Wednesday 31 March 2021

Easter Blog Break Time

A few weeks back, I wanted to do a big blog post about the arts. How the arts as a whole (books, TV, film, radio, museums, theatres, etc) are an escape from the world (and we need escape because of the last 12-18 months and, probably, more than ever in the next 12-24 months). But that the arts is a mirror to the world around us. 

And how the world around us affects art and how art effects the world. And, due to that, how it affects us with our sleep, work, relaxation, etc. 

And oh, the plans I had to write this went flying out of the window due to the everything that has happened in the world the past few weeks, and how it affected my reading choices and my energy to blog (something I have been struggling with since last year, though I am getting my groove back). So much so, I've just decide that "Ok, I am going to take my Easter Blog Break a few weeks earlier than planned". 

Yes, dear reader, I'm taking a little longer Easter Blog Break. Only an extra week or two. If I change it to the whole month of April (which is strangely tempting), will let you know but, at the time of writing, I'll be back in early/mid April and I have plans to scare you with a ton of really un-me books and other themed blog posts (I have ideas but I need to, you know, actually write them!). If you follow me on my social medias (mainly Goodreads or Twitter), you know I have been making some really questionable choices with my reading/audiobooking in the past few months: some have worked, some not so much, and some I DNFing and quit for one reason or another (at the time of writing this, I am on verge of quitting another book. That makes it... er... seven stories I have DNFed so far in 2021. Eight if I DNF current read). 

Speaking of DNF/quitting reads, I know I have said this multiply times, but it's ok to quit a story if you're not liking it. It might be "Right Book, Wrong Time" (several of my quit reads have been that, meaning I will return to them one day when I am ready). It might be something rubs you up the wrong way (yep, I've had this as well this year). Or it might be "Oh no, this book isn't for me AT ALL" (we're all had this!). But DNFing/quitting a read for whatever reason is ok. It's ok to quit something you don't like and move onto something you do. 

Plus, the break is more due to the fact the books I want to read/am currently reading or audiobooking are going to take a little longer to read/audiobook than normal. This is a mix of story's length or the fact the story is in a genre I am not well read in. Plus, I do want to do some rereads and I want to not have the blog fear lurking over my head. 

So, yeah, I am taking a bit of a break. But don't worry. I will be back and, hopefully, the Pewter Wolf will be giving you book suggestions you will be desperate to read and a few other posts/ideas that you won't be expecting...

Tuesday 30 March 2021

Extract The Information From The Nemesis

I have an extract for you guys today! And it's a hum-dinger! So much so, I am closing the Nemesis blog tour! 

As you guys know, I love a good thriller. So, when I was asked if I wanted to be involved in the blog tour for Anthony Riches's Nemesis, I jumped at it. I'm not sure why, but this gave me strong vibes of crime thrillers I have been binge-watching during the UK's lockdowns and it just sounded perfect for me to read (Will hopefully do a review in the coming few weeks) and to chat about. 

Mickey Bale is an elite close protection officer. Which is why the Met Police has given his one fo the toughest jobs in the current climate: guarding the Minister of Defence at the moment when Chinese-British relations is at breaking point. 

But Mickey's is only working on. He's secretly waging war on a powerful London mafia gang family. One of their dealers supplier the ecstasy pill that killed his sister and Mickey wants them to suffer. He wants to take them down, one by one. 

But how far is he going to go? Will his Met colleagues realise that the man on an underworld killing spree one of their own? Or will he get away with it? 

You see why I HAD to be involved in this! 

And, because of this, I was kindly given an extract to share with you all and I hope you like. But before I do, some house keeping. I would like to thank Victoria at Head of Zeus for asking me to be involved in this tour and being very kind for allowing me to have an extract for my stop. And, if you want to say hi to the author, Anthony Riches, you can say hi to him via his Facebook (@AnthonyRichesAuthor) or his Twitter (@AnthonyRiches). Also, if you want more info on Nemesis, you can visit Head of Zeus's website

With all that out of the way, ONTO THE EXTRACT!

Sunday 21 March 2021

Spotlight - Healers: Secrets of the Academy

Last minute spotlight alert! I only decided to get involved in this tour late last night when Erik from BreakEven Books did a call out. And so, going in blind, I said yes and decided to go with whatever happens next. 

And here we are! Brace yourselves for this is new territory. Even for me! And here was me thinking today was a good day because the first episode of the new Line of Duty is out tonight! 

Now, not going to reveal much in the post (this tour is going to take place over the next few days and I don't want to spoil anything), so let me touch on what Healers: Secrets of the Academy by L. L. Smith is about.

The students of SalVaneerie Academy face a gruesome end at the hands of Shadow Knights! 
This army of mysterious and hollow Knights close in from the Dark Forest surrounding their campus. Healers, Warriors, and Brains; Must band together to repel these Shadow Knights and uncover their peculiar origins. Will Nicole amass enough friends to repel the attack? Will Hunter be able to overcome his performance anxiety? Will Theodore be able to discover the truth he seeks?

Thursday 18 March 2021

eBook Review - Stud

This series is such fun (a surprise discovery during Covid-19 UK lockdown of last year. I mean, have you not been following me on here or any of my social medias?), and when the last book in the series, Screwed, came out last year, I was kinda sad that the series was over. 

Until the author announced she had plans to possibly write three more instalments, maybe more. I got excited so when it was revealed that the first in the new instalments followed two characters I have been secretly rooting for since their introducing in the second instalment, Nailed, West and Sawyer, I got very excited. Hang on, let me get details up so you know where I'm at. 

Title And Author: Stud by K.M. Neuhold

Publisher: Self-Published

Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook 

Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought

Length: 301 Pages

Ever since West met Sawyer, he has been asking him out. Each time, Sawyer gently refuses. But since West last asked Sawyer out (and Sawyer said no. After the two shared one hot kiss.), and the two have become close friends. When West decides to finally get back into dating, Sawyer's reaction surprises himself: he sabotages West's dates. He might not be ready to admit to West or himself that he has feels for a guy 15 years his junior, but he doesn't want West to date anyone else, either.

Thursday 11 March 2021

Audiobook Review - Beneath The Keep

As you guys know, I really liked the Queen of the Tearling trilogy and have, for years, been saying I will reread the trilogy. But I always keep putting it off for one excuse or another. So when I discovered this, a prequel of the trilogy, by sheer fluke (I have heard NOTHING about this. No news of Goodreads, from the publisher or anyway. It wasn’t hidden, but there has been no noise or advertising), I jumped on requesting this and then, because I decided to close my Audible account (for now), used my last credit to preorder this.

Title And Author: Beneath The Keep: a Novel of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Publisher: Bantam Press & Penguin Audio
Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook & Audiobook
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by UK publisher in exchange for honest review/reaction while Audiobook’s bought. 
Length: 448 Pages or 14 Hours 49 Minutes

Set around 20-25 years prior to the events of Queen of the Tearling, we follow several characters who have roles to play in the Tearling’s current climate of the rich protecting the rich and the poor suffer. The Tearling is on the edge of a rebellion with the rebellion group, Blue Horizon, whispering of a prophecy. A prophecy of the True Queen, rising up and saving them all.

We have Christian, a young boxer in the Creche, the kingdom’s sinister underworld, Princess Elyssa, whose mother is doing nothing to help her people who are dying due to the ongoing drought, Niya, Elyssa’s handmaiden who is not who she says she is, and Aislinn, a young farmer’s daughter who starts a rebellion. 

As each of the character’s four stories head towards a collision course, we see answers to questions hinted at in the original trilogy, and we discover the events that happened that lead to a Queen’s Guard, the Mace, coming for the Tearling’s new Queen, Kelsea, and taking her out of hiding at the start of Queen of the Tearling

Friday 5 March 2021

#re3 - Mister Monday

Have you ever reread a book or audiobook that you really enjoyed in the past and yet, this time round, something feels off and you don't think it's the book but might be you? 

Well, I had that near the end of my reread of Mister Monday, the first book in the Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. And, like I said a few weeks ago, I think the events of the real world and possible blogging burnout might be the reason. 

Ok, I feel I should explain this book and why I decided to reread this, even though I reread this back in ... let me check my notes ... 2016 (write-up for that is here). So, I have read the series since Mister Monday was first published in the UK in 2003. This was published by HarperCollins and, while selling well and having a solid fanbase internationally, it never hit the heights of Garth Nix's other beloved series, The Old Kingdom (which, you guys know, I adore). So, it's been a little quiet in the past few years, until Hot Key Books bought the rights to republish the series. You see, in the past few years, Hot Key Books and its sister imprint, Piccadilly Press, have been publishing and rebranding Garth Nix's children and teen titles (Gollancz are publishing his adult titles, Angel Mage and Left-Handed Booksellers of London, and will be republishing Garth's space opera, A Confusion of Princes later this spring/summer). 

So, new covers, new branding for Garth Nix and, with it, a new audience. 

So, of course, I was excited and I wanted to reread this to refresh my memory and see what new tricks Hot Key is going to throw at it. 

And yet...

I really enjoyed returning to this world and its characters at the start of this. So excited and happy. And yet, the more I reread, the more meh I felt over it. And that;'s not the book's fault. I want to stress this. Normally, I would reread a book and usually, I love it or find new elements that make me go "Ooooh! I see what you did there", but this time, those "oooh" moments weren't really there and I can't explain why fully. 

I'm putting it down due to the climate the world is in at the moment. For the UK, we have been in a COVID-19 bubble/lockdown for a year now and, though there is the beginning of light at the end of the tunnel, I think the fatigue and the burnout is beginning to effect us now. Also, while I do love reread books and discovering new fun reads, I think I'm ready to rediscover some stories with a tad of meat on their books. 

So maybe my plan to read Middle Grade this March isn't going to happen. But as for my reread, sometimes, it's the right book for the wrong time. When I started, it was a the right story, but for the last few days, it wasn't and am glad I have refreshed my memory of this title and decided that, maybe later this year, I'll reread a later book in the (I was thinking one of the latter four: Sir Thursday, Lady Friday, Superior Saturday or Lord Sunday. Am leaning towards Sir Thursday or Lady Friday as, barring Mister Monday, these are the strongest of the series [Sir Thursday has an edge over Lady Friday]). 

Tuesday 2 March 2021

Audiobook Review - Faithless in Death

I'm in two minds about when to share this write-up. Now in March or to hold fire and share in May as I'm wondering about making May a crime/thriller/mystery reading and reviewing month. But if/when I share this, I wanted you guys to read my write-up on this. I have thoughts. 

... Sod it! Let me upload this now! You guys know I'm not the word;d's best planner for this kinda stuff. Let me get info out of the way so you know what this is about! 

Title And Author: Faithless In Death by JD Robb

Publisher: Hachette Audio

Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook

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

Length: 400 Pages or 13 Hours 26 Minutes

In this, the 52nd book in the In Death series (yep. 52nd! FIFTY TWO BOOKS IN THIS SERIES SO FAR! That's two books a year since the first, Naked in Death, was first published in 1995!), Lt Eve Dallas is enjoying a lovely Spring morning when she gets a call. There's been a murder is mid-21st century New York. An artist has been found, her head bashed in by her own hammer. But as Eve and her team look into the murder, what looks like a lover's quarrel on the surface turns much darker as they discover their prime suspect is a member of Natural Order, a religious order that, the more Eve looks, the more she sees that this is a cult with ties to white supremacy, misogyny, racism, sexism, homophobia and religious fanaticism. 

But how far is Eve and her team willing to go to bring Natural Order down and where does the murder of a lesbian artist fit in? Does it go all the way to the top?