Oh what a week it has been. My mental health is taking a nose dive, and getting what is supposed to be an emergency appointment with a psychiatrist is proving to be the usual song and dance. I finally got an appointment scheduled on Friday, two weeks after I was referred, the appointment will be a further two weeks away. So four weeks for an emergency appointment. I was told if things get too bad to call the crisis line or go to A&E. I know I still have some control because I’m finding some sarcasm to deal with things.
I have to announce that the model feature Getting Cozy With… has been axed, not my choice nor the models but there were some external issues that despite my best efforts couldn’t be resolved. The timing pretty much couldn’t have been worse for me with it all happening on one of the days when I was sickest this week and didn’t have the strength to fight so I just gave in and gave it up.
I’m trying very hard to keep things ticking over here, but it’s a struggle and with the loss of my favourite feature and this reading slump I’m in I am finding it very hard to find any enthusiasm for the blog right now.
I promised a Comic-Con update this week so here we go, unfortunately, I forgot my phone so there is a severe lack of photos. The cosplay was amazing and I will definitely consider taking part next time I go. It has to be said it really is heaven for a geek so many stalls full of things we live for!
We saw a Q&A with Hayley Atwell, all I can say is Awesome! And we sat in on the panel with the Hasbro Brand Directors for Star Wars and Marvel. This was just absolutely awesome not just as a fan of both brands but also as a marketer. I was totally absorbed in every word they had to say for the whole hour!
I got some great swag, including finally picking myself up a Lemmy Funko Pop which I’ve been wanting to get for a while.
I also picked up a few books, spending far more money than I budgeted for! Oops!
It was also Halloween this week. I love Halloween, it’s my favourite “holiday” of the year. Bet you would never have guessed that! It’s also my wedding anniversary so we got trussed up and went out to celebrate eight years of marriage…I’m not sure how eight years have passed but there you go!
The first teaser for a project I’ve been working on at my volunteer job was launched this week. The ironic thing given I’m pretty much running this campaign is that I’ve also got the starring role in this video, so I’ve attached it below in case you fancy taking a look. The full-length video with a full cast of people will go live at the end of the month.
Also on the subject of mental health, I signed up for the Mental Health Media Charter this week. There is a post about this here. But it’s basically a way of saying that you agree to speak about mental health in a respectful manner. Given my own experiences, this took me seconds to agree to and I’m proud to be publically supporting this charter.
Yesterday I was in London again for Gollancz Fest which was awesome. I have a pile of notes so will get those sorted and write a blog post.
Finally, I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, so if you’re on the site as well do add me, BrizzleLass, and we can go a bit mad together as the month crawls on and our word count gets further away from completion!
I have some of the swag I picked up to share with one lucky person. If you would like some Comic-Con swag then enter this Rafflecopter Giveaway which will be open for the next week, this is international.
Wow, where is the year going? November already! Here are my book of the month picks for October, I couldn’t decide on one…again!
Kierney Scott is easily one of my favourite romance authors, however, Now You See Me is her first foray into thriller territory, a genre that you all know I don’t really read, mainly because I’m a bona fide wimp and have nightmares for days (no kidding) whenever I read any of these books. But I can’t refuse Kierney Scott a reading so I dove in and damn if I didn’t love every second of this book which still felt 100% like the Kierney Scott I know and love just with a far more sinister twist. It’s also had an awesome cover change since I wrote my review and I love the new one…see what you think!
Natalie K. Martin has tackled family dynamics around Bipolar Disorder in this novel and it’s so perfectly done that i just had to bring your attention back to it. As you know I have Bipolar Disorder and this is one of the first books I’ve read where I felt the way it had been handled was completely real. There are no shiny surfaces here, it is raw and honest. People’s reactions are brutal and sometimes hard to read but that is the reality of the illness. Despite all of this though this book is beautiful and has such a message of hope.
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!
What I’ve Read
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.
Bonjour, my name is André Chevalier. It has been my joy and my great honor to help those who have lost their way. Not long after I began my journey, I met two such wounded souls.
Renata Koreman, my little mouse. She came to me as a child—shy, mute, injured… broken. It took oh-so many years to start to bring her back to herself! Yet, I could not fully heal her.
Years later, Grant Wilkinson, he too fell into my hands. The ex-Army Ranger was badly disfigured and saw himself as a monster. Isolated by secrets, solitary and self-contained, his colleagues affectionately named him ‘Frosty.’ Yet, how should one behave when besieged by a lifetime of confusion and guilt?
The moment I saw him, I thought of her and I wondered. The eyes, they cannot always see clearly. And the heart? Ah, the heart can only guess at the truth. So it was that I remained uncertain.
Could the mouse and the monster heal each other?
I won this along with a couple of Nikki’s other titles earlier in the year and finally had some time to sit down and read it. Grant Wilkinson is badly disfigured, although we aren’t going to learn why, at least in this novel, we know it wasn’t because of his time in the army, which I think is a nice twist alluding to something more sinister. He keeps to himself not really engaging in life. Since his father’s death he is now the head of the family business, has a nagging mother who wants him married yesterday, and is part of a family of alcoholics, although he is finally in recovery on that front thanks to Andre who refused to see him unless he sobered up.
Renata had a neglected childhood, shipped around abusive foster homes until she ended up on the streets. Eventually she ended up with Andre, a psychologist who looked after her and nurtured her to be the woman she wanted to be.
Despite this book being about Grant and Renata, Andre was very much the star of the show for me. I loved it when he was on the page and I couldn’t wait to read more about him. His dominant personality very much appealed to me and I loved that he had a very non-conformist way of treating his patients, even to the point of almost becoming friends with Grant, and practically adopting Renata.
The majority of this book, is back story, telling how both Grant and Renata have been abused, why they need Andre’s help and painting the picture of why Andre is putting the two characters in each others path’s. There is very little word count dedicated to the two characters together, what time is spent with them together is short and quick setting up for book two in the series.
I was a little disappointed on that front, feeling like just as the juicy stuff got started the book ended but I can also understand why it was written that way and the back story was really important. There is a sinister undertone and it’s clear that the second book is going to have a nasty undertone as that story line really kicks off.
I’m hoping for much more Andre in the second book, and I’m aware there is another series featuring Andre which I’ll definitely be reading…yes I may be crushing on Andre just a bit!
A huge thanks to Nikki Sex for the eBook which I won in a giveaway!
Book & Buy Links
Title: Abuse Series:Abuse #1 Author:Nikki Sex Genre: Romance | Contemporary | Erotica Publisher: Ashton Publishing Group Publication Date: 13 January 2015 Review Format: eBook Other Formats: Paperback Pages: 310 Buy:Amazon UK | Amazon US
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
This 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!
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.
Hi Guys, it’s that time again for you to start voting on my next TBR read. So far you have chosen well and I’ve really enjoyed the books you’ve picked for me, so I trust in your voting prowess dear readers! My review for last month’s pick The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson should be up soon, if you’ve not read this yet I highly recommend!
So here are the books on offer this month, don’t forget to vote for your favourite at the end of the post!
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson The impossible has happened. The Lord Ruler is dead has been vanquished. But so too is Kelsier the man who masterminded the triumph. The awesome task of rebuilding the world has been left to his protege Vin; a one-time street urchin, now the most powerful Mistborn in the land.
Worryingly for her Vin has become the focus of a new religion, a development that leaves her intensely uneasy. More worryingly still the mists have become unpredictable since the Lord Ruler died and a strage vaprous entity is stalking Vin.
As the siege of Luthadel intensifies the ancient legend of the Well of Ascension offers the only glimmer of hope. But no-one knows where it is or what it can do…
Demon Blessed by Nikki Sex I know he’s a shifter before I see him. As I step inside, desire pulls me under like a wave. Vampires are delicious, but nothing is as scorching hot as a powerful werewolf. I’m not sure what I want more—to have him bend me over the table, or to feed on his otherworldly energy.
I crave both.
Temptation! This is how my problems begin. I can’t trust anyone, particularly supernatural creatures. With my power, I don’t even trust myself.
I’m too damned dangerous.
Psychic, Janice St. John, is no longer human—not since her mother’s spell went wrong and a baby demon took up residence in her body. Now Jan’s teaching her bloodthirsty inner monster to be good. Employed by a detective agency, she solves mysteries by talking to ghosts. Then she makes one little mistake…
Awakened by Brenda K. Davies Traumatized by her past, and struggling to move on from it, Sera has spent the past three years of college hiding herself from the world and content to stay that way. A chance encounter with Liam shatters her sheltered world, leaving her stunned and shaken by the strange feelings and emotions he arises in her, feelings she never thought she would experience and that frighten her in their intensity. Harboring a dark and deadly secret of his own, Liam knows that he should stay away from Sera; that he will only bring her more hurt, but he is irresistibly drawn to her and unable to deny himself the pleasure that only she can bring to him. But when their pasts collide with their present, and Liam’s true nature is revealed, will their love for each other be enough, or will they be torn apart forever?
Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters
Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.
For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.
But lusty paradise is shattered.
Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.
Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold.
Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?
Black Lies by Alessandra Torre Brant:
Became a tech billionaire by his twentieth birthday. Has been in a relationship with me for 3 years. Has proposed 4 times. Been rejected 4 times.
Cuts grass when he’s not banging housewives. Good with his hands, his mouth, and his body. Has been pursued relentlessly by me for almost 2 years, whether he knows it or not.
Go ahead. Judge me. You have no idea what my love entails.
If you think you’ve heard this story before, trust me – you haven’t.