching Glass Shatter and will blow your mind.  You can pick it up from Amazon UK Amazon US.

My cold I was moaning about last week turned out to be Bronchitis, yeah I hid that well! So I’ve been sick all this week as well, had a pretty bad asthma attack on Tuesday night as well which is a kicker as I’ve not needed any asthma meds for almost two years. So I’m now back on all the inhalers and trying to learn to breathe again and stop coughing!

The plus side to having been so sick is I’ve read loads, I tried reading a fantasy novel but couldn’t concentrate what with all the coughing so I have been blitzing my way through the romance novels on my TBR. Always a silver lining!

Right, here is my bookish update for this week!

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

I kicked off my reviews this week with a review of my TBR Topple winner from last month Firestorm by Rachel Caine. I then reviewed Branded by Keary Taylor, Damned by Alexandrea Weiss and Lucas Astor, Now You See Me by Kierney Scott, and Lure by C.M. Stunich.

Other Posts

This week I had excerpts of Ruin of the Gods by Erin Hayes and Lure by C.M. Stunich as part of the Book Blitz. I featured Seether in the Music Monday post this week and I took part in The Fall Book Tag and The Playlist Shuffle Tag.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

#BlogTour: Damned by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor @alexandreaweis @XpressoTours #Review #Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Damned blog tour. I’ve reviewed this paranormal mystery and there is also a giveaway for you to enter as well. You can follow the tour by heading over to Xpresso Blog Tours.

Description

Over a hundred years after the death of Magnus Blackwell, Altmover Manor sits abandoned.

Lexie Arden and her fiancé, Will Bennet, are determined to rescue the neglected Mount Desert Island landmark. They want to make Altmover Manor their home. But Magnus has other plans.

A spirit bound to his former residence, Magnus finds himself inexplicably drawn to the young woman. She has a supernatural gift; a gift Magnus wants to exploit.

As Lexie and Will settle in, secrets from Magnus’s past begin to surface. Compelled to learn all she can about the former owner, Lexie becomes immersed in a world of voodoo, curses, and the whereabouts of a mysterious dragon cane.

Magnus’s crimes won’t be so easily forgotten, and what Lexie unearths is going to change the future … for everyone.

Damned - Tour Banner

Review

I had one of those moments with this book, where I read the description but didn’t really take it in, totally sucked in by the cover instead. On my spreadsheet, I listed this as a fantasy because in my head that’s how I had interpreted the cover, so imagine my surprise when I started reading and it definitely was not a fantasy. Took me several hours of reading to get over that one and a stern telling off to stop judging books by their covers!

Interior Designer, Lexie and her architect fiancé Will move into the rather run down Altmover Manor. This is Will’s dream home, a mansion he can fully restore with Lexie for them to spend their lives in. Except there’s more beneath the rotting wood and dodgy wiring than meets the eye. Lexie meets the ghosts of the past, quite literally and starts uncovering some sinister goings-on. When one of the ghosts, the previous owner Magnus starts attaching himself to her and it becomes apparent that some serious Voodoo is connected to what is going on Lexie and Will get dragged into a dangerous mystery.

So, of course, I tripped over, in the beginning, thinking this was a fantasy when it quite clearly is a paranormal mystery! This isn’t a genre I read much but it was a convincing story. The first half didn’t grip me as much as it could have. I felt like Lexie came across as a bit, well, dim. She was asking all the right questions and was doubting the right people but then she would just shake it off and carry on like everything was fine. I think it would have been better if she hadn’t been suspicious at all.

The second half of the book was very strong and I read it twice as fast as the first half of the book. Magnus is an outstanding character. I loved the way he fit in and almost wished he wasn’t a ghost. His charisma shines through and reading his passages with Lexie were thoroughly enjoyable.

The way that the mystery works out and how Lexie rises to the challenge is not only clever but well executed. This was an enjoyable book with a lot going on throughout.

Sending huge thanks to Alexandra Weiss, Lucas Astor and Xpresso Book Tours for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.

Rating

About Alexandra Weiss

Alexandra Weiss - Author Image

Alexandrea Weis, PhD, is an award-winning author of twenty-five novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured animals. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans. Weis writes paranormal, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. ~Winner of the gold medal from Reader’s Favorite Book Awards for Romantic Suspense, the Silver Medal from the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year awards for Romance, the gold medal from the Feathered Quill Book Awards for Romance, and an InD’Tale Magazine RONE winner for Paranormal Romance. Weis is a member of the Horror Writers Association

About Lucas Astor

Lucas Astor - Author ImageLucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.

He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.

One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card.

INTERNATIONAL

Click Here.

(Tour-Wide Giveaway)

Book & Buy Links

TitleDamned
Series: Magnus Blackwell #1
Author: Alexandra Weiss, Lucas Astor
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 3 October 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 366
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Week in Review – 8 October 2017

What a week! While grabbing lunch on Wednesday which is when I’m in the office for my volunteering job, I witnessed a knife fight, this happened less than a foot from where I was standing. Totally freaked me out.

Then the same day it took two hours to get home, it seems the buses just decided not to run, it took 45 minutes for one to turn up then it just crawled the rest of the way.

That evening I then got sick and have been wrapped up in blankets since. I’ve decided someone cursed me while I was out buying sushi for my lunch. I’m thinking I won’t buy sushi again!

In writing news, while my book is out with beta readers I have been working on an outline for the next book, I know I’m crazy. I had an idea that was really bugging me so I decided to start working on the outline to get it out of my head. It’s coming together nicely except for one issue that I just can’t seem to find a solution to. I had one of these with book one until I’d almost finished writing it so I may just have to do that again!

Right, here is my bookish update for this week!

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

I’ve gone back to my old ways this week…my TBR is creaking with the strain! In my defence, I have already read six of these though.

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

This week I have reviewed Wicked Dirty by J. Kenner, A Season of Hopes and Dreams by Lynsey James, Abuse by Nikki Sex, and What Goes Down by Natalie K. Martin.

Other Posts

The new TBR Topple post went up this week with books for you to vote on, please do head over and vote on which book you think I should read this month. I featured Within Temptation on Music Monday. I have an interview with Christina Bauer on the Thrax blog tour and with Lynsey James on the A Season of Hopes and Dreams blog tour. This week on The Bookshelf I had author Alys West. I also took part in the Sunshine Blogger Award after receiving another nomination. I was also tagged in the Emperor’s New Clothes Tag.

 

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

Week in Review – 1 October 2017

Great week this week (hooray!) Monday was all about the books! I went to the Fantasy Faction Grim Gathering in Bath which turned out to be a blast, big up to Marc at Fantasy Faction for putting on a great event. On the panel was Peter V. Brett, Mark Lawrence, Joe Abercrombie, Peter Newman, and Anna Stephens. A pretty epic line up I have to say. Having just read and reviewed both Anna and Mark’s releases I was keen to get them signed and say Hi to them both.

The panel discussion was great, lots of talk around, what is grimdark, are their books actually grimdark and what does hope contribute to these books. It was a really interesting discussion and the authors were charismatic and funny. It was also interesting to see the breadth of answers between authors, especially around planning where some plan meticulously where others wing it and just write and see where the writing takes them.

Something quite random did happen, I got myself seated for the panel discussion, and someone came along and asked if they could get into the seat next to me. He got seated and started chatting with the guy on the other side and I thought to myself “he looks familiar” and I heard him mention his publisher to the guy he was talking to. So my head is spinning, thinking he can’t be who I think he looks like surely? Once the panel had finished I started talking to him and shock he was Ed McDonald and the guy he was talking to was sci-fi author Tom Toner.

We all ended up around the corner in a local pub and I had a great night chatting with everyone, there were some absolutely hilarious moments and lots of book talk. I got to meet seven authors, and hung out with four of them properly over drinks so an absolutely great night.

On Friday, I  joined a few friends at a rock and metal club night. I used to go to this every Friday night back when I was a wee whipper snapper. This is the first time I’ve been out to a club since I stopped drinking so it was an interesting test of the sobriety. Turns out I had a fantastic time, lots of dancing, laughing, singing and drinking far too much lemonade. I was on quite the sugar high when I got home! I think the plan is for us to go to the next one they run just before Halloween which should be good, I might even dress up!

Here’s the bookish update for this week…

Book of the Month

Raising Fire - James BennettThis month’s winner is a no-brainer, I reviewed it this week but my love of the lead character and the fact I’ve been chomping at the bit to read it for almost a full year meant that it was almost guaranteed a slot in book of the month short of it being a complete flop! Raising Fire by James Bennett was actually better than I expected, completely propelling the main character on from the first book and taking the story onto a new level. An absolutely fantastic read!

My review can be found here.

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

I’ve actually been reasonably well behaved this week…patting myself on the back!

Bought / Freebies

ARCs

Reviews

This week started with a review of The Sullivans Box Set by Bella Andre. I then reviewed Raising Fire by James Bennett, Thousands of Candles by Tani Hanes, Wicked Grind by J. Kenner, and The Christmas Holiday by Maxine Morrey.

Other Posts

I had Lacuna Coil featured on Music Monday this week. I featured an excerpt of By Blood Sworn by Janice Jones. I did a review of Paperless Post this week as something a bit different. Jackie from Never Imitate Blog joined me for The Bookshelf this week.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2017

So, I came across the Flights of Fantasy reading challenge and thought this was another challenge that would be great to get my teeth into this year. To ensure I stick with reading some books off of my massive TBR and give myself some time with my favourite genre and don’t get too bogged down with ARC’s, which as we know, can happen!

What is it?

This is a challenge which is organised by Alexa Loves Books and Hello, Chelly. You set your own reading target but they also run giveaways and a kind of reading club within the challenge so I will certainly try and read some of the books I’ve not already read within those aswell, some of the books they have listed are on my TBR so it shouldn’t be too hard!

I will keep a list here of the Fantasy books I read throughout the year, with a link to my reviews, as I am doing with the Discoverability Challenge, and I will aim for half of my Goodreads Challenge Target of 100 to be fantasy, so 50 books!

Good luck to anybody else who is taking part!

  1. Fantastic Creatures – Fellowship of Fantasy
  2. Cruel Crown – Victoria Aveyard
  3. Runemarks – Joanne M Harris
  4. The Ninth Rain – Jen Williams
  5. The Art of Forgetting: Rider – Joanne Hall
  6. Seasons Within – Lele Iturrioz
  7. A Facet for the Gem – C. L. Murray
  8. Written in Red – Anne Bishop (Flights of Fantasy Book Club)
  9. Dark Promise – Nikki Landis
  10. Angelbound – Christina Bauer
  11. Siren’s Fury – Mary Weber
  12. Curse of Stars – Donna Compositor
  13. Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman
  14. Celtic Fire – Liz Gavin
  15. When the Floods Came – Clare Morrall
  16. Reborn – Jane Ederlyn
  17. The Last Days of Magic – Mark Tompkins
  18. Saving Mercy – Abbie Roads
  19. Dragon of Ash & Stars: The Autobiography of a Night Dragon – H. Leighton Dickson
  20. Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor
  21. The Unlikeable Demon Hunter – Deborah Wilde
  22. The Dragon’s Legacy – Deborah A. Wolf
  23. Memortality – Stephen H. Provost
  24. Cry Wolf – Greta Stone
  25. Legion – Julie Kagawa
  26. Red Sister – Mark Lawrence
  27. Mother of Wolves – J. Aislynn d’Merricksson
  28. Skullsworn – Brain Staveley
  29. Alphabet of Thorn – Patricia A. McKillip (Flights of Fantasy Book Club)
  30. Shifter Clan Series – Tiffany Shand
  31. The Lost Sentinel – Suzanne Rogerson
  32. Nightseer – Laurell K Hamilton
  33. Fallen From Grace – Nikki Landis
  34. Godblind – Anna Stephens
  35. A Gathering of Ravens – Scott Oden
  36. The Gunslinger – Stephen King
  37. Wyvern Awakening – Joanna Mazurkiewicz
  38. Seduced By Moonlight – Laurell K Hamilton
  39. Pack Ebon Red – C.M. Stunich
  40. Made In The Image Of The Goddess – Chantelle Griffin
  41. Blackwing – Ed McDonald
  42. The Last Dragon Rider – Errin Krystal
  43. The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson
  44. Darkfever – Karen Marie Moning
  45. Tipping Point – Terry Tyler
  46. The Dragon in the Garden – Erika Gardner
  47. Spring – Lele Iturrioz
  48. Raising Fire – James Bennett
  49. Firestorm – Rachel Caine
  50. Branded – Keary Taylor
  51. Damned – Alexandra Weis & Lucas Astor
  52. Elements of Mischief – C.M. Stunich & Tate James
  53. Seventh Decimate – Stephen Donaldson
  54. The Year of the Knife – G.D. Penman
  55. The Man in the High Castle – Philip K Dick
  56. Split Feather – Deborah A. Wolf
  57. The Vixen’s Lead – Tate James
  58. The Well of Ascension – Brandon Sanderson
  59. Dungari Rise – Nikki Landis
  60. The Dark Highlander – Karen Marie Moning
  61. Pack Violet Shadow – C.M. Sunich
  62. Full Moon Rising – Keri Arthur
  63. The Bitter Twins – Jen Williams
  64. Elements of Ruin – C.M. Stunich & Tate James
  65. Allison’s Adventure’s in Underland – C.M. Stunich
  66. Lindisfarne – Terry Tyler
  67. The Dragon’s Wing – Tate James
  68. Patient Zero – Terry Tyler
  69. Fractured – Nikki Landis
  70. Arcanum Unbounded – Brandon Sanderson
  71. The Tiger’s Ambush – Tate James

The Discoverability Challenge – 2017

I was looking to add a challenge to my reading this year in addition to the Goodreads Reading Challenge which is just about the number of books you read. I enjoyed keeping tabs on how Joanne Hall was doing with her Discoverability Challenge last year, a challenge to read more female authors, especially within the SFF genre. When she posted she was doing it again this year and within the post put a call out for others to join her this seemed the perfect challenge to join, especially as I have quite a pile of books waiting to be read by female authors I’ve not read before.

The rules are simple, read at least one book per month in any genre, fiction or non-fiction by a female author you’ve not read before. As I take part in blog tours and pick up books from NetGalley this will be easily achievable so I have set myself the goal of making sure that I read at least one SFF novel by a female author I’ve not read before each month to chip away at that pile I mentioned earlier!

I will keep a list here of all the authors I read who qualify for the Discoverability Challenge, and for all the books I specifically read for the challenge I will tag them and link them back to this page. I’m looking forward to seeing how many new female authors I discover in 2017!

My 2017 Discovered Female Authors

  1. Victoria Aveyard – Cruel Crown
  2. Jill Mansell – Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay
  3. Sheila Norton – The Vets at Hope Green
  4. Anabelle Bryant – The Den of Iniquity
  5. Lele Iturrioz – Seasons Within
  6. Cassandra Piat – Stuck With Me
  7. Anne Bishop – Written In Red
  8. Judith Colquhoun – A Country Practice: New Beginnings
  9. Nikki Landis – Dark Promise
  10. Sarah Morgan – Sleepless in Manhattan
  11. Donna Compositor – Curse of Stars
  12. Liz Gavin – Celtic Fire
  13. Clare Morrall – When the Floods Came
  14. Jane Ederlyn – Reborn
  15. Tamara Lush – Hot Shade
  16. Abbie Roads – Saving Mercy
  17. H. Leighton Dickson – Dragon of Ash & Stars
  18. J.D. Hughes – My Beautiful Disaster
  19. Laini Taylor – Strange the Dreamer
  20. Sybil Bartel – Rough
  21. Harper Sloan – Lost Rider
  22. Deborah Wilde – The Unlikeable Demon Hunter
  23. Catherine Green – The Darkness of Love
  24. Deborah A. Wolf – The Dragon’s Legacy
  25. Lynda Young Spiro – There is Always More to Say
  26. Greta Stone – Cry Wolf
  27. Gail Marie Mitchell – Loving The Life Less Lived
  28. Rachel Burton – The Many Colours of Us
  29. C.M. Stunich – Groupie
  30. Cristina Hodgson – A Little of Chantelle Rose
  31. J. Aislynn d’Merricksson – Mother of Wolves
  32. Patricia A. McKillip – Alphabet of Thorn
  33. Tiffany Shand – Shifter Clan Series
  34. Lilly Bartlett – The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square
  35. Jaimie Admans – The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters
  36. Anna Stephens – Godblind
  37. Laurie Winters – Home Field
  38. Tani Hanes – Living In The Shallows
  39. Rachel Van Dyken – Cheater
  40. Joanna Mazurkiewicz – Wyvern Awakening
  41. Holly James – Worth Remembering
  42. Caitlyn Lynch – Ellie’s Encounter
  43. Chantelle Griffin – Made In The Image Of The Goddess
  44. A.L. Michael – Cocktails & Dreams
  45. Errin Krystal – The Last Dragon Rider
  46. Aimee Brown – Little Gray Dress
  47. Sarah Bennett – Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove
  48. Karen Marie Moning – Darkfever
  49. Terry Tyler – Tipping Point
  50. Erika Gardner – The Dragon in the Garden
  51. Pepper Winters – Tears of Tess
  52. Brittainy C Cherry – The Air He Breathes
  53. Sylvia Ashby – The Sinking Chef
  54. Maxine Morrey – The Christmas Holiday
  55. J Kenner – Wicked Grind
  56. Nikki Sex – Abuse
  57. Natalie K. Martin – What Goes Down
  58. Keary Taylor – Branded
  59. Alexandra Weis – Damned
  60. C.M Stunich & Tate JamesElements of Mischief
  61. Violet Blaze – Biker Rockstar Billionaire CEO Alpha
  62. Summer Cooper – Professor Next Door
  63. Leigh LaValle – Breathless
  64. Allie Burns – The Lido Girls
  65. Lilac Mills – And A Sixpence For Luck
  66. Ellen Wiles – The Invisible Crowd
  67. J Mercer – Dark and Stormy
  68. Mhairi McFarlane – You Had Me At Hello
  69. Jackie Ladbury – Air Guitar and Caviar