Week in Review – 4 June 2017

I’ve had a bad week this week, the dark cloud of depression has knocked me for six and a few things have made me doubt blogging. I had an author ask me to change my rating on their review which hurt more than I thought it would when I’d heard other people talking about similar encounters. I obviously said no, I think it’s safe to say as bloggers we all value our integrity and to do something like this undervalues all of our reviews not just that one.

My infection didn’t shift with the antibiotics so I’ve been given another, longer course of antibiotics which will run into my operation next week, it always makes me really angry and moody which is not helping my depressive mood or my reaction to negative situations any! I also ended up in hospital again on Friday with suspected Lithium Toxicity (which is a kind of blood poisoning) so I’m starting to feel like a real frequent flier in that place at the moment! All being well, my operation is next week, I have posts scheduled to go live while I’m away but I will likely be AWOL for a few days at least. So please don’t take it personally if I don’t visit you or don’t reply to any messages. I will be back!

Then there is my ongoing drama of trying to get a ticket to BristolCon a fantasy/sci-fi convention in October. On their website they say they offer an unwaged “membership” (their form of a ticket). I’ve been trying to get one for about 3 weeks now and it’s impossible. Last year I couldn’t go because I couldn’t afford it, this life on benefits is hard but I’ve tightened my belt a lot and have a bit to spare so could afford the early bird unwaged membership and with Jen Williams one of their guests I was well chuffed to go.

You can’t change the ticket option on the website so I tweeted them and sent an email to the address on the ticket page, after a few days I put a message up on my facebook page as I know a few people who go every year and know the people who run it and asked them if they could help me out with a contact. A few days later I got a reply on Twitter with a different email address and a promise someone would reply. I sent the email and nothing, nada, nil. And on June 1 the prices went up so I guess I won’t be going after all, which sucks! I have to say though they shouldn’t offer alternative prices if they aren’t going to honour them…that is really, truly, crap! I also won’t be trying to go again, even once I’m back in work and can afford full ticket price, I’ll go elsewhere.

Finally, in more positive news I’m taking part in Walking out of Darkness at the end of the month, it’s a mental health awareness event, walking ten miles in Weston super Mare. I’m taking part with my Brother and a mutual friend of ours and we are raising money for Bipolar UK. We have a fundraising page where you can donate if you feel so inclined or details of our text to donate are in the sidebar. We are grateful for anything you can spare for this amazing charity. Although as it’s just a couple of weeks after my operation I may be biting off more than I can chew! HAHA!

So, onto my bookish update this week…

Book of the Month

I swear I only did this last week! How has it come around so quickly?!

Red Sister - Mark LawrenceI had a few books that were in the running this month with 5* reviews but only one stood out hands and feet ahead of them all and that was this one.

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence 

Red Sister was the kind of read that glues you to the page from the first word to the last. It was enthralling and fantasy writing at it’s very best. If this doesn’t become a classic in the genre then I will eat my fluffy hat.

“I ended up spending the last hundred pages or so with my breath held, toes clenched,  and grinding my teeth, there was just so much tension.”

For the full review click here.

To Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | BookDepositorySpeedyHen

Most Viewed In May

the-last-days-of-magicIn contrast my most viewed page in May was Mark Tompkins The Last Days of Magic, this was actually one of my Books of the Month for May. But I found out on Friday by chance that Mark is actually running a sponsored post on Facebook using my review which I’m both very flattered about and grateful for aswell.

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

Giveaway Wins

eARCs

Reviews

This week I’ve reviewed My Beautiful Disaster Part 2 and The Modern Girls Guide to Growing Old Disgracefully.

Other Posts

This week I had book blitz for Smoke and Mirrors, When Smoke Rains Down, Lone Wolf and Damned Either Way. a blog tour for The Velvet Chair, my new feature TBR Topple, and on The Bookshelf was the very lovely Louise Rose-Innes.

Giveaways

  • Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box (Intl winner would get eBook prizes) (Blitz-Wide Giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • $30 Amazon gift card & ebook copy of The Velvet Chair / 4x ebook copies of The Velvet Chair (International tour-wide giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • $100 Amazon gift card / A set of signed copies of the A Breed MC series (International Blitz-Wide Giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card (Blitz-Wide International Giveaway) Rafflecopter

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

#BlogTour: A Little of Chantelle Rose by Cristina Hodgson @HodgsonCristina @crookedcatbooks @NeverlandBT #Review #Giveaway

Welcome to day one of the A Little of Chantelle Rose blog tour from Neverland Blog Tours. Today I have a review for you which I hope you will enjoy, if you fancy picking the book up then towards the end of the tour over the weekend of the 9th-11th June it will be on a free offer so you will be able to pick it up for a song!

Description

At the age of twenty-four, Chantelle Rose has all a city girl can expect: a tiny bed-sit in South London, a lousy poorly-paid job, a tyrannical boss, and quite a few exes added to an ever-growing list.

Desperate for change, she becomes an extra in a seedy crime film. When that leads to the opportunity of a lifetime – a role to play with a million dollars to win and seemingly nothing to lose – she accepts without thinking twice. After all, what could possibly go wrong? In any event, she´ll earn enough to buy her dream home, set up her own business and never worry about money again.

And what about love? Two men have won her heart: Robbie – sultry, silent, mysterious; and Lionel – Hollywood heart-throb, charm, wealth, adventure.

But who can she trust? Who is bent on scaring her away, and why?

There seems to be more at stake than just her heart. Will a million dollars be worth it?

A Little of Chantelle Rose - Tour Banner

Review

Chantelle Rose is a normal everyday person, she has a rubbish job, a rubbish bedsit and then she decides to do something completely off the wall and become an extra in a film. Off the back of that she ends up inadvertently becoming a nude body double in Hollywood and her life becomes completely surreal.

Having met two men one, Robbie, in a sleepy Kent village where she decides she’s going to buy a house and live out the rest of her existence; and the other Lionel in the big lights of Hollywood she begins to feel torn. They are alike in many ways and completely different in others. But there is something more sinister going on with someone trying to scare her away from whom and to whom she’s not sure.

I found this novel a very strange one, I spent the early parts of it laughing a lot it was funny, despite the fact I found the storyline far-fetched and hard to believe I just went with it and let her bubbly nature carry the story. Chantelle got into some hilarious scrapes and the overall feel of the book was that it was going to be a romcom. Then around the mid-way point this suspensful feeling came in which wasn’t fully played up but was hanging in the air and the humour disappeared. The book had completely switched genres and steam and I admit to being a little confused about where we were heading now.

The confusion didn’t really leave me for the rest of the book, Chantelle clearly had stronger feelings for one of the two men, the feelings to me stood out miles above the other but the way the book is written is that there is a definite love triangle which didn’t fit with the way the emotion came out of the story.

I loved Chantelle in the first part of the story, absolutely adored her, that feisty bubbly nature. The way she walked into things without realising quite what she was doing.  She was funny and did some really hilarious things. I think book two definitely needs more of this Chantelle.

As for the guys in her life I think Robbie was shy and withdrawn, I think it took a lot for him to show his cards and be open. Lionel was a more confident person but I still think it was hard for him to open up emotionally. I felt really moved by his rawness. I wish we had seen more one on one interaction with them both, so we could get to know each of them a bit better. I felt like we didn’t see enough with either of them to warrant Chantelle falling in love with either of them. Lust yes, love hell no.

Overall, an enjoyable debut, an easy read but it gets a little bit lost around the middle as to what type of book it wants to be and the storyline in general is about as out there as it can get quite honestly.

Sending a huge thanks to Cristina Hodgson, Crooked Cat Books and Neverland Blog Tours for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.

Rating

Cristina Hodgson - Author ImageAbout Cristina Hodgson

Cristina Hodgson, mother of two, born in Wimbledon, London, currently lives in southern Spain. Cristina had a long career in sport, reaching national and international level and still actively participates in Triathlon races and enjoys outdoor activities. In her spare time she also enjoys reading and writing. She won a sports scholarship to Boston College. After a period in Boston, she returned to the UK and graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Sports Science.

A LITTLE OF CHANTELLE ROSE is her debut novel and will be released in May 2017. Amazingly, it has nothing to do with running!

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Giveaway

Giveaway Button A Little of Chantelle Rose bookmarks and keyrings

Book & Buy Links

TitleA Little of Chantelle Rose
Series: N/A
Author: Cristina Hodgson
Genre: Chick Lit | Rom Com | Humour | Suspense
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Publication Date: 4 May 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 275
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | BookDepository

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