Week in Review – 21 January 2018

I know I mentioned last week that my mental health is having a bit of a wobble at the moment, I’ve reached a point now where I’m really not well at all. I’m really close to tipping into a full manic episode so I may need to just take a break from blogging for a short while. I’ve already cut back on social media and popping in on you guys, apologies guys. I’ve got posts scheduled to a certain point so if I do drop off you may not notice it straight away. I’m playing it by ear right now, and doing everything I need to, to take care of myself…especially in light of my next piece of news…

So one of the things I have had to keep tightlipped about recently, my volunteering job at the mental health charity has been converted into a paid role. I’ve been going through the process of applying for it formally and interviewing and I have now been offered the job and will start tomorrow. It’s only 10 hrs per week so I will still have plenty of time for the freelance work I have, and the blog and my writing but I’m really looking forward to getting more involved with their digital marketing.

I’ve had an interesting invitation this week which I decided to accept. I was asked to be one of the reader judges for the Your Laugh Line awards. I thought it was a fab opportunity to read some humorous books, a genre I really don’t dip into enough.

Your Laugh Line

The contest has two components. One is a Reader’s Choice Award. Readers can log onto https://yourlaughline.com/vote and enter the author and book of their choice. The author who receives the most reader votes will win $250 and an assortment of promotional help from Your Laugh Line.

The other component is an adjudicated contest for books submitted by authors and/or their publishers.  The form is available at https://yourlaughline.com/laugh-line-humorous-book-awards.  The cost to enter the competition is $20 per book. Those books will be judged by a panel of expert book reviewers. The winning author will receive $500, plus an assortment of promotional help from Your Laugh Line.

Authors can enter the competition between February 1st and April 30th.  Reader’s Choice voting runs from February 2nd to August 15th.  Books making it past the first round will be announced on July 1, second round list on August 1, and the final winner on September 1. Honorable mentions will be made for category-specific books.

So, there you have it…if you’re interested in entering your book you definitely should and if you’re interested in judging you should definitely get in touch with them, I’m sure they would appreciate it!

Right, here are this week’s book updates:

TBR Topple Winner

To Journey In The Year Of The Tiger - H. Leighton DicksonThe winner of the TBR Topple poll this month with 55% of the votes was To Journey in the Year of the Tiger by H. Leighton Dickson. I’m thrilled this book won, the last book of Dickson’s I read was incredible so I am looking forward to getting started on this one. Keep an eye open for the review next month, and a new poll in the early days of February.

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Pre-Orders

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

This week I have reviewed:

Five Star: The Tiger’s Ambush by Tate James and Pack Obsidian Gold by C.M. Stunich
Four Star: Impossible Promise by Sybil Bartel and Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson.
Three Star: Prosecco Christmas by Sylvia Ashby

Other Posts

Shinedown were featured on Music Monday. Nia from The Most Sublime was on The Bookshelf this week.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

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TBR Topple – January 2018

Welcome back to another TBR Topple. I hope everyone had a fantastic festive period and is recovering from a night of celebrating seeing in the New Year!

Today I bring you another selection of books from my TBR to pick from in this month’s TBR Topple Poll. The Poll will remain open until January 20th when I will draw the winner.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to vote and I look forward to seeing which of these books you pick!

As always the voting form is at the end of the post, and feel free to share the post to get others voting!

the_amaranthine_chronicles_boxsetThe Amaranthine Chronicles by Tiffany Shand
In a city of lies and deception, only one thing stands between chaos and justice. For centuries, a band of outlaws called the Amaranthine has kept the peace in Ormere and hidden in plain sight while the Order of Sorcerers spreads their deadly magic among the city’s inhabitants.

After losing her fiancé in bust gone wrong, Amaranthine Agent Kaylan Avilion returns home to discover that Elijah didn’t die but instead was changed by the twisted guards of the Order, who seek to find a dangerous artifact tied to Kaylan’s past and the murder of her family. When her sister goes missing and a foe from their past reemerges, Kaylan knows she must save Freya before she’s poisoned by the very people who took Elijah away from her. But how will Kaylan react when she learns Elijah’s secret, and can they come together to stop the Order’s plan in time?

The Bane - Keary Taylor

The Bane by Keary Taylor
Before the Evolution there was TorBane: technology that infused human DNA with cybernetic matter. It had the ability to grow new organs and limbs, to heal the world. Until it evolved out of control and spread like the common cold. The machine took over, the soul vanished, and the Bane were born. The Bane won’t stop until every last person has been infected. With less than two percent of the human population left, mankind is on the brink of extinction.

Eve knows the stories of the Evolution, the time before she wandered into the colony of Eden, unable to recall anything but her name. But she doesn’t need memories to know this world is her reality. This is a world that is quickly losing its humanity, one Bane at a time.

Fighting to keep one of the last remaining human colonies alive, Eve finds herself torn between her dedication to the colony, and the discovery of love. There is Avian and West – one a soldier, one a keeper of secrets. And in the end, Eve will make a choice that will change the future of mankind.

The Bane is The Terminator meets The Walking Dead with a heart-twisting romance.

To Journey In The Year Of The Tiger - H. Leighton DicksonTo Journey in the Year of the Tiger by H. Leighton Dickson
In the Survival of the Fittest, Not All Men are Created Equal. Some are Created Lions.

Kirin Wynegarde-Grey is a young lion with a big job – ensuring the stability and order of the Upper Kingdom, a genetically-altered Empire built in the Ashes of the ‘Ancestors,’ where humans are legend and animals walk like men. When an Ancestor awakens in the West, Kirin must lead a team that includes his unpredictable brother, a lethal swordswoman and three mysterious specialists to eliminate this ancient threat before it can usurp the Way of Things and plunge all the kingdoms into a state of war.

It’s ‘Planet of the Apes’ meets ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.’ Fans of Tolkien, Game of Thrones, or Japanese anime will be entertained in these intelligent, beautifully written pages in a blend of science, fantasy and zoological speculation.

Release Me - J KennerRelease Me by J Kenner
Damien Stark could have his way with any woman. He was sexy, confident, and commanding: anything he wanted, he got. And what he wanted was me.

Our attraction was unmistakable, almost beyond control, but as much as I ached to be his, I feared the pressures of his demands. Submitting to Damien meant I had to bare the darkest truth about my past – and risk breaking us apart.

But Damien was haunted, too. And as our passion came to obsess us both, his secrets threatened to destroy him – and us – for ever.

Shakespeare's Champion - Charlaine HarrisShakespeare’s Champion by Charlaine Harris
Lily Bard is hiding from her past. She’s interested in getting away from her troubles, not finding more. So it’s unfortunate that she stumbles across the corpse of a local bodybuilder in the gym, his neck broken by a barbell.

With this death, the town’s racial tensions reach boiling point. The dead man was connected to two unsolved murders of black residents. And as one dogged policeman tries to stop the killing, Lily is faced with a choice: stay and fight for justice, or run away one more time.

Vote Now

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: Wicked Torture by J. Kenner @juliekenner @eternal_books

Hi Guys, I’m home and kicking off my return with this review of a fantastic book which I hope you’ll all enjoy. The TBR Topple poll is coming later today so keep your eyes peeled!

Description

Outwardly, Noah Carter is riding high as the tech world’s hottest new genius. Inside, he’s still reeling from the abduction of his wife and baby daughter eight years ago, and then the devastating discovery of his child’s body. For years, he kept up hope that his wife was alive, but now that she’s been declared legally dead, he’s thrown himself even more deeply into his work, cutting himself off from emotional ties because they just hurt too damn much.

Then he meets Kiki Porter, an eternal optimist with a killer work ethic and dreams of fronting a band. And everything changes. Even though he tries his damnedest to fight it…

Sexually, they are combustible together. But their true fire is emotional, though it is a slow to burn. But once it lights, it is all consuming. The relationship grows emotionally, the sex is hot, things are good.

But just when it’s looking like they might have a real future together, the past comes back to haunt them. And Noah’s going to have to decide what he’s willing to give up for love…

Review

Noah is such a fantastic character, he’s literally been to hell and back, having had to turn his back on the love of his life to marry someone else, only to have his wife and child ripped away from him in the most awful way. He’s been living a life of mourning and guilt ever since.

He’s told himself he should move on but whenever he has tried he’s fallen at the first hurdle. But now he’s stumbled across Kiki, the woman he turned his back on those years ago and something inside of him has come alive again, he’s reminded of how in love he once was with her and his pursuit is relentless. The problem is that when he turned his back he broke Kiki and she’s not sure she’s strong enough to fall for him again.

Watching these two rediscovering each other, learning who they are after almost a decade apart was moving, the sexual chemistry between them was instant but they needed to learn were they still compatible and could they trust each other. Noah was sure from the instant he saw Kiki, it was like a light went off for him, but for her it was harder she was the one who had been betrayed.

The story weaves in so many directions you don’t see coming that it becomes an interesting and emotional ride to the conclusion.

A huge thanks to J Kenner and Headline Eternal for the ARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleWicked Torture
Series: Stark World #3
Author: J. Kenner
Genre: Romance | Contemporary | Erotica
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Publication Date: 14 November 2017
Review Format: Paperback
Other FormatseBook | Audio
Pages: 272
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | FoylesBook Depository | Speedy Hen | Wordery

Week in Review – 12 November 2017

It’s been another hectic week. After being in London again last weekend for Gollancz Fest (you can catch my write up here) I’ve been busy with volunteering, the blog, writing and trying to squeeze in some reading as well!

NaNoWriMo seems to be going reasonably well so far, I’m fractionally ahead on the word count and considering this book has a mind of its own and I’m struggling to keep it lined up with my outline I’m quite pleased I’m still churning chapters out!

I’m quite behind with reviews at the moment, I’m averaging about ten books waiting to be reviewed at any one time at the moment. So for any authors who know I’ve read their books and are waiting for the reviews, I am getting there but I’m reading quicker than I’m writing at the moment. For those whose books I’ve not read yet, my TBR is ridiculous right now and I’m reading as quickly as possible. I’m staying up until 2/3am most days reading to try and get through as many books as possible.

Next week I’m doing another radio interview about how I got into volunteering with the mental health walking group. I trained as a peer worker and walk leader to volunteer with the group, I’ll be talking about how I got to that point and how I use physical activity to help look after my mental health.

Here are this week’s book updates:

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

I have no words to defend how many books I’ve bought this week…I have a problem!

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

This week I have reviewed:

Three Star: The Lido Girls by Allie Burns.
Four Star: Risky and Wild by Violet Blaze, Professor Next Door by Summer Cooper.
Five Star: Savage and Racy and Glacier by Violet Blaze.

Other Posts

I had a Guest Post from Christina Bauer on the Wolves and Roses blog tour.

The wonderful Jo from My Chestnut Reading Tree joined me on The Bookshelf this week, do check it out if you haven’t already. I wrote about GollanczFest before I forgot everything (hey you know me!).

Music Monday this week featured the rather awesome Delain. I took part in the Anything But Books Tag.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

Week in Review – 8 October 2017

What a week! While grabbing lunch on Wednesday which is when I’m in the office for my volunteering job, I witnessed a knife fight, this happened less than a foot from where I was standing. Totally freaked me out.

Then the same day it took two hours to get home, it seems the buses just decided not to run, it took 45 minutes for one to turn up then it just crawled the rest of the way.

That evening I then got sick and have been wrapped up in blankets since. I’ve decided someone cursed me while I was out buying sushi for my lunch. I’m thinking I won’t buy sushi again!

In writing news, while my book is out with beta readers I have been working on an outline for the next book, I know I’m crazy. I had an idea that was really bugging me so I decided to start working on the outline to get it out of my head. It’s coming together nicely except for one issue that I just can’t seem to find a solution to. I had one of these with book one until I’d almost finished writing it so I may just have to do that again!

Right, here is my bookish update for this week!

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

I’ve gone back to my old ways this week…my TBR is creaking with the strain! In my defence, I have already read six of these though.

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

This week I have reviewed Wicked Dirty by J. Kenner, A Season of Hopes and Dreams by Lynsey James, Abuse by Nikki Sex, and What Goes Down by Natalie K. Martin.

Other Posts

The new TBR Topple post went up this week with books for you to vote on, please do head over and vote on which book you think I should read this month. I featured Within Temptation on Music Monday. I have an interview with Christina Bauer on the Thrax blog tour and with Lynsey James on the A Season of Hopes and Dreams blog tour. This week on The Bookshelf I had author Alys West. I also took part in the Sunshine Blogger Award after receiving another nomination. I was also tagged in the Emperor’s New Clothes Tag.

 

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

#Review: Wicked Dirty by J. Kenner @juliekenner @eternal_books

Description

Sometimes bad isn’t good enough…

Lyle Tarpin appears to be a clean-cut Hollywood actor whose star is on the rise. Inside, he’s battling demons and finding solace in a string of anonymous women paid well for their discretion. But when he’s photographed in a compromising position, the only way to save his career is to claim his companion is his fiancee.

Struggling waitress Sugar Laine is the one woman who’s ever managed to get under Lyle’s skin. She only agrees to spend one night with him because she’s desperate to save her family home.

Neither expects a night of passion and a pretend engagement will blossom into love. But sometimes love has a price. And is it one Lyle and Sugar can afford to pay?

Review

Oh I don’t think there are words for how much I loved Lyle and Sugar. This book really had everything I look for in solid romance and I couldn’t pick any holes in it no matter how hard I tried.

Sugar (or Laine to everybody except Lyle), is on the verge of losing her family home, a devastating prospect as her family died several years before and her home is the only link she has to them remaining. She reluctantly agrees to take on a job as an escort which pays exceedingly well and so she meets Lyle, mega hot movie star with a shit-tonne of emotional baggage from his past.

What I loved was that there was instant chemistry but not instant love. The love creeps up on these two who are so busy trying not to be a couple, whilst pretending to be a couple, for the sake of Lyle’s publicity that they barely see what is happening and then when they do they are in a right old pickle.

I love how J. Kenner has written this, you are on an actual emotional roller-coaster from the first chapter with these characters, I had no idea what they were actually thinking, there was so much denial and insistence things weren’t real that I had no idea what was genuine and what was fake. Underneath it all though these are wonderful characters. Sugar is feisty and strong-willed, she hates anybody doing anything for her and takes help as an insult. While Lyle is so bogged down in the past he’s forgetting to live in the present.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough, I read it in one sitting, I was completely unable to put it down.

A huge thanks to J Kenner and Headline Eternal for the ARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleWicked Dirty
Series: Stark World #2
Author: J. Kenner
Genre: Romance | Contemporary | Erotica
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Publication Date: 19 September 2017
Review Format: Paperback
Other FormatseBook | Audio
Pages: 288
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | Speedy Hen | Wordery