Week in Review – 10 December 2017

This week in review covers a couple of weeks as I didn’t do one last Sunday with being on holiday. There shouldn’t be much more than usual on here though as I did nothing with my blogging for a week so it’s only really how much I’ve read that is overflowing!

Getting away was just what I needed, I think winter sun is definitely going to have to become something I add to my annual routine, even though I was sick most of the time I was away, escaping the cold and dark and getting some sun and warmth has definitely put a spring back in my step. I also read a lot of books, eight in total, one of which was an anthology of 17 novellas so I’d say I did pretty darn well, hopefully, I will get all of the reviews caught up pretty soon.

I’m now all committed to the running I recently added to my fitness routine. I’m having some trouble with my asthma when I run so I need to speak to my Drs about this and how to adjust my medication to help, I’ve almost had an asthma attack a few times running so I can’t leave it. But I’ve signed up to Mind’s January challenge R.E.D. January, it’s about getting active and running as much as you can every day in January, this will be great for my training and I know a few others taking part. Plus as it’s a mental health charity I’m even more committed to supporting it. I’m also signed up for the Bristol Tough Mudder in May, this is slap bang in the middle of a super busy week for me so not only will it be a huge challenge, I may already be dragging my backside from everything I’m doing that week! I’m also signed up for the Devil Mud Run in September which is a 10km obstacle course just to make things a little harder…heaven help me!

I’ve decided that during December I’m going to concentrate on reading books from my “Favourite Authors” list, I have a load of them on there and I spend so much time reading ARC’s that I just don’t clear this list as much as I would like so unless I have tour books I need to read I’m going to concentrate solely on this list, my own month-long Christmas gift to myself!

Book of the Month

I can’t believe this is the penultimate Book of the Month, I will do my December Book of the month a little before the end of December so that they are in the mix for my Books of the Year post.

Watching Glass Shatter - James J. CudneyWatching Glass Shatter left me an emotional wreck, I’ve read back on some of my other reviews this year and I’ve said they left me feeling emotional and thinking on how I felt reading those was nothing compared to how I was left feeling after I finished this. I got through an entire box of tissues reading this book, I sobbed big ugly real tears as I read about the Glass brothers and their turmoils. I felt so connected to them that, still now, over a month later, they are completely real in my head. This is a book I connected with on so many levels and I just can’t imagine why anybody wouldn’t connect with it and love it as much as I did.

My Review

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Giveaway Wins

eARCs

Reviews

Four Star: Lavish by C.M. Stunich and Wicked Torture by J. Kenner.
Five Star: Dark & Stormy by J. Mercer and The Invisible Crowd by Ellen Wiles.

Other Posts

I had a birthday giveaway for a signed copy of Now You See Me by Kierney Scott (you have one day left to enter if you haven’t already)!

The most recent Music Monday was a birthday buddy special featuring Alter Bridge.

The latest TBR Topple is now live and ready for you to vote!

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

#Review: The Invisible Crowd by Ellen Wiles @ellenwiles @HQstories @bookbellereads

Description

2nd March 1975

In Asmara, Eritrea, Yonas Kelati is born into a world of turmoil. At the same time, on the same day, Jude Munroe takes her first breath in London, England.

Thirty Years Later

Blacklisted in his war-ravaged country, Yonas has no option but to flee his home. After a terrible journey, he arrives on a bleak English coast.

By a twist of fate, Yonas’ asylum case lands on Jude’s desk. Opening the file, she finds a patchwork of witness statements from those who met Yonas along his journey: a lifetime the same length of hers, reduced to a few scraps of paper.

Soon, Jude will stand up in court and tell Yonas’ story. How she tells it will change his life forever.

Review

The Invisible Crowd was a surprise arrival through my door, not in either of the genres I normally read it is one I probably wouldn’t have requested purely because my TBR pile is ridiculous but when I read the description and saw what the book was about I knew it was one that I had to read.

Jude and Yonas couldn’t be more different, one having grown up in England, in relative comfort, a barrister with a husband and child. The other having known nothing but war his entire life, torture, and death. Their only similarity is that they were born on the same day in the same year.

The two will be brought together when Yonas’ asylum case falls on Jude’s desk. As the book progresses we don’t just learn Yonas’ story from his point of view, we see what it is like for Jude, juggling life as a barrister, on a low wage, with a family vs her conscious for her client. We also meet all the people Yonas has come in contact with since reaching the country, no matter how briefly.

These chapters where we meet all the additional people were the most valuable to me, these were what made the novel, it showed just how many lives one person can touch, how special someone can be in the smallest ways. How different points of views can see the same thing differently. It helped us form a picture of the kind of man Yonas is, above and beyond the man we see from his own narration.

Now I will admit to having a strong opinion about the state of asylum in this country and some of what comes in this book sent me into long angry rants, because I know it’s true, I know it’s happening and it really angers me that we treat humans this way. Some of what happens in this book is appalling, it’s devastating and it broke my heart. But this is the reality of the world we live in and Ellen Wiles has seen it with her own eyes as a human rights barrister and translated it into what is one of the best novels I’ve read this year, and certainly on this subject.

The Invisible Crowd is compelling from the first page and will pull your heart kicking and screaming through the turmoil of finding a home, safety, and love.

Sending huge thanks to Ellen Wiles, Lucy Richardson and HQ for the ARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Invisible Crowd
Series: N/A
AuthorEllen Wiles
Genre: Contemporary Fiction | Legal
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 2 November 2017
Review Format: Hardcover
Other Formats: eBook | Audio | Paperback
Pages: 432
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen | Wordery

Week in Review – 19 November 2017

This has been a great week, really busy, but great.

On Tuesday, I went and lead the walking group, got drowned in a terrible downpour then went straight to the BCfm studio for an on-air interview about how I got involved with the walking group, and the correlation between mental and physical health. If you want to listen you can go here click on 14/11/2017, listen from 19:30 for a couple of minutes. It’s a very Bristolian interview so be warned!

Wednesday I was volunteering as usual, except this week we were in full speed preparation for our big event next week. I love getting my head down and prepping work. I love having a solid to do list and just working hard. There was a lot of social media work, some design work (I’m extremely amateur), and some writing and PR work. Next Wednesday is the event so hopefully, in next week’s roundup, I can bring you some photo’s. There are a fair few important people going including Bristol’s Mayor, and I’m going to be on a panel for a Q&A session.

NaNoWriMo is going well, really well actually. I was honestly worried when I signed up that I was setting myself up for a fail. But this story wants to come out of me so badly! I had my outline and while it’s sort of following the basic premise of that outline, I literally sit down each day not having a clue where this story is going. Most days I finish the chapter I sat down to write and say “Wow, did that really just happen?” There have been a few directions it’s taken where I’ve done a double take. My imagination is having fun with this book, and I love what is coming out. I’m currently at 41,687 words, that’s 10,014 over target.

Here is my bookish update this week…

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

Reviews

Here are my reviews for this week:

Three Stars: Seventh Decimate by Stephen Donaldson and The Year of the Knife by G.D. Penman.
Four Stars: A Winter’s Wish Come True by Lynsey James and André by Sybil Bartel.
Five Stars: Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis and Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney.

Other Posts

Mischenko from Read Rant Rock & Roll was on The Bookshelf this week. It’s a fantastic post don’t miss it.

I featured Judas Priest on Music Monday this week. I also took part in the Zombie Apocalypse Tag which was great fun.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

Week in Review – 29 October 2017

I’m away in London this weekend so wrote this a few days ago in preparation, next week I will give you an update of what I got up to in the Capital but rest assured with ComicCon on the agenda I’m up to no good! I’ve gone in particularly excited about seeing Hayley Atwell, the Dark Matter cast, and Dani Filth.

This week I finished my book, all the editing and back and forth with beta readers and one particular very good friend who has answered far more questions than one person should ever have to answer about anything ever. I finally reached a point where I felt happy with my book. Well for now anyway! I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo this year so next week I will be diving head first into writing book two. Heaven help me!

Here are all my book updates, I look forward to telling you what I got up to London next week…although I’m in London again next weekend for Gollancz Fest so heavens knows when I’ll have time to write this update next 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 The Duke’s Temptation by Raven McAllan. I also reviewed Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse by Lilly Bartlett, Squeeze Play by Aven Ellis, Farraway Mist by Tani Hanes, and The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup.

Other Posts

This week I featured Killswitch Engage on Music Monday. I had an excerpt from The Night Realm by Annette Marie as part of the release week book blitz.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

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