Wednesday, 27 February 2019
A Testament of Murder by Vivian Conroy first came on my radar after reading that this has an Agatha Christie vibe to it (A mix of And Then There Were None and Crooked House, apparently) and seeing as I am planning to read a lot of Agatha Christie this year, I got excited when I was asked if I wanted to be involved in this tour!
A dying billionaire decides on a cunning and ruthless plan. At midnight every day, he appoints a new heir to his fortune. If he dies within the 24 hours before the next midnight, the money will go to that person.
But his beneficiaries aren't normal people. Men who he has crossed, women he has deceived, distant relatives he has wrong. Each with their own dark reasons to want the money and are will to go any lengths to get it. And all that's stopping them is a retired Scotland Yard investigator who must stay two steps ahead...
Like I said, this is blog tour and I have an extract to share. Hopefully, this will wet your crime-solving appetite. And before I hand it over to the extract, I would like to thank Ellie at Canelo for inviting me onto this tour!
Oh, if you want more info on Testament of Murder, check out the Canelo's website or if you want to say to the author, Vivian Conroy, pop over to Twitter and find her at @VivWrites. Now, ONTO THE EXTRACT!!!
Monday, 25 February 2019
@EverydaySexism, Laura Bates, I can sense this is going to be one interesting read.
The Burning follows Anna, who is starting over. New school, new town, new surname, and all her social media profiles erased and deleted. No way to connect her from "the accident". Till the whispers and rumours start. As they begin to swirl, Anna finds herself drawn the Maggie, a girl accused of witchcraft centuries ago... and who's life has terrifying parallels with Anna's...
I am thrilled that Laura found time to write down a list of Laura's favourite witch stories and they are an interesting and exciting mix! I can't wait to share this list with you all!
Before I hand over to Laura's top 5 list, I just want to thank Laura for finding the time to write this guest post. I, also, want to thank Anna at Simon and Schuster for asking if I wanted to be involved in this tour!
Now, if you want more info about The Burning, why not check out Simon and Schuster website. Plus, if you want to say hi to Laura or find out more about The Burning or Everyday Sexism, check Laura out on Instagram or via Twitter at @EverydaySexism or at EverydaySexism.com.
Now, ONTO THE WITCHY LIST!!!
Friday, 22 February 2019
- Title And Author: Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers
- Publisher: Andersen Press
- Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical
- Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by publisher in exchange for honest review
- Length: 523 Pages
As you guys know, I am planning to try and read the whole series of His Fair Assassin by Robin LaFevers this year (as well as Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle - I announced my hopes to read these in this post). But here’s the thing. When I decided this last December, Layla from Andersen Press asked if I wanted to read Courting Darkness and reveal the UK cover. I said yes (because of course I world) and I was given a ring-binder manuscript as finish copies weren’t ready. So, for the past month or so, I have slowly made me way through Courting Darkness.
The fourth book in the His Fair Assassin series (or first in a duology set after the events of the series), we follow Sybella, one of the most gifted of Death’s daughter, serving deadly justice on behalf of St Mortain. But her younger sisters are her newest mission and in a bid to keep them safe, she agrees to accompany the Duchess of Brittany to France where the Duchess will marry the King and bring together the two countries together as one. But as Sybella watches the French court and begins to distrust the King’s sister, she discover that two fellow assassins from the convent of St Mortain have been placed in the court under cover… but how can she find them?
Genevieve has been a faithful assassin to St Mortain, going deep undercover int he French court since she was 12. But she’s been under cover for so long, she no longer knows what she’s fighting for any more. And when she discover a prisoner deep in the castle’s dungeons, she decides to take matters into her own hands.
As these tow women’s path slowly draw closer together, the two must tread careful if they don’t want to lose everything…
So, reactions. What do I think about this?
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
But as I am doing a Year of Blood and Magic - magic and murder - I saw this and went "Oh, this sounds a little dark and up my street!"
A quick info dump of the book. Detective Grace Macallan is happy with her 9-5 job at police desk. Expect, it's not what she was expecting it to be, so when she gets a chance to escape and investigate a suicide at a notorious Glasgow prison, she jumps at the chance.
Tommy McMartin committed suicide. Heir to a dangerous gangland family, his murder conviction threw him out of the family, not only due to the level of violence, but because he murdered his gay lover.
As Grace slowly looks into Tommy's death, she finds herself slowly getting pulled in with Tommy's old enemies coming out of the woodwork. Not only that, she has the feeling she's being followed, being watched and as the vultures being to circle round the McMartin family, waiting for them to fall, Grace is put into an impossible situation: bring the truth to light or let the dead sleep...
I don't have anything more to add to this as this is an extract and this sounds a tad darker than what I am use to with my murder reads, but intrigued to share and see what your thoughts are. I just want to thank Alastair at Black and White Publishing for asking if I wanted to be involved in this! If you want some more info, check out the Black and White's website.
Now, onto the extract!!!
Monday, 18 February 2019
- Title And Author: Tight Quarters by Annabeth Albert
- Publisher: Carina Press
- Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
- Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest reaction
- Length: 336 Pages
Don’t give me that look. I know what you’re thinking. “Another gay romance, Andrew? Really?” Well, yeah. And be warned, I have one or two others within my TBR so you will see a few more in the coming few months within my blitz of murder and dragons.
But I wanted a change of pace. And I wasn’t in the mood for anything too heavy. Plus, I wasn’t ready to start my reading of Eragon or Grave Mercy, both first books in the two series I want to read in 2019 and, while looking through my NetGalley eProofs (I have around 60 to be read - a few from when I started on NetGalley. THE SHAME!!! But, am making plans to try and cut down my requesting of eProofs and try to read a good few before I got on a blog break in April/May. I am making plans!), this title catch my eye and went “Ok. I can hammer this out fast. Let’s see where I go with it.” Plus, I did read the previous book in the series, Squared Away (write-up for that is here), and I did enjoy that hugely at the time (I read it in two days flat).
Petty Officer Bacon, a Navy SEAL, has been asked to in a beta team due to a minor injury and, due to that, been asked to babysit a forty-something journalist, Spencer Bryant, a man who gets Bacon’s blood racing. But when the mission goes sideways, the two men find themselves falling for each other. But keeping a relationship alive in the real world is very different from the front lines - the stakes can be much higher…
So, what did I think of this?
Friday, 15 February 2019
- Title And Author: The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
- Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
- Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
- Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
- Length: 528 Pages and 17 hours 1 minutes
As you guys probably know if you have been following the Pewter Wolf for a while, I enjoy reading Stephenie Meyer’s books. Yes, I know that they are not the best books in the world. I know that, and I fully get that. But here’s the thing: they are fun. And with the world being so dark at the moment (maybe it always was and the fact that I am growing up and noticing that more), means I want to read and audiobook more fun things. So yes, I am going to listen to this and to heck with it.
I must admit though that I did buy the book when it first came out and I did read the first 100 or so pages. Then I put down for one excuse or another and I never picked it back up, though I planned to. I can’t remember it I did that with The Host (I don’t believe I did) but I remember audiobooking The Host and loving it via the audiobook. So, when I start looking into the Chemist audiobook on Audible the past few months, I wonder if audiobooking this was the way to go…
She used to work for a US government department so secret it didn’t have a name. An expert in her field. Now she’s on the run, always changing her name, never staying in the same place too long, always wearing a gas mask before she falls asleep due to her web of traps to keep her alive.
So when her former handler contacts her and offers her a way out, she realises that this could be it. But it means doing one last job for her employer, the employer that has been trying to kill her. And once she gets the true information to what’s happening, the situation takes a turn…
Let’s leave the write-up of the story there and get onto what I thought of this…
Monday, 11 February 2019
I have to apologise in advance if this write-up isn’t as fully in depth compared to others. I did have a notepad and pen for once. With my laptop. But I made no notes WHATSOEVER so I am winging it/remembering from my photos and everyone else’s Twitters and Instagram feeds.
So, where do I begin?
On Saturday, I made my way to London for the Scholastic Book Feast, a blogger event where Scholastic show off some of their most exciting titles for the rets of 2019 that they think we are going to love. I drove to London due to the maintenance work on the trail lines (why do they always do maintenance work on Saturdays I have to go to London for blogger events?! And yet, to other bloggers who were coming to London for this one event and was on the train at 5 in the morning, I can’t complain!), got the tube and managed to get there on time for a chin-wag with some cool, exciting bloggers.
And then the event begun. Now, this Blogger Event was done a little different compare to others. Normally at these things, publishers chat about several of the books they want us to know about, get authors to talk about them and maybe read a tiny extract and then we get together and chat with authors, publisher people and bloggers over food, tea and books (as book bloggers are vultures!)
But Scholastic did things a little different. They decided to chat about the titles first, get the authors to do mini talks about certain subjects and then a little quiz at the end of the event. So… let’s see how awful my memory is over what the talks were…
Alexander Shepherd chatted about being a debut novel and writing. Alice Broadway and Sue Wallman chatted about how they writing in their genre (fantasy for Alice, thriller fo Sue). Simon James Green, Laura Wood and Paula Rawsworth chatted about romance. Alexander with Beth Garrod and Melinda Salisbury chatted about feminism and PM Freestone chatted briefly about her debut, Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom but spoke more about perfume and the layers within perfume. And the cover designer of Shadowscent chatted about how he created the cover.
Ok, I think I got the talks rights. And all were interesting and, if I was better prepared, I would have recorded some and put on all the social medias. But I didn’t. But you’re not here for that. You’re here for the book news so, let me chat about a few (ok, nearly all barring Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I need to watch these shows, don’t I?)
First, there is no point me talking about Melinda Salisbury, is there? You all love her (and rightly so. She’s a badass!) so no point me chatting about Song of Sorrow. I did pick up a copy of State of Sorrow, the first in the duology (My copy’s gone! I think I lost it in the house move last year!) and you guys all have said I gave up on it too soon. So, going to try again as I love Mel and I feel like a bad human if I didn’t.
Nor am I going to talk much about Scar, the final book in Alice Broadway’s Ink trilogy. I haven’t read this trilogy (THE SHAME!!!) but I do have copies of book 1 and 2 and I know you all will scream if I don’t attempt to read it soon or put it on one of my “Pick My Next Read” polls throughout March/April so keep eyes peeled for that!
Not going to to talk much about Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom by PM Freestone. For the purely selfish reason of I want to read it and want to go in as blind as I can! From the little I got that made me go “YES!”, imagine a fantasy-ish version of the Hunger Games but with perfume. It’s sounds deliciously dark and messed-up and I am here for that!
Under a Dancing Star by Laura Wood is a bit of gear change for me, but I am intrigued this. Imagine a reimagining of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, set in 1930s Italy and you have an idea what you’re getting in. Now, I haven’t read A Sky Painted Gold as I gave my copy to my Other Half’s little sister and we bloggers were given a little sneak peek of Under A Dancing Star and I am a little furious that I don’t have either books in my possession! DAMN IT LAURA!
Best way to describe Paula Ratsworth’s newest novel, The New Boy, is imagine a mix of two Netflix shows - Black Mirror and You. Imagine these two shows having a baby and you have this. It tackles the issues of privacy, social media and romance and whether romance is romance when one person in the relationship is faking it…
As you know, I love Simon James Green. I’m scared he’ll think I want a relationship with him due to his books. So, of course, his newest - Alex in Wonderland - is going to be an auto buy for me. Alex has got a job in the rundown seaside theme park, Wonderland, and when news comes that the park might close down, can Alex and his friends help save the park while falling in love? I have been promised kissing so am all over this when it comes out. Sorry in advance everyone!
We all know about Oh My Gods by Alexander Shepherd but, if you have missed it, growing up is hard. And for Helen, it’s harder. She is half Greek Goddess, hiding her identity in Central London and feeling as if she doesn’t belong anyway. This sounds like the perfect beach read so get this read for your Easter break!
The Love and Lies of Rusksana Ali by Sabina Khan follows Rusksana as she tries to balance her life and her secrets. She only has a few months before she can stop as she will be off to college and can be open about who she is. But when her parents discover her kissing her girlfriend, Ariana, they send her to Bangladesh where Rusksana is thrown head first into a world of tradition and arranged marriages. But as she gets friends and unexpected allies, can Ruskana find the courage to take control of her future the more she learns about her family past?
I was going to tell you about Sue Wallman’s latest, Dead Popular, but I can’t. Not really. As I wrote no notes whatsoever. But from the author of Lying about Last Summer, what do you think this is going to be about? And with that title…? (We got a sneak peek of the cover and it’s very teen Karen Slaughter. I like hugely!)
Take a Chance on Me is gonna be perfect for you ABBA fans. From Super Awkward Beth Garrod, TACOM follows a girl who goes to a Greek island and find herself, awkwardly, in the middle of summer romance with three suitors. Hmmm… where have we seen that before? This is going be Mamma Mia, but not as you know it…
Last title in my notes is Becoming Jo, a modern day reimagining of classic Little Women from the mind Sophie McKenzie, and with a movie adaption coming out at the end of the year staring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep, interest in the world of March sisters.
And that is it. I have no other titles to report on! And reading my GP handwriting on non-exist notes was hard work. I do want to leave this post off to say thank you to Scholastic for hosting this event and I can’t wait to get involved in these titles, via blog posts or preorder! This reading year, so far, is gonna be fab!
Friday, 8 February 2019
Blog tour alert! As you know, I don’t normally do blog tours that include reviews. In fact, I usually stay away from them and, when asked to be involved, I run to the hills screaming. But when I was asked if I wanted to be involved in the blog tour for The Lost Man by Jane Harper, I was planning to read The Lost Man before the end of last year and make it one of my first reviews in 2019, so it just fitted nicely together. Plus, I have never read Jane Harper but heard she’s wonderful and sounds like an author I could really sink my teeth into reading for my Year of Blood and Magic challenge.
I do want to say, before I go any further, that I am not going to lie about this book. I was asked to be honest so I am going to be honest, whether the publisher wants me to or not.
- Title And Author: The Lost Man by Jane Harper
- Publisher: Little, Brown
- Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
- Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review
- Length: 384 Pages
In the Australian outback, two brothers - Nathan and Bub - stand side by side. They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one knows who or why they were buried there. Normally, they would avoid it, but not today. Today, their brother, middle child Cameron, is lying on the grave, dead, due to the heat and lack of water. But why did he leave his fully-stocked car - which had water, food, and equipment - and walk 9 to 10 kilometres away? Some kind of bizarre suicide? If so, what made him do it? If not, the suspect list is dangerously short as the closest neighbours are hours drive away…
The past is a dangerous thing in the Australian outback…
So… what do I think of this?
Wednesday, 6 February 2019
- Title And Author: The Fork, The Witch and the Worm by Christopher Paolini
- Publisher: Penguin
- Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical
- Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by ED PR in exchange for an honest review
- Length: 320 Pages
As you know if you have followed the Pewter Wolf in the past month or so, I’m planning to read Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini through 2019. Or try to (they are meaty books!). I planned this back in late summer 2018. So when this collection of short stories was announced to go with the series, I added it on my radar, but with the plan to read AFTER I completed the four book series.
However, when the lovely people at ED PR sent me a copy and told me “Oh, you can read this as an entry point to the series if you are a newbie to the world or readers of the series can read now as a tie-them-over till when the fifth novel set in the world comes out (oh, Christopher has said he’s planning to write more novels set in the world of Alagaësia but following new characters, so companion novels technically)”, I decided that I would read this collection before I go to Eragon (which would be a reread to me as I read this YEARS ago but never carried on due to the following novels lengths!). A bit of a refresher and, hopefully, a nice way to ease self back into the world of dragons…
Set a year after the events of Inheritance, Eragon is trying to find a new home for the dragons. But with that, comes duties. Trade agreements, guarding dragons, dealing with elves and Urgals. But three things happen that, hopefully, bring Eragon a much needed-distraction and new perspective: a vision from the spirits of the dragons past, an unexpected visitor and an Urgal legend.
Monday, 4 February 2019
- Title And Author: In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
- Publisher: MacMillian Audio
- Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
- Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
- Length: 208 Pages and 4 hours 57 minutes
Back in 2017, I finally got myself round to reading the first novella within the Wayward Children series, Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire. And I enjoyed it. Yes, it wasn’t perfect with some of the things it suggested or how it handle the murder mystery element of that plot (I figured out who was behind the deed and why they were doing it quite quickly!), but I did like reading about this world and the idea of “What happens to children to go to magical worlds like Alice in Wonderland when they come back? What trauma do they go through?”
I have kept my eye of the series and, while I have always leaned more towards Behind the Sugar Sky more then Down Among the Sticks and Bones, I have always found one excuse or another not to return to this world. But when I discovered I had a ton of credits on Audible and that In An Absent Dream was out the following day (I listened to a good chuck on this on the day of release), I ordered it and dived straight in.
In this, the fourth installment of the Wayward Children, we have a prequel set in the 1960s. This followed a story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who follows the rules, would rather study, read and dream than become a respectable housewife. But one day, on the last day on school before summer holiday, Lundy fins a doorway. A doorway that leads her to a world founded in logic and reason, the goblin market where fair value rules. Lundy finally finds a place to be herself, but soon, she will have to make a decision about what world she should belong in, she makes a bargain. A bargain that will, in no way, be fair value to anyone…
Friday, 1 February 2019
- Title And Author: Murder of the Manor Hotel by Betty Rowlands
- Publisher: Bookouture
- Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
- Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by publisher vi NetGalley in exchange for honest review
- Length: 258 Pages
I did warn you guys last month that 2019 will be the year I read a lot more fantasy and crime. So, let’s start with this cozy crime as a little out of my comfort zone. But let me explain why I wanted to read this. After reading Mistletoe and Murder last year (write-up for that is here, FYI), I wanted to read another crime. I wasn’t ready to read fantasy or something else and this seemed to be the title I kept leaning towards, even though I had a load of other crime stories to read (I have two more within this series to read/review as well…) but I wanted something warm and cozy. Something I can read in a fluffy dressing gown with a mug of hot chocolate…
The fourth in the Melissa Craig series (though you can probably read these without reading the rest in series), Melissa is meant to be writing her next murder mystery novel. Expect she’s written a panto-crime for the local drama group to be performed at a local Cotswolds hotel. But when one of the supporting actors is found at the bottom of the steep flight of stairs leading to the hotel’s cellar and Melissa tries to save his life, she swears she can hear voices…
Afterwards, Melissa realises that things aren’t what they seem and don’t add up? Why was the hotel manager so angry when he first discovered the actor at the bottom of the stairs? Why was the actor going into the cellar in the first place? Why was the hotel’s owner so desperate to put the actor in the panto-crime when he was so terrified of acting? Something awful is going on… and Melissa is finding herself being dragged into it…
So, what did I think?