Friday, 20 May 2022

Audiobook Mini-Review - River of Silver

I can already see you looking at this and going "err... Andrew... you do realise that this is a collection of short stories/extracts that are HUGELY spoilery for the Daevabad Trilogy, right?". And yes, I knew that going in, but there is a logic to my madness. 

I have always been curious over this series. You guys rave about this series and I feel that this would be completely up my street. But, I've been a little chicken to try it in case the series didn't live up to the hype so, when I saw the audiobook on NetGalley, I knew I had to try it out and maybe, this would be my In for the series and would help me decided whether I should give this series a try and, if so, whether to read this series or to audiobook it... 

Title and Author: The River of Silver: Tales from the Daevabad Trilogy by S. A. Chakraborty
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction. 

This is a collection of short stories taken before, during and after the events of the trilogy, giving voice to characters fans love, hate and some that never got the chance to talk...

Wednesday, 18 May 2022



I think, by the time this goes live, we've all seen this show and, hopefully, have news on series two. However, at the time of writing this, Heartstopper has only been out for a week and I have binge-read Volumes 1 & 2 (and will be starting Volume 3 & 4 over the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend). And we are all raving about this adaption. At the time of writing this, Rotten Tomatoes has given this show of 100% (which is UNHEARD OF!) and it has an average audience score of 98% (again, unheard of). 

I have reread Volume One and then bought Volumes Two, Three and Four (though I did read the web-comic when it was coming out) and read Volume Two and, so far, am finding it an utterly joy. It's just lovely and is a wonderful feel-good read with positive LGBTQ+ themes. 

I think one of the reasons why most viewers adore this series is the characters matters. We care for them and we fall in love with them. Plus, the level of representation in both graphic novel and TV series is high. If this show came out when I was in my teens and figuring myself out, it would have been a lifeline. 


Sorry, I did have plans to write a long post about the show and have faithful it was to the first 2 volumes while expanding stories with other characters and hopes for series two (do we want a series two? I kinda do as I want to see more, but I don't at the same time as scared it will mess series one's happiness up!), but I can't really think of anything to say. I am reading the series, I've read the show and I have probably chatted too many times on social media about this. But yes, this is a lovely series and I am having a blast!

Monday, 16 May 2022

Did You Miss Me?

Well, that blog break was longer than I expected. I doubt you guys noticed, but I only wanted to be away for a few weeks, mainly over the Easter. But I think my slight book blogger/reader/being human burnout was a little worse than I thought and so, took longer off and it was only a few weekends ago that I felt like I could get back to blogging. 

Why, yes. Am writing this a few weeks in advance, just so am a little ahead of the game and to ease myself back in. 

Now, I guess you think am going to write about all the books/ebooks/audiobooks I read over my break. Well, no. Not really. I wrote little things on my Goodreads ( - like you didn't know) and I usually try and keep my Twitter Thread of my 2022 Reading up to date (or you can follow me in Twitter at as I normally chat/tweet-scream any reads. Whether good or bad or meh), but I don't really feel that need to write mini-reviews or posts on here at the moment. 

But I'm not gonna be cruel. I will put some book covers up so you know what I read. 

Oh, please note one of these was a reread on a different format to my first read. 

Now, at time of writing this, I should be hoovering the house, but I want to write two more posts (I think we all know what one of them is going to be... no? Really? Fine, I'll give you a hint in a moment...) and then I'm going to dip in and out of blogging for a while. I want to be more chill and enjoy myself with this again. Yes, this might be a sign that am ready to leave the book blog behind and be more... whatever I'm going to be next, but I think, with the world being as it is, we should have some fun. 

Monday, 11 April 2022

Dread Wood Blog Tour

Question to kickstart my stop on this blog tour: have you guys ever play The Floor is Lava? This is important to the review, so stay with me on this one. Well, have you? 

While you ponder that, let me chat quickly about this book. Hang on, let me get my details up then we can chat. 

Title and Author: Dread Wood by Jennifer Killick
Publisher: Farshore
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley for Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review/reaction

Oh, this is part of a blog tour, organised by The Write Reads (thank you for having me as part of this tour!). But still, am going to be honest (would you expect anything else?)

From the author that bought us Crater Lake comes Dread Wood and oh, it's a humdinger!

What can be worse that having detention on a Saturday? Nothing, according to Angelo, Hallie, Gustav and Naira. But oh, how wrong they are going to be as, within minutes of turning up, they notice that something is very, very wrong. And that's before they see their teacher being dragged underground... 

Something frightening is going on. The groundskeeper and his wife are acting weird, whistling Itsy Bitsy Spider. There are tremors under their feet and, soon, they realise that the very ground they are walking on isn't safe. As the four are forced to work together to survive the detention from hell, they begin to realise that them getting detestation at the same time might not have been an accident... Someone wants them to suffer...

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Upcoming Easter Blog Break Alert

This isn't a big thing, but I thought I would get in early with this, dear reader. I've decided to take a blog break for a few weeks, and with Easter round the corner, I thought that fortnight would be perfect. I say fortnight, might be longer. Am gonna be honest, am having a little blogger/reader burnout of late, so a well-earned blog holiday for two (maybe longer) weeks sounds ideal and lovely. 

Plus, with this break, I can be more looser with what I want to read and how longer it takes me to read. 

Oh yes, I am thinking of going more outside my comfort zone and try new (to me) authors and authors that I read in the past and want to rediscover. Plus, am doing two blog tours (one next week and one at the end of May) so I want to get ahead of myself and tackle them now while the mood takes me.

So yes, am taking a break from here (though not from Twitter and Goodreads. Oh, I will still be lurking on  these!) for a few weeks. But, I don't want to be mean and leave you completely in the dark so am going to put up one or two books on my TBR (new, rereads and "It was on sale!") so you have an idea of how loose am going to be with my reading. I haven't decided how am going to review these (maybe only on Goodreads, maybe mini-reviews when I return, no idea) but I will chat about these in one form or another... 

Anyway, ideas of my future reading during my break... Thoughts?

Friday, 1 April 2022

Family of Liars Soundboard

This is a little early, I know (this isn't out till May, I believe), but I had read this (a good chunk of it while I was in line for rides at Thorpe Park) and I thought rather than write up a review that I can't really go deep into as this book, I think, works best when you go in blind. But I wanted to do something that would be a little fun at the same time. 

And, of course, I went down my rabbit hole of music and thinking of songs that catch the vibe of the book without revealing anything. I remember Hot Key, the UK publishers, created a small playlist for when We Were Liars was first published (It took me ages to find it but I FOUND THE PLAYLIST). So I thought "Oh, a sound board would be fun and different. And I have songs that fit the mood of the book that aren't spoilers!"

And my music tastes are a little odd. Plus, this is a prequel to We Were Liars, so the songs I picked don't exactly fit the time when the book is set, but let's have some fun, shall we? Plus, how do I do this without spoilers... 

I hope you like these songs choices and, once the book is released, I will be super curious over your song choices...

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Reading Slump Made Me Quit This (And Am Not Happy)

I'm not sure how to write this post. It's not a review, but it is up to a point. And I'm treating this as a review on NetGalley as I have thoughts and opinions, so class this as weird write-up so I can explain. 

Ever since I first heard of All for One by Lillie Lainoff, I have been desperate to read it. I mean, an OwnVoices gender-bent reimagining of The Three Musketeers with a lead suffering from a chronic illness, but being a badass and secretly training to be a musketeer and learning about sisterhood, self love and badassery? SIGN ME UP! 

And I liked what I heard. A tad slow-paced for me, but I liked the characters, the slow character arcs and the writing. I really did. So, why, I hear you cry, did I quit this around the 50% mark (after two weeks of listening to this on way to/from work)?

My brain just stopped. I got hit by a reading slump. And I wanted to keep audiobook this. I fasten the reading speed as I thought that might help, but it didn't. I would listen to a few minutes then listen to music or podcasts and I just wouldn't go back. 

I hit a wall and I think with the news being what it has been for the past few years, I'm surprised I don't get hit by reading slumps more often. I think I know myself well enough to know when am close to reading slumps, but this one caught me by surprise. I'm not sure if the news at the moment and my real life/work life has an impact, but here we are. 

Having reading slumps or allowing yourself a break from reading is ok. We need to remember this for ourselves as reading should be a pleasure and. if we're not feeling it or we're feeling out of sorts, we can go away and look after ourselves. 

How often do I write these posts and I never follow my own advice? Maybe that's why am making myself take a few weeks off blogging over Easter as am not feeling that spark I use to and I want to mix it up reading/audiobook over Easter/walking into summer. 

But yeah, on edge of reading slump and it make me not get on with this/made me quit/DNF this and I'm not exactly happy with self. I hope to come back to this. We shall see... 

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

eBook Review - Gallant

This is a bit of an impulse read. I saw it on NetGalley and went "Oh, this sounds like a creepy Secret Garden" and everyone seems to love V.E. Schwab and I've only read two books of her (I still have one or two titles on my TBR so, of course, I will be reading them in the future), but I thought this might be a nice way to ease myself into her writing again as it's been a while. Plus, this had vibes of a gothic fairy tale type story, similar to her debut, The Near Witch

Title and Author: Gallant by V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Titan Books
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction.

Olivia Pryor is missing three things. Her mother who died when she was young, her father who she doesn't remember and her voice, which was she was never born with. But when she gets a mysterious letter from an uncle she never knew she had, begging her to come home to the estate, Gallant. 

But when she gets there, her uncle has been dead for several years and no one remembers him writing the letter. Though Olivia is allowed to stay, there are two rules: don't leave the house after dark and don't go near the wall at the end of the garden...

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Recent Diana Wynne Jones Read & Reread

There are a few authors that, over the past few years, I start and then, for one reason or another (mainly COVID), time runs away from me. One of them is Michelle Paver, and the other is Diana Wynne Jones. The plan was to slowly read the Chrestomanci series throughout the course of 2019 and 2020. 

However, COVID hit and I got sidetracked. 

But, recently, I had the itch to read The Magicians of Caprona and, after a few pages, I remember that I tried to read the first chapter a few days after reading Charmed Life, the first in the Chrestomanci series. Now, I have a kindle bind-up of the series and this collection is in publication order, not series order (apparently, this is book 4 in the series, though in publication order, this is book 2). 

Set in the dukedom of Caprona where spells are slippy and the warring families of Montanas and the Petrocchis blame each other for everything that is beginning to go wrong. But the visiting Chrestomanci thinks it's an evil enchanter at work, but no one seems to be listening. 

I'm going to be honest with this one: I did struggle with this one. I didn't warm to the story in the way I hoped. I'm not sure why. I just didn't warm to the story, though one or two characters I liked almost immediately. 

But I am hoping to enjoy the next book in the collection - Witch Week - when I get round to reading it soon. 

Well... that was the plan. To read Witch Week. But when I saw the audiobook of Howl's Moving Castle had a discount on Audible, I knew I had to snap it up. I didn't exactly warm to it on my first reading as I put too much pressure to like it as this is The One. The One where, if you chatted about Diana Wynne Jones's best book, most people would say this. And, when I read the first time, I was a little underwhelmed by it. 

So imagine my surprise when I went into this and found myself enjoying this hugely. It's still not my favourite fantasy, but I enjoyed this hugely. The characters are vain, selfish but there's something wickedly delicious about this world and these characters. So much so that I was considering getting the audiobook of the sequel, Castles In The Air. However, I have heard a few things about that one so I decided to dodge that. 

However, I do have a few other Diana Wynne Jones titles on my kindle and, slowly, I hope to tackle them over the next few years...

Friday, 11 March 2022

re3 - We Were Liars

I don't reread books that often (though I always want to - I mean, my mental reread list is longer than I would like to admit), so it came as a surprise when, over the last few months, I had an itch to reread We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. 

Now, I first read this when the book came out back in 2014. I actually was very lucky and got a proof from the UK publisher, Hot Key Books, and I devoured it over the course of three or four days. It was an addictive read and so smart. 

But I don't often reread crime or mystery novels, for the main reason that once I know the twist, the story doesn't hold the same quality or that element of fun. There are exceptions to the rule (a good example is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie), but once I knew the twist, I only really go back if I like the characters. 

But We Were Liars. I remember how obsessed I got with it when I first read this and, with news that a prequel (Family of Liars) is coming out in a few months, I wanted to reread this to refresh my memory, see if it still stood up and look at the clues for a new angle. 

So, shall we begin? 

Title and Author: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review/reaction, but borrowed via Amazon's Prime Reading

The Sinclair family are rich. The Sinclair family are beautiful. The Sinclair family are liars.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Audiobook Mini-Review - Beating About The Bush

Mini Review Time! And seeing as I blitzed through this audiobook with such speed, a mini-review seems about right. Hang on, let's get some details up so you know what's going on... 

Title and Author: Agatha Raisin: Beating Round The Bush by M.C. Beaton
Publisher: Constable
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review/reaction, though borrowed audiobook via library's BorrowBox app. 

My first Agatha Raisin was Down the Hatch and, while this was a nice cosy-mystery, it didn't ball me over. I have heard that the characters were a little spiky. Especially the series lead, Agatha, who I knew was a chain-smoker, G&T drinking, hot tempered, vain, spiteful and has no filter. But in Down the Hatch, the characters were... well... nice. They were nice and a little soft. 

But here... here I felt was more what I was promised and I was much happier to read/audiobook this (the UK audiobook is narrated by Penelope Keith, which was a dream!). Agatha, while a little mellowed compared to her earlier adventures (yes, I'm going to back track the series as I enjoyed myself with these characters), still has no filtered, drinks and smokes too much and is on the lookout for romance. Plus, she surprised everyone with her unknown affections for donkeys - where did that come from!?

Ok, let's touch on the story. Agatha is driving from a possible private detective job, looking into shrubs by the side of the road and goes "Nice place to dump a body". Only to find a severed leg in said bush. Yes, it's fake, but there's something unnerving about it. And, not long after Agatha takes said job and wonders why someone who dump a fake leg, a murder takes place and elderly Mrs. Dunwiddy is murdered - by a donkey? 

Agatha's doesn't believe that. There's something shady going on at the factory who's hired her. Something very shady. And she's not careful, she might not hear the news of her friend and sometimes lover... 

This was fun. I enjoyed myself with this and the fact this was a cosy murder mystery with a lead that doesn't exactly fit the cosy murder mystery lead is quite refreshing. 

I can't really write more than this was fun. It was outlandish, funny and I do think I'm going to visit one of Agatha's earlier adventures (I keep eyeing Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House and . Not sure which one yet...

Friday, 4 March 2022

Thick As Thieves Blog Tour

BLOG TOUR ALERT! And it's to celebrate the release of Thick as Thieves, the fourth MM romance in the Aster Valley series by Lucy Lennox. Now, I was meant to read this, but I somehow cancelled my preorder (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!), so instead, this is gonna be a spotlight-type post!

But, in case you're not sure about Thick as Thieves, let me give you a quick once over, shall we?

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Audiobook Review - The Maid

This is one of THOSE books. You know the one. The one with all the hype and buzz for months before it’s publication. I remember the news breaking that this book had its movie rights snapped up (Universal) and Florence Pugh has announced that she would star and produce the movie.

So, like most book that has this level of buzz, you can either be very excited for it or very wary. I think we’ve all been stung by the hype train once or twice the past few months. I know I have (I mean, have you not seen my DNFs or my 1 or 2 stars reviews of late?). But there was something about The Maid that made me very intrigued about it. 

So yes, I managed to get my hands on an eProof (via NetGalley. Thank you UK publisher), but I was so intrigued, I actually bought the audiobook as well. It’s very rare I do this, FYI. So, let me get the details and a brief synopsis up and we can talk. 

Title and Author: The Maid by Nina Prose
Publisher: HarperCollins
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review, and bought audiobook. 

Molly is a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel In New York. She’s invisible to the world. I mean, who pays attention to a maid? 

But when Molly finds the body of Mr Black, an infamous guest at the hotel, very dead in his bed, Molly finds her quiet life thrown under a spotlight and she sees that life isn’t as easy mess to clean as she begins to look for the truth. Who would look twice at a maid, after all?

Saturday, 26 February 2022

Changing Reading Theme Month

I'm changing my reading plans for the month of March. 

Originally, I had an idea to do an "unofficial" reading theme month and it would be linked to crime and thrillers, a genre I enjoy reading hugely but I always tend to stay in the cosy/easy-to-read thrillers. This was just before Valentine's Day and I got quite excited over this idea. I can finally get my rear in gear and read this crime books that have been sitting on my TBR or on my "Please Reread Me!" stack.

And then, the world happened. 

Recent events with Ukraine and Russia suddenly made me go "Oh, sticking to this might be in bad taste. Plus, I do really want to focus on this genre when this is happening?". And so, am changing my reading plotting. I will stick to crime, but I'm not going hard into the genre that I'm was considering. I want my blog and the books I can on here to be an escape. To push books that will help you, dear reader, escape from your world and life for a few moments. 

I even had a few crime/thriller books on my radar. I have audiobooked two already and am currently reading the third. The two other I'm now gonna push back (I might still try and read/audio them this month. You never know with me!)

I, also, had a maybe-idea for a short, two-week reading theme just after my Easter blog break. I'm thinking something along the lines of "Blast from the Past" but I have no idea what this means... 

But I feel that, with the world as it is, maybe I should be kinder and try and push more hopeful reads to you. I keep saying you, I mean me. Maybe I should push happier reads onto me. I know that my next reading picks might not be your cup of tea, but I wanna throw some fun books and audio my way. I do want to do a crime/thriller month so might keep that on the back burner for now... 

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Trust Your Gut

Question: Have you ever been really excited for a book? Like, really excited for it and you kept putting it off because you wanted to savour it and, once you're ready, you start only to be thoroughly disappointed and annoyed that you spent your precious time and money on it? Well, this is what happened with me and with To Sleep In A Sea of Stars

If you go to my Goodreads review, you will see that I had so many, many issues with this and the main reason I powered on through is because I was buddy-reading this with Mo from PaperbackMo (if you're not following him on YouTube, please do) and, as we were both reading/audiobooking, we were chatting about our thoughts and while their words were much kinder than my bluntness, we both felt on the same page with one or two of our issues (pacing, length and needing a good old fashion edit!) 

This is why many of us within the book blogosphere (like I have said before, I use this term very loosely and widely as it covers vloggers, instagrammers, TikTokkers, podcasters, etc) say that if you're not feeling it, you can put the book down and either come back when you feel ready to or you can just quit and move on. There is no shame. Just like there is no shame if you decide to keep reading and see it through. No shame on whatever you decide. 

But what I do want to say is that your brain, heart or gut warn or tell you that this isn't working (whether that be books, TV, films, podcasts, etc), listen to them and make a decision that best suits you. 

Thursday, 17 February 2022

eBook Review - Dead Lucky

We're deep into the the month of romance. So, of course, let’s chat about the book that starts with a murder. When have I ever stuck to my plans of reading romances in the month of February? And if I do, there’s a darkness to it, for love is a beautiful thing but it can also be very dangerous.

Title and Author: Dead Lucky by Andreina Cordani
Publisher: Atom Books
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction.

Maxine, Leni, Ed and Xav are the lucky ones. The influencers who have it all: the followers, the wealth, the respect. But being The influencers on popular streaming platform PlayMii isn’t so perfect as they claim on screen. It’s broken Ed’s heart, ruined Leni’s friendships, leaving Maxine overwhelmed and for Xav… it ends in his murder as a masked figure walks into his apartment and stabs him to death on camera.

As the world reels from the shocking footage, remembering Xav as the guy with no filter, Maxine reminds a different Xav. One who could be cruel. But when Maxine realises that Xav had a secret file on his fellow creators – his so-called friends – that, if uploaded, could easily ruin their careers. And for someone, they are willing to do anything to keep them hidden, and they are watching Maxine very closely…

Friday, 11 February 2022

Audiobook Review - The Man Who Fell From The Sky

This was an impulse decision when I saw this on NetGalley. I was planning not to request anything to review on NetGalley as my TBR is getting a little out of hand. But there was something about this that caught my attention and made me hit request. Maybe it's the Murderino in me that makes me listen to true crime podcasts such as My Favourite Murder, Tenfold More Wicked & Criminalia (and the podcasts you guys [including my sister] recommend such as The Missing Crypto Queen and The Lazarus Heist). Maybe it's because I went "Oh, this sounds good". Or maybe it's because a man fell out of a plane and NO ONE NOTICED!

Title and Author: The Man Who Fell From The Sky: The Bizarre Life and Death of 20s Tycoon Alfred Loewenstien by William Norris
Publisher: CamCat Books
Bought, Gifted or Borrowed: Audiobook gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction

Captain Alfred Loewenstein was known as many things during his glamorous and gaudy life. A multi-millionaire that's a maker and loser of his fortunes (and others around him). But all that wealth didn't save him one July evening in 1928 when he boarded his aircraft with six others to fly from England to Brussels and, halfway through the flight, he vanished. Everyone says that he fell through an exit door that he mistaken for the toilet.

But things don't add up about his death. The story the pilots and the other passengers don't exactly match up or make sense, and the officials don't seem to look too hard into the death. Many suspect that his fall was a simple accident, while others wonder if he had committed suicide. And others... others wonder if he was pushed or thrown off the plane. But who would do that, and why?

That's what investigative journalist William Norris decides to do in the mid-80s...

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Thick As Thieves Cover Reveal!

I'm going back into the world of Aster Valley. It's been a long time coming since I audiobooked both Right as Raine and the prequel novella, Winter Waites. And I have read a few other Lucy Lennox's titles (Hostile Takeover and Hijacked, the latter co-authored with May Archer), but I always wanted to come back to Aster Valley and, out of all the titles in the series, Thick As Thieves was the one that always grabbed my attention. 

I will put the blurb down below (as I want you to see why I'm excited to read this - yes, it's has friends-to-lovers troupe, don't judge me too harshly), but I am thrilled to be involved in the cover reveal of this! And, hopefully (if I get my ducks in a row), my review for this will be up in the coming few weeks! 

But first, the blurb (as taken from Goodreads):

I've been in love with my best friend since forever. Okay, fine. Like, kindgergarten. It started out platonic, obviously, but then became... nope. Still platonic. The problem is that Parker Ellis has been straight since forever. And that makes it difficult to convince him the two of us are meant to be together.

And now there's no point. All is lost. He's gone and gotten engaged to his high-school sweetheart which means I have to grin and bear it while pretending to be the happy, supportive best man while he prepares to commit his life to a woman I can't even fault. She's great. We've all been friends forever. I know he'll be happy with Erin, just not... just not as happy as he could be with me.

I'll admit. Sometimes I press the easy button. Like when Julian Thick had offered me half his sandwich back in grade school after noticing I didn't have any food. Or when I'd needed a date to homecoming in tenth grade and Erin told me she was it. Or when I'd used the one thing that came easy to me, skiing, to get my college tuition paid for. Or when Erin had showed back up in my life six months ago and told it was time to marry and start a family...

But for the first time in my life I'm facing something that's not at all easy. It's my wedding weekend and I've just been left at the altar. Not only that, but when my best friend whisks me away to drown my sorrows in a snowy cabin in Aster Valley, I accidentally discover Julian's been keeping secrets. Big secrets.

The kind of secrets that lead to hot experimental kisses in front of a blazing fire, tentative physical exploration in a way I'd never imagined before, and the kind of intimate, true confessions I'd never even dreamed of between me and the one person who's always been my true home.

But after twenty-plus years of thinking of Jules as my friend without benefits, is it truly possible to change who we are to each other? There's no easy button this time, but I'm willing to do the work. I only wonder if Julian is ready to trust I really mean it.

Saturday, 5 February 2022

Blog Tour Review - The Revenge of the Beast

Ok, truth time. This blog tour was meant to happen just before Christmas, but things 
happened (no one's fault. Barring technology. Technology was the enemy for this tour!) so, the tour was pushed back. But, when I first discovered this tour was happening, I jumped on it! If you followed me in 2020 (One of the Many Years That Must Not Be Named), you would know one of my fave reads was The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips. It was just such as delightful and delicious read, with hints of Roald Dahl and silliness throughout. So, of course, I wanted to read/audiobook the sequel, The Revenge of the Beast. Hence why I jumped on this tour!

Now, I will admit that when I did go into this, I was fearful that this wouldn’t be as fun as the first, but I took the risk anyway. 

Title And Author: The Beast and The Bethany: Revenge of the Beast by Jack Meggitt-Phillips (Illustrations by Isabelle Follath)
Publisher: Farshore
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by publisher by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction for blog tour, and audiobook borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
Length: 288 Pages or 5 Hours and 5 Minutes

Taking place a few weeks after The Beast and The Bethany, the youthful-looking 511 Ebenezer Tweezer is trying to come to terms of life without the Beast. But he has The Bethany, once notorious prankster, who is keeping him on his toes. She and her parrot friend, Claudette, are determined that she and Ebenezer must de-Beast their lives and do some do-gooding. But both are finding this trickier than they first thought: Ebenezer is missing the gifts that the Beast vomited, Bethany is finding that her prankster past is making it hard for her to do some good, and both aren’t exactly sure how to be good people.

Plus, there’s something off with Claudette. Even since she ate the Beast, she’s been … well, not herself.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Changing Reading Plans

And now, we enter my reading in 2022! I didn't realise that taking a longer Christmas/New Year blog break would push my write-ups back. And I hope to hit the ground running with a bunch of reading that will show you guys where I wish/hoped to take The Pewter Wolf Reads this year. 

Alas, my first planned book of 2022 - Peril at End House by Agatha Christie - ended in me quitting/DNFing it at around the 50%. I do plan to go back one day (maybe as an audiobook) and I do have other Agatha Christies that I want to read. Plus, I had plans. I made reading plans (vague plans, more like musings if we're being completely honest with each other, dear reader) what of I wanted to read this year. I want to try and read the whole Sookie Stackhouse series (which I am planning to do! I just need to get past the first chapter of Dead Until Dark). I, also, have an idea over a series or two that I've started but not finished and I would like to go for it and finish this year (keeping these under my hat as I need to plan...)

But after quitting Peril at End House, I wasn't exactly wanting to stick my reading ideas for the next few weeks. I left a little deflated and a little run down. The last few books/audiobooks I read in 2021 were very meh/three stars reads. And because I had plans to read several titles throughout the course of January and February 2022. I had plans to read The Maid by Nita Prose, a Dan Brown novel (either Angels and Demons or Digital Fortress) and a few other titles that I planned to keep hidden as I like the idea of mystery on here (though if you guys follow me on social media, they won't be that much of a surprise!).

So, I decided (as I felt a little rundown and close to a reading slump) to read some short stories/novellas and, as it happened, one of the MM romance authors I follow through socials said she had a short story up on Prolific Work's MM Romance Group's 2022 Giveaway, and I went "Oooh" and downloaded that as well as a few others to try out new authors or to get my rear in gear in a series or two I should start. 

Sometimes, you need a platter cleanser or a moment to recharge and reset your reading. Sometimes, it's taking time away from reading for a while. Sometimes it's reread a book you love and know inside and out. And sometimes, it's reading something that you know you are reading quickly and manage to finish in a short space of time. 

And the last opinion is what I did (normally it's reread or just having a reading break). 

Now, I'm not gonna talk too much of the short stories/novellas I read (The Real Deal by KM Neuhold, The Cubby Hole by Blade James, Pick One by May Archer and The Straight Friend by Raleigh Ruebin) as I will probably chat more about it on my Goodreads, but I thought I would write this to say that while I never do Monthly TBR lists, I do like to know what am reading next (even though I am a mood reader at heart) and while having these lists are great, sometimes throwing it out of the window and just going where the winds take you are just as helpful and kind. 

And with everything that's happened to us all in the past few years, I think we all need to be kinder to ourselves and make ourselves happy. 

Monday, 31 January 2022

Christmas 2021 Audiobooks - Christmas Tree Farm Mysteries Mini-Reviews

These are the last two audiobooks I blitz before the end of 2020 (yes, we're now getting towards the end of 2021 reading/audiobooking. And you can blame me discovering a bunch of audiobooks on Audible's Plus Catalogue [am doing a trial with Audible again. I don't know why but yeah, here we are. Again). 

And the last two are cosy murder mysteries in the same series. Hence why I'm only doing one post as they were ok. They were fun, but nothing really to write home about. 

Ok, let me do a quick summary of both titles. 

In the first, Twelve Slays of Christmas, Holly White has returned to her home town of Mistletoe, Maine after her Christmas Eve wedding was cancelled, nursing a broken heart. But her time back to help her parents's Christmas Tree Farm and their annual Reindeer Games doesn't get off to the festival start she hoped when Holly discovers the President of the town's Historical Society is bludgeoned to death on the edge of the family. And with the town's new sheriff discover that her father and the farm's reindeer keeper both argued with the grouchy President moments before her death, Holly is determined to find the killer. Though the killer is watching Holly... 

And in its sequel, Twas the Knife Before Christmas, a year has passed from the previous year's events and Holly is hoping for a quieter Christmas. Shame that's not gonna happen as the body is discovered in the town's centre - and all the evidence is pointing to Holly's friend, Caroline. A video of her arguing with the deceased is circling, his car is behind her house and the murder weapon is a customed marble knife. But Caroline can't have done it - and Holly is determined to prove it. But when Christmas just ten days away, her family Christmas tree family having renovations on its kitchen and buying a new inn, Holly's jewellery business taking off and her relationship with the town sheriff becoming suddenly strained, can Holly really prove Caroline's innocence and bring the killer to justice?

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Christmas 2021 Audiobook - The Christie Affair

We all know Agatha Christie. She's the Queen of Crime. We all know or are aware of at least one of her creations and one of her mysteries. And we all know that, in 1926, the author vanished for 11 days and no one knows the truth about what happened to her as she never spoke of it. Even in her autobiography, Agatha Christie: An Autobiography, she brushes those days and never speaks of it. The only thing she says about that time is the two books she wrote around that time - The Big Four & The Mystery of the Blue Train - are the two stories she had difficulty writing and most disliked.

And main people are curious over those missing days as, before she vanished, her husband told her he was leaving her for his mistress - Nancy Neele - and her beloved mother died months earlier. And the fact that Agatha never spoke about it has us still puzzled to this day. Did she have a nervous breakdown? Did she vanish to spite her husband, hoping he will leave his mistress and return to her? Did she vanish to frame him of her murder and start a new life?

And many authors/films/TV shows have tried to guess. We have Andrew Wilson's A Talent for Murder, suggesting Agatha was being blackmailed to commit murder. We have the movie, Agatha (starring Dustin Hoffman and Vanessa Redgrave), that suggests that Agatha was planning to kill herself and frame her husband's mistress. We have TV movie, Agatha And The Truth of Murder, an alternative history, that suggests that she was solving the real life murder of Florence Nightingale's goddaughter, Florence Nightingale Shore. Hell, we even had a Doctor Who, episode - The Unicorn and the Wasp - that suggested aliens were involved in her disappearance (it's a delightful episode, FYI). And, more recently, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict and now The Christie Affair.

Told from the point of view of Archie Christie's fictional mistress, Nan O'Dea (not Nancy Neele), we see what happened and we look into Nan's past and wonder...

Monday, 24 January 2022

Christmas 2021 Audiobook - She Who Became The Sun

I finished this a few days before Christmas (hence why I classed this as a Christmas review). I wanted to get a few titles (two or three) read before Christmas and New Year's Eve that I have promised publishers I would do. As you all know, if you follow me on my socials (mainly Goodreads and Twitter), I am useless at requesting a story in any form and then making a prompt review. They are always late, but I hoped that, over the Christmas period, I could at least attempt to have a few titles - bought, borrowed or requested - ready for 2022, hence why I decided to have a slightly longer blog break over the Christmas period. 

And so, here we are. 

Title And Author: She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Publisher: Mantle

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

I'm not sure how to write a blurb for this title so, bear with me. Set in 14th century China, two children's futures have been revealed. The boy is promised greatness, the girl nothing. But when the boy dies, the girl makes a snap decision to survive: she takes her brother's identity and joins a monastery as a young male novice. Her need to survive burns deep within her and she is willing to do anything to keep herself hidden and to live. 

But when the monastery is destroyed, she makes another decision. She decides to not only claim her dead brother's identity but his abandoned, foretold greatness as well.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Christmas 2021 Reads - Mini-Reviews

I'M BACK! After a nice long break (yes, this Christmas blog holiday was longer than normal, but I'm quite happy with this decision as, sometimes, we need a long break to find ourselves and make plans...). Anyway, for the next few weeks, you will be reading write-ups of books/audiobooks that I have read/listen to over the Christmas break. Normal(ish) schedule will resume in the next few weeks. So, once we get into (let's say...) February, you will see my 2022 reading! So, brace yourselves! 

Anyway, I was hoping to get this up last year, but one of the MM romance novellas I was reading took a little longer than I was expecting so decided to push this MM romance heavy post back to 2022. 

Now, originally, the initial plan was I going to do individual reviews on some Christmasy titles that I read or try to read before I go on my Christmas blog break, but as I was writing to write a short review for eNovella, How To Catch The Boss by Ana Ashley (4.5 in the Chester Falls series, in case you are curious), I decided that I might push a few titles together and show you guys that I have gone against my typical "I need to play catch up on my reading/review (which yes, I am!) and read something Xmas!" And so, here are a few titles.