Week in Review – 18 February 2018

I’m struggling with my reading mojo right now, with the bipolar flair up it’s done a runner so I am just doing the best I can and trying to stay on top of blog tours.

Something exciting to announce though:

New Feature

Michael Hild

Now onto something fun which has given me immense pleasure the past few weeks. My new blog feature! One of my online friends and I were talking about the cover models for books. The next thing we knew this feature was taking shape, we had a deal with Pathways Talent Services, and we had our first model on board. Next Wednesday 21 February at 5.30pm EST / 10.30pm GMT over at the Facebook Group Tanner’s Hot in the Kitchen we’ll be running a FB Live chat with this month’s model Michael Hild this is a chat with open questions so you can ask him all about being a model, his aspirations of being a cover model, reading, music, exercise, food, whatever takes your fancy. He is absolutely adorable, a really nice guy so you don’t want to miss this. THEN on Friday 23 February, I will be having a Michael Hild day right here on the blog, with a post that will feature lots of Michael goodness, including the video from the FB Live for those who miss it.

This format will be repeated each month with different models, some have already graced the covers of our favourite books, others, like Michael, want to and are coming to meet us and say Hi because they want to be seen…by us! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed putting this together with Tanner, and not just because I’ve spent oodles of time staring at photos of hot guys. But because it’s such an unusual and exciting feature. I’m chatting and becoming friends with guys who are excited about ‘meeting’ a whole new bunch of people and have some really interesting things to say, and I can’t wait for you to meet them as well.

Lustful Longings - Maggie Adams

The Party Palace – Lustful Longings Launch Party
In case you want a bit more of Michael…I will. He will be heading to The Party Palace with Tanner to do a takeover to celebrate the launch of Lustful Longings by Maggie Adams. This will be Thursday 22 6-7pm EST / 11pm-12am GMT. Click on the links above to find the group and book page.

Nikki Landis Launch Party

I am a huge fan of Nikki Landis and even help out as an admin in her Facebook group. Her new novel Sins of the Father is out this week. Check out my review if you missed it.

Nikki is having a two-day launch party with different authors taking the reins, running giveaways etc This is not one to miss! Join Nikki’s group Nikki’s Dark Alpha Addicts. And as a bonus, I will be taking part in the takeover on Thursday 22nd February at 12-1230pm EST / 5-530pm GMT so please do pop over to give me a virtual hug of support!

So, here is my update, much thinner on the ground than usual…

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Pre-Orders

Reviews

This week I have reviewed:

Five Star: Sins of the Father by Nikki Landis and Baby Girl by C.M. Stunich
Four Star: Shadow Spy by Tiffany Shand, A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt and The Cocktail Bar by Isabella May.

Other Posts

King 810 were featured on Music Monday this week, and I posted about needing Beta Readers. Julia Thum appeared on The Bookshelf this week.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

Week in Review – 24 December 2017

This is my last week in review of the year. Next week I’m going to put up some posts looking at which reviews have been my most popular through the year, and I will also post my top ten books of the year, and yes I’ve been agonising over that one!

Into the New Year, I will go back to posting just one review a day on most days, I’ve been cramming the reviews in over the past few weeks to try and clear my backlog down so that I can go into the New Year relatively fresh. But at the speed, I’m reading at the moment that’s not going to happen!

One thing I wanted to talk about on here was a post I wrote at the beginning of the year. I know stretching it a bit, isn’t it? I wrote this post on my mental health blog before I stopped writing on it, and it was about what was essentially my resolution for the year. I wanted to be more positive. Anybody who has known me for a long time knows that I’ve always let the Bipolar dictate how things are going to be. I’ve always had a very short temper, I’ve been moody, and really not been a particularly nice person to be around and I went into this year wanting to put a stop to that. Last year I did a lot of work on learning how to manage the Bipolar and just understand it better, this year was about being a more positive person. So I thought I would just briefly summarise how I felt it has gone because as shocking as it may be I fully embraced this promise to myself and am still living it.

I started volunteering, and now have two volunteering roles one for mental health charity Second Step where I am doing digital marketing within their Communications team, and another for Bristol Council where I am a walk leader for one of the mental health walks.

I’ve been to more gigs/concerts/festivals this year than I have in the past four years combined. It feels like I’m getting back to myself, I used to go to gigs almost every day so to be starting to go to gigs again on a regular basis feels like a part of me is coming back. We all know reading is a huge part of my life but so is music and I’ve lost that in the past few years so I’m over the moon that I’m starting to find that connection again.

I’ve learned to say “Yes” and mean it, I used to say “Yes” and then find an excuse to back out of things, now I’m actually fully committing and trying new things. I’ve joined fitness classes which I’m loving and will talk more about in a minute, I’ve made new friends something I really struggle to do…while I’m very chatty and sociable, I struggle to make true connections with people, I’ve been out clubbing (shocking at my age I know!), and even just small things like meeting people for coffee, getting in my car and going to someone’s house. All things I was too daunted to do before.

I’ve been to lots of events I’ve never been to before including a bunch of book-related events, signings, discussions, Q&A’s, festivals and I’ve met some wonderful authors including Robin Hobb, Mark Lawrence, Laini Taylor, Ed McDonald, Joanne Harris, and Anna Stephens

I finally got the courage to chop all my hair off, and I love it, I’m so happy with my crazy haircut now, and I just changed the colour to one I’ve never tried before, because why not?!

I’ve had random conversations with people on the bus just because I took a moment to smile at someone as they got on so they sat next to me, these were really cool conversations and I think back and smile remembering the people I’ve spoken to over the year on the bus/in the street/in cafes etc. Being more open to human interaction is a wonderful thing. The other thing that has happened a lot this year is people keep thinking I’m younger than I am. Now whether it’s the haircut or that by being more open to people I come across younger I don’t know but people have guessed my age at being between 23-28 now considering I’m 38 all of these guesses were gratefully received.

I’ve argued less this year, of course, I’ve still argued, I’m not flipping perfect! But nowhere near as much as usual, I’ve learned when to keep my mouth shut and walk away which is about 90% of the time. My mental health has still had its moments but I’ve been much better at managing what is happening and dealing with it. As I write this I’m having a quite bad hypomanic episode in fact but I’ve done everything I can to manage it, my Doctor is aware and we are keeping an eye on it.

My fitness has soared as well, as I said I joined a fitness class. I go to three classes a week, I’ve just started running, and I do yoga at home, this is all in addition to the walking I did anyway. Doing all of this exercise is massively helping with the positivity and my state of mind and I highly recommend it!

So next year? I’m going to continue doing this, I didn’t realise going into this that being positive was a lifestyle choice. I know, naive right? I want to continue being open to new people, new experiences, and life as a whole. I missed a lot of life while I was really sick and I don’t want to miss anymore. I want to take as much of life in as possible, every single second. I have some great things already in the pipeline for 2018 and I can’t wait to share them with you.

So I promise myself to continue approaching life from a positive standpoint and to continue trying to be open to new experiences.

What are you going to promise yourself for 2018?

I hope everybody has a great Christmas. I know not everybody celebrates but I hope whatever you do it’s relaxing, enjoyable and stress-free

TBR Topple Winner

Surviving the Rachel - Aven EllisI drew the winner of this month’s TBR Topple vote, as always thank you to everybody who took the time to vote. This month the winner was Surviving the Rachel by Aven Ellis. I’m looking forward to reading this I always enjoy Aven Ellis’ books immensely and will be reading it in the next couple of days! Look out for the review in the New Year along with the new Poll.

Book of the Month

I’m choosing for December a little early as next week I will be picking my books of the year.

The Vixen’s Lead by Tate James

The Vixen's Lead - Tate JamesThis book really blew me away, a debut author in the reverse harem genre, this is a paranormal/urban fantasy novel and is gripping from the first page to the last. A slow burn on the romance elements this focuses heavily on the paranormal storyline and I couldn’t put the book down. I finished it and immediately downloaded the second book and pre-ordered books three and four so confident was I that this was a series I was going to become completely enthralled by. You can read my full review here.

Allisons Adventures in Underland - C.M. StunichAnd because I’m indecisive, I’ve chosen another winner, Allison’s Adventure’s in Underland by C.M. Stunich. This was everything I want fairy tale retellings to be and they never are. It was dark, twisted, brutal, and sexy as hell. I read the whole book in one sitting because I just couldn’t tear myself away from it and I loved every last thing about it from the psychedelic drugs to the adaptation of “Eat Me” “Drink Me” which was just perfect. Every time I think I’ve seen everything Stunich has to throw at us she surprises me a bit more. I don’t know how I’m going to hold out until March for the second part of this series because I’m already at nail biting stage and I only read it last week!

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

I’ve not been showing books I pre-order on this, but I’ve decided to pop them in here on their own little gallery. I’ve added my most recent pre-orders to this week’s but going forward it will be a weekly thing as with the others.

Bought / Freebies

Pre-Orders

Book Post

Reviews

This week I have reviewed:

Five Star: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson, Neil and Bennett by Sybil Bartel, Elements of Ruin by C.M. Stunich and Tate James, and Lindisfarne by Terry Tyler.
Four Star: The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella, Snow and SeductionFull Moon Rising by Keri Arthur, and Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan.

Other Posts

Corey Taylor provided a Christmas themed Music Monday this week. I took part in the book blitz for Bennett by Sybil Bartel and featured an excerpt from the book.

#Review: Snow and Seduction: A Steamy Reverse Harem Winter Collection

Description

Warm up from that kiss of winter snow with seventeen steamy contemporary romance stories–reverse harem style. From international, USA Today, Amazon bestselling and debut authors alike, this collection features seventeen tales of love in winter.

And what could possibly keep a woman warm better than a heated holiday romance with the perfect guy? How about three or more perfect men in each story: from billionaires to snowboarders, rockstars, cowboys, and more. That’s right–each story has at least three male love interests and our heroine…she doesn’t have to choose.

She gets them all.

“Snow and Seduction” is the sexy reverse harem romance anthology you’ve been waiting for.

~This Anthology Includes Stories From The Following Seventeen Authors~

1. Tate James writing “Slopes of Sin”
2. Yumoyori Wilson writing “Visionary Christmas”
3. C.M. Stunich writing “Blizzards and Bastards”
4. G. Bailey writing “Triple Kisses”
5. Laura Greenwood writing “Sweet About Me”
6. Cece Rose writing “Snowflake”
7. Skye MacKinnon writing “Streets of Winter”
8. Arizona Tape writing “Mary F*cking Christmas”
9. Ripley Proserpina writing “Thief of Hearts”
10. K.B. Ladnier writing “The More the Merrier”
11. N.R. Spratlin writing “Their Little Helper”
12. Lucy Smoke writing “Study Break”
13. Amanda Rose writing “Frosted By My Billionaires”
14. Bea Paige writing “Avalanche of Desire”
15. CB Morrigan writing “Sugar Plum Fantasies”
16. Raya Love writing “Holly’s Jolly Christmas”
17. Tracy Dawn writing “A Long Winter’s Rest”

Review

I am not a fan of christmas/winter stories, too much snow, cold and christmas cheer for my grumpy liking. But a whole book filled with reverse harem goodness was too much of a temptation for me to turn down so I downloaded and dove in. Thinking these were short stories imagine my glee when I discovered this was actually an anthology filled with novellas making it an even better bargain for the price tag.

There are seventeen novellas in here, all reverse harem, but varying from contemporary to paranormal. The styles or writing vary, and the authors range from well-established to first timers. Some of the stories are hot and heavy while others are slow burn, sweet and kind. There is something for everyone in these novellas regardless what it is you enjoy.

I took a long time trying to decide how best to review this, reviewing all seventeen stories would make this a huge review so I decided to pick out a few of my favourite stories and highlight them, but I want to say that I did enjoy each and every one, there wasn’t a story that I skipped or skimmed which is quite unusual for me when I read an anthology.

Streets of Winter by Skye MacKinnon – this was outstanding, tackling homelessness, sexual assault and other very real subjects that as women we tackle every day. This really hit home for me and the reverse harem element was a beautiful aside to the realism of this story. I was deeply moved by this story and felt connected to Emily the main character in a way I can’t find words to describe. I would love to see so much more of the characters from this story.

Blizzards and Bastards by C.M. Stunich – Stunich introduce us to a new band, Inked Pages and Cyan a girl who is on her way home for Christmas. The rock chick in me just loves these stories with bands involved and I just need more of them…more I tell you!

Slopes of Sin by Tate James – I can easily say that Tate James is becoming one of my favourite authors, I love her easy style of writing and this novella was no exception. Mila works as an elf and meets four troublesome snowboarders from her past when they break her very expensive camera.

Frosted By My Millionaires by Amanda Rose – Amanda Rose is a new author on the block and if this story is anything to go by she is one to watch. Natalie agrees to a fake engagement with five billionaire brothers, of course she gets on wonderfully with some of them others not so much, making for some heated and interesting times.

Avalanche of Desire by Bea Paige – I loved this story about a chalet girl who has to take care of three handsome brothers in the Alps. Her history of looking after a parent with alcoholism really hit home with me and I felt really touched by her story as she progressed. This was another I really wanted more of and felt sad to see end.

Overall, this is an anthology that fans of reverse harem will love and new readers of the genre will find a great introduction, helping them find authors in the genre to delve into more fully. This is a hot and festive read.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleSnow and Seduction
Series: N/A
AuthorC.M. Stunich | Tate James | Arizona Tape | Skye Mackinnon | Lucy Smoke | K.B. Ladnier | Amanda Rose | Laura Greenwood | Ripley Proserpina | Cece Rose | Yumoyori Wilson | N.R. Spratlin | Bea Paige | C.B. Morrigan | G. Bailey | Raya Love
Genre: Romance | Contemporary Romance | Paranormal Romance | Reverse Harem | Christmas | Anthology
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 21 November 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: 1,825
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US