Monday 20 December 2021

End of 2021

So, here we are. Christmas is around the corner and soon, we say bye-bye to 2021! A year that wasn’t as bad as 2020 but is flipping close!

And here I am, about to go on a nice, long Christmas blog holiday! It’s going to be a tad longer than my normal Christmas blog breaks, but I feel that, after the few years we’ve had, I need to take more time out and so, I’m going to have an extra week or so off and be chill with my reading/stealth blogging for the next few weeks and give myself time to get back into the swing of work before I throw myself back into the crazy world of book blogging!

But, I suppose, before I go, I should chat about my fave books… Nope, not gonna do that! I might do a catch up on all my reads on Instagram on New Year Eve… Actually, last year, I put some of my fave songs of the year up and I’m tempted to do that this year (will have to look at my Apple Music to see what calls to me as Apple Music doesn’t do Spotify Wrapped. They should, because I love sharing and discovering new music!)

Instead, just going to do a tiny thank you. Now, I say this every year (yes, I know), but I want to thank all the authors, illustrators, publishers, PR people, booksellers, fellow book bloggers/vloggers/podcasters/instagrammers/tweeters and everyone else who’s made blogging and reading this year (actually the past 10/11 years, but especially the last few years as the world went … well, whatever the heck this is!) such a pleasure. Even when my reading taste took a turn in a direction that surprised even me! Always nice for you guys to cheer this tiny book blog and its thirty-something gay guy on!

And, as always, to my friends, my family and to my Other Half – thank you and I love you.

On that note, let’s celebrate the holiday you celebrate (Christmas, Pancha Ganapati, Yule, Hanukkah [yes, I know that was earlier in December) and any others I missed), say goodbye to 2021 and hopefully step into a brighter, more hopefully 2022.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

eBook review - Where The Drowned Girls Go

Title And Author
: Where The Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Tor
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by publisher in exchange for honest review/reaction

I’ve been meaning to come back to this series for quite some time. But one thing or another has always gotten in the way, so when I was approved to read/review this on NetGalley, I was hugely surprised and found time to squirrel this novella into my December reading.

The seventh novella in the Wayward Children series, this follows Cora. Since the events of Come Tumbling Down, Cora is struggling. She has nightmares from the Drowned Gods, who are waiting to claim her if she even finds her door. Desperate, she decided to transfer from Eleanor West’s Home from Wayward Children to Whitethorn Institute, another school to help children who fall through doors into other worlds then come back. This school teaches the students to forget, to be “normal” again. But the more time Cora stays, the more she realises that she and her fellow students aren’t safe…

Monday 13 December 2021


It’s not often I do write-ups on The Pewter Wolf Reads about books/audiobooks I quit (or DNF [Did Not Finish]). And if I do, I usually only write my thoughts on Goodreads (mainly because so I remember why I quit or because it’s a review copy and I want to show publishers via NetGalley that “hey, look, I did try and read it. Why aren’t my Did Not Finish review not affecting my Reading Percentage, NetGalley [hint hint!]?”). But mainly, us book bloggers don’t exactly practice what we preach about reading for pleasure and quitting when we’re not enjoying it. Though we are getting better.

But Gilded by Marissa Meyer, I wanted to talk about because while I did quit this around the halfway mark (57%, I believe) and I borrowed the audiobook from the library and had this on double speed (something I rarely do), I do think some of you guys will really like this book. I mean, this is a fairy tale reimagining of Rumpelstiltskin – I already know most of you guys love a good fairy tale retelling.

Serilda is a miller’s daughter who can’t stop telling stories (well, she was cursed by the god of stories and lies). When she is caught out one night, she tells a story to keep herself from getting killed – that she’s out to collect straw so she can turn to gold, she catches the attention of the Erlking who, every full moon, takes her to his castle and demands to spin straw into gold – or be killed for lying. Desperate, Serilda accidently summons a mystery of a young man who can spin straw into gold – for a price. Magic always demand payment. As the two spend time together, they form a connection and wonder why the Erlking wants so much gold. For the Erlking has plans… dark plans and Serilda has found herself at the heart of it.

Now, in theory, this is right up my street. A YA fairytale retelling (with just enough darkness at its heart and yet, a romance to keep things light) with hints of other fairytales (I keep thinking this had dashes of Beauty and the Beast thrown in, and strong Once Upon A Time vibe) with strong writing and other elements that should have ticked all my boxes.

And yet… I quit the book around the halfway mark. Not because the book is bad – it isn’t, and I do think most of you guys will enjoy reading this. But, the book had two issues that didn’t work for me as reader and now that I’m typing, I now realise that these were the same issues I had when I tried to read another retelling from this author a few years, Heartless – a reimagining of Alice in Wonderland’s Queen of Heart: book felt too long and repetition.

I get why: most of the story takes place on night of the full moon so, of course, there’s going to be repetition over how the characters react, their actions and whatnot – hence the issue of length. The chapters of the full moon have to be long and with the story going in the direction it’s going, it’s needs that length. However, this is the first in a series (duology?), so if these issues are here now with me, I sense I’m going to have these issues in the next book. Which then leads to a question every reader ask them when starting a new series: do I want/need to continue?

For me, the answer’s no. But I have read several reviews from book bloggers I like and respect, and their answer is yes. Not every book is going to work for every reader.

But I did try to read this, and there are elements I do like and I will recommend this book to readers. It’s just that this book didn’t work for me, sadly.

Friday 10 December 2021

Audiobook Review - Marvellous Light

Ok, I am going to admit this. I have been sitting on this review/write-up for a little while now as, when I was at the near end of this, I spotted that there might be a blog tour to  celebrate this book's release and I went "Oh, can I be involved?" then released that they might ask me to post a review for tour so I went "Oh, I need to write this, BUT NOT SHARE FOR WHILE" hence that long dry spell in November's blogging. I was reading, honest! But I agreed to something then went "Oh, I don't know my next plan of action so... yeah...". And now, I saw the blog tour is happening and I think I might have missed my chance to take part. Oh well...

Anyway, WE'RE HERE NOW and talking A Marvellous Light, the first in a new fantasy series set in Edwardian England. Hang on, let me get info up and we can talk more about this! 

Title And Author: A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

Publisher: Tor UK

Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof and Audiobook gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review/reaction

Robin Blyth has a lot on his plate. He's struggling being a good brother, taking over as head of the house since his parents's deaths and dealing with the mess of bills they have left and trying to find his own way in the world. So, when an admin error means he becomes civil service liaison to the hidden magical world and comes face to face with Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly magical counterpart, Robin finds himself in the deep end. 

And then he's cursed by mysterious men who think Robin's predecessor hid something of great importance. A man who has vanished off the face of the Earth. As Robin and Edwin find themselves in a plot that could very easily affect every magician in the British Isles, the two begin to realise that their first impressions of each other are wrong and there might be some connection between them...

Tuesday 30 November 2021

Book Review - Terciel and Elinor


Title And Author: Terciel and Elinor by Garth Nix
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Copy gifted by UK publisher in exchange of honest review/reaction. I, also, preordered the Forbidden Planet special edition 

If you have followed me for a little while, you know that I adore this series. I reread via audiobook the series in summer 2020 (Covid 19 lockdown burnout and a terrible case of reading slump) and it was a wonderful experience - even Clariel, a book I'm not the biggest fan of, I went "This is lovely. I missed this world." Plus, I think about the lead, Clariel, quite often. So, when it was announced that we were getting another instalment in this world, you can guess how excited I was? And the fact that it was a prequel to the first book in the series, Sabriel, looking at her parents made me more excited. 

Now, before I go further and explain the book, we get most of the information about Sabriel's parents in the prologue of Sabriel so we know where their story ends. But we don't know how they met and how the relationship evolved and that's what this book is about: her parents meeting.

Ok, I need to talk the story, don't I? In the Old Kingdom, where Charter Magic and Free Magic exists, 18 year old Terciel is the Abhorsen-In-Waiting. A necromancer to bind the Dead down and lay them to rest. Soon, he will be the Abhorsen and soon, he will have to face the Dead and, maybe, Greater Dead. But when he is sent south into the Ancelstierre, he doesn't realise the ploy he's walking into...

In Ancelstierre, where magic usually doesn't work (unless close to the Old Kingdom or the winds blowing from the north), 19 year old Elinor lives a seduced life. Her closest friends are her governess and a former circus performer. Her mother lies in bed, close to death. But in a space of a night, everything she knows is burnt, killed or ripped away from her as a ploy from an ancient enemy brings Terciel into her life and the truth of her connection to the Old Kingdom is revealed.

And still, the enemy is waiting, buying their time...

Thursday 25 November 2021

November Mini-Reviews

My reading has been ... well, mad. And here’s why: one book am currently reading is taking much longer to read than I expected, one audiobook that I have written the review for might be being used for a blog tour next month so holding fire, and I only finished a short audiobook a few hours ago. Plus, the idea of writing a blog post about the TV adaptaion of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, though tempting, feels me with dread as SO DIFFERENT FROM THE BOOK! Oh, so very different! And the podcasts I been dipping in and out of the past few weeks/months (The mini series in the Shedunnit podcast, Queens of Crime At War, I highly recommend)... 

Anyway, I warned you in my November And December Reading Plan that my reading was going to be a bit different. I might not read as much as I normally would and some of my reading choices might not be my normal, but I wanted to mix my reading/blogging up a little bit before I go on my winter break (I might go on my blog break a tad longer than I normally do)...

I've always said that I would try an Agatha Raisin mystery. There's something intriguing about her that made me want to try. Plus, she doesn't sound like a typical detective you read in a "cosy village mystery" - she's not likeable, quick to temper, a little prickly and bitter, and yet someone people like. And yet, I start with this one, rather than an older case such as Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death or Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House, or even Agatha Raisin: Beating About the Bush (which I have from UK publisher via NetGalley for review and not got the courage to read yet).

And yet, this is me we're talking about so, of course, I do this book blogging reading the wrong way round.

Private detective Agatha Raisin, having recently taken up power-walking, is striding along a path in Mircester Park during her lunch break when she hears a cry for help. Rushing over, she finds an elderly couple in the middle of a bowling green—with the body of an old man lying at their feet. 

The Police writes off the death as an accidental poisoning as the man is notorious for his bullying and his heavy drinking and drunk weed killer that he stored in rum bottles. Agatha isn't convinced that anyone would make that mistake, but carries on with her work... until she receives an anonymous letter saying that the man\'s death was no accident...

There's not much to say about this, if I can be honest. This was a nice, fun audiobook (Penelope Keith narrates the audiobook and there's something wonderful about her take on the story), and yet... and yet, the characters felt a tad softer than I was expecting. I saw flashes of Agatha being quite prickly and blunt, but she seems much softer. Not sure if it's because the characters are getting older from when we first met them in book 1 or if because MC Beaton died and a new author (R.W. Green) taking over writing (he's done it with a previous Agatha Raisin, Agatha Raisin: Hot to Trot, and an upcoming novel from another of MC Beaton's series, Death of a Green-Eyed Monster and not got the character's down quite yet...

Probably not the best place to start but am intrigued to try one more of her earlier cases... We shall see...

And moving onto another mini-review of a different genre: Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce. 

I was meant to read/audiobook this last year after I blitz a few other Tamora Pierce books, and I did start this. But I put it down round the 30% mark and didn't go back till earlier this week and I thought it would be a good idea to continue from where I left off... yeah, that wasn't my best idea... 

The third book in the Immortals Quartet, Daine's wild magic with animals is growing and under the magical care of her teacher, Numair. So when they go to help the Emperor Mage of neighbouring kingdom, Carthak, it's in the hope that they can help smooth international relationships by helping the emperor's ailing birds. 

But Carthak's emperor, Ozorne, is charming but treacherous and ruthless and the kingdom is built on the suffering of slaves. And Daine's finds herself a pawn in the game of the mysterious Graveyard Hag...

I keep saying this when I read/audiobook Tamora Pierce that I wished I discovered her when I was much younger. Say in the early teens rather than in my mid-30s, as I think I would have devoured these and treasured all of Tamora Pierce's books. She is very much an author who knows how to write fantasy in a way that feels grounded and have the characters feel real without writing a mammoth of a book. There's something simple yet it sucks you in. 

I think, out of the books in the Immortals Quartet, I liked this a lot more than the second in the series, Wolf Speaker, but less than the first, Wild Magic. I'm in two minds over if I want to read the fourth and final in this series, Realm of the Gods, as I have heard very mixed things about it. VERY MIXED. However, I do have the first in a prequel series, Tempests and Slaughter, and I am hoping to read that in the next few months. 

I do like this book, but I wish I discovered this series when I was much younger... 

Friday 5 November 2021

SpoOOoky Mini-Reviews

Yes, I know it's November. But I read these two in October (one I finished on All Hallow's Eve) so I'm going to pop these here in one post and hopefully, by the time you read them, you can forgive me. 

So, the two reads. One was a free short story/novella that acts as a prequel (of sorts) to a MM romance I read a few weeks back for a blog tour (Hostile Takeover by Lucy Lennox) - Luca and Marcel - and the other was a YA thriller that I had high hopes for as it felt perfect for Halloween - It's Behind You by Kathryn Foxfield. 

Ok, I'm not going to do my list of info, so I will say that Luca and Marcel was free on Amazon and I enjoyed their characters in Hostile Takeover, while It's Behind You was gifted to me by the UK publisher, Scholasticv, in exchange for an honest review/reaction. 

With all that out of the way, let me do a quick overview of both stories. 

With Luca and Marcel, this acts as a prequel (of sorts) to Lucy Lennox's MM romance, Hostile Takeover. When billionaire hotelier Luca Bernardi discovers his assistant can't come with him on an important business trip (due to her breaking her leg), he panics. Thankfully, she calls in a backup - PA to renowned venture capitalist, Marcel Abbott. Only... she was a little under the influence of heavy narcotics when she made the call and wires are definitely crossed as when Marcel turns shows up wearing sequins and a tiara (he came straight from a bachelorette party), Luca wonders if his PA might have accidentally hired him a rent boy and Marcel is confused over why Luca is acting all flustered around him? 

And in It's Behind You, five teen contestants enter one of the UK scariest reality TV shows (Imagine Most Haunted on ITV2 or E4) - staying the night in a haunted location. This episode is in haunted caves where a ghost haunts who eats the hearts of lovers and suffered a cave in only a few years ago. But as the night begins, things take a turn and secrets slowly come to light. And that's when the body count begins...

Tuesday 2 November 2021

November and December Reading Plan

I'm not entirely sure why I'm writing this post, but if you have been following the blog or me on ANY of my social medias, you probably have guessed by now that me sticking to a monthly TBR doesn't exactly work for me. I do much better with themes or ideas, but even then, I have a habit to break the theme when the mood takes me or if/when I need a break. 

Yep, am very much a mood reader. 

But I wanted to write something about my reading plans for the rest of 2021, maybe even the start of 2022, for the main reason that I can say "Ok, I might be having a wobble with my feelings with reading and blogging of late, but here's an idea of what I should read the next few weeks till 2021 is over [thank goodness!] or till the blog goes on Christmas holiday". 

So, my crazy, shocking idea: to read fun and no pressure on self. 

Yes, I know, I say this all the time, but it's hard to not put pressure on yourself when you are involve in the book blogging community (and when I say this, I am using this term VERY loosely, to include book vlogging, bookstgramming, podcasts, TikTok, Goodreads and anything else that I know exists but can't think of right about now) and everyone is reading at warp speed and you feel slow, not reading books on trend and what not. 

And so, am going to try not to worry about that and read/audiobook stories that call to me. Which means over the next few weeks, my reading (therefore, my blog post about these stories) is going to be deliciously weird! If you look at my Currently Read on my Goodreads, you'll see what I mean! Same goes if you ask me what I'm eyeing up to read next on Twitter (I'm not know to keep things secret!)

I do have one or two things that I would like to do in the next few weeks that might be seen as "rules", but am planning real fast on loose on these: read at least three eProofs from NetGalley/publishers as it's getting really out of hand (that or do a cull), try and do some rereads (I keep saying this every year and every year, I don't!), make a decision on when the blog is going on Christmas break and to plan my 2021 year long reading challenge (I have the series in mind and it's a long series. I need to read either the first in December 2021 or read two books in one month and I haven't decided which is better...)

So yes. Randomly decided to read freely the next few weeks. What are your reading plans for now till one minute to midnight, 31st December 2021? 

Monday 1 November 2021


This is very unlike me, I know, to chat about book subscription book, but when I heard about this via a lovely email from the gang at Parrot Street Book Club, I was intrigued. Plus, this sounds cool (yes, I know there are a ton of book subscriptions boxes), hence the short little post with Schitt's Creek gif about The Crows Have Eyes 3: The Crowening (if not now, when?) about Parrot Street Book Club's newest feather to the flock. 

Bored of the bird jokes yet?

Friday 29 October 2021


Yes, am breaking my SpoOOoky Halloween reading month with a book review that I agreed to do back in... er... July and is in no way spooky. In fact, it's romantic. I know - another MM romance. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME SINCE THE UK FIRST WENT INTO LOCKDOWN?! I SEEM TO BE HAPPY READING LOW TO NO ANGST MM ROMANCES WITH HUNKY COVERS ... for the story, never for the hunky model on the cover. Nope. Not for the cover model AT ALL! Just... don't look at my Kindle app on my iPhone - the samples I've downloaded would tell a totally different story. 

ANYWAY, moving on. So, back ground, I had an out-of-the-blue email from PR company, Social Butterfly, chatting that I read MM romance and wondered if I would be up for reading Lucy Lennox's upcoming standalone, Hostile Takeover. I was intrigued by the idea and I knew that I wanted to do an extract reveal, but it took me a little longer to say yes to reading I was in two minds over this one. Then I went "Barring the one or two moments in my first Lucy Lennox, Right As Raine, that upset and stressed me out no end, I really enjoyed myself so this should be fun" then dived in. 

Title And Author: Hostile Takeover by Lucy Lennox
Publisher: Self-Published [?]
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by PR company, Social Butterfly, for blog tour in exchange for honest review/reaction.

It was meant to be a prank. Only it's wasn't, not really. And now, years later, Grey Blackwood is out for revenge. That's what's made him an excellent billionaire venture capitalist. So when he does a hostile takeover on Ellison York's father's company, he wants the whole family to suffer. 

But he doesn't know that Ellison has regretted the fall out of what happened 15 years ago. That, though it was a dare, he wanted what happened with Grey to happen and the guilt of not speaking up sooner has haunted him. Plus, Ellison is trying get away from being a corporate lawyer and out from his father's manipulative clutches. So when Ellison's father phones and begs him to save the company, Ellison reluctantly goes to help and is shocked at seeing Grey again, hotter than ever. 

Two weeks. Ellison can work for Grey for two weeks and, somehow, figure out what to do about his father's company, right? But the lines between enemies to lovers is blurred and getting blurrier by the minute... 

Friday 22 October 2021

The Last Roman Excerpt

Oh my! We have something different on here! Yes, I know, it's historical so very outside my wheelhouse, but when Erik from Breakeven Books messaged and asked if I wanted to be involved in this, I thought I would dive in and try something new! 

The Last Roman series By RK Greenwood follows imperial officer Marcus Sempronius Gracchus from the 9th Roman Legion into battle against a fierce barbarian rival. It's a battle he won't survive.

So, when he awakens three days later, clawing his way from a shallow grave, Marcus must face the reality of his new existence. He cannot be killed - but that won't stop him from dying time and again over the next 2,000 years to try. But while he's doing that, others like Marcus plan to bring the world crashing to its knees...

I have a sneak peek into the first book in the series, Exile. The second in the series, Abyss, is out now and the third will be out early next year (Spring, I believe. Don't hold me to that). If you want more info on the series, you can pop over to and have a look round. 

Now, shall I just give you the excerpt now? I think I shall... 

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Quickie SpoOOoky Halloween 2021 Reviews

So, my SpoOOoky Halloween reading isn't exactly going to plan. Come on, did we really think it would? I did start (then stopped for one reason or another) Malice by Heather Walter (I think I might save for this for when I go on a blog break next [Christmas/New Year?]). And with me still finding my feet with new job (when we do stop calling a new job new, exactly?) and my reading/audiobooking taking a bit of a nosedive/spiral, I thought I would throw these two VERY different mini-reviews at you!

Thursday 14 October 2021

Plotting The Harm Tree

I have a guest post for you guys! And I feel like this might fit lovely with me trying to read more spooky reads this month!

Rose Edwards is the author of The Harm Tree and its upcoming sequel Ember Days. Now, not going to say much about Ember Days (spoilers) but let's see how far I can tell you about Harm Tree. The land of Arngard is recovering from the last civil war, and is dangerous close to another. Torny and Ebba are two friends who are sent away, not remembering the war. But when Torny sees a man murdered in the street and she finds herself in possession of a dangerous message, the two find themselves on separate paths... 

And all the while, the Harm Tree stands... 

I am thrilled that the author of Harm Tree and Ember Days, Rose Edwards, has agreed to write a small guest post about plotting. I think you guys might like to read it! 

Now, before I hand you over to Rose, I want to thank her for finding the time to write this post and, if you want to say hi to her, you can by popping her a tweet at @redwardswrites. Also, quick thank you to Graeme from UClan Publishing for chatting to me about this. Also, if you're curious about The Harm Tree, you can check out UClan Publishing's website


Monday 11 October 2021

Shocktember - The Man Who Died Twice

Ok, this was meant to be my last Shocktember audiobook. This was meant to be last month so you can't have a go at me for this being late! I finished this on the 1st October! I was ONE DAY OUT! But, oh, I had fun with this. 

Ok, getting away with self. Before I go any further, just want to quickly say that I think I said multiply times in my write-up of The Thursday Murder Club, this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea as this series is very much a cosy crime/murder mystery, and I know many of you like your crime with a bit of darker edge. And yet, here we are. The second Thursday Murder Club book and yes, I preordered this!

Title And Author: The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

Publisher: Penguin

Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by UK publisher in exchange for honest review/reaction while Audiobook’s bought via Audible. 

Days after the events of the first book, Elizabeth receives a letter. A letter from a man she knows is officially dead. But when she meets the man, she is surprised to see it's not the dead man, but someone from her past. A man she wants no involvement in, but finds herself helping out after he tells her his story. A story containing stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, his life in real danger and MI5.

Of course, this is a case for the Thursday Murder Club - aka four seventy year olds known as herself, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim - and friends of the club (Bogdan, Donna and Chris). But when one of their members is violently assaulted and the attacker looks like they're going to get away with it, the club go to lengths to make sure that doesn't happen...

Saturday 9 October 2021

Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021 - Mystery Review Time!

I feel a bit of backstory is needed here to explain why I am doing a mystery review to celebrate this year's Cheltenham Literature Festival. 

For those of you who don't know, the Cheltenham Literature Festival is... hang on, let me just "borrow" what their say on their website ("... the world’s first literature festival, leading the way in celebrating the written and spoken word, presenting the best new voices in fiction and poetry alongside literary greats and high-profile speakers, while inspiring over 9,000 school children with a love of books through its Literature for Schools programme." with this year's theme being "Read The World" (which, as you can guess, is looking at world literature [fiction, non-fiction and poetry]). 

Now, Sofia at Midas emailed me about this and went "Fancy doing something a little different?", which caught my attention. Her idea: to receive a mystery book from the festival and read/review it. If I can't read or review in time, plot something a little out of the box.

And who am I to refuse that? Now, I am writing this intro bit in September, before my mystery book has arrived. I am a mix of excited/scared due to time frame but I am going to read this as quick as I can and report back. So... if you want to see the mystery book, you know what to do?

Friday 8 October 2021

Breaking Your TBR Rules Is Ok

Have you noticed that if you follow most bookish people - booktubers, book bloggers, booktokkers, podcasters, bookagrammers and others that I am not hip enough to understand or too old to understand the lingo (oh hell, am the below gif, aren't I?) - that they created their To Be Read list for the upcoming month and they stick to them? They stick to them, no matter what. yes, they quit some reads but, 9 times out of 10, they read their list and they don't break the list or impulsively read something else? 

I do this all the time, hence why I never make TBR lists. I never stick to them. Yes, I am a mood reader. 

And I break my rules with TBRs all the time. Hence why I never do them. I try and do themes. And yet, I break them too. I mean, I did it last month and no one really commented on it. And I'm 95% certain I will break my TBR plans this Spooky Month as well. 

Ok, let me explain. 

Last month, I was planning to read crime and thrillers. I had several thrillers I was desperate to read. One them being Lies Like Wildfires by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez. Hell, this was the book that inspired the idea of doing a crime/thriller themed month! That's how excited I was to read, and how excited I still am to read this. And I started it... only to stop at page 16. I kid you not, 16 pages! My brain wasn't in the right space to read this. And so, I put it back on my TBR and, on a whim, read Drilled by KM Neuhold (final books in the Four Bear Construction series), hoping that this would be a platter cleanse, something I can read as a side project. Only for me to binge read this over the course of a weekend. 

So yeah... I broke my TBR rule for last month. And I felt no guilt WHATSOEVER in doing so. And I'm surprise no one talks about that - that, sometimes, breaking your TBR or not setting one is quite freeing. 

Now, saying that, I would like to stick to my Halloween reading this month (and hopefully read more than two books/audiobooks), but I know I am going to break it. I might have agreed to read two books for blog tours. One that I might have done (writing this post in late September) and another for the end of the month so... yeah... October might not be a spooky as I would like. 

Oh well, reading should be fun, after all. And sometimes, doing left field reading, away from you TBR for the next few reads is a good thing. Can't wait to freak you guys out over what I plan to read from now until my Christmas Blog Holiday... 

Wednesday 6 October 2021

Love Is The Answer... Right?

I have a guest post for you. Yes, it break my SpoOOoky Halloween theme, but I think you might like this so decided to go for it. 

I am thrilled to welcome Ben Craib onto the Pewter Wolf, and he's going to chat about his debut YA novel, Love Is The Answer

Scarlett feels like she's lost a lot. Her mother to cancer. Her friends who have no idea what to say. Her dad, who has meet someone and seems to be moving on with his life. Scarlett just feels lost. Till she meets Hayden, life and soul of the world. He sees her and feels her pain. Scarlett dives into his life, all the parties, the sweaty raves and worse. All that matters is them: Scarlett and Hayden. 

But not everything is as it seems... 

Like I said earlier, I am thrilled that Ben can pop on the blog and write a small guest post, tackling about grief and mental health. And Ben would know - he co-wrote write two self-help books (Slay Your Dragons With Compassion with Malcolm Stern and Online Men's Group Success with Kenny Mammarella-D'Cruz), both tackling resilience and resourcing in turbulent times. 

Now, before I hand you over to Ben, if you want to know more about Ben or Love Is The Answer, you can check out Ben's website at or check out the publisher's website at!

Now, over to Ben!!!

Monday 4 October 2021

SpoOOoky Halloween 2021 - Redemptor

My first SpoOOoky Halloween post and this took some time as I audiobooked back in late August and early September while driving to and from my new job (I only listened to around 30/40 minutes per car trip, if I was in the mood and not too stressed/freaked out) and, because of how little time I listened, it took me so much longer than I normally would. Plus, at the time of writing this (back in early September, FYI), am having a bit of a head cold so... yeah... this might not be the best start of SpoOOoky Halloween, but we are going to take it and run with it! 

Title And Author: Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by UK publisher in exchange for honest review/reaction while audiobook was borrowed from local library via BorrowBox app. 

After the shocking end of Raybearer, Tarisai now finds herself Empress Redemptor, sitting on Aritsar's throne, a Raybearer in her own right. But to appease the sinister spirits of the dead, she must anoint her own council, leaders from nations within the kingdom. Then, once done, she must descend into the Underworld, the final sacrifice to end all future atrocities. And she has only two years to do these impossible tasks in. 

Tarisai is determined to survive. To return from the Underworld. But her reign as empress is shaky, especially since the arrival of the mysterious rebel leader, the Crocodile, her council siblings and friends are becoming distant and she's started to see child spirits, all demanding that she must pay for the sins of the empire, that she must do more...

With the pressures growing and the ghosts refusing to leave her, how far can Tarisai go for justice and a better future? Is she willing to dine for it, or will she find the strength to live for it? And what if things have other plans?

Friday 1 October 2021

SpoOOoky Halloween 2021

HAPPY OCTOBER TO YOU ALL! Ok, to most of you, it's YOUR month! The month of Halloween! 

Now, normally, I am not a Halloween person. Ok, let me rephrase that as I like Halloween. I like autumn and a level of spooky. But I don't like some elements of Halloween (trick or treat is a good example). 

So I am a weird contraducton when it comes to Halloween. And, normally, I read books that are, normally, aren't very Halloween. You know, horror in tone. I'm not a horror fan (yes, I am a wuss!), but I do like reading fantasy and magic, so while I do read something themed to the season, I normally read something opposite. A romance or something super light. 

You might have, also, noticed that the past few months that I do themed reading. Romance for August, crime/thriller for last month and I thought I might continue with this month and have Halloween my theme. Now, I am not going to go full-on horror, but I thought spooky/magical reads might be a good port of call. So, that's what am thinking. A spoOOoky Halloween (see what I did there, ghosts?). 

Now, I have one or two other reading commitments this month (planned in early summer before I came up with this!), so this month isn't going to be full on Halloween, but I want this month's reading to be autumn and bump or two in the night... 

At the time of writing this, I have no idea what I'm going to read this month (maybe one title that I read/audiobook back in August), so no spoiler/teasers, but I do hope this month will be shiver up your spine or will bring a magical chill in the air... 

Thursday 30 September 2021



I seem to be dipping my toes into MM romances over the past few months, haven't I? And, because of this, I am thrilled to share you a sneak peek into the upcoming MM romance standalone novel from bestselling author, Lucy Lennox, Hostile Takeover

Hang on... maybe it'll be best if I just show you the blurb as, while I am planning to read this (for a possible/maybe blog tour), I am planning to stay firmly in the dark on this. I wanna go in as blind as possible.

So, this blurb is taken from the author's website and from Goodreads:

It was supposed to be a prank. A silly frat boy dare.

One hot moment in a hidden storage closet. One kiss. No consequences.

But if you get that close to a man with fire in his eyes, you’re gonna get burned, and I was no exception. One taste of Grey Blackwood ruined me for life.

The way Grey sees it, I was the one who did the ruining. I humiliated him. Wrecked his life. Destroyed his future.

Doesn’t matter that he’s clawed his way back and then some. Doesn’t matter that he’s already top of the Wall Street food chain. The man’s ruthless. Heartless. And he likes his revenge served cold.

Now he’s taking down the companies owned by every frat boy who did him wrong. And when he comes for my family’s company, the quiet life I’ve built for myself far away from Manhattan comes crumbling down, too.

But when Grey’s standing in our boardroom, threatening a hostile takeover and demanding I negotiate on behalf of my family, I don’t see an enemy. I see the chance I’ve been waiting for.

The chance for another night in his arms, and hopefully a whole lot more.

Let the negotiations begin.

This feels very enemies to lovers so I, of course, am here for that! Now, before I share the tease, I want to quickly thank you to Sarah from Social Butterfly PR for emailing me out of the blue one day and going "You seem like fun, wanna be involved in this?". And if you want more info on Hostile Takeover, you can find out more by visit Lucy Lennox's website at or you can tweet her at @lucylennoxmm!


Wednesday 29 September 2021

Shocktember 2021 - The Three Dog Problem

Here we are, the last of Shocktember (and am posting this within an hour of me writing this review - it's been years since I did that!!!). I honestly thought I would have read/audiobook more crime/thrillers, truth be told. But new job and less time to read (because of real life) has made my reading/audiobooking take a hit. I'm still audiobooking a cosy crime that I wanted to review for this month but I still have a good 20% left to audio. So, that's for next month, which is breaking my plans for a Halloween-themed reading month (more on that in a later post or two!)

But here we are with The Three Dog Problem, the second book in the Her Majesty the Queen Investigate series. Now, I read the first, The Windsor Knot, late last year. I did do a Mini-Review for it as, at the time, I was on my annual Christmas Blog Holiday/Radio Silence (which I might be doing again in a few weeks, FYI) and I found it fun! So, when I saw that this was up on NetGalley for review, I jumped at the chance! 

Title And Author: The Three Dog Problem by SJ Bennett
Publisher: Zaffre
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by UK publisher in exchange for honest review/reaction. 

In the wake of the Brexit referendum that has divided a country and the US election between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, the Queen just wants some peace and quiet. But, it looks like she's not going to get it as, when on a Royal visit to a Navy exhibitition, she sees a painting of the Royal Yacht Britannia on display. Her painting. And she gave no permission for its display. In fact, she thought it was misplaced in the mid-1980s. 

As she begins to look into this, a body of a disliked housekeeper is found at the Palace's swimming pool, her ankle deeply cut, causing her to bleed to death. An accident, surely? But it's strange that her death happens as the Queen begins to look into the painting's disappearance and several of the female staff, including her trusted secretary, Rosie, receive nasty poison pen letters... 

Something is going on in Buckingham Palace, and Her Majesty is determined to get to the bottom of it.

Saturday 25 September 2021

Quick Reads 2022 Announcement


  • Authors revealed at Evening Standard Stories Festival featuring Mosse & Wheatle
  • ‘Buy one gift one’ 10th anniversary campaign sees 35,507 books donated to new readers
  • Quick Reads 2022 titles set to form part of World Book Night booklist


Publishing on 14 April 2022 | | #QuickReads | @readingagency


Friday, 24 September 2021: The Reading Agency has announced the eight best-selling authors writing Quick Reads for 2022, the life-changing programme tackling the UK’s adult literacy crisis by helping less confident readers get reading: MW Craven, Paula Hawkins, Ayisha Malik, Santa Montefiore, Kate Mosse, Graham Norton, Lemn Sissay and Alex Wheatle.


The line-up was revealed by Karen Napier, CEO of The Reading Agency, during Kate Mosse and Alex Wheatle’s event at the Evening Standard Stories Festival at Picturehouse Central on Friday evening, where the two renowned authors discussed the power of reading.


Publishing on 14 April 2022 in a showcase of the very best contemporary writing, the new raft of Quick Reads titles incudes: a chilling story of revenge by New York Times bestseller Paula Hawkins (Blind Spot, Penguin Random House, Transworld, Doubleday); an intriguing tale of romance and danger from treasured comedian and presenter Graham Norton (The Swimmer, Hodder, Coronet); a gruesome new case for MW Craven’s popular crime-cracking duo Poe and Bradshaw (The Cutting Season, Hachette, Constable); a specially abridged version of Lemn Sissay’s prize-winning memoir (My Name Is Why abridged, (Canongate); a catch up with Ayisha Malik’s 'Muslim Bridget Jones’ Sofia Khan (Sofia Khan: The Baby Blues, Headline, Review); a fable of family dynamics and deception courtesy of the much-loved Santa Montefiore (The Kiss, Simon & Schuster); an historical drama set against the backdrop of Tenerife’s volcanic landscape by the award-winning Kate Mosse (The Black Mountain, Macmillan, Mantle); and a high stakes return to the streets of Alex Wheatle’s North Crongton estate (Witness, Serpent’s Tail).


The Reading Agency have also revealed the impact of this year’s 15th anniversary ‘buy one gift one’ campaign, with 35,507 copies of these transformative books being delivered into the hands of those who struggle with reading or have limited access to books this Autumn. Working with library authorities, prisons, adult learning organisations and community-based charities the books are being distributed through a range of gifting projects and targeted outreach work. This includes work with food banks, ESOL (English as a Second Language) classes, local refugee groups, Basic Skills learners, people in prison and those being supported by homeless shelters or supported living. Thanks to generous support from this year’s six publishers, for every book bought from publication in May through to 31 July 2021, another copy was donated to The Reading Agency.


Following the success of ‘buy one, gift one’ and as part of The Reading Agency’s strategy to reach even more emerging readers through a gifting component of Quick Reads activity, the eight titles announced today will also form part of the World Book Night 2022 Booklist. The full list of World Book Night 2022 titles will be revealed later this year. World Book Night is an annual national celebration of reading which takes place on 23 April.


Quick Reads plays a vital role in addressing the UK’s adult literacy crisis, engaging the one in three adults who do not regularly read for pleasure and the one in six adults who find reading difficult. Since launching in 2006, Quick Reads titles have been loaned out over 6 million times and over 5 million copies have been distributed with the generous support of publishers and donors.


The titles are available for just £1 at bookshops and are free to borrow from libraries. They are used across the country in colleges, prisons, trade unions, hospitals, and adult learning organisations.


Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency, said: “Working closely with our wonderful publisher partners, the success of this year’s innovative 10thanniversary ‘buy one, gift one’ campaign has enabled The Reading Agency to distribute thousands of free books into the hands of those that need them most, who struggle with reading, or have limited access to books.


We are incredibly excited to reveal the extraordinary list of authors working with Quick Reads to publish a bitesize book next year – and thank them for their support to this life-changing programme. We are thrilled that these titles will form part of our World Book Night 2022 booklist, allowing us to explore new ways of engaging a wider audience so that more and more readers will be able to discover the pleasure and benefits that come from reading.”

Thursday 23 September 2021

Shocktember 2021 - The Vanishing Stair

As you know from earlier this month, I finally - finally - started reading the Truly Devious series by Maureen Johnson. My write-up for Truly Devious is here and... well... I was very unsure this. I knew I was going to read the rest of the mystery - the Truly Devious mystery covers three books (Truly Devious, The Vanishing Stair and Hand on the Wall). I'm in two minds over read the fourth book in the series - Box in the Wood - as this is a standalone, companion mystery. So, we shall see... 

But Vanishing Stair... where to begin with that?

Title And Author: The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

Publisher: Harper360

Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eBook bought while Audiobook’s borrowed from local library via BorrowBox app. 

After the events of Truly Devious, Stevie Bell is back in her hometown and she hates it. She wants to be back at Ellingham Academy. She wants to be back so she can solve the unsolved kidnapping and triple murder of Ellingham Academy (aka Truly Devious). But for her safety, her parents pulled her out. But when despicable, right wing politician (who her parents work for) Edward King offer her a chance to go back, Stevie jumps at it, even though it means making a deal with the devil. 

But she's back, with her friends, her teachers, the mystery and David... the guy who kissed her, the guy who lied to her, and... oh yeah... Edward King's son. 

But as she finds her feet at Ellingham, she begins to wonder over what happened to past few weeks and wonders... what if... and as she looks into the Ellingham case, she also wonders... what if Truly Devious had nothing to do with the kidnapping... 

Thursday 16 September 2021

It Came From The Monster Belt

I have an extract for you! And yes, I am breaking my Shocktember (again) to share an extract! 

Harris White is on a journey. A journey towards the mysterious Monster Belt. He thinks being there will be the key to solve a mystery that is so deeply rooted in his past. But for Dee Winters, she wants to get as far away from the Monster Belt as possible. So when their paths collide, will the two find the answers they re both so desperate to find... 

I don't want to reveal too much as I sense that going into this blind will be the best port of call. So, before I share this little tease, I want to thank Graeme from UClan for allowing me to show this extract off! 

If you are curious about The Monster Belt, pop over to or visit Ruth Estevez's website, Or, if you fancy saying hi to Ruth, send her a tweet at @RuthEstevez2.


Monday 13 September 2021

Shocktember 2021 - The Stalker

Another thriller I listened to at the end of July but pushed my write-up to now. I was actually in two minds of whether to write this and post in August (Summer of Love) or push till September (more thriller month) as, while a thriller, it does star a newly married couple. Hang on, let me get the info up and you’ll see what I mean...

Title And Author: The Stalker by Sarah Alderson

Publisher: Avon

Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by UK publisher in exchange for honest review/reaction while Audiobook’s borrowed from local library via BorrowBox app. 

Laura and Liam are a newly married couple and, after pushing their honeymoon back several months after the sudden death of Laura’s mother, the couple go to a remote island off the coast of Scotland. Just the two of them. Pure bliss. Except they discover the tiny island has a tragic history. Maybe that’s why they get the feeling that they’re being watched? But it’s not until they wake up one morning to discover something scratched into one of the windows that they realise that their stalker wants to do them harm and won’t stop...

Thursday 9 September 2021

Wednesday 8 September 2021

The Killing Moon Will Come Too Soon

I know, I'm breaking my Shocktember rule again. And this is more Halloween, right? But I know some of you guys are already planning your Spooky TBRs and who am I but a simple book pusher, going "What about this creepy read?"

Because of that, I am thrilled to welcome Danny Weston back onto the blog. Oh yes, he's been here before, talking about his creepy Scarecrow and his Witching Stone. But today, Danny's here talking about A Hunter's Moon, a twisted tale that gives off Little Red Riding Hood meets M Night Shyamalan The Village...

There's something lurking deep in the Forest of Tay. A fearsome creature that, under the cover of darkness, emerges to feed on the local farmer's sheep. And, sometimes, the farmers themselves... 

Some whisper it's just a wolf. But other whispers that is the Cù Sìth, a creature summoned by the mysterious Walkers in the Woods. Fraser McCloud thinks it's just a wolf and insists that he must hunt and kill the beast. But his young apprentice, Callum, is hugely apprehensive over this development. But when he meets the innkeeper's daughter, Mhairi, who knows more about the Walker that she really should, Callum is more unnerved. The killings are getting bolder and soon, Callum realises that there is every reason to be afraid...

Now, you guys know I'm not much of a horror reader, but I do like a nice scare every now and again so when Graeme from UClan Publishing emailed and asked if I wanted to be involved, I jumped at it so thank you Graeme for asking me, and thank you Danny for finding time to write this guest post about writing books in historical settings. 

If you want to know more info about Hunter's Moon, you can check out UClan Publishing's website at And, before I hand you over to Danny and are in the mood for some music, I think this would be perfect! Happy reading/rocking!

Tuesday 7 September 2021

eBook Review - Hijacked

BLOG TOUR REVIEW TIME!!! Yes, I know, September is my Crime/Thriller reading month, but I only decided this a few weeks ago and I agreed to be involved in this review blog tour a few months earlier. So, yes, I am screwing up my reading plans (like always), but this sounded like a fun read, and I am a sucker for fun reads! Hang on, let me get the basic details up and then we can dive in!!!

Title And Author: Hijacked by Lucy Lennox and May Archer
Publisher: Self-Published (?)
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by PR company, Social Butterfly PR,  in exchange for honest review/reaction. 

The first book in the Licking Thicket spin-off series - Licking Thicket: Horn of Glory  - we follow Dr Carter Rogers as he's about to leave the small towns of Licking Thicket and Great Nuthatch to provide medical care for those in need in Venezuela. But his grandfather decides that Carter needs a bodyguard and hires ex-marine William Riggs who, when they first meet, Cart can't help noticing how attractive Riggs is, nor how Riggs seems to hate him on sight. 

Riggs screwed up. The security firm he works for, Champion Security, lost a huge client who create the gaming sensation, Horn of Glory, and it's Riggs's fault. Now, the creator of the game, Buck Nutter has vanished and is planning to sell his "Magic Seed" (aka a backdoor code for the game) to highest bidder. Because of that, he's punished by being bodyguard to Dr Carter Rogers.
As the two spend time together, lines beginning to blur and when a monologuing, hypochondriac drug lord snatches them, things between them get a really blurred and complex.

Friday 3 September 2021

Loki Book Tag

I did mention this post and I have tried to write this when this went live, but my answers were so long and complex that I went "Let me do something lighter", hence why I did the Moody Reader Book Tag instead. Plus, I kinda wanted to do this after I had watched Disney+ Loki. And, in typical me style, I haven't watched it. Hell, I haven't finished WandaVision as it's so wonderful, I can't. I just can't! So, here I am, diving into this, knowing nothing barring what I read on socials (so, in other words, mostly everything!)

This tag was made by Erik from Breakeven Books and all questions are inspired by the TV show, so brace yourselves!!!

Thursday 2 September 2021

Shocktember 2021 - Truly Devious

I knew when I decided to finally, finally, read/audiobook Truly Devious back in late July (I pushed to September due to me wanting August to be quite light and romantic reading...) that was I was going to do the series (this, originally, was meant to be a trilogy so on this front, I mean Truly Devious, The Vanishing Stair and The Hand on the Wall. I am intrigued over the newest, standalone instalment, The Box in the Woods, but in two minds if I should buy/read this. Let me do these three and then I’ll, then, decide...). Mainly because I own all three but, also, I knew that the main mystery of the series – the identity of Truly Devious and the unsolved kidnappings and possible triple murder that rocked Ellingham Academy in 1936 – was going to be an overarching theme for the trilogy.

Oh shoot, hang on. Let me get the basic info and and tell you about Truly Devious. Then we can dive into this!

Title And Author: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Publisher: Harper360/Katherine Tegen Books

Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof bought & Audiobook borrowed from local library via BorrowBox app.

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont, where the best and brightest students attend, created by a tycoon who believed learning should be a game. But that's not why the school is famous. In 1936, the tycoon's wife, three year old daughter and one of the students vanished. The only clue was a poison pen letter-style riddle from someone calling themselves Truly Devious. It's one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in North America. Now, in the modern day, true crime aficionado Stevie Bell is about to attend the school and she wants to solve the crime. And Truly Devious doesn't like that...