Week In Review – 12 March 2017

It’s been a slower week this week, I spent a few days away visiting my Sister and Niece in Lincolnshire and so spent some time away from the blogging world, I had some posts scheduled, but didn’t have time for reading blogs or keeping up with thank you’s. So thank you to everyone who shared posts this week and I will get back to reading all of your lovely blogs post haste!

As for Lincolnshire, it was what I needed, some fresh air and time away from the city. We visited Lincoln, my first time there and what a lovely place it is. I also started giving my Niece some music lessons, it was lovely watching her pick up the basics and start to understand how to make a tune and start to read music from her book. I’ve left her with some exercise books which should help her learn some more.

I’ve still been struggling with getting my bipolar under control with the new medication changes so the reading has crawled to a snails pace. Hopefully it will start picking up again soon although there has been a serious miscommunication between the mental health team and GP leaving me minus any medication this weekend so I’m far from amused!

aven-ellis-quoteI did get some great news though, the lovely author Aven Ellis dropped me a line to say she had dropped one of my quotes in as her top review on the Amazon page for her most recent novel Sugar and Ice. I’m so flattered, this was such a pleasant book to read and I do hope others enjoy it just as much as I did.

I have also had a couple of great prizes donated for my blogiversary next month! Can’t wait for you guys to see what is up for grabs!

Right, onto this weeks update…

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

I read When the Floods Came as part of my Discoverability Challenge this month and I can’t wait to write my review for you it far surpassed my expectations.

When the floods came clare morrall  meet-me-at-willoughby-close-kate-hewitt

New Books

This week started off slow, then I had an explosion of Blog Tour books sent to me! At least they are mostly for tours right?! haha! I also received the book I won in Rachel Gilbey‘s birthday giveaway, this looks like a treat, thank you so much for that Rachel!

Bought

wicked-lil-brat-alexis-angel the-guardian-nikki-landis

Book Post

eARCs

songs-of-insurrection-jc-kang Souljacker - Yasmine Galenorn    

Reviews

Some great reviews this week, oddly all the books are young adult which considering I’m trying to pull away from the genre is a bit weird!

angelbound-christina-bauer curse-of-stars sirens-fury-mary-weber

Other Posts

This week I’ve had a book blitz, a cover reveal and Zoë Markham was featured on The Bookshelf.

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Giveaways

  • 1x eCopy of Holdfast by Kate Carter (International) Rafflecopter
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card from Songs of Insurrections (International) Rafflecopter
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card from The Monster Upstairs (International) Rafflecopter
  • Multiple Prizes from Curse of Stars (International) Rafflecopter
  • $10 Amazon or Nook Gift Card with Claimed by the Succubus (International) Rafflecopter

#BlogTour: Curse of Stars by Donna Compositor @dcompbooks @XpressoTours #Review

Curse of Stars by Donna Compositor is currently on a two week blog tour with Xpresso Book Tours and I’m so pleased to be one of today’s stops for this book. A dark fantasy set in another world the book follows teenager Sabi Perez. Check out my review below and be sure to check out the international tour-wide giveaway aswell which has some great prizes!

Description

Sabi Perez is the last Diamond Crier, only she doesn’t know it. Not until a crazed ruler from another world comes to collect her priceless tears and won’t take no for an answer.

Living in New York, Sabi’s seen some nasty things, but the lengths to which her captor will go to keep his crown are things found only in the darkest nightmares. Afraid and alone, Sabi finds solace in her cellmate, Anya, and Cabal, a fellow Crier who also has powers, a rare combination that buys his favor from the ruler. Only it’s a favor he doesn’t want.

In a fit of rage, power erupts out of Sabi, the same power Cabal has, and a spark of hope ignites. Together they may have a chance at escape, something no other Crier has done. Except a ruler hellbent on draining them of every last diamond tear isn’t their only hurdle. If they escape they’ll be hunted to the ends of the earth, if they survive the trek to safety. If they stay the ruler will leech them dry. Sabi would rather die trying than lie down and die, even if that means running away into even more danger.

“. . . vividly imagined and deftly plotted dark fantasy . . .” BookLife Prize in Fiction

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Review

Curse of Stars has quite the high-octane beginning, with a chase through New York, when a strange man turns up vowing to take Sabi. Once he achieves his goal the speed of the story slows but Sabi is on a different planet, the planet she was born on. Not that she has any clue any planets but earth even existed. She is a Diamond Crier, quite literally one who cries diamonds, and more than that she is the last of her kind.

Sabi is trapped in a cell with Anya, someone who doesn’t trust easily, and they only see guards and a boy who brings them food Cabal. The three of them hatch a plan to escape but they are living in hell defined so it may take more than luck to carry it out.

Curse of Stars is marked as a young adult novel, yes Sabi our protagonist is a teenager, but beyond that this didn’t have the feel of a young adult novel to me, Many of the themes in this novel as quite adult, the way the book is written is deep and dark and Sabi could easily be middle aged and pulling off the same actions throughout the book.

This really is a dark fantasy, not much goes anybody’s way and a lot of really bad stuff happens. Much of the book, especially the earlier parts, make for uncomfortable reading and there is a lack of hope that goes with reading this novel, even when you feel the hope glimmer something often snuffs it out.

The thing I was disappointed with was towards the end of the book there didn’t seem to be the same commitment to the dark fantasy theme, the level of description and depth of character building seemed to be less intense. I felt like I had read this extremely intense book then about two thirds of the way in it just flaked off a little. I still enjoyed it but it just wasn’t fully committed to the genre as it had been in the beginning and I missed that.

I actually didn’t like any of the characters in this book, which was odd as I did enjoy reading it. But I had a major dislike for Sabi who I know I was supposed to feel empathy for but I just didn’t, I really disliked her and I had times where I hoped she was going to get killed off in a rare plot twist, I found Anya tiresome, and I found Cabal devious.

Donna Compositor has strong writing, her level of understanding of her world translates well in her world building, her characters are three-dimensional, with you left unsure about what will happen next as it is rarely the outcome you would expect, especially within a young adult novel.

Given the way this ended I’m expecting this to be the start of a series so will be interested to see what happens next in this world.

Thank you very much to Donna Compositor for the eARC so that I could review this book honestly.

Rating

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About Donna Compositor

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Donna has been writing since she was in the single digits when she first realized she needed to do something about all the thoughts in her head. After a stint with bad poetry she finally found her way to novels, mainly of the young adult fantasy variety. When she’s not cranking out more stories she works a regular 9 to 5, reads anywhere from 2 to 3 books a week, drinks copious amounts of tea, eats way too much, and makes her own beauty products because her skin turns into a sentient hive if she uses anything else. This is mostly because she lives in the desert where the air siphons water clean out of her. She lives with a man named Steve and several quadrupeds: three cats named Renfield, Sam, and Dean; and a MinPin named Malfoy.

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Giveaway

This is a great international giveaway, check out the prizes below. Head to Rafflecopter to enter! Good Luck!

  • 1st place: $20 gift card to the eBook retailer of their choice, a glow bookmark, and swag pack
  • 2nd-4th places: $10 gift card to the eBook retailer of their choice and a swag pack
  • 5th place: a swag pack

Book & Buy Links

TitleCurse of Stars
SeriesDiamond Crier #1
Author: Donna Compositor
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 19 February 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats:
Pages: 264
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US

Week in Review – 5 March 2017

I’ve decided to start doing a review post each week…hopefully it will last but I think it’s nice to see what’s been happening and I always enjoy others posts like this! I’m not 100% on the layout of this post yet, I may tweak it a bit over the next few weeks while I get my head around how I want it to look but hopefully it will settle in! Clicking on the covers will take you to their Amazon page or the blog post, depending on the section they are in.

I’ve been having a few issues with the old bipolar this week so haven’t read as much as I would have liked as I’ve been on extra medication to sedate me which doesn’t help but I’ve still managed to get through a few! I also had a day out with Hubs at Warwick Castle, it wasn’t as good as I expected, I kinda feel like Merlin have ruined the castle vibe a bit (I really like my castle’s) with all their trying to turn it into a low-key theme park. Honestly I like going to a castle and crawling around all over the castle sucking in the atmosphere and learning about the history. Anyway it was nice for Hubs and I to get some time together before he heads off and starts his new job next week.

the-ninth-rain-quoteThis is technically from last week, but as I wasn’t doing these posts then I’ve put it in here. My pre-ordered copy of The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams arrived and there on the first couple of pages was a quote from me! This is the first time I’ve had a quote in print and it just happens to be in my current favourite author’s book so pretty much a striking gold moment!

I’ve also booked tickets to go and see Wonderland the musical with some of my family this week. It isn’t until May but it does look quite magical so I’m looking forward to that.

I’m now planning my blogiversary celebration next month and what goodies I can giveaway to you lovely people! If any authors reading (or even you crafty type people) want to get involved hit me up as I’m always happy to talk collaboration for these things!

Book of the Month

I’ve also decided to pick a book of the month which I’ll include in this post, I’m hoping this will help me at the end of the year when I do my Top 10 as it took me literally hours to narrow it down last year! Now as I wasn’t doing this before I’ve included January aswell so without further ado here are my books of the month for January and February, with links to the reviews if you click on the covers…

runemarks-joanne-m-harris the-ninth-rain-jen-williams

Currently Reading

When the floods came clare morrall

What I’ve Read

Considering I’ve been quite ill this week I’ve done fairly well this week, I’m only counting three of these given the Ladybird book took me five minutes!

curse-of-stars norse-mythology the-ladybird-book-of-the-zombie-apocalypse celtic-fire-liz-gavin

New Books

I’m still gaining more books than I’m getting through each week! I know, a common problem but still, we need some brakes to go on here people!

Bought

dragon-of-ash-stars serve

Gifts

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Book Post

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eARCs

the-vets-at-hope-green-pt3 the-last-days-of-magic lost-rider-harper-sloan the-idea-of-you-amanda-prowse

Reviews

Dark Promise was the first paranormal romance I’ve read in quite some time and it was awesome, The Year of Saying Yes is turning into an enjoyable chick lit novella series, and The Zombie Apocalypse Ladybird book had me in stitches and was a great gift from my Niece!

dark-promise-nikki-landis the-year-of-saying-yes-hannah-doyle the-ladybird-book-of-the-zombie-apocalypse

Other Posts

a great mix of fantasy book blitzes this week, and I launched The Bookshelf a weekly Q&A feature, it will be for bloggers and authors, this week it kicked off with author Kierney Scott who had some awesome answers and a bookshelf to die for!

the-collective-r-s-williams the-oracle-k-s-marsden life-is-but-a-nightmare-erin-hayes songs-of-insurrection-jc-kang the-authors-bookshelf-logo

Giveaways

  • 1x eCopy of Holdfast by Kate Carter (International) Rafflecopter
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card from Life is But A Nightmare (International) Rafflecopter
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card from Songs of Insurrections (International) Rafflecopter

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