Friday, 17 May 2019

Mini-Reviews - Nought Forever & For Every One

Well, this is gonna screw up my Affiliates as I like to start each review with info and links (to keep as transparent as possible) but I decide to put these two together and I don't really have much to say on them but I love and hugely respect both authors but, hang on... let me get this out of the way then we can start! 
  • Title And Author: For Every One by Jason Reynolds and Nought Forever by Malorie Blackman
  • Publishers: Knights Of & Penguin respectively
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical for For Every One and eBook for Nought Forever
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 112 pages each
  • Buy For Every One From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones
  • Buy Nought Forever From: Foyles - Waterstones
Well, that was a little easier than I thought. 

Anyway... For Every One is a poem (or is a letter?) talking about the importance of going after your dreams, whatever they are. 

Whereas Nought Forever (a World Book Day short story for this year) follows Dan and Eva, two Noughts who paths cross where Dan is on the run from a ruthless gang and Eva is grieving for her daughter yet compelled to help, even though it's the last thing she wants... 

I decided to pop these together as I love and respect both these authors. And yet... these aren't for me. 

Yeah, it's a "It's not you, it's me" situation. 

For For Every One, I can see how clever, how powerful, how inspiring this poem is. I can see that. But poetry isn't a genre I am well read in and I struggled to read this and get into the flow. Plus, I have a funny feeling I read this at the wrong time for me. If I reread this in the future and in a different mood, my reaction would be very different. 

With Nought Forever, I loved the writing and the story Malorie was writing. But it ended a tad too soon for my taste. I just needed more one line. Plus, I can't escape the feeling that this was a marketing ploy by the publisher to get readers excited for the fifth instalment in the Noughts and Crosses series, Crossfire, and with the series and author having huge fan following (and the BBC is adapting and airing Noughts and Crosses later this year), his marketing ploy isn't really needed. 

Like I said, I love and respect both authors and I see how both titles affect other readers, but for me, in this moment in time, it doesn't work for me. It's very much a "Me Thing" as I sense I wasn't in the right headspace to read these so I am thinking to returning to both in the future when I am ready. Who knows - my reaction to these two in the future might be completely different! 

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Audiobook Review - Beneath The Sugar Sky

  • Title And Author: Beneath The Sugar Sky by Senan McGuire
  • Publisher: MacMillian Audio
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 176 Pages or 4 Hours 11 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Waterstones - Audible
I have been dodging listening to this instalment of the Wayward Children series, even though it has been calling me for quite some time. Main excuse I had was I didn't want to spend so much money on an audiobook which was just over 4 hours long. But when I decided that I might - MIGHT - cancel my Audible account, I knew that I would use one of my credits on this. Then I held back because I wanted to listen during the Bookemon Readathon I decided to take part in throughout May. 

With this being a direct sequel to Every Heart A Doorway (both Down Among the Sticks and Bones and In An Absent Dream being prequels), Beneath The Sugar Sky follows a character called Rini who literally fell out of the sky and splashed into a pond of Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, desperate to find her mother, Sumi. But Sumi is dead. She was murder in Every Heart's A Doorway, and now, Rini's reality is changing and slowly, she is being wiped out of existence. 

Sumi must come back to life, because Reality is going to notice that a girl that shouldn't exist is existing. It's a good thing that Rini has landed in a school where the student body is well equipped for a quest...

Ok... so... where the hell do I start with this?

Friday, 10 May 2019

eBook Review - Return To Wonderland

  • Title And Author: Return to Wonderland by Various
  • Publisher: Pan MacMillan 
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange from an honest review/reaction
  • Length: 240 Pages
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones

Though I have my issues with the original Alice in Wonderland, I am a sucker for it. I love the weirdness and the strangeness of it. I love the characters and how, no matter how many times you’ve read the book, seen the films, or anything related to it, it’s still just as odd as before. 

So, when Return to Wonderland was first announced, I did something I don’t normally do: I emailed the publisher, asking if I could have a copy for review. We chatted and exchanged info but nothing came from it, which is ok as I planned to buy this or get it from my library when it came out. Then I saw it on NetGalley and, though I have far too many books to read, I requested and, when I was approved, I decided to forgo my “Pick My Next Read” poll and read this as soon as I could (as well as Red Sister by Mark Lawerence, which I should be Buddy Reading with Luna’s Little Library and I am, currently, failing at!) 

In this collection of stories (written by - hang on, deep breath time! - Peter Bunzl, Pamela Butchart, Maz Evans, Swapna Haddow, Patrice Lawrence, Chris Smith, Robin Stevens, Lauren St John, Lisa Thompson, Piers Torday and Amy Wilson), we return to Wonderland and we ask, what happens in Wonderland without Alice? And the stories answer questions such as why does the Cheshire Cat grin so, has anyone barring Alice ever visited Wonderland, will the Mad Hatter ever host a sensible tea party and other questions…

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

eBook Review - Sanctuary

  • Title And Author: Sanctuary by V.V. James
  • Publisher: Gollancz
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review/reaction
  • Length: 320 Pages
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones

As I told you a while back, I first heard of this at the Gollancz Book Blogger/Bookseller Event and it was one of the few books that made me sit up in my chair a little straighter. The idea of a modern day witch-hunt intrigued me hugely and hearing the author V.V. James (or Vic James, author of the Guided Cage trilogy [only read the first and need to read the rest!]) chat about her research and inspiration (#MeToo movement), I knew I wanted to read thus as/when I could. So when I saw I could get my hands on the eProof of this, I requested and popped it onto one of my “Pick My Next Read” polls (yes, I suck at doing and sticking to these polls, aren’t I?), I was glad it won (though it was a real close between that and From the Wreck by Jane Rawson) 

The small town of Sanctuary, Connecticut is a perfect little town where everyone gets along. But behind perfect hides some dark secrets as Detective Maggie Knight is about to find out. She has been asked to go to Sanctuary to investigate the tragic death of Sanctuary’s star quarterback. It was accident, a terrible accident. 

But the rumours start. Rumours that his ex-girlfriend killed him using witchcraft. She’s the daughter of a town’s witch and, even though she doesn’t have magical abilities, is that the truth? 

Bereaved mother Abigail will stop at nothing until she has justice for her dead son. Sarah, Abigail’s best friend, will do whatever she can to protect her daughter. And both women share a secret that could shatter the fragile peace of the town and their lives. 

Maggie must find out the truth and prevent the town from spiralling dangerously out of control. But mob mentality is slowing being to take its grip the town… Sanctuary no longer feels safe.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Audiobook Review - The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

  • Title And Author: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 400 Pages or 12 Hours 10 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

It feels like everyone - and I mean everyone - has read Evelyn Hugo and is raving about it. And it was’t till recently that I decided to go for it with this, though I have been eyeing the audiobook for months. 

Monique Grant just can’t believe what’s happening to her. Her professional life is going nowhere and her husband has left her, so when she is picked to do an interview with ageing and reclusive Hollywood icon, Evelyn Hugo, she can’t believe her luck. And the fact that Evelyn demanded her or she wasn’t going to do the article makes everyone astounded. Why did Evelyn Hugo, who could have anyone she wanted, want Monique, a nobody of a journalist? 

But it gets weirder as, when Monique meets Evelyn, Evelyn tells her that there will be no article. Instead, Evelyn wants Monique to write her biography and publish it after Evelyn’s death. It would be a bestseller without even trying as Evelyn is Hollywood royalty and her love life and her seven husbands filled articles throughout the 1950’s all the way through to the 1980’s when she left the industry. Monique wants to do it as she has two questions she wants answered: why did Evelyn so desperately wanted her to write her biography and who was the love of Evelyn’s life? 

The answers to both are surprising and devastating.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

An Extract For Tea?

I have an extract for you today. And it's a change in pace/genre from what I usually scare you all with!

This extract is from Elaine Everest's newest novel, The Teashop Girls.

I warned you this was a change of pace from what the Pewter Wolf normally is, but sometimes, a change is as good as a rest!

Set in 1940 at the high of the Second World War, The Teashop Girls follows three friends - Rose, Lily and Katie - who work at Lyon's Teashop Nippy in Kent. With Katie's fiancĂ© overseas with the Navy and the war gripping the country, the three rely on their family and friends.

So, when a mysterious captain enters the teashop one day, Rose finds herself being drawn to him, much to Lyon's rule of no courting between staff and customers. But with a war on, Rose fears there might not be much time to lose in the course of true love. But is the dashing captain all he seems to be?

Before I hand you over to the intriguing extract, want to do some thank yous and point you in some directions if you want more info. My thanks goes to Bethan at ED PR for getting me involved with this tour and Sian who asked at the start if I wanted to be involved (before she left ED PR for bigger, brighter things!

Ok, now the links! If you want to say hi to Elaine, you can either say hi to her either on her Facebook (facebook.com/ElaineEverestAuthor) or her Twitter (@elaineeverest)! And if you want info on Teashop Girls, why not check out PanMacmillan or Book Depository!

Now... ONTO THE EXTRACT (once we've brewed ourselves a nice cuppa...

Friday, 26 April 2019

Trying St Mary's Out...

Ok, this isn’t a review. Serious, this isn’t planning to be one, but you never know with me. 
I have vaguely been aware of Chronicles of St Mary for a while. The first always pops up on my Amazon “We Recommend” but have always stayed away because I’ve never warmed to the cover (look at Christmas Present's cover and you'll understand my hesitation). So, when the tenth book in the series - Hope for the Best - popped through my letterbox as an unsolicited surprise, I decided to discover if I could read this without reading the rest (as publishers sometimes send unsolicited books in series to bloggers so, if we want to read them, we need to backtrack. A lot). 

Plus, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a series I was going to like… it felt a little out of my comfort zone and, while I do want to push myself, I wasn’t sure if this series was going to be a great place to start… 

So, when I saw these four short stories set with the same characters and same world (and they were free on Audible!), I downloaded them and listened to them over the course of five days. 

So, in publication order, When A Child is Born is book 2.5, Roman Holiday is book 3.5, Christmas Present is book 4.5 and Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings is book 6.5. So, a mix throughout the series. 

Now, I’m not going to spoil too much about each short story but the idea of this series that Historians at St Mary’s can “investigate major historical events in contemporary time”. Never call it time travel - but yeah, I call it time travel. But there is a lot of humour in this series (which is great as I don’t read a lot of funny books so balance). 

I admit listening to these, I did feel ok listening to them without much info about previous novels (though this was called into question with Christmas Present and, up to a point, Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings). And I wasn’t a huge fan of When A Child is Born, the story that I was sold on was Roman Holiday. This was the one where I felt that everything fitted for me. This was the one I went “Ok, I kinda want to check this series out”. 

And now, of course, I have the first and the second novels on my kindle (thank you Headline for eProofs via NetGalley) and the tenth in physical form and I need to figure out when am going to read these. 


Like I said, this series feels a little outside my comfort zone and I think we all need to push ourselves every once in a while. We shall see if I like this push or not sometime in the future…

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Friendships in The Tunnels Below


I am thrilled to be part of The Tunnels Below blog tour and I would like to give a big warm Pewter Wolf welcome to Nadine Wild-Palmer!

For those of you curious on what The Tunnels Below is all about, The Tunnels Below follows Celine on her twelfth birthday. On the way to the museum with her parents and sister, Celine drops a marble which her sister gave to her as a birthday present. As she runs to pick it up, she is taken away on an empty underground train where she and her marble might be an important role in saving the inhabitants of the tunnels from the tyrannical rule of the mysterious Corvus.

Now you see why I want to start reading this book next time am in London... It sounds so magical and yummy as heck!

Anyway, I am thrilled that Nadine wrote this guest blog post today talking about the power of friendship as friendship and self-belief are important to the story and to our lives.

So, before I hand you over to Nadine, I just want to thank her for finding time to write this. I know she is very busy with this coming out tomorrow! But thank you for doing this! I, also, want to thank Vicki at Pushkins, for chatting to me about this book and getting me super intrigued! If you want to chat to Nadine about The Tunnels Below, you can pop over to her website - nadinewildpalmer.co.uk - or tweet her at @NadineWildPalm! Or, if you want more info on The Tunnels Below (which is better explained than myself), you can check out either Pushkin Press or Book Depository for more details!