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

#WeekendBlitz: What Goes Down by Natalie K. Martin @natkmartin @NeverlandBT #Review #Giveaway

Hey Guys, thanks for stopping by for Natalie K. Martin’s weekend blitz for What Goes Down 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

WHAT GOES DOWN is an emotional, must-read novel of love, loss and second chances. Set in the present day and late 80’s, WHAT GOES DOWN deals with relationships touched by mental illness, and is perfect for fans of Amanda Prowse and Julie Cohen.

Seph Powell has all she ever wanted: a close family, loving boyfriend and her dream career. A gifted artist with a highly anticipated exhibition just weeks away, her life seems to be perfect. Until a man she’s never met claims to be her real father.

Laurel and Tony Powell are devoted parents. Having worked hard to provide everything for their daughter, they’ve created an enviable, picture-perfect family. Until Laurel’s ex-boyfriend, Nico, comes back into their lives.

In the summer of 1987, Nico stole Laurel’s heart with promises of adventure and excitement. But when he disappeared without trace, he left her as a single, teenaged parent. Now, twenty-five years later, he’s back and keen to meet the daughter he left behind.

But Nico’s sudden reappearance shows that nothing is quite as it first seems. And as long hidden truths are exposed, everything Seph thought she knew about her life begins to unravel.

What Goes Down - Tour Banner

Review

Where do I start with this? I have done little since I finished this book other than think about it and how I was going to write this review. It is a substantially full novel, a lot happens, there is a full cast of characters each with their own nuances, issues, and contribution to the over-arching storyline.

As a summary Seph, a woman in her mid-twenties feels her world come crashing down around her ears when she receives an email from a man named Nico, telling her he is her biological Father and he wants to meet her. She never knew the man she calls Dad wasn’t her biological Father and so begins a tale of two women, Seph as she tries to unravel her life and Laurel, her Mother and how we end up in this position in the first place.

Natalie K. Martin could have settled with weaving a complicated storyline of young love, a neglectful Father and a complicated mess for a young woman to unravel. But she added an element of mental health with members of the family having Bipolar. Regular readers of the blog will know I have Bipolar so am maybe overly critical when I read characters in books who have it. Natalie K. Martin has not only nailed what living with undiagnosed Bipolar is like, but how people react to someone with it, both before and after. Things aren’t always nice and fluffy, people don’t always understand, and sometimes people, especially people you may have hurt, are downright nasty about the illness. Natalie K. Martin has managed to capture this in a way that doesn’t come across as unnatural, but to me felt very real.

I loved this book in a way that is very hard to describe, I felt connected to the characters and loved Nico and Seph with a passion that is hard to put into words. I really hope you all go and pick this book up because it deserves to be read by as many people as possible.

Sending huge thanks to Natalie K. Martin, and Neverland Blog Tours for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this book.

Rating

What Goes Down - Tour Schedule

About Natalie K. Martin

Natalie K. Martin - Author Image

In 2014, Sheffield born Natalie K. Martin left her corporate job in London to experience the world – heading off on travels that took her as far as Cambodia, India and Thailand, and changed her outlook on life for good.  Whilst in India, she self-published her debut novel, Together Apart, which became a No.1 bestseller on the Amazon charts. Her second novel, Love You Better, became a bestseller on release in October 2015.

Never one to shy away from tough subjects, Natalie’s books tackle issues that are relevant and relatable to the everyday woman, and all feature true-to-life characters – people who could easily be your mum, sister, or best friend. This is what she calls: Contemporary Fiction with Love. Natalie’s books have been featured in The Daily Mail, Woman’s Own, Pride Magazine and Female First. She has been interviewed on radio including BBC Radio Sheffield and Manx Radio, and has also written articles for Kindred Spirit Magazine, Do What You Love and Your Wellness Magazine.

A trained Yoga Teacher with a love of surfing, Natalie’s backpack is now taking a short but well-earned rest. These days, she can be found in the historical city of Ulm in Southern Germany, where she’s settled with the charming Bavarian man who swept her off her feet in India. Natalie is represented by Jon Elek at United Agents.

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Giveaway

UK Only – 1 winner

Prizes: £10 Amazon giftcard, a Stag necklace and a copy of the book

Click Here to enter

Book & Buy Links

TitleWhat Goes Down
Series: N/A
AuthorNatalie K. Martin
Genre: Contemporary Fiction | Mental Health
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 28 September 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: 282
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

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

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