Week in Review – 14 May 2017

Lovely week this week, Tuesday my walking group joined up with another for Bristol WalkFest and Mental Health Awareness Week, it was a beautiful blue sky day and it was great to see some of the guys from the other group and catch up with them (our groups occasionally join up so I know most of them already).

Also, as it was Mental Health Awareness Week, I wrote a piece for the charity I volunteer at which is up on their website. If you are interested you can read it here. The piece was also published to the Huff Post, which we were pleased about. I love volunteering with this charity which is also the charity who provide my mental health care, well for the next few weeks at least as I’m being discharged soon (eeek!) They are absolutely amazing, and unlike many of the national campaigning charities, these guys work on the frontline doing work that the NHS isn’t able to provide or has contracted out, which is why I had care from them, and I can tell you that the service they provide is a thousand times better than anything I have ever received from the NHS.

On Tuesday evening I went to see the musical Wonderland with some of my family. This is a musical retelling of Alice in Wonderland. It was a bit different from how I was expecting it to be but still very enjoyable, I was pleased that many of the songs had a more rock feel to them and that it was an original score (I have a particular dislike for musicals made up of “real” songs).

Unfortunately, during the early hours of the next morning we were woken up by someone trying to break into our flat through our bathroom window. The friend they had with them was trying to steal Hubs motorbike just outside. The bike theft is becoming a bit of an ongoing problem, Hubs had a bike stolen just before Christmas, and this is at least the fifth time we know of that the replacement one has almost been taken. Luckily Hubs woke up before the person got inside and scared them off, the police were brilliant and got here within a few minutes, had the helicopter up searching for the little buggers (I guarantee they were teenagers around here), but having heard no more they haven’t found them. We are at the point of phoning them so often that we are pretty sure we have our own personal police guard now which is why they arrived so quickly!

Ironically, we were talking only a few days ago about not feeling comfortable here anymore, partly because it’s so small (it’s the tiniest flat in the world, I swear nobody could find somewhere smaller than this) and partly because of all the crime problems we’ve had in the last six months. Then this happened, it’s like someone is telling us to get lost!

Finally, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had taken part in the Grimbold Books podcast. It is now up on their website for all to listen to. We talked about book blogging and being a book reviewer. It was great fun, I’ve never taken part in a podcast before but would definitely do it again. I was with a group of seasoned pro’s including their other guest BookTuber Thomas Wagner from SFF180. You can listen to the Podcast here.

So, onto my bookish update this week… (as always click on the covers for more info/to see the posts)

Currently Reading

Roadie - C.M. Stunich Legion - Julie Kagawa

What I’ve Read

The many colours of us Into the Hall of Vice - Anabelle Bryant  Save The Date - Aven Ellis Groupie - C.M. Stunich

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Connectivity - Aven Ellis The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square - Lilly Bartlett Roadie - C.M. Stunich Real Ugly - C.M. Stunich

Giveaway Wins





I’ve got one 5* review this week in Into the Hall of Vice and I took part in a Mental Health Awareness Week blog tour this week with Loving the Life Less Lived, I was honoured to be included on this tour given my connection to the subject.

Cry Wolf - Greta Stone Into the Hall of Vice - Anabelle Bryant Loving The Life Less Lived - Gail Marie Mitchell

Other Posts

Vicki from Cosy Books joined me on The Bookshelf this week, if you missed it do head over and check it out. I also had a really lovely guest post from Pat Abercromby earlier in the week about writing a book from the point of view of a carer.

Just One Life - Pat Abercromby The Bloggers Bookshelf Logo


  • 1 Copy of Loving the Life Less Lived available to UK Readers of my Blogs! Rafflecopter
  • Variety of Cry Wolf Prizes including Necklace & $25 Amazon Gift Voucher (International Tour-Wide Giveaway) Rafflecopter

#BlogTour: Standing Ground by Alice Rachel @AliceRachelWrit @XpressoTours #GuestPost #Giveaway

It’s a pleasure to welcome Alice Rachel to the blog today as part of her tour for Standing Ground the second novel in her Under Ground series. It’s a dystopian romance series for young adults and in the guest post today Alice talks about how she has gone about creating a virus for this world. It’s a great read so I hope you enjoy it.

If you would like to catch up with the series you can grab book one here.

If you want to follow the rest of the tour you can check out the stops over at Xpresso Book Tours.


When the authorities strike to regain control over the riots in Eboracum City and use drastic measures as retaliation against the civilians, the citizens are forced to fight back to survive. A virus has spread through the Underground, taking down the refugees one by one, soon contaminating the rebels. If Thia wants to save the ones she loves, she will have to retrieve the cure, quickly. But certain decisions are costly, and not all actions are free of consequences.


Guest Post

Creating a virus in a dystopian world

There IS a virus in Standing Ground! How did you know? *winks*

Mmmm, creating a virus… Well, that was tough because I know nothing about medicine or science.

I decided to choose a virus that already exists (pneumonia) and have scientists modify it a bit to make it more difficult to detect and deadlier.

The other virus in the novel is the West Nile virus, which isn’t common in New York State right now, but in a world where the temperatures have risen and more insects may be present, it could be a possibility.

I had to do research about the virus, how it spreads, what the symptoms are, how deadly it is, and how it can be cured.

These two viruses are mentioned in Standing Ground.

But there is a third disease mentioned in the series, which affects some members of the lower class: dysentery.

It’s a sickness my grandpa talked about a lot because he and many others suffered from it when they were kept in concentration camps. My grandpa said he only survived because he ate charcoal, and a friend of his died because he refused to eat it.

Though there is no charcoal mentioned in my stories, dysentery is present in Terrence’s short story and it’s one of the sicknesses plaguing the lower class.

Going back to pneumonia.

What was interesting to me was linking the characters in a way that is only apparent if one reads all the stories.

In one of my short stories that work preludes to Standing Ground, a character loses his job because he refuses to work on the disease. He realizes the government of New York State is trying to create this monster pneumonia, and he refuses to be a part of that.

Then in Standing Ground, another character related to that same man dies from that same disease.

I like placing little clues and links like this throughout the series.

Obviously, I cannot say who the characters are. The readers will just have to see for themselves.

Finally, another aspect of the series that has to do with diseases is how skilled one of my characters (Willow) is with plants and flowers. She would probably know how to heal a wound with the right herbs or what to eat to overcome some sickness. That’s actually mentioned in Standing Ground where her skills would be needed.

I hope that covered the topic. Thank you so much for inviting me on your blog.

About Alice Rachel

Alice Rachel is the author of the YA Forbidden Romance/ Dystopian Romance Series “Under Ground.”

Her time is divided between teaching French, writing, reading, drawing, and spending time with her hubby and guinea pigs.

Alice loves talking to readers, so send her a message…



Giveaway ButtonClick on the image to head to rafflecopter to enter the tour-wide international giveaway to win:

  • A Paperback copy of “Under Ground,” “Losing Ground,” and “Standing Ground” with the new covers. (Please, note that SG will get its new cover later in April)
  • $20 Amazon gift card

Good Luck!

Book & Buy Links

TitleStanding Ground
SeriesUnder Ground #2
Author: Alice Rachel
Genre: Dystopia | Romance | Young Adult
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 27 October 2016
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Pages: 558
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository