Week in Review – 10 September 2017

This week I have been working hard at the next draft of my book which is proving a slower job than writing the first draft, there is definitely an irony in there somewhere! That being said I’m starting to feel like it’s coming together now and that the reworked chapters are no longer a complete embarrassment so that’s a start!

Next Saturday I’m taking part in the 10-mile walk, Walking out of Darkness. Hopefully it won’t rain like it did last year! You can find out more here. I’ve also signed up to do a 5km infalatables obstacle course at the end of the month with a friend. They say it’s suitable for anyone aged 7+ so I figure I should be OK!

Right, here is my bookish update for this week!

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

This week I have reviewed The Dragon in the Garden by Erika Gardner, The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, Beautiful Survivors by C.M. Stunich, and I Cried to Dream Again by Tani Hanes.

Other Posts

I took part in the Music Monday meme again this week and I had an excerpt from First Crush, Last Love by Elizabeth McKenna. On The Bookshelf this week was fantasy author Errin Krystal. I was tagged for the Sunshine Blogger Award and The Miranda Sings Award.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

#BlogTour: The Dragon in the Garden by Erika Gardner @Erika_Gardner @SDSXXTours #Review #Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on The Dragon in the Garden blog tour, this is an urban fantasy which I’ve reviewed below. Also check out the giveaway which you don’t want to miss. Huge thanks to Erika Gardner and Maia from Silver Dagger Book Tours for having me.

Description

There is magic beneath the mundane and in The Dragon in the Garden, Siobhan Orsini witnesses it all. No lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her Sight. She sees through them all and wishes she could close her eyes. Returning to face her past, Siobhan inherits her grandparents’ house in California’s wine country. She encounters a talking dragon, a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. And that is just in the first twenty-four hours.

It’s time to find out why she has this power.

Siobhan seeks out the Oracle and learns that only her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Our world is the prize in a battle between the dragons, who would defend us, and Lucifer’s fallen angels, who seek to take the Earth for themselves. Using her gift, she will have to make a choice that will decide humanity’s future.

The Dragon in the Garden - Tour Banner

Review

I’m confused about this book, I enjoyed it, but there was a lot going on and a lot of confusion over what the book was trying to be. On the one hand it’s an urban fantasy, set in our world, our time, on the other hand it’s an epic fantasy, with a great evil encroaching on the good guys that needs defeating, then there is the paranormal romance element. You see where I’m going with this? Too many genre elements squeezed into one book.

Siobhan has always been a little different to everyone else, she can see through lies to the truth of the matter, she’s always been able to do this and can tell if someone is lying regardless of if she has just met them or if she’s known them for years. When she was a young girl, a statue in her grandparents garden spoke to her, and she saw the dragon that lived within it. She has waited patiently for ‘Daisy’ to return.

Now she is back at the house having inherited it, and not only is Daisy returning but she is under the protection of an angel, a valkyrie, her brother and ex-boyfriend are swept up in the drama and she has an army of fallen angels and demons after her.

I really enjoyed the flow of the story, but as I’ve said I felt that the genres got really confused and with that the story lost it’s flow a few times and didn’t quite know where it was going. There were a couple of scenes that didn’t feel like they sat properly with the story as a whole and while I was swept up in the main story line I felt things kept being distracted.

Overall, I did enjoy this novel but felt it lacked a clarity in genre and story definition.

Sending a huge thanks to Erika Gardner and Silver Dagger Book Tours for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.

Rating

About Erika Gardner

Erika Gardner - Author Image

Erika is a sixth generation San Franciscan of Irish descent. She attended the University of California at Davis and completed degrees in Medieval History and Biological Sciences. A lifelong lover of books and a scribbler of many tales from a young age (her first story was completed at age five) she turned to writing full-time in 2011.

On a personal level she loves spicy food, twilight, dark chocolate (with sea salt-yum!) and nickel slots at Vegas. Erika lives for time with friends, a nice glass of red wine, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” & “Doctor Who” and good conversation. Her favorite things to do are running, cooking, reading, needlework, gardening… and of course, writing. Erika’s music of choice is heavy metal. To pick her out in a lineup you should know that she is very short, fairly loud, and has dark eyebrows. The rest, as her hero Anne McCaffrey once said in her bio, “is subject to change without notice”.

Erika resides in Northern California with her incredibly hot husband, their three amazing kids, and their chocolate Labrador named Selkie. To reach Erika regarding her books, wine recommendations, or to debate which Iron Maiden album is the best (clearly, it’s Brave New World)

     

Giveaway

One $10 and one $25 Amazon gift card

Click Here.

(Tour-Wide Giveaway)

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Dragon in the Garden
Series: N/A
Author: Erika Gardner
Genre: Urban Fantasy | Epic Fantasy | Paranormal Romance
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 21 October 2016
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 272
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | Wordery

Week in Review – 3 September 2017

This week, this happened, 500 posts is kind of crazy right? That’s a lot of talking, sorry about that!

I’m really behind with reviews at the moment, I will try and catch up with them over the next few week’s but I’m also trying to not stress about the blog so if I don’t, so be it!

I had a wonderful time in Lincolnshire with my Sister and Niece, we did some fun things and had lots of fun hanging out. My Niece even helped me with my work out, I had 140 sit ups to do to complete my 30 day challenge I’ve been taking part in with my circuits class. My Niece decided she would be my personal trainer for this, but also sat on me for it! My Sister recorded a bit of it…I thought I would share, you can view it on Instagram.

I also met up with a blogging friend while I was up in Lincolnshire, it’s a friend from the other blog, and someone I’ve spoken to for at least two years now so it was nice to put a face to the name and have a chat over a cup of tea for an hour.

Right, here is my bookish update for this week!

Book of the Month

So it’s that time again to pick another winning book, I didn’t read a huge amount in August, I was completely tunnel visioned on writing my book! But here is my choice!

The Last Dragon Rider by Errin Krystal
The Last Dragon Rider - Errin KrystalThe Last Dragon Rider is a superb Fantasy novella which absolutely blew me away. I have been following the progress of this for some time as a reader of the authors blog so was super excited to get one of the ARCs as part of the blog tour to review. I highly recommend this to fans of epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, and dragons.

Click here to read my full review.

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

I’ve reviewed Sunsets at Seaside by Addison Cole, The Law of Attraction by Roxie Cooper.

Other Posts

My most recent Marketing Monday post has gone up, I focused on the difference between Marketing and Sales this time. I featured an excerpt of Denai Storm by Tiffany Shand and In The Moment by Jennifer Wilck. Plus I took part in Music Monday, the This is My Truth Now tag, the One Lovely Blog Award, and the Unique Blogger Award. As it’s a new month my TBR Topple post has gone up for this month and voting is open! Teri Polen was the author on The Bookshelf this week so don’t miss out on checking out her choices.

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