Week in Review – 17 September 2017

I posted on Twitter and on my other blog which I’ve now retired, that I would be gradually bringing this one to a close. The response I received, honestly amazed me. Not just the comments on that post, but private messages and emails as well. Thank you to everyone who contacted me, the kind and encouraging words. Also, ironically, the stats on this blog started to go up, and on Friday I received one of those WordPress notifications you occasionally get to tell me my stats were “booming” …go figure!

A couple of people I had some lovely conversations with, they helped me work through what my actual issues are with this blog. Most importantly that I’m spending 4-5 hours a day working on this blog, that my stats had been dwindling to less than 50 visitors per day, when six months ago I was getting several hundred, I’ve invested money in giveaways and not one person has entered them.

The decision I’ve made on the back of my discussions is to transition this into a reviews only blog, and reduce the amount I’m posting. I will keep The Bookshelf, which is still my most popular feature, and this week in review post which I will alter slightly once I’ve worked out a better format.

I have commitments with blog tours and book blitzes between now and January which I will honour so things probably won’t change much before then, but afterwards, I will only do tours with reviews and not loads of them so I’m not quite so overwhelmed.

Anyway, thank you to everyone who contacted me, I really have felt completely deflated by all of this recently and I wasn’t expecting so much support from people when I made the decision to quit. Hopefully this revised decision will alleviate some of the stress.

Finally, don’t forget to vote in my TBR Topple poll if you haven’t already. I will be picking the winner on Wednesday!

To the update…

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

Reviews

This week I reviewed Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning, Spring by Lele Iturrioz, Tipping Point by Terry Tyler, and Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters.

Other Posts

Music Monday saw me post a live video this week, something acoustic and a bit more soulful. I have an excerpt from Falling For You by Charlotte Blake. This week on The Bookshelf I had Joanne from Potobello Book Blog.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

#BlogTour: Spring by Lele Iturrioz @LeleIturrioz @XpressoTours #Review

I am so pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Spring by Lele Iturrioz. This is the second installment in the young adult fantasy series Seasons Within and this series is such a fresh take on the genre. You can follow the rest of the tour via Xpresso Book Tours.

If you missed my review of Book One, you can catch it here. Season Within is also 99p for the duration of this tour, so it’s a great time to get started on this series.

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Description

Gaia finally knows who she is and what she’s meant to do. It’s only been a few weeks since the earth element woke in her. Now that she’s embracing her role as Mother Nature, she must journey with her group of power-wielding friends in a race against time to get back home before Azazel reaches them.

With the awakening of a brand new element, her true past with Edan, a dangerous decision that could change the very essence of who she is, and a traitor among her group, the broken road back to Terra will be a test of strength.

After all, even if Gaia doesn’t know it, war is closer than she thinks.

Spring - Tour Banner

Review

I re-read Seasons Within right before picking Spring up, this isn’t something I usually do but I am so glad I did as Lele Iturrioz has created such a vivid and vibrant world by reading both books back to back I was able to become fully immersed and remember all of the details from the first book before discovering what was to come in the second.

Now that Gaia knows who she truly is, and what her destiny is she works with the six to accomplish it. As they make their way to gates that will take them back to Terra, facing the beasts that Azazel sends in their past she realises her true strength.

I will admit to being surprised at how calmly and easily Gaia accepts her fate. She’s 18 and she takes it on with little more than a shrug. I’m not saying this wouldn’t happen but I expected a little more resistance. I’m in my thirties, and that kind of responsibility would send me into a tailspin!

This book despite having some absolutely epic fight scenes which I was completely invested in, was very much about the relationships. Helping us learn more about the people, getting to know them and learn to love them.

Gaia and Edan grow closer, finally, and learn how to navigate between being a couple and their responsibilities within the team and to each other. There are some hilarious moments between them as well as some truly beautiful moments.

Priyam is an epic character, how she fits into this cast of characters is wonderful. Her friendship with the Australian weapon’s expert Floyd is the best thing in this book and I’m rooting for a relationship to blossom between these two.

Pratt is a character I want to know more about, I have no idea if he is trustworthy, but I like him, a lot. I like the way he talks and acts, I find him funny and mysterious and I want to see more of him and I would love to see him interacting with the group, especially given the big fall out with Edan.

There is a lot of focus on nature in this book, but there is a lot when you look between the lines about human nature in this book, about how people treat each other.

My only gripe was that it ended very suddenly, I know it’s part of a series and the story will continue soon, but it just felt like there was no closure on this book.

Many thanks to Lele Iturrioz and xPresso Book Tours for the eARC to review this novel, these were my honest opinions.

Rating

About Lele Iturrioz

Major geek by day, hermit writer by night! Love books, sugar gliders and everything that comes in a delicious taco.

I’m the author of the YA fantasy  series, Seasons Within

I spend my time writing,  planning on  writing, reading, drinking coffee like there was no tomorrow, MMA and chilling with my friends and loved ones.

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Book & Buy Links

TitleSpring
SeriesSeasons Within #2
Author: Lele Iturrioz
Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: 1 September 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 402
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US

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

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

Week in Review – 6 August 2017

Is anyone else sick of all this rain or is it just me? I mean, seriously, it’s supposed to be summer!

So my Sister and Niece arrived from Lincolnshire this week! I love having them in Bristol, I won’t see too much of them as I’m away from the end of next week and I have a busy week coming up but I will squeeze the time I have. I’m going to Lincolnshire at the end of the month to spend a week with them aswell so we can have some fun then!

Next week the blog will go quiet for a bit, I’m heading to Bloodstock Festival for some heavy metal! If you follow my social media I’m sure you will see lots of hilarity as I update with me in the mosh pits and other such nonsense! I’ll have the blog back on track the middle of the following week once I’ve recovered my hearing and my bruises have gone down!

The writing is going well, I’ve hit a few snags, but I’m working through them, I’m getting a good flow out so I’m pleased with that. I’m going to make a few changes around here over the coming weeks though as it’s all proving too much keeping up with my blog schedule, my life commitments and the time I want to put into writing.

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 swear I’m reading some amazing books this year and it just keeps getting harder to pick my top books. I’m dreading having to do the Top 10 in December!

Blackwing - Ed McDonaldBlackwing by EdMcDonald
When I thought about my book of the month this was the first book that came to my mind, it took me a week to even begin to think about how to put my thoughts into words, this was such an astounding piece of fiction. It has everything any fantasy fan could look for from a novel and is just so damn good. I’m not alone in thinking this either, every single review I have read for this book has been absolutely glowing.

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

Definitely seeing a drop with everything I’m doing at the moment, although The Final Empire is quite a tome so I can’t complain at managing that and four other books!

New Books

Bought / Freebies

eARCs

Reviews

My most recent reviews are: Twice in a Lifetime by Kierney Scott, Before the Tempest by Tani Hanes, The Last Dragon Rider by Errin Krystal, and Little Gray Dress by Aimee Brown.

Other Posts

This week I shared an excerpt as part of The Sullivans Boxed Set Book Blitz, and excerpts from the Myths & Magic collection and The Little Cottage in the Country. A new month means a new TBR Topple poll, don’t miss out on voting! The Bookshelf this week featured blogger Kate from Bibliophile Book Club.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

This is over the next couple of weeks until there will be another review post.

#BlogTour: Seasons Within by Lele Iturrioz @LeleIturrioz @XpressoTours #Review

Today I’m pleased to be a part of the blog tour for Seasons Within by Lele Iturrioz, this is a young adult fantasy novel with an interesting take on the genre. My review is below as is all the information you need to pick up a copy for yourself. You can follow the rest of the tour via Xpresso Book Tours.

Description

Most teenage girls know their name, where they came from, who they are. Not G, a beautiful redhead with unusual markings on her wrist. She gets her name from a silver locket she keeps around her neck, unaware the engraved letter “G” on its front holds the secret to her past.

G’s life before the age of six has been a mystery to her. Each night for the last twelve years she’s been haunted by the same nightmare—a war. Horrendous beasts, warriors able to wield the four elements, and a boy who saves her by means of blue fire taunt her memory. But on her eighteenth birthday, G’s life begins to unravel. When she meets her new Chemistry professor, a man with an uncanny resemblance to the boy who saves her, she knows there must be more to her dreams.

It’s dangerous not knowing who you are, what you’re capable of, and what future awaits you. Especially when the darkness that slaughtered your entire world, just found you.

seasons within -tour banner

Review

Seasons Within initially intrigued me from the cover it was beautiful while mystifying, when I read the synopsis I thought it had a lot going for it with a lot of interesting avenues it could go down.

G doesn’t know anything about where she comes from, who her family were, or even what G stands for. She has grown up in a group home and the closest thing to family she has is her best friend and roomie Priya. When something really odd happens just after an annoying new teacher turns up G starts to discover things about her past she couldn’t have even imagined and sets out on a journey to learn about her past and her future.

I enjoyed Seasons Within the premise was well thought out and equally well executed. The inclusion of nature as the thing that brings power to these characters is very clever and the descriptions are beautiful. The fight scenes intense and the evil characters are pretty darn evil!

The story itself is really enjoyable, it’s cleverly put together and there are a number of really interesting secondary characters who add depth to the book along with a few laughs. Edan who I guess you could call the leading man is an interesting character in that he isn’t Mr Perfect, he is grumpy and quite unpleasant most of the time. There is clearly a lot going on under the surface which is going to be revealed in a later book.

I was impressed with the authors restraint in not going down the line of falling for all the usual YA cliche’s instead trying to keep things as original as possible. I’m sure some of the cliches may creep in as the series develops (it is, of course, inevitable). But I felt for a series opener this was fresh and original.

The book ends with several questions unanswered, some that weren’t actually asked but I ended up asking myself about certain characters so I’m hoping very much that book two starts to answer those as I felt this book produced a lot more questions than answers!

Overall I was very impressed with this novel and really enjoyed it I’m looking forward to seeing the story progress when book two comes out.

Many thanks to Lele Iturrioz for the eARC to review this novel, these were my honest opinions. (My review was revised in September 2017 after I was sent a revised copy of the book which had issues I had raised resolved).

Rating

About Lele Iturrioz

Major geek by day, hermit writer by night! Love books, sugar gliders and everything that comes in a delicious taco.

I’m the author of the YA fantasy  series, Seasons Within

I spend my time writing,  planning on  writing, reading, drinking coffee like there was no tomorrow, MMA and chilling with my friends and loved ones.

facebook twitter goodreads bl-website-logo

Book & Buy Links

TitleSeasons Within
Series: Seasons Within #1
Author: Lele Iturrioz
Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: 15 December 2016
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 388
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US

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