Week in Review – 9 July 2017

Well, it was great taking a week off, my holiday was a bit of a wash out, literally as the tent flooded and we had to come home but these things happen and I’m just glad that we got some time out and managed to get some day trips in.

I’ve combined this update to show what I’ve been reading over the two weeks since my last update so there’s quite a lot here, or not considering it’s been two weeks!

Book of the Month

June was a great reading month for me and it has been really difficult to choose a book of the month, which is why I chose three! I know, I know and I’m sorry but these were three epic books and picking between them was torture so I just didn’t!

Skullsworn was the first novel I have read by Brian Staveley but I will definitely be going back and reading his previous work, it deeply affected me and aside from being a brutal and bloody epic fantasy it was also a heartbreaking read. The Lost Sentinel was the second novel by indie author Suzanne Rogerson, and after her first novel I had high hopes which she completely knocked out of the ballpark. This exceeded every expectation I had and was a superb start to a new series with characters that you become completely entwined with! Godblind is one of the most brutal books I’ve ever read, there are scenes in this book you will never forget. Anna Stephens writing is sublime and haunting and you just can’t stop reading it. There are some awesome characters but that ending, my God, that ending!

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

My most recent reviews are: The Château of Happily Ever Afters, Home Field, A Gathering of Ravens, Living in the Shallows, Cheater, The Gunslinger and Blood Bank.

Other Posts

This week I had book blitzes for In Her Blood, and Dirty. Content blog tours for The Corner Office, Hold Me Captive …Forever, and Blood Bank. I also had the very lovely Ashleigh on the Bloggers Bookshelf and revealed my picks for this month’s TBR Topple which you can now vote on.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

#WeekendBlitz: Blood Bank by Zoë Markham @ZoeMarkham @Kristell_Ink @NeverlandBT #Excerpt

Welcome back to day two of the weekend blitz for Blood Bankorganised by Neverland Blog Tours. Today I have an excerpt from Blood Bank for you and I was over the moon with the excerpt I was given as it features my favourite character from the book. If you want to find out more about my thoughts about the book and you missed my review then check out my review which I posted yesterday.

Description

Benjamin is a programmer moonlighting as a security guard at Dystopia, a seedy club that caters to the down-and-outs, the desperates, the addicts. He’s been building his reputation, saving for a way out – but when he rescues a young woman from the nearby estate, he may just have stepped too far out of line…

Lucy is ordinary; a girl with a deadbeat boyfriend, a normal life and college studies. But when her world takes an odd twist, she starts to wonder about the people she’s meeting, the situations she’s in, the odd aversions and attacks happening around her. They’re just coincidences…aren’t they?

And Zack is in deep trouble. He’s losing his girlfriend, drowning in debt, and has dwindling job prospects – and that’s not the worst of it. His debt is to people who won’t ever forget it, and who want the things closest to Zack’s heart: his blood – and his life.

In the heart of Swindon, an ancient order hides in plain sight, spreading their influence through the streets like a disease. But despite their widespread power they are catching up with the modern world: the vampires are going online, and the Order is about to become more powerful than even they would have dreamed…

Blood Bank - Tour Banner

Excerpt

Ben locked the front door behind him and grimaced as he was hit by the full force of half a dozen warring stereos. How can they listen to that stuff? It wasn’t music, it was just noise, discordant, repetitive and pointless. Like them. No wonder they were always so angry – how could anyone not be when that reverberated around them day in, day out?

 

Ben’s small two-bed terrace was in arguably the worst possible part of town. Penryll was a sprawling, run-down council estate, dotted with a few private properties and banked by a lush green which was impressive in the daytime, but lethal at night. Ben had survived almost ten years on the estate now. No mean feat, as it wasn’t a place for the faint of heart or gentle of soul. When the cash from the first round of web sign-ups had come in, Viktor had thrown him a generous advance, and Ben had found a company who soundproofed domestic walls and blown the lot. He couldn’t have lived there without it. His home was his own personal oasis of calm in a microclimate of depravity. It had put his savings plan back a little, but saved what remained of his sanity in the process. And if Viktor continued to let him develop the sites, it should be less than a year now before he’d finally be able to afford to move out of the estate.

 

It hadn’t been easy to convince Viktor of the benefits to an online branch of the business. Always one to favour the direct approach, he had little time for hiding behind computers. But Ben had taken things painfully slowly, researching his projects meticulously and carefully projecting a set of figures that would hold Viktor’s attention. Ben recognised the web as the future of the business. That was exactly why he’d been brought in to the operation, of course, to see opportunities the others wouldn’t. And now that the money was starting to roll in, Viktor was slowly coming onside. Real expansion of the online business was on the cards at last.

 

One more year, Ben repeated to himself like a mantra. One more year and then he could think about moving to the other side of town, or maybe go one better and get out of Swindon altogether. There were some peaceful-looking little villages on the outskirts that would be his idea of heaven. But Ben didn’t qualify for heaven. That was why, in some small way, he felt relieved to be living smack bang in the middle of hell.

 

About Zoë Markham

Mild-mannered editor by day, puppet-master of broken souls by night.

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Blood Bank - Tour Schedule

Book & Buy Links

TitleBlood Bank
Series: N/A
Author: Zoë Markham
Genre: Horror | Paranormal | Vampires | New Adult
Publisher: Kristell Ink
Publication Date: 25 May 2017
Review Format: Paperback
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: 156
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#WeekendBlitz: Blood Bank by Zoë Markham @ZoeMarkham @Kristell_Ink @NeverlandBT #Review

I have been looking forward to this book for a really long time and signing up for this blitz organised by the very lovely Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours was a no brainer. As it’s a weekend blitz I’m taking part on both days because, well Zoë is an absolutely awesome person as well as a fantastic author and I really wanted to show my support for this book. Today I’m reviewing Blood Bank and tomorrow I have an excerpt and you really won’t want to miss that!

Description

Benjamin is a programmer moonlighting as a security guard at Dystopia, a seedy club that caters to the down-and-outs, the desperates, the addicts. He’s been building his reputation, saving for a way out – but when he rescues a young woman from the nearby estate, he may just have stepped too far out of line…

Lucy is ordinary; a girl with a deadbeat boyfriend, a normal life and college studies. But when her world takes an odd twist, she starts to wonder about the people she’s meeting, the situations she’s in, the odd aversions and attacks happening around her. They’re just coincidences…aren’t they?

And Zack is in deep trouble. He’s losing his girlfriend, drowning in debt, and has dwindling job prospects – and that’s not the worst of it. His debt is to people who won’t ever forget it, and who want the things closest to Zack’s heart: his blood – and his life.

In the heart of Swindon, an ancient order hides in plain sight, spreading their influence through the streets like a disease. But despite their widespread power they are catching up with the modern world: the vampires are going online, and the Order is about to become more powerful than even they would have dreamed…

Blood Bank - Tour Banner

Review

Zoë Markham told me absolutely ages ago that her next book was about vampires in Swindon. That was all she told me and that was enough to have me chomping at the bit. I love Zoë’s writing style, the way she teases you through the book and leaves you hanging where other authors would fill in gaps.

I sat down to read Blood Bank and immediately got pulled into the seedy underworld in Swindon. Unlike Zoë’s previous books this was aimed at a slightly older audience, definitely more new adult than young adult but it hits the mark and still sits firmly in the horror and paranormal genres.

Taking a unique twist on loan sharks, Zoë Markham has given us a character in Zack who is up to his neck in debt to the vampires. His only way to keep the interest off his debt is by giving blood. But he has no hope of ever clearing his debt, and if he runs away or kills himself his debt will pass to a loved one such as his girlfriend Lucy.

Lucy is sick of Zack, he’s become lazy, uninterested in anything, and now he’s dumped her in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. Because that isn’t dangerous at all.

Then there is Ben who is a vampire, he works at the vampire club, but isn’t like most of the vampires, he’s solitary, a coder and prefers to be alone until he rescues a human and feels a connection that makes him go against the boss which could be lethal for him and her.

This is a short book, only 156 pages but a lot happens in those pages to keep you riveted to the page. As these three characters come closer together their stories weaving together the story becomes more terrifying the vampires in this story are not fluffy and sparkly. These are mean and terrifying vampires, the kind who will rip your head off for looking at them the wrong way. They are devious and clever, and not at all kind or sweet. Well with the exception of Ben maybe, who definitely seems to have a pinch of humanity in him.

We meet Zack at a point where he is utterly desperate, it’s hard to like him but it’s also hard to dislike him. I felt desperately sorry for him but he was in a deep hole which he had dug himself and getting out was going to be almost impossible. The problem was he was pulling Lucy into the hole with him.

Lucy is a strong young lady, the youngest character in the book but she in some ways is the strongest and full of gumption. She knows her own mind and is willing to stand up for herself completely.

Ben was my favourite character, because he was a vampire? possibly but I think because he was a little geeky and a little insecure but also had a strength that he didn’t like to show unless it was completely necessary. But when he did it was terrifying and enticing all at once. He was quietly brave and yet he makes some decisions which could make you question whether he is good or evil in the end.

Zoë Markham’s writing didn’t disappoint, as with her previous books, so many questions were raised around morality, mental health, and loyalty. Many weren’t answered directly leaving the reader to decide how this story pans out.

Another excellent offering from Zoë Markham which I enjoyed as much as I expected to! I’m really quite hoping for a sequel to this one.

Rating

About Zoë Markham

Mild-mannered editor by day, puppet-master of broken souls by night.

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Blood Bank - Tour Schedule

Book & Buy Links

TitleBlood Bank
Series: N/A
Author: Zoë Markham
Genre: Horror | Paranormal | Vampires | New Adult
Publisher: Kristell Ink
Publication Date: 25 May 2017
Review Format: Paperback
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: 156
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Week in Review – 11 June 2017

My surgery went well this week, but the after effects knocked me for six. Luckily Hubs managed to get some last minute compassionate leave and took the rest of the week off of work so I wasn’t struggling around the house.

Recovering has also meant taking a bit of a break from blogging which I’ve really needed. I think with some bad experiences the past few weeks things were getting on top of me and taking a few days out helped me find my mojo again. I realised I’d become really negative and that’s not at all who I like to be.

Walking out of Darkness the 10-mile hike I’m taking part in, to raise funds for Bipolar UK has been postponed, this works out quite nicely for me as I will now be in full health when it happens in September rather than just getting back on my feet in a couple of weeks time. If you would like to sponsor the details are in the sidebar.

I had a nice chunk of money in my gift wallet on my amazon.com account so decided to treat myself to the US versions of Jen Williams’ Copper Cat books. I absolutely adore the US covers and really wanted to add them to my shelves. They arrived this week and they are even better in person than the pictures give them credit for.

So, onto my bookish update this week…

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

This week I’ve reviewed Alphabet of Thorn and Skullsworn

Other Posts

This week I had the blog tour for Mother of Wolves; book blitzes for My Roommate’s Girl, Falling for Dante, and Down and Dirty. There was also a cover reveal for Pot Love and Pot Love 2. Finally, Shelley Wilson was on The Bookshelf this week.

Giveaways

  • Signed Copy of My Roommate’s Girl + Chocolate (Blitz-Wide International Giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card (Blitz-Wide International Giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card (Blitz-Wide International Giveaway) Rafflecopter

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

Week In Review – 12 March 2017

It’s been a slower week this week, I spent a few days away visiting my Sister and Niece in Lincolnshire and so spent some time away from the blogging world, I had some posts scheduled, but didn’t have time for reading blogs or keeping up with thank you’s. So thank you to everyone who shared posts this week and I will get back to reading all of your lovely blogs post haste!

As for Lincolnshire, it was what I needed, some fresh air and time away from the city. We visited Lincoln, my first time there and what a lovely place it is. I also started giving my Niece some music lessons, it was lovely watching her pick up the basics and start to understand how to make a tune and start to read music from her book. I’ve left her with some exercise books which should help her learn some more.

I’ve still been struggling with getting my bipolar under control with the new medication changes so the reading has crawled to a snails pace. Hopefully it will start picking up again soon although there has been a serious miscommunication between the mental health team and GP leaving me minus any medication this weekend so I’m far from amused!

aven-ellis-quoteI did get some great news though, the lovely author Aven Ellis dropped me a line to say she had dropped one of my quotes in as her top review on the Amazon page for her most recent novel Sugar and Ice. I’m so flattered, this was such a pleasant book to read and I do hope others enjoy it just as much as I did.

I have also had a couple of great prizes donated for my blogiversary next month! Can’t wait for you guys to see what is up for grabs!

Right, onto this weeks update…

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

I read When the Floods Came as part of my Discoverability Challenge this month and I can’t wait to write my review for you it far surpassed my expectations.

When the floods came clare morrall  meet-me-at-willoughby-close-kate-hewitt

New Books

This week started off slow, then I had an explosion of Blog Tour books sent to me! At least they are mostly for tours right?! haha! I also received the book I won in Rachel Gilbey‘s birthday giveaway, this looks like a treat, thank you so much for that Rachel!

Bought

wicked-lil-brat-alexis-angel the-guardian-nikki-landis

Book Post

eARCs

songs-of-insurrection-jc-kang Souljacker - Yasmine Galenorn    

Reviews

Some great reviews this week, oddly all the books are young adult which considering I’m trying to pull away from the genre is a bit weird!

angelbound-christina-bauer curse-of-stars sirens-fury-mary-weber

Other Posts

This week I’ve had a book blitz, a cover reveal and Zoë Markham was featured on The Bookshelf.

the-monster-upstairs-elle-klass claimed-by-the-succubus-siren-allen the-authors-bookshelf-logo

Giveaways

  • 1x eCopy of Holdfast by Kate Carter (International) Rafflecopter
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card from Songs of Insurrections (International) Rafflecopter
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card from The Monster Upstairs (International) Rafflecopter
  • Multiple Prizes from Curse of Stars (International) Rafflecopter
  • $10 Amazon or Nook Gift Card with Claimed by the Succubus (International) Rafflecopter

The Authors Bookshelf – Zoë Markham @ZoeMarkham

Welcome to The Bookshelf. Each week I feature an author or a blogger and talk about their bookshelf with them. It’s a light hearted book focused Q&A. This week I have an author who writes intense, gothic, horror for young adults, Zoë Markham. Zoë is a fabulous writer, she is also a freelance editor and having read a few of the books she has edited she absolutely rocks at that aswell. She is also an all-round awesome person!

What was the first book you remember having on your bookshelf?
Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree. I LOVED that book! (Still have a copy on my shelf today, although I pretend I bought it for my six-year-old!)

What was the most recent book you added to the bookshelf?
A proof of David Hair’s Empress of the Fall. It’s a thing of beauty 🙂

Which book have you most recently read from your bookshelf?
Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: Life Debt (it’s fabulous!)

Which 5 books from last year would you not let go of from your bookshelf?
Wendig’s Aftermath: Life Debt, Gray’s Bloodline, Luceno’s Catalyst (been on a big Star Wars kick since the canon reboot!), Hurley’s The Loney, and Blakstad’s Sockpuppet.

    

Which books are you most looking forward to adding to your bookshelf?
I can’t wait for Empire’s End, because Life Debt ended on such a cliffhanger! I’ve got it on pre-order, along with Zahn’s Thrawn, which I’m excited about as a big fan of the original trilogy back in the day. I think Thrawn is the earliest I’ve ever pre-ordered a book, some six months before release!

 

What was the most recent addition to your writers bookshelf?
Aww, this one hurts 😦 My two titles currently out with HarperCollins are eBook only 😦 But the next two, due out from Grimbold Books, will be REAL books! Blood Bank, the first book in the Swindon Vampires series, will be the first one to make it onto the shelf!

Which of your own books are you most proud of adding to the bookshelf?
Can we include the virtual bookshelf? 🙂 If so, I’d probably have to say White Lies, because it touches on mental health which is a topic close to my heart.

Which book on your bookshelf do you most wish you had written?
Given the state of my mortgage, I’d have to say Harry Potter! Otherwise, it’s Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls. That one twisted my heart inside out and had me crying for days. I would love to be able to pack that kind of punch.

  

Is there a WIP we can look forward to adding to our bookshelves?
I’m working on an upper MG/early YA novel at the moment which is kind of an urban Watership Down meets Duncton Wood mash-up. It’s one that I hope will have a lot of crossover appeal, and I can’t wait for people to meet its…unusual…cast of characters 🙂 It should be making its way out to agents early next month.

Can you share a picture of your bookshelf / favourite bookshelf?
Can I cheat? Mine are mostly a double-parked mess, but my favourite one in the house is in my son’s room. It makes me smile to know he’s inherited the book-collecting gene. And he does a much better job of displaying them than me! 😉

Zoë Markham’s Bookshelf

 Under My Skin - Zoe Markham

*These may not be all of an author’s publications but the most recent. Check their links below for full details.

About Zoë Markham

Mild-mannered editor by day, puppet-master of broken souls by night.

twitter 

The Bookshelf

the-bookshelf-logoI loved those answers from Zoë, I’ve never been able to get into the Star Wars books but I’m such a huge fan of the films, I’m really tempted to give these newer one’s a go seeing Zoë’s enthusiasm for them!

If you are a blogger or author and would like to take part in The Bookshelf click here, and fill in the really short contact form to let me know!

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Blog Tour: Review: White Lies by Zoë Markham

Welcome to BrizzleLass Books for today’s stop on the White Lies Blog Tour organised by Neverland Blog Tours. My review of this book is below I hope you enjoy it and pick up the book for yourself. Oh and of course, enter the Giveaway at the end of the post, there’s a £10 Amazon Voucher up for grabs!

Description:
A haunting YA thriller you won’t be able to put down, White Lies is a boarding school story – with a shockingly dark twist.

Everybody hurts

Continue reading Blog Tour: Review: White Lies by Zoë Markham