Week in Review – 22 April 2018

I’ve been playing catch up on reviews this week after my blogiversary celebrations last week. A whole week with no reviews left me really backlogged!

My Facebook Group is slowly growing. If you are one of my readers who loves romance please come and join us!

Giveaway Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered my Blogiversary Giveaway. Congratulations to the three winners:

Anne
Danielle
Lindsay

TBR Topple

Magesign - Alan BaxterThis month’s TBR Topple results are in and with a massive 64% of the vote the winner is Magesign by Alan Baxter, I’m super excited about this one, I really enjoyed the first book in this series when I read it many many moons ago and I’ve been caught up with other books and haven’t kept up with this series as I should have. I’ve popped Magesign onto my reading list, it’s a bit choc-full at the moment but I should get to it in the next few weeks so look out for a review early next month.

Fun fact for you Alan and I used to write for an online metal magazine along with Steffanie Holmes whose book I have reviewed this week (see reviews below)…it’s a small world eh?!

The poll will be back on May 1st with new books for you to choose from.

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

eARCs

Reviews

This week I have posted the following reviews:
Five Star: Five Fathers by Kate Morgan, All For 1 by C.M. Stunich, Make Me Want by Katee Robert, Her Dirty Little Secret by JC Harroway and The Castle of Earth and Embers by Steffanie Holmes
Four Star: Ruin by Samantha Towle
Three Star: Let Me Love You by Jessica Jayne and A Bed of Brambles by Sam Russell

Other Posts

I had the cover of a Bon Jovi classic for Music Monday. Kate Coe stopped by for Unsung Heroes. On The Bookshelf this week I welcomed author Jane O’Reilly. I took part in the release blitz for Devros by Echo Hart.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

#Review: Five Fathers by Kate Morgan

Description

Sin or piety.
Those are the two things I’m choosing between when I walk up those stone steps and into the church. Heaven or hell. Pain or pleasure. But sometimes, pleasure brings more hurt than pain.
I’ve learned my lesson the hard way and that’s why I’m doing this, giving up everything I know and love for a whole new life. A life dedicated to something, someone, other than myself.
The thing is, sometimes fate has other ideas.
Out of all the churches in town, I picked this one. This building with its vaulted ceilings and stained glass and all its secrets.
This building that houses them.
My five worst sins.
My five most awesome pleasures.

Review

I remember the first time I saw the cover of this book clearly. It was in one of the reverse harem facebook groups, I was scrolling looking for updates from a few of the authors I’m particularly keen on and I stopped looking at this cover and instantly followed the pre-order link knowing this was a book I had to read. I didn’t even read the blurb at that stage instead wanting to dive in blind.

Natalia finally sees her mob boss Father commit one too many crimes and runs, straight to a church where she thinks she will be safe. Except in that church pretending to be Priests are a team of mercenaries who just happen to be hunting her Father.

Hawke, Arsen, Weston, Colt, and Mace may well be the fire they talk about when people use the saying jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. They are cold, ruthless, and in Arsen’s case insane. Staying with them may seem like the safe choice but it is likely she would be safer in a pit of viper’s.

Natalia’s relationship with them is fraught and uncomfortable but heated as she explores her sexual desires vs her personal feelings. These men just want information and they have no trouble using her to get it. I loved the darkness in this relationship, this wasn’t a romantic story where we are waiting to see a happy ending. I was just hoping everybody got out alive and unscathed.

Five Fathers is a stunning reverse harem which gave me everything I LOVE in a novel like this, but it is definitely not for people who like candlelight and roses served with their books. This is a dark romantic suspense with not a lot of romance!

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleFive Fathers
Series: Undercover Sinners Trilogy #1
Author: Kate Morgan
Genre: Reverse Harem | Romantic Suspense | Dark Romance
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 23 March 2018
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsN/A
Pages: 249
Buy: Books2Read (Universal Link Redirects to Preferred Retailer)

Week in Review – 8 April 2018

I’ve been struggling with the increase to my Lithium dosage, the side effects are treating me badly, but I am battling through and doing the best I can.

I finished the amendments to version four of book one. These were based on feedback I received from a publisher after I had submitted it, so I am hoping once it’s through editing I will resubmit. If it is rejected again I will go ahead and self-publish. I’ve just started the first round of edits on book two after getting all my beta feedback in which is invaluable, thank you to all the betas who helped me with this. If there are others out there who are writing and would like some moral support I’ve started a facebook group for this purpose so come and join us.

Finally, next week will be a bit different around here. It’s my third anniversary as a book blogger so instead of book reviews and the normal order of service I have invited five of my fellow bloggers to write guest posts and join me for the week to celebrate. I will also be giving away three £10/$10 Amazon Gift Vouchers in a Rafflecopter Giveaway to say thank you to you all for supporting me for the past three years. This isn’t the biggest or best book blog out there but those of you who support me are amazing and loyal and I count you all as friends.

Currently Reading

Read This Week

New Books

Bought / Freebies

eARCs

Book Post

Reviews

Five Star: Pretty Reckless and Pretty Ugly by Jane Anthony
Four Star: The Guardian by Nikki Landis

Other Posts

This month’s TBR Topple post went up this week so be sure to go and vote.

I had a jazz cover of System of a Down’s Chop Suey for Music Monday this week.

Jenny from Neverland Blog Tours was our first Unsung Hero, a new feature looking at the people working behind the scenes in the publishing world.

Maggie Christensen was featured on The Bookshelf this week.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

Discussion Post: Amazon Censorship

Wow, I’m finding a lot to make me ranty recently!

I don’t even know where to start with the minefield that is Amazon censoring indie books so that they can’t be sold/aren’t selling/are having sales withdrawn. You name it Amazon is managing to pull it off in this little minefield and I’m just going to say it. It’s freaking bollocks!

I know many of you don’t read this genre, but the fact Amazon is doing this is something everybody should be interested in because if they are going to start censoring one group of books and authors what is to stop them starting on another at any time they deem convenient to them.

Many Reverse Harem authors are having their books recategorised as erotica. This may not seem too much of an issue on the surface. But Erotica novels become hard to find especially once they’ve been blocked. They sit behind filters where you can only find them with a direct link. Even the title and author search won’t get you near them.

Amazon has a very ambiguous content guideline:

“What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect.”

I mean seriously? Nothing like closing your eyes, spinning around a few times then drawing a line on a chalkboard! For heaven’s sake, this is basically saying it’s totally up to whoever happens to be looking at any one time and what they deem offensive.

So, back to the novels which have been tagged as erotica. Some of them don’t even have any sex in them. They have been tagged this way purely because they are reverse harem. Yes, contrary to popular belief, not all reverse harem’s are bonk-fests! As with any romance genre, they come on a sliding scale. So for books with zero sex to be tagged as erotica and start being penalised as such is just downright appalling.

Some of them do have sex in, but not all books which contain sex are erotica. Now I am not going to sit here and explain the nuances between an adult romance novel containing sex and erotica. But there are differences. So when an author uploads their book and chooses the genre which best suits their book (because let’s face it who knows a book better than the author?) I’m assuming they pick the genres best suited to them.

This is what happened to Kate Morgan when she uploaded her debut novel Five Fathers. Categorised as Romantic Suspense, it has a very slightly racy cover, but not overly compared to most. I haven’t read this yet, but I pre-ordered it months ago so it won’t take me long to get it into my read queue but you can read an excerpt from it here, definitely not the sauciest excerpt I’ve ever had! The point is Amazon, not only re-categorised this as Erotica, they also censored it meaning that now people can only buy Kate’s book if they have a direct link to it which, of course, will obliterate her sales. Needless to say…you can tell in the post Kate put up this morning how devastating this is for her as an author:

If you want to pick up a copy of Five Fathers, even if this isn’t your usual cup of tea, in solidarity for Kate’s plight the link to do so is: https://books2read.com/u/bxq7r6 (this will redirect to your chosen retailer)

So what do we do? We can’t boycott Amazon, most of us use Kindles so the bulk of our books are bought from Amazon. Plus Amazon is the primary publishing platform for indie authors. And while I love the big publishing houses I buy far more books by indie authors than anybody else so a boycott will only punish those authors we really want to be supporting.

I’ve seen it suggested that we boycot Amazon for anything but indie author books. Which is definitely something to consider although I worry with things like this what impact it will actually have because hey, it’s Amazon and do they really care about a few lost sales? Thoughts people?

Other authors have fallen victim to this re-categorisation multiple times with books that are definitely not erotica. Knowing one of the authors affected I know that their books are at best borderline but none that I would put in the full erotica category. It is only due to the absolute bloody-minded persistence of this author that they were able to get Amazon’s decision reversed on one of the novels, but this same author has had their sales rankings stripped from other novels which is incredibly unfair and something I cannot even begin to wrap my head around. This is an extremely popular indie author and they are being penalised for that popularity as far as I can tell. But again we get to the point, as the author they know better than anybody which genre their book falls into and should not be penalised because Amazon has got a stick up their arse.

So… what do we do? How do we tackle this? Come on bookish folk…let’s get our heads together.

Do we set up a petition? Do we all write letters to Amazon in a mass complaint?

Hit me with your ideas…we’ve got a fantastic community, share this post, let’s all get onto this and work with these amazing indie authors to find a solution to fighting the behemoth that is Amazon.

As I said at the beginning of this post, even if this isn’t your genre…it could be your genre next so we need to come together on this.

Week in Review – 25 March 2018

I don’t have words for this week. It has been bad on so many levels. But I am continuing to keep pushing through.

I’ve set up a new feature and will be starting it in April. I’m trying to add more interesting content to the blog and take the pressure off of my reading as well. It will be called Unsung Heroes and will focus on people who work in the more background roles in the publishing world. I have a page set up which explains a bit more and has a sign up form for anybody who is interested.

Here is this week’s very quiet book news…

Currently Reading

Read This Week

DNF

New Books

Bought / Freebies

eARCs

Reviews

Five Star: The Little Wedding Island by Jaimie Admans, Dark Glitter by C.M. Stunich and Tate James, and Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis.
Three Star: Cards from Khloe’s Flower Shop by Isabella Louise Anderson

Other Posts

I featured Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling on Music Monday this week. I had an excerpt from Kate Morgan’s Five Fathers. Susanna Beard joined me on The Bookshelf this week.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

#BlogTour: Five Fathers by Kate Morgan @XpressoTours #Excerpt

I’m really looking forward to reading this, I’ve had it on pre-order for months and was really hoping to get a review to you today but there was an issue with the ARC’s so I haven’t been able to. BUT I do have a sexy excerpt which I hope that you will enjoy and I will get a review to you ASAP once my pre-order comes through. You can follow the tour at Xpresso Book Tours. This is a standalone reverse harem novel and Kate Morgan’s debut release!

Description

Sin or piety.

Those are the two things I’m choosing between when I walk up those stone steps and into the church. Heaven or hell. Pain or pleasure. But sometimes, pleasure brings more hurt than pain.

I’ve learned my lesson the hard way and that’s why I’m doing this, giving up everything I know and love for a whole new life. A life dedicated to something, someone, other than myself.

The thing is, sometimes fate has other ideas.

Out of all the churches in town, I picked this one. This building with its vaulted ceilings and stained glass and all its secrets.

This building that houses them.

My five worst sins.

My five most awesome pleasures.

Five Fathers - Tour Banner

Excerpt

“Mrs. Carroll,” Hawke says, setting me down suddenly and grabbing the edges of my shirt.  He jerks it back into place and covers up all my bits.

 

 

 

“Father Dell used to … set a box outside this door to collect donations for the homeless,” the woman said, staring, not at the giant man in the body armor and guns, but at me.  Me!

 

 

 

I try to move, but Hawke tightens his grip, the muscles in his arm bulging and tensing like steel.  I can hardly even breathe.  But having that big, solid form behind me is… exhilarating.  Hawke smells like leather and musk and man.

 

 

 

“Yes, well, that’s an excellent idea,” he grumbles as I stand there like the typical mob-daughter that I am.  Here is a person, unconnected to all of this shit, and I’m not screaming or calling out for help.  Because back home, all that would do is get the old woman killed.

 

 

 

At least, that’s what my father would do.

 

 

 

“We’ll … look into that,” he continues, reaching past me with a big hand, and slamming the door closed in the old woman’s face.

 

 

 

“Your cover is fucked,” I breathe, but Hawke just grunts and lets go of me before putting his hands on my shoulders and turning me around to face him.  His eyes bore into mine as I swallow past the lump in my throat.  I look up, up, up at him and wonder if this is the moment where it all ends.

 

 

“So, are you going to kill me now?”

 

 

 

“Kill you?” Hawke asks with a long exhale.

 

 

“Not exactly.”

 

 

 

He steps back and gives me a look, propping his hands on his hips.

 

 

 

“Not … exactly?” I choke out as our gazes meet and a hot thrill takes over my body.

 

 

 

“You have two choices here, Natalia: let us take you to the nunnery … or stay here.”

 

 

 

“And if you do go to the nunnery,” Arsen says, grinning maniacally, “you best be careful.  We have agents there, too.  And they’ll be watching.”

 

 

 

“Agents?” I ask as Hawke looks me straight in the face.

 

 

 

“If you stay here, you also have two choices,” Hawke continues.  “Wait us out until we finish what we came here to do … or let me teach you.”

 

 

 

“Teach … me?” I ask as Hawke sucks in a breath.

 

 

 

“Dude, are you serious?” Colt asks, storming over to us and looking between me and Hawke like he’s crazy.  “Just let her go, man!”

 

 

 

“I can’t let her go!’ Hawke roars, and my skin erupts in goose bumps.

 

 

“I can’t let her go now.”

 

 

 

“She doesn’t know anything,” Colt says, sounding exasperated.

 

 

“Let her walk, man.”

 

 

 

“She knows enough,” Hawke responds with a sigh.

 

 

“And she’s his daughter.  I … can’t let her go.”

 

 

He stares at me, and I imagine that in a different scenario, hearing those words–I can’t let her go–would be a breathtaking experience.

 

 

 

“So … my choices are go to the nunnery or … you really are going to kill me?”

 

 

 

“You can stay here until we’re finished with our mission.  And then we’ll let you go.  But, if you stay, consider signing on with us. After that life you’ve led, you’d be a perfect candidate.”

 

 

 

“This is ridiculous!” Colt shouts, throwing up his hands and pacing a short, wild rut in the floor.  “You can’t hire her.”

 

 

 

“She’s perfect,” Arsen says, slinking up behind Hawke and taking a seat on the edge of the table.  “With all the shit she must know.”

 

 

 

“I’m willing to hire you to be a part of my team,” Hawke says, “but you’ll have to be willing to work.”

 

 

 

“Work for … what?” I ask and he gives me a tight smile.

 

 

 

“If you joined our team, your life would change forever.  I’ll give you a rundown, and if you think you’re up for it … we’d love to have you.”

 

 

 

“Hear that?” Arsen smirks.  “We’d love to have you.

 

 

 

Blinking at the group of men in front of me, I have a bad, bad feeling about this.

Giveaway

An eBook Copy of Five Fathers

International Tour Wide Giveaway ends 29 March.

Click Here to go to Rafflecopter and enter.

Book & Buy Links

TitleFive Fathers
Series: N/A
Author: Kate Morgan
Genre: Adult | Contemporary | Romance | Reverse Harem
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 23 March 2018
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: TBA
Buy: Books2Read (will redirect you to your preferred supplier)

Week in Review – 7 January 2018

Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed the festive season and have jumped back into the new year with gusto! Here is my first week in review of 2018!

You will notice I’ve given the blog a makeover! I’ve been planning this for a while and I hope that you like it as much as I do!

I’m currently beta reading two books for author friends so I’ve slowed down on my normal reading a little while I work through those beauties, and beauties they are! I’ve also put my writing on hold while I work through these two books. My first book is also with my wonderful editor now as well and I’ve started working on her marketing strategy for her as part of the skills exchange we agreed to in lieu of financial payment.

I’ve hopefully got my asthma issues on the right path to being fixed now. I’ve been given a new inhaler which I’ve been told is particularly good for people with exercise induced asthma who do a lot of exercise, which apparently I qualify for these days! I’ve only been taking it a few days so we will see how it goes but I’m hopeful. I’m now running every day, and back to my classes, three per week and although the asthma is still kicking my butt I’m pushing through.

Yesterday I went to a taster day at a dance studio in Bristol, trying out things like pole dancing, burlesque, and chair dancing. I have never been good at dance, I have no co-ordination, I’m not flexible, and I have no rhythm at all, so I had no idea what this day would be like. Six classes down I’m aching like you wouldn’t believe and covered in bruises but I had so much fun. I can also confirm that I cannot twerk or pole dance to save my life but I was pretty good at burlesque and chair dancing…who’d have thunk it?!

Right, here are this week’s book updates:

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Pre-Orders

eARCs

Reviews

This week I have reviewed:

Five Star: The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams, The Dragon’s Wing by Tate James, and Patient Zero by Terry Tyler

Other Posts

Most Anticipated Books of 2018 went up this week and the TBR Topple Poll for January went up so don’t miss out on voting for my next read. I announced I’m taking part in the Mount TBR Reading Challenge this year.

James J. Cudney was our featured author on The Bookshelf this week.

Myles Kennedy was featured on Music Monday.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books