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!

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 at time of writing!), 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 for more details!

Thursday 18 April 2019

eBook Review - Charmed Life

  • Title And Author: Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 288 Pages

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

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.