Wednesday, 26 June 2019

An Vintage Extract from 1954

Ok, I'm not back from my blog break as of yet. But I fancied popping in, saying hi and giving you an extract of something a little different. It's not my typical YA but as I am still trying to figure the path the Pewter Wolf is going int he future, I thought I would shake it up a little with wine.

Well, an extract from a upcoming novel which all starts with a bottle of wine.

Vintage 1954 by Antoine Laurain (and translated by Emily Boyce and Jane Aitken - though correct me if I am wrong!) follows four very different people - Hubert, antique restorer Magalie, mixologist Julien and Airbnb tenant Bob who is visiting Europe for the first time as he's from Milwaukee. After an evening of drinking a bottle of exceptional bottle of 1954 Beaujolais, they all wake up the following morning to discover themselves in 1950s Paris.

Once the shock wears off, the four fall under the city's charm. But ultimately, they will have to figure out how to get back to 2017. And the key to that might be at the vineyards of the Chateau St Antoine...

Like I said, this is a very different animal to what I normally do. Plus, I'm not the biggest wine drinker so this is a bit of a curveball, but I thought this would be a fun extract to share with you!

Before I hand you over to the extract (got a glass of good wine or beverage at hand?), I just want to thank Ellen from ED PR for asking if I want to be involved in this tour. And if you want more info on this book, you can check it out at Gallic Books's website or at Book Depository.

Now, ONTO THE EXTRACT!!!

Monday, 3 June 2019

Finding the World of Maresi: Red Mantle

BLOG TOUR TIME! And it's going to get a little... red...

Ok, that was a lame pun, but I am super thrilled to be involved in this tour to celebrate the release of the newest instalment of the Red Abbey ChroniclesMaresi: Red Mantle by Maria Turtschaninoff and translated into English by Anne Primer.

In a world ruled by brutal and ruthless men, the Red Abbey has been a safe haven for women and girls. Maresi has grown into a young, strong woman thanks to Red Abbey. But now it is time for her to leave. Time to return to her childhood home and share what she has learned.

But her village isn't the same place it was when she left. People are struggling under the rule of an oppressive Earl and people are so desperate to survive that they don't see the value in Maresi's teaching. Maresi must use everything she has learn to protect her people, but can she find the strength to do so when she is experiencing love for the first time...?

Doesn't this sound dark, messed-up and feminist as heck!?

To celebrate this release, author Maria Turtschaninoff has written this some guest post which I am thrilled and honoured to share with you guys!

Now, before I hand it over to Maria, I want to thank her for finding time to write this and for the lovely Vicki at Pushkin for asking if I wanted to be involved in this tour! If you want to say hi to Maria, you can check out her website at mariaturtschaninoff.com or check her out on Twitter at @turtschaninoff. And if you want more info about Maresi: Red Mantle or any of the books within the series, you can check out Pushkin Press and Book Depository for more info.

NOW, OVER TO MARIA!!!

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

The Space Between Time

Curveball time! Why yes, it's not a post from me, but a guest blog post from Charlie Laidlaw, author of Love Potions and Other Calamities, The Things We Learn When We're Dead and his upcoming novel The Space Between Time. 

Now, this is a little hard to explain so I hope Charlie's guest post about what inspired him to write this will help and explain better but let me try...

Emma Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. Daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, her father one of the most famous film actors and her grandfather an eccentric yet obscure astrophysicist.

But Emma's life begins to unravel after several horrible events... And it's here, in this darkest moment, her psychiatrist suggest writing a memoir of her life, in the hope it makes her understand and comes to terms with everything that has happened...

I know, this is a bit of a curve ball for the Pewter Wolf, but I was intrigued and seeing as I fancy mixing things up this year on the blog, reading and posting wise...

Before I hand you over to Charlie, I want to thank you for finding time to write this post! If you want to say hi to him, check out his website - charlielaidlawauthor.com - or tweet him at @claidlawauthor. Plus, if you want more info on The Space Between Time, you can check out either Accent Press or Book Depository.

Now, over to Charlie!

Thursday, 23 May 2019

RSM

Ok, this is a bit out of the blue, I know, but I have decided to take a small blog break or RSM (Radio Silence Month as I like to call it as the first few times I did this, it was for a month but I use this now as shorthand when I need a blog break for a few weeks.)

Now, I don't think this is gonna be a month as I have no idea how long this break is going to be. And this break is a little out of the blue as I kept changing my mind of when to have it. I originally thought Easter or mid-May to co-inside with my birthday, but I kept going "I feel ok to keep going". Until a few days after my birthday, when I went "Actually, I need to go on a little break..."

I can say a number of reads - lack of time to read, the lengths of the books, money and being a grown-up - but the main reason that made me go "I need a break" is a fear I've been happening for quite some time but it came to surface when the UKYA Blogger Awards longests and shortlists nominations were announced.

Like most of you know, I came into book blogging by sheer fluke and happy accident. I have, since I started taking my book blogging seriously back in 2010, mainly read Young Adult. I love reading YA. But recently... I've noticed something the past few months... that I'm eyeing up more grown up reads and I've started to feel more comfortable and more challenged reading more adult novels.

This normally doesn't bother it (why would it? A good story is a good story, regardless of the age it's written for).

But the past few months, I feel like I'm ... how can I write this in a way that makes sense to you and myself? ... I feel like I am a YA book blogger, and yet I'm not. I feel like I am part of this wonderful YA book blogger community, and yet and on the edges and am slowly edging out.

Basically, I can't help but feel that maybe I don't exactly fit in the YA book blogging community like I used to. And that's kinda freaking me out.

In the past, this would never bother me. I would read what I like and to hell with it. But recently... I feel a little out of place with blogging. I don't want to quit, but I seem to have lost my identity a little, or I've shifted/grown-up a little in my tastes, and the Pewter Wolf needs to catch up and figure out where I fit in this book blogging community.

Or maybe I need a blog holiday to recharge.

So, that is what I am going to do! I am taking a book blogging break. I am still going to be reading and am still going to do what I have planned for the blog (the polls are on hold for a little while but keep eyes peeled on socials, all my guest post/blog tours are still gonna happen as promised) though I put hold fire on my His Fair Assassin and Inheritance Cycle Year Challenge read as I am failing beautifully on that front. But I need a recharge.

You will know when I am back properly as I will be screaming it! But bear with me for a while as I need to find my reading, then my blogging voice again... While waiting for that day, here is a gif of a cat that I saw at work a few days ago and I laughed over for nearly 15 minutes solid!

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Audiobook Review - Printer's Devil Court

  • Title And Author: Printer's Devil Court by Susan Hill
  • Publisher: Profile Books
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed by BorrowBox & Essex Libraries
  • Length: 113 Pages or 1 Hour and 42 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible
I don't understand why, after all this time and the mental note to self to not read or audiobook a Susan Hill ghost story after being disappointed with my last outings (The Man in the Picture and The Small Hand), even though I was chilled with The Woman in White back in my early days of book blogging (ta-dah to the link if you are curious). But with me wondering if I should cancel my Audible subscription due to money and seeing if Essex Libraries do really good audiobook selection. While I'm not thrilled by the selection which is really smaller than I hoped and expected, but when I saw this, I thought I would use this as an experiment. 

A mysterious little manuscript has appeared on the stepson of the late Dr Hugh Meredith. In it, he writes about a chilling events that happened years ago when he was training as a junior doctor near London's Fleet Street. Living with two other medics, they ask for his help with their research...

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 fiancé 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!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

eBook Review - Charmed Life


After you guys voted for me to read Red, White and Royal Blue (and me DNFing it at 35-odd%), I needed something light, something fast and something fun. Fun was the important word here. Plus, for some weird reason, I was itching to read Diana Wynne Jones’s Charmed Life

Slight backstory: I’ve got the whole Chrestomanci collection on my kindle in one bindup several years ago and by accident. During its preorder, it was £1.99 or 99p and I snapped it up as I knew I wanted to read this, plus Amazon would have to respect the price I preordered it for (unless they wanted me to cancel my order. I love a good bargain). Also, I want to read Diana Wynne Jones. I think I might have read Witch Week, a later book in the series, but I don’t know for certain plus can’t remember anything about it. My hope is that, once I read this series, will be confident enough to read Howl’s Moving Castle

That was several years ago and I still haven’t done it. I was planning to put this on a poll but, after Red, White and Royal Blue, I wanted fun so I jumped to this. No idea why as my TBR (physical, ebook and NetGalley) is overflowing and I need to do a cull soon! 

Charmed Life is the first in the Chrestomanci series and follows Eric Chant (also known as Cat) and his sister, Gwendolyn. Gwendolyn is a gifted witch in a world where magic is like music or maths in others. Cat is happy living in his sister’s shadow as he has no talent for magic at all. 

But it all changes when they move to live in Chrestomanci Castle. People are ignoring Gwendolyn’s magical powers and spoilt Gwendolyn starts pulling nasty and cruel pranks. Sparks are going to fly and worlds are going to shift and collide if people aren’t carefully…

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

GoodReads Poll Alert

As you guys probably know, I am doing a huge "Pick My Next Read" polls over the next few weeks/months and am trying to do them all over the place, social media wise. And this is me doing it on Goodreads.

"But Andrew," I hear you cry, "why are you blogging about this Goodreads poll unlike the rest?"

Mainly for one reason and that's the poll's length of time. Most of the polls I have done so far have been on Twitter and I plan to do other polls on the Pewter Wolf's Facebook and Instagram, but these have been quite short voting times. 24 hours or less. But Goodreads is an experiment - it's on Goodreads and it's lasting for around a month. 

So, yeah, it's a bit of a curveball for me. Plus, I planned for this to be a mix of genres. Expect I did it and released, several hours later, how fantasy-heavy this was. Which works for my Year of Blood and Magic - well, more Magic than Blood, but I have plans to correct that soon... 

So, I wanted to show-off the poll and go "HELP ME!!!" without me tweeting/instagram/facebooking the poll once a day... No one wants that, right? 

So, here is the poll! Vote wisely as this will close on the 17th May 2019! Please, it's not Brexit-related, so it should be an easy choice... right?

Friday, 12 April 2019

Books I Haven't Read Due To The Fear

Have you ever got excited for a book, so excited for an upcoming title or a title that you haven’t bought just yet that, when you have a copy of it in your hands, on your eReader or the audiobook on your iPod, you don’t read it? You become scared and terrified for it because what if it doesn’t live up to your expectations? To the hype that everyone is screaming about?

We all suffer for it. I seem to suffer from it more than others. I’m serious. I have books on my KIndle, on my TBR shelves, on my Audible app that I am so excited to read or listen to, but am completely terrified over because what if it isn’t that good?!

So, what I thought I would do two or so posts about this, airing some my dirty, shameful “I have the fear” To Be Read (physical, audiobook and ebook) in the vague hope that I will, in the next 12 months, I will read these and go “What the hell was I on about?”

I suppose that, though I don’t want to use my affiliate links but, if you are curious over these titles and you want to know more, why don’t you click on my affiliate links of Book Depository, Audible, Foyles or Waterstones and check them out! 

Ok, with that awful plug out of the way (that made me feel uncomfortable), let’s chat books I want to read but THE FEAR!!!

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Would You Rather...? Book Tag

I’ve been tagged in something! It’s so rare that I get tagged and I actually see it and go “I think I can do this” and do it with the tag being fresh in my mind. Plus, with Brexit driving me round the twist (I seem to become Brexit Correspondent at my place of work - I blame reading BBC News and listening to Brexit podcasts like Brexitcast), I think this will be a fun tag to do. 

I was tagged to do the Would You Rather? book tag by Steph from ALittleButALot (her post for this is here) and I have no idea who created this tag. So, as far as I understand it, I have the answer the question Steph has asked me, then I must create some questions and tag people to answer my questions. 

No pressure!

Ok, let’s get my answers out of the way first!

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Book Review - A Closed And Common Orbit

  • Title And Author: A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
  • Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 364 Pages
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

As you guys know, I was meant to start my “Pick My Next Read” polls after I finished The Hand, The Eye and The Heart by Zoë Marriott. However, I was going to holiday (a small weekend break away in Bruges) and I didn’t want to start this while away. Plus, I have been getting an itch to read something else. So, I decided to push it back a read, rewrite my “Pick My Next Read” post and start the book in question. 

 A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers was the book is question. 

A companion/sequel (I’m going to say companion as this really didn’t feel like a sequel) to A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, A Closed And Common Orbit follows Lovelace. Once, she had eyes and ears everywhere. She was a long haul spaceship’s artificial intelligence system. Not any more. Now, she’s housed in an illegal synthetic body. She might have Pepper by her side, Lovelace feels very alone. 

Pepper is determined to help her. She knows a thing or two about starting over. Because, Pepper wasn’t always Pepper. Pepper was once Jane 23 and, when she was ten, she had never seen the sky. 

So how did Jane 23 become Pepper? What is Pepper trying to find? And will Lovelace find her place in the universe?

Now, I know what you are thinking, what did I think of this book?

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

The Chemical Extract


I have an extract for you! And it's an adult crime. But with a twist. Hence why I got a little excited over this title!

The Chemical Detective follows Dr Jaqueline Silver, a scientist and explosives expert, who is working on avalanche control in Slowenia when she discovers something odd about a recent consignment of explosives. When she raises a complaint to the supplier, a multinational chemical company (and her former employer), the evidence vanishes mysteriously.

She is then warned, threatened, accused of professional incompetence and suspended. In the end, Jac goes to the head office to file her complaint, only to narrowly escape death and then is accused of murder. On the run from the Police, Jac has to figure out what the truth is, and time is running out fast for her...

Now, when Margot emailed about this, it caught my eye and asked if I wanted to do something with this, I asked if I could do an extract as my TBR was a little out of control. So, here is a sneak peek of Chemical Detective! 

But before I go, I want to say thank you for Margot for allowing me to do this. And if you want to check the author, Fiona Erskine, out, you can check her on via her website - thechemicaldetective.blog - or via her Twitter of @erskine_fiona. Plus, if you want more info about the book, you can visit Point Blank's website or Book Depository.

Now, ONTO THE EXTRACT!!!

Saturday, 30 March 2019

The Hand, The Eye and The Heart Music

Welcome to my stop on The Hand, The Eye and The Heart blog tour! Yes, it's me and am back to doing something I haven't done in quite some time: putting music to the book I was reading. And it was such a joy to do! 

When asked by John at Walker if I wanted to be involved in this tour, I jumped at the chance! So, thank you John for asking me to be involved. 

For those unsure of what The Hand, The Eye and The Heart, it's a reimagining of Mulan in a fantasy world. Ok, I was using that to grab your attention, but OH, this book is much more than that! Zhilan was born a girl. Despite the rare gift of illusions, she is destined to live her life in the confines of what is expected for a women. But when a civil war breaks out in her empire, one man from every family is called to fight. With her father being disabled from the battlefield of his youth, Zhilan is desperate to save him and takes his place, becoming a boy called Zhi to survive army training. But that’s the first challenge as love and betrayal can be two sides of the same coin and soon, the weight of the country is on Zhi’s shoulders. But to win, they have to decide where their heart truly lies as, sometimes, the greatest battle is to be who you are… 

I told you there was more to it than my awful elevator pitch. Anyway, as part of the tour, I was asked to create a playlist via Spotify. Now, I love reading to music and the playlist below has a nice mix of songs I listened to while reading and a few others that I went "This is perfect!" and added on to give it a good mix. But, this is subjective and because these are my music choices doesn't mean they will be yours and I would love to hear your playlists for this book, as well as everyone at Walker and Zoë herself. 

Before I throw my music at you, I want to thank Zoë and if you want to check her out, go say hi to her on her website - zoemarriott.com - or via her Twitter at @ZMarriott. And if you want more info about the book, check out Walker Books or Book Depository. (Special thanks to Luna at Luna's Little Library for going through my playlist and making some suggestions on placement and a few other songs she thought might be good for playlist.

Now, ONTO THE MUSIC!

Monday, 25 March 2019

#GollanczPreview2019

Last week, the day before I had to get up SUPER early for a mini weekend-break, I was kindly invited to Gollancz with a bunch of other bloggers, booksellers and bookish people to see a preview of Gollancz upcoming titles, plus a handful of others from Gollancz sister imprints such as Trapeze, Orion and a few others.

Now, I have to be honest, there is no way I can write a small thing about every single one of these titles. There was, to my appalling note taking hand-writing, over 20 titles. OVER 20 TITLES!!! And I think if I sat down and wrote them down, you all would be bored stiff and go “You want to talk about this? Seriously, Andrew?”. Plus, some of these titles are hugely well known. For example, the first adult fantasy novel, Angel Mage, by Garth Nix (WHO I LOVE SO OF COURSE, I WILL BE READING, AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ HIS OLD KINGDOM SERIES, I WOULD BE UPSET! Go read Sabriel as it is wonderful) or Leigh Bardugo’s first adult fantasy, Ninth House (I mean, does she really need an introduction? I haven’t read her Grieshaverse and even I know about her and am super curious on this one!). So yeah, gonna be buying these! 

I can easily talk about Victoria Aveyard’s Broken Kingdom, a collection of novellas set in her Red Queen world (I might try to read this series again… maybe…) or talk about Stephen Chbosky’s Imaginary Friend, his first novel in 20 years after his hugely successful Perks of Being A Wallflower. Or maybe the sequel to Branden Sanderson’s Skywards, Starsight. Or The Sky Weaver, Kristen Ciccarelli’s third book to be set in the Last Namsara world, known as Iskari. 

My point is there is so much I can talk about and trust me, I have video and photos to share on my Instagram and Twitter so they are about! 

But let’s chat about some other titles that catch my eye that could be seen as flying under the radar, And believe, there is a few I REALLY want to talk about.

So, in no order, let’s get this book party started!

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Brexit: What The Hell Is Going On?

I went on holiday a few days ago and, within those days, the news on Brexit has completely hit the fan. And as I’m trying to play catch up via reading news, listening to podcasts and looking all over social media to understand what the heck is happening? 

Now, like I said on multiply times, I don’t do non-book related blog posts that often so forgive me. You have my blessing to jump this post as, I promise, normal service will resume with books, books, books! 

So, what is going on? 

Answer: *shrugs* 

I kid you not. I’m the main person at where I work who keeps up with this stuff and even I’m confused as heck. Now, before I go on, I am not an expert on this VERY CONFUSING and VERY COMPLEX issue so I beg your forgiveness if I make mistakes.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Book Review - The Hand, The Eye and The Heart

  • Title And Author: The Hand, The Eye and The Heart by Zoë Marriott
  • Publisher: Walker Book
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by the publisher in exchange for an honest review/reaction
  • Length: 448 Pages
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones

Backstory time. A few years back, I was at Walker Books HQ at a blogger event to celebrate the cover reveal to the final book in Zoë Marriott’s urban fantasy trilogy, The Name of the Blade, Frail Human Heart. At the event, Zoë mentioned an idea for a novel she was researching. When she was chatting about it, myself and a few book bloggers got hugely excited and went “You have to write this!” then looking at her editor and people at Walker, going “You’re going to buy this, right?”

And this is the book in question. So, you have no idea how excited I have been for this book… 

No pressure, Zoë. 

Zhilan was born a girl. Despite the rare gift of illusions known as banner-breaking, she is destined to live her life in the confines of what is expected for a women. But when a civil war breaks out in her empire, one man from every family is called to fight. With her father being disabled from the battlefield of his youth, Zhilan is desperate to save him and takes his place, becoming a boy called Zhi to survive army training. But that’s the first challenge as love and betrayal can be two sides of the same coin and soon, the weight of the country is on Zhi’s shoulders. But to win, they have to decide where their heart truly lies as, sometimes, the greatest battle is to be who you are… 

So… what do I think of this?