Week in Review – 20 August 2017

So this is an update covering a couple of weeks as I had a small break to go to Bloodstock, a heavy metal festival. This is becoming an annual migration to the midlands for me and a great chance to see loads of really good metal bands! Highlights this year were Amon Amarth, King 810, Skindred, Arch Enemy, and Megadeth. They’ve already announced two headliners for next year and as they are two of my favourite bands I’ll be getting myself tickets as soon as I can.

This week I want to send congratulations to an absolutely amazing blogger. You all know Jay at This is My Truth Now, well Jay has just signed a publishing deal for his first novel, Watching a Glass Shatter. Jay is a really good friend and has given me huge amounts of help recently so I wanted to send him a huge virtual hug to congratulate him I couldn’t be happier for this. I absolutely can’t think of anyone who deserves this more.

As I’ve mentioned before I’m trying (trying being the word here) to write a book. Juggling everything I’ve been doing has been really stressful and something had to give so I’ll be winding down things on the blog a little, there will still be posts, I’m not closing the blog but I’m going to slow things down a bit. It’s going to take me until probably mid-September to wind down everything I’ve already committed to but once that’s done things should get a little easier for me to cope with. I’m starting to feel like I’m drowning trying to keep up with the blog, writing, and volunteering and I had a bit of a meltdown this week and became so glad if my new workout regime which is really helping to work the stress out!

Finally, don’t forget there’s a chance to win a copy of Sybil Bartel’s Thrust, by leaving a comment on THIS POST, before next Friday! Want to know what I think of Thrust? Check out my review here.

Right, here is my bookish update for this week!

Currently Reading

I’ve been beta reading a novel this week which is very hush hush but very exciting. I’ve also been beta reading a few chapters of another novel in it’s early stages so lots of exciting things happening on top of my normal reading.

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

eARCs

Reviews

I’ve reviewed Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove by Sarah Bennett as part of the Blog Tour. There was also Surviving the Hurricane by Tani Hanes, Grind by Sybil Bartel, Mr Prescott by Carlos Dash, and Dirty by R.L. Kenderson. I also reviewed How to Build Confidence and Overcome Fear by Daniel Riding over on my mental health blog.

Other Posts

I had excerpts from The Big Dreams Beach Hotel by Lilly Bartlett, and The Last Dragon Rider by Errin Krystal. I had Anna from The Bibliotaph on The Bookshelf this week.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

Week in Review – 7 May 2017

This week has been a bit of a shock to the system, after several very busy weeks I got hit quite hard with a dose of mania and psychosis coming back this week. A warning shot from the bipolar that I was doing too much, and when I saw my support worker on Friday she told me as much as well, reminding me that I knew better and had to look after myself. So I’m re-evaluating what I am doing with my time, how much time I’m spending running around, volunteering, helping family etc so that I don’t end up really sick again and totally incapacitated because that’s just not good for anyone.

Friday evening saw me tootling over to Bath for the Robin Hobb event I’ve been rather excited about. It was held in Christ Church which despite my lack of religion and dislike of the uncomfortable seating was a really nice venue for this type of event. There was an hour of “in conversation” with Jane Johnson who is the Publishing Director over at Harper Voyager, she’s pretty much a legend herself given she launched the imprint and Robin Hobb, thanks Jane! It was a wonderful conversation covering Robin Hobb’s books, characters, writing processes, life, and family. There were many funny moments and many relatable moments and as someone who started reading her books right at the beginning when the first one was launched twenty years ago it made me feel nostalgic to go back to the beginning and start again, maybe I should!

At the end of the evening there was a signing and the chance to meet the lady herself, along with the fantastic jacket illustrator Jackie Morris.

Now I may have mentioned before that I have a problem with going mute when I really admire someone’s work. I used to do this a lot with bands I had to interview, and yes, it happened with Robin Hobb. In all honesty it’s a great privilege to whoever I meet if I go mute, it means I think very highly of them! I managed to squeak out a “It’s a great honour to meet you” asked to get a photo then scuttled away! Some people stood there talking for ages, I envy those people greatly! All those things I wished I could say but my voice was broken…thanks anxiety!

So, onto my bookish update this week… (as always click on the covers for more info/to see the posts)

Book of the Month

It’s time for me to announce my Book of the Month for April, I had a few in the running and I couldn’t decide between two so I’ve doubled up this month because of that.

dragon-of-ash-stars the-last-days-of-magic

The Last Days of Magic was also my most visited post during April so you guys obviously enjoyed it aswell so thanks for that!

Currently Reading

The many colours of us

What I’ve Read

Cry Wolf - Greta Stone  

New Books

My no adding to the TBR fell apart this week… but I have got some brilliant new books on there!

Bought / Freebies

 

Book Post

Holiday In the Hamptons - Sarah Morgan 

eARCs

Shifter_Clans_Series_Box_Set   The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square - Lilly Bartlett 

Reviews

There Is Always More To Say - Lynda Spiro Memortality - Stephen H. Provost HEX - Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Other Posts

This week Kate Coe was featured on The Bookshelf and was the first blogger to take part. I hope you enjoyed her answers, I came out the other end with a huge list of books to go on my wish list!

Into The Heat - Tamara Lush The Bloggers Bookshelf Logo

Giveaways

  • 1 Signed Copy of Memortality (International Tour-Wide Giveaway) Rafflecopter

Week in Review – 26 March 2017

This week has been so busy, my feet have barely touched the ground. I would really like to take a week and run away to somewhere with no internet connection so I can just read and start catching up on all my books. I have this inability to say no to books that sound good as my influx of ARC’s shows this week! Aargh!

I was also asked to be a beta reader on a new novel this week which has significantly slowed down my normal reading as I’ve very much got my head in the game with this novel. I’m also still having some trouble around meds and sleeping which is really causing my reading mojo some issues!

The very lovely Lorraine over at The Book Review Café had me as her featured blogger this week in her #TopFiveThursday feature! If you missed it the post can be found here, an absolutely huge thanks to Lorraine for having me, I’m so honoured to have been featured on such a wonderful and popular blog.

So onto this week’s book activity!

Currently Reading

the-last-days-of-magic

What I’ve Read

New Books

Every week I say this is the week where my TBR won’t grow and every week I fail miserably! Well this week that was a fail of epic proportions!

Bought

The Rook - Daniel O'Malley

Book Post

 

eARCs

Hot Shade - Tamara Lush         

Reviews

I’ve been a little bit more proactive with the reviews this week, my new schedule seems to be working and I’m catching up on my backlog (insert happy dance here)!

Sleepless In Manhattan - Sarah Morgan norse-mythology When the floods came clare morrall

Other Posts

Lots going on this week other than the reviews, had a few great guest posts, and a couple of blitz posts for some interesting looking books. The very popular Carol Wyer stopped by for The Bookshelf this week.

 Darkstorm - M.L. Spencer the-authors-bookshelf-logo

Giveaways

  • $10 Amazon or Nook Gift Card with Claimed by the Succubus (International) Rafflecopter
  • 5x Myths & Legends Boxsets and More from Myths & Legends (International) Rafflecopter

#Review: Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan @SarahMorgan_ @HQstories

Description

Great friends. Amazing Apartment. An incredible job. Paige has ticked off every box on perfect New York life checklist. Until disaster strikes and instead of shimming further up the career ladder, Paige is packing up her desk.

Her brother’s best friend Jake might be the only person who can help her put her life back together. He also happens to be the boy she spent her teen years pining after, and Paige is determined not repeat her past mistakes. But the more time she spends with Jake, the more Paige realises the one thing that was missing from her world all along: The perfect New York love story…

Review

I’m going to send ripples of shock out through the book blogging community now because this is my first Sarah Morgan book. I know this is extremely unacceptable and I have a host of excuses but rather than wasting time reeling them off I’m going to talk about how much I loved this book instead! Deal?

Paige is an event planner, having done this job I can completely relate to her love of the work and also some of the tensions that come with it, when she finds herself up career creek without a paddle Jake, her brothers best friend, appears to be her knight in a white shirt. As someone who runs an über successful business he has built from the ground up he seems to think Paige can do the same.

The thing is that Paige and Jake have spent years avoiding any kind of intimate contact after as a teenager Paige declared she loved Jake and he rejected her.

So, unlike most stories where the two people already know each other and have a history these aren’t two people potentially rekindling a romance. These are two people with an uncomfortable and embarrassing history who have had to remain friendly because of a third person in their lives, namely Paige’s brother Matt.

I liked that Paige is a strong, independent woman who knows what she wants from life, she knows how to go out and get it and she is fiercely loyal to the people around her. Despite having been hurt before she still holds feelings for Jake, she knows they have lingered there and she fights them hard to avoid any future humiliation.

I found Jake hard to like, I found the explanations around why he is the way he is hard to swallow and whilst I’m sure there are psychological reasons to support it I just felt it made him a not very nice person and that Maria, his Mother should have maybe encouraged him to have some therapy (I know it would have ruined the book but still, the man is unhinged!). I just didn’t warm to him throughout the book, and whilst I respected Paige’s choices as though she was a friend I spent much of the book thinking if she was a friend this would be one of those situations where I would have to smile nicely and get on just because he was my friends boyfriend even though he is a bit of an idiot.

Despite my reservations I did thoroughly enjoy the book and loved reading the sections with Matt and Frankie in and I’m really hoping they are in one of the next books (which I have lined up to read soon). I absolutely loved Matt and Frankie reminded me a lot of myself!

The only thing I really didn’t enjoy with this was the ending, I just felt it was a bit rushed, I’m not going to give it away, but I felt the way it ends skips several steps and just doesn’t fit with the overall flow of the book, especially given Jake’s backstory.

A huge thanks to Sarah Morgan and HQ for the ARC of this book in return for my honest review.

Rating

blb-four-star

Book & Buy Links

TitleSleepless in Manhattan
SeriesFrom Manhattan With Love #1
Author: Sarah Morgan
Genre: Romance | Contemporary Romance | Chick Lit
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 31 May 2016
Review Format: Paperback
Other Formats: eBook | Hardcover | Audio
Pages: 503
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen

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