Week in Review – 1 October 2017

Great week this week (hooray!) Monday was all about the books! I went to the Fantasy Faction Grim Gathering in Bath which turned out to be a blast, big up to Marc at Fantasy Faction for putting on a great event. On the panel was Peter V. Brett, Mark Lawrence, Joe Abercrombie, Peter Newman, and Anna Stephens. A pretty epic line up I have to say. Having just read and reviewed both Anna and Mark’s releases I was keen to get them signed and say Hi to them both.

The panel discussion was great, lots of talk around, what is grimdark, are their books actually grimdark and what does hope contribute to these books. It was a really interesting discussion and the authors were charismatic and funny. It was also interesting to see the breadth of answers between authors, especially around planning where some plan meticulously where others wing it and just write and see where the writing takes them.

Something quite random did happen, I got myself seated for the panel discussion, and someone came along and asked if they could get into the seat next to me. He got seated and started chatting with the guy on the other side and I thought to myself “he looks familiar” and I heard him mention his publisher to the guy he was talking to. So my head is spinning, thinking he can’t be who I think he looks like surely? Once the panel had finished I started talking to him and shock he was Ed McDonald and the guy he was talking to was sci-fi author Tom Toner.

We all ended up around the corner in a local pub and I had a great night chatting with everyone, there were some absolutely hilarious moments and lots of book talk. I got to meet seven authors, and hung out with four of them properly over drinks so an absolutely great night.

On Friday, I  joined a few friends at a rock and metal club night. I used to go to this every Friday night back when I was a wee whipper snapper. This is the first time I’ve been out to a club since I stopped drinking so it was an interesting test of the sobriety. Turns out I had a fantastic time, lots of dancing, laughing, singing and drinking far too much lemonade. I was on quite the sugar high when I got home! I think the plan is for us to go to the next one they run just before Halloween which should be good, I might even dress up!

Here’s the bookish update for this week…

Book of the Month

Raising Fire - James BennettThis month’s winner is a no-brainer, I reviewed it this week but my love of the lead character and the fact I’ve been chomping at the bit to read it for almost a full year meant that it was almost guaranteed a slot in book of the month short of it being a complete flop! Raising Fire by James Bennett was actually better than I expected, completely propelling the main character on from the first book and taking the story onto a new level. An absolutely fantastic read!

My review can be found here.

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

I’ve actually been reasonably well behaved this week…patting myself on the back!

Bought / Freebies

ARCs

Reviews

This week started with a review of The Sullivans Box Set by Bella Andre. I then reviewed Raising Fire by James Bennett, Thousands of Candles by Tani Hanes, Wicked Grind by J. Kenner, and The Christmas Holiday by Maxine Morrey.

Other Posts

I had Lacuna Coil featured on Music Monday this week. I featured an excerpt of By Blood Sworn by Janice Jones. I did a review of Paperless Post this week as something a bit different. Jackie from Never Imitate Blog joined me for The Bookshelf this week.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

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#WeekendBlitz: The Christmas Holiday by Maxine Morrey @Scribbler_Maxi @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT #Review #Giveaway

Hey Guys, thanks for stopping by for Maxine Morrey’s weekend blitz for The Christmas Holiday courtesy of Neverland Blog Tours, you can catch my review below and the blitz schedule aswell so you know who the other blogs are hosting content and reviews this weekend. There is also a fab giveaway that you won’t want to miss at the end of the post.

Description

Fall in love this winter on a romantic trip around the world ending in a fairy-tale winter wedding!

As winter comes to London, journalist Mia Walker is desperately hoping for her big break as a travel writer, dreaming of exotic locations and sun-soaked beaches. When she’s invited to write a romantic travel piece that ends in a huge winter wedding in Scotland, she jumps at the chance. The only trouble is, the photographer is renowned adventure-junkie Hunter Scott, who Mia last saw five years ago when she ended their engagement.

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and Mia knows she’d be mad to say no – even if it does mean spending weeks traveling round the world with the one man she never wanted to see again! But as the wedding approaches, and the magic of Christmas begins to take hold, Mia can’t help looking out for mistletoe – and wishing she hadn’t cancelled her own engagement after all…

The Christmas Holiday - Tour Banner

Review

It’s fairly well known I’m not a huge fan of Christmas books, well Christmas in general, but I loved the sound of this one and decided to dive in. Mia is a journalist who is stuck on the weddings section but dreams of covering travel. When she’s offered the opportunity to cover a pre-wedding holiday for her editors daughter and her fiance she jumps at the chance.  Unfortunately, joining them on the trip is photographer Hunter, who happens to be Mia’s ex-fiance.

Not only does this book take us on a luxurious trip around the world but we get to see Mia and Hunter navigate their awkward relationship. And awkward it is, every time they start to get on, one of them pulls away and the cold shoulder comes out in full force. The one thing neither of them seems willing to do is back down and discuss what actually happened between them.

It is also quite clear that whatever happened between them all those years ago had a profound and long lasting effect on them both but their stubbornness and inability to talk means their one chance to possibly fix things will probably slip them by.

This book made me laugh and cry. I absolutely loved Hunter, he was one of those characters who tried to cover his obviously very kind and sensitive personality with a rough and gruff exterior. Mia is such a funny character, she’s very much out of her depth with the job and especially Hunter being there but just keeps pushing and fighting to prove herself probably more to him than anybody else.

I highly recommend this one, this is less about Christmas and the time of year than about the people and the travelling so didn’t bog me down in the festive season (whoop)!

Sending a huge thanks to Maxine Morrey, HQ Digital, and Neverland Blog Tours for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this book.

Rating

The Christmas Holiday - Tour Schedule

About Maxine Morrey

Maxine Morrey - bio pic b&w

Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten. Coming in first, she won a handful of book tokens – perfect for a bookworm!

As years went by, she continued to write, but ‘normal’ work often got in the way. She has written articles on a variety of subjects, aswell as a book on Brighton for a Local History publisher. However, novels are what she loves writing the most. After self publishing her first novel when a contract fell through, thanks to the recession, she continued to look for opportunities.

In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK’s ‘Write Christmas’ competition with her romantic comedy, ‘Winter’s Fairytale’.

Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words, can be found tackling her To Be Read pile, sewing, listening to podcasts, and walking.

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Giveaway

1 winner
Prizes:
Signed copy of The Christmas Project
The Christmas Holiday notebook
Galaxy chocolate bar
Chocolate penguins and snowballs
Elephant keyring
UK ONLY!

Click Here to enter

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Christmas Holiday
Series: N/A
AuthorMaxine Morrey
Genre: Chick-Lit | Women’s Fiction | Christmas
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 22 September 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: 384
Buy: Amazon UK

Week in Review – 24 September 2017

I don’t even have words for this week. I finally went to the doctor about this depression which has been weighing me down. We put a plan in place to help me deal with it above and beyond what I was already doing and then I went on to have one of the busiest and most stressful weeks in living memory!

On Wednesday I was at City Hall for my health walk leader training, I love City Hall it’s a beautiful building, I tried sneaking some photo’s but it wasn’t appropriate. I now just have to lead a couple of walks supervised and then I can be let loose…this is assuming the political side of me being a walk leader gets sorted, but that’s a whole other blog post!

I can’t remember if I mentioned in my volunteering role we’ve been putting together a big campaign, and prepping for the charities 30th anniversary, well this week saw us launch the campaign with the help of the rather awesome Jonny Benjamin and the anniversary party on Friday. Honestly I haven’t worked this hard since I was working full time.

On Thursday I received a call to ask if I minded doing a radio interview on Friday morning to talk about the social media campaign and my involvement with the charity. So off I trotted arriving at the BBC at 7:30am Friday morning to be on air for 8am, Jonny very kindly joined from London as well. If you want to listen the audio will be online for the next month. My interview is at 1:36:04 for 10 mins you can skip it along to when it starts. Click Here.

The party went well and the campaign was introduced, a film we have been working on was previewed and went down really well (I will share this with you guys once it goes public). I was introduced to members of the board which was completely surreal like I’d been sucked into the inner sanctum, being a volunteer you don’t normally get to meet these people. I also caught up with lots of people I know from my time in various areas of the service the charity provides which was nice.

Friday topped out with me going to the theatre to see The Addams Family musical, but I was so tired I spent most of it dozing and didn’t take it in too well. It was such a long day and I didn’t get home until almost 1am, having left the house at 6:30am!

I haven’t done an awful lot by way of writing this week, only about three chapters worked on although I did manage to get a new chapter I wanted to include written so that’s something. I’m hoping to work on more next week and finish it off so it can go to my lovely beta readers before the end of the week.

The TBR Topple winner for this month has been chosen, thanks to everyone who voted. There were some great books in the mix this month and some I was really keen on reading. The winner was one of those so I’m really pleased to pick it up next week, Firestorm by Rachel Caine. A new mix of options will go up at the beginning of October.

Right, here is my bookish update for this week!

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Reviews

This week I’ve reviewed The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C Cherry, The Definition of Icing and Playing Defense by Aven Ellis, and The Sinking Chef by Sylvia Ashby.

Other Posts

Music Monday featured Game of Thrones the Musical, because why not? I had an excerpt from Five by J.A. Huss. Author Claire Buss was on The Bookshelf this week.

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

The Discoverability Challenge – 2017

I was looking to add a challenge to my reading this year in addition to the Goodreads Reading Challenge which is just about the number of books you read. I enjoyed keeping tabs on how Joanne Hall was doing with her Discoverability Challenge last year, a challenge to read more female authors, especially within the SFF genre. When she posted she was doing it again this year and within the post put a call out for others to join her this seemed the perfect challenge to join, especially as I have quite a pile of books waiting to be read by female authors I’ve not read before.

The rules are simple, read at least one book per month in any genre, fiction or non-fiction by a female author you’ve not read before. As I take part in blog tours and pick up books from NetGalley this will be easily achievable so I have set myself the goal of making sure that I read at least one SFF novel by a female author I’ve not read before each month to chip away at that pile I mentioned earlier!

I will keep a list here of all the authors I read who qualify for the Discoverability Challenge, and for all the books I specifically read for the challenge I will tag them and link them back to this page. I’m looking forward to seeing how many new female authors I discover in 2017!

My 2017 Discovered Female Authors

  1. Victoria Aveyard – Cruel Crown
  2. Jill Mansell – Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay
  3. Sheila Norton – The Vets at Hope Green
  4. Anabelle Bryant – The Den of Iniquity
  5. Lele Iturrioz – Seasons Within
  6. Cassandra Piat – Stuck With Me
  7. Anne Bishop – Written In Red
  8. Judith Colquhoun – A Country Practice: New Beginnings
  9. Nikki Landis – Dark Promise
  10. Sarah Morgan – Sleepless in Manhattan
  11. Donna Compositor – Curse of Stars
  12. Liz Gavin – Celtic Fire
  13. Clare Morrall – When the Floods Came
  14. Jane Ederlyn – Reborn
  15. Tamara Lush – Hot Shade
  16. Abbie Roads – Saving Mercy
  17. H. Leighton Dickson – Dragon of Ash & Stars
  18. J.D. Hughes – My Beautiful Disaster
  19. Laini Taylor – Strange the Dreamer
  20. Sybil Bartel – Rough
  21. Harper Sloan – Lost Rider
  22. Deborah Wilde – The Unlikeable Demon Hunter
  23. Catherine Green – The Darkness of Love
  24. Deborah A. Wolf – The Dragon’s Legacy
  25. Lynda Young Spiro – There is Always More to Say
  26. Greta Stone – Cry Wolf
  27. Gail Marie Mitchell – Loving The Life Less Lived
  28. Rachel Burton – The Many Colours of Us
  29. C.M. Stunich – Groupie
  30. Cristina Hodgson – A Little of Chantelle Rose
  31. J. Aislynn d’Merricksson – Mother of Wolves
  32. Patricia A. McKillip – Alphabet of Thorn
  33. Tiffany Shand – Shifter Clan Series
  34. Lilly Bartlett – The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square
  35. Jaimie Admans – The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters
  36. Anna Stephens – Godblind
  37. Laurie Winters – Home Field
  38. Tani Hanes – Living In The Shallows
  39. Rachel Van Dyken – Cheater
  40. Joanna Mazurkiewicz – Wyvern Awakening
  41. Holly James – Worth Remembering
  42. Caitlyn Lynch – Ellie’s Encounter
  43. Chantelle Griffin – Made In The Image Of The Goddess
  44. A.L. Michael – Cocktails & Dreams
  45. Errin Krystal – The Last Dragon Rider
  46. Aimee Brown – Little Gray Dress
  47. Sarah Bennett – Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove
  48. Karen Marie Moning – Darkfever
  49. Terry Tyler – Tipping Point
  50. Erika Gardner – The Dragon in the Garden
  51. Pepper Winters – Tears of Tess
  52. Brittainy C Cherry – The Air He Breathes
  53. Sylvia Ashby – The Sinking Chef
  54. Maxine Morrey – The Christmas Holiday
  55. J Kenner – Wicked Grind
  56. Nikki Sex – Abuse
  57. Natalie K. Martin – What Goes Down
  58. Keary Taylor – Branded
  59. Alexandra Weis – Damned
  60. C.M Stunich & Tate JamesElements of Mischief
  61. Violet Blaze – Biker Rockstar Billionaire CEO Alpha
  62. Summer Cooper – Professor Next Door
  63. Leigh LaValle – Breathless
  64. Allie Burns – The Lido Girls
  65. Lilac Mills – And A Sixpence For Luck
  66. Ellen Wiles – The Invisible Crowd
  67. J Mercer – Dark and Stormy
  68. Mhairi McFarlane – You Had Me At Hello
  69. Jackie Ladbury – Air Guitar and Caviar