It’s been another rough week for me, I’m really struggling with my bipolar right now, not sleeping, hearing voices, and balancing on the edge of a cliff where if I fall I’m in full-blown mania. My meds have been adjusted and dealing with those side effects are just as bad as the illness itself. But I’m getting through and I just have to keep reminding myself that it will end.
I do have things I want to talk about but I just don’t have it in me right now so I’ll just go with the update and hopefully, by next week I will have more wits about me…
Book of the Month
January has come to an end so it’s time to pick a book of the month, and straight away I just can’t pick one, it’s been a stellar month for books…I see my top 10 at the end of the year being impossible!
The Bitter Twins is the latest from Jen Williams, book two in The Winnowing Flame Trilogy. This book was everything I expect from Williams and more. Firmly cementing her position at the top of my fantasy author tree. My review can be found here.
The Dragon’s Wingand The Tiger’s Ambushare books two and three in the Kit Davenport series by Tate James and I’m classing them as a two for one here. While this is pegged as a reverse harem series, the paranormal/urban fantasy elements are absolutely fantastic and have me completely hooked. Anybody who loves paranormal/urban fantasy and is curious about reverse harem this is the series to start with because it is just perfectly executed and for me, the fantasy elements are far more prominent, although the romance is hot and heavy when it gets going.
Blunt Force Magic by Lawrence Davis is a surprise entry, the author had approached another blogger who reviews crime and she had tagged me and a couple of other fantasy loving bloggers. I was hooked by the description so despite not wanting to take on new books right now I said I would review it and I have no regrets, it was gripping, funny, and had some of the best battle scenes I’ve read in a while. Just so friggin good. Here is my review.
2Cellos were featured on Music Monday. The new TBR Topple post has gone up so check it out and vote on which book I@m going to read from my TBR this month. Lainy from Always Reading took part in The Bookshelf this week.
Janzen Robinson is a man torn between two worlds. Five years removed from a life as an apprentice to a group of do-gooding heroes who championed the fight against supernatural evils, the once-promising student is now a package courier going through the daily grind, passing time at a hole-in-the-wall bar and living in a tiny, run-down apartment on the south side of Cleveland, Ohio.
Then fate (or a case of bad timing) brings him face to face with a door that’s got his old life written all over it. From the ancient recesses of unyielding darkness known as the Abyss, a creature has been summoned: a Stalker, a predator whose real name is forbidden to be spoken aloud. It’s a bastardization of the natural order, a formidable blend of dark magic and primal tenacity. Its single-minded mission? Ending the life of a fiery, emerging young witch.
Thrust into the role of protector, a role once reserved for those he’d lost years ago, the out-of-practice “Artificer” not only has to return to a life he’d left behind, but must relive that painful past while facing down the greatest threat to come to our world in a century. Janzen will have to journey through the magical underbelly of the city and not only stay one step ahead of an unstoppable monster hellbent on destruction but try and figure out why it’s been brought to our world in the first place. Past wounds are reopened as Janzen looks to old friends, a quiet stranger, and his own questionable wits to see them all to the other side of this nightmare that may cost him his life and, quite possibly, the world itself.
Books occasionally sneak up on you and take you by surprise. I took this book on at a time when I am literally refusing every single request I get, and I said yes to this for a few reasons. I share a name with the name character, my maiden name is Robinson, had to be fate right! There’s a mental health slant with elements of PTSD written into the story. And that blurb just hooked me, man, how could I say no after reading that?
I didn’t think I would get to this for a while, but it was eating away at me so I just picked it up and got on with it and boy am I glad that I did. Blown away doesn’t even seem close enough to cover how strongly this book hit the mark.
An urban fantasy, Blunt Force Magic follows Janzen Robinson, a parcel delivery guy who stumbles into a supernatural situation which is about to go nuclear. A Stalker from another realm has landed and wants blood, the blood of Maria a young, I guess you would call her a witch. Now Janzen isn’t a normal parcel delivery guy, he’s kind of been hiding for the last few years since his trainer and all their buddies got killed while out on a job. See, he was training to be an artificer which is kind of like a modern day war mage.
The magic in this book is cleverly done, Janzen doesn’t possess magic as such, he can’t cast a spell, wave a wand etc and have things happen, everything has to be carefully planned out, he has to carve runes into objects to weaponise them. Very clever and almost steampunk in design…I liked it a lot. Restricted just how powerful he could be, and put him in a lot of danger much of the time when up against monsters with limitless power.
The people/creatures/supernaturals he turns to for help and advice were brilliant, there were those who made me laugh, some who were just plain weird and others who had me screaming for him to run away sure they were going to double-cross any moment. The world is carefully and clearly developed using these characters and their homes/businesses as anchors and you get a good feel for what this supernatural Cleveland is like.
Janzen is the perfect anti-hero. He’s a cocky guy full of snark and sarcasm (totally on my level), he is also insecure and absolutely doesn’t want to be doing this saving the world bullshit. But there he is doing it anyway. Then he ends up unwillingly partnered with the epitome of a hero in Grove, a badass veteran who could shoot every last zombie in a horde with both arms tied behind his back, and the fact he’s a stud really seems to piss Janzen off!
This is a book full of dark humour that had me laughing at very inappropriate times, between Janzen’s witty comebacks and the general tone of the book even the very dark direction the book takes at time doesn’t drag you too far into the pits of despair because something happens or is said that soon has you laughing your way out of it.
I can’t say much more, this book was absolutely brilliant. I am so glad it’s the first in a series because Janzen and Grove were superb characters who I definitely want to read more of. I can’t recommend this highly enough it was just such a bloody pleasure to read.
I have to thank Lawrence Davis for the eARC so that I could read and provide my honest opinion.
Book & Buy Links
Title: Blunt Force Magic Series: The Monsters & Men Trilogy #1 Author:Lawrence Davis Genre: Fantasy | Urban Fantasy | Magic | Mental Health | Military Publisher: Wild Blue Press Publication Date: 10 January 2018 Review Format: eBook Other Formats: Paperback Pages: 232 Buy:Amazon UK | Amazon US
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.
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
The 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.
Welcome to another week in review. Honestly, I have no idea where this week has gone, I have been so busy, and there hasn’t been much time for reading or blogging!
I managed to do some damage to my legs with all the exercise I’ve been doing (oops!) My quads are in a bit of a state so I’m having to be quite careful at the moment and rest a lot more than I want to.
I took on some admin on a voluntary basis for the walking group but starting to look into it this week it’s an absolute mess, so will require a lot more input than I had committed to…not amused.
I’ve got a few things going on/on the back burner I can’t talk about just yet but as soon as I can I definitely will because they are really exciting/interesting.
I’m working on a really interesting marketing plan for a freelance client, it’s going to take me a few weeks to pull the first draft together but I’m digging up some really interesting information for it.
I’ve been beta reading this week so books aren’t showing on my reading list below but they have been read. I’ve been reading for two different authors. Both authors I’ve read for before and know what they want in terms of how I feedback. I also have another beta read coming soon so will be making space for that as soon as it lands. I’ve just jumped back into reading for some tours I have coming up so will be doing that for the next few days.