Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Book Review - Two Nights

As you guys know, I am a bit of a fan of Kathy Reichs. And it's been a while since I read a good thriller lately, so when I heard that her latest was a standalone, I got excited and a little nervous. So, I requested madly on NetGalley and started trying to power-read it once I finished Invasion of the Tearling when I knew I was going to an event where Kathy Reichs was at (want to read my write-up? TA-DAH!!!).

Well, I finished this last week (just before my blog break, FYI) and I've had time to thing about my thoughts and feels on this. But before I go head-first, let's talk about that this is about.

Sunday Night is a woman with scars - both physical and psychological - and a woman who is running from her past, burying secrets and trying to build a life as far removed from her childhood as possible.

But someone comes to her for a job, needing a private investigator, Sunnie feels like she has to take it. A girl is missing and Sunnie is drawn to this child. And the child vanished mere moments after a bomb went off outside a Jewish school, killing her mother and brother. Is the girl dead, snatched or has something more terrifying and disturbing happened?

As Sunnie hunts down the truth, her past begins to blur with her present and soon, one has wonder how connected Sunnie and this child is...

Ok, now it's time to talk about this. If I am honest, it's not the best Kathy Reichs I've read, but it's solid. It's fast-paced, full of action, drama and the twists kept me on my toes. All very Kathy Reichs.  I can see this working as a mini TV drama (three episodes, maybe, to keep the plot and action tight) and I can see this being the start of a new series (which I would be on board with).

However - yes, there is a however. Like I said, this isn't my fave Kathy Reichs. There are things that people won't warm to. For a start, Sunday Night isn't Temperance Brennan. People are going to compare - I did for a first few pages. This is natural. But, unlike Tempe who is warm and relatable, Sunnie is cold and very prickly. It takes time to warm to her as a character. I liked characters like this but I know some of you won't - plus, with Sunnie not apologising for her coldness, some of you won't like her at all.

While I liked the pacing and the twists, there's something about the story that doesn't right with me. I like the ideas and theories Kathy throws at us - cults, home-grown terrorism, zealots, etc - but there were times I did feel a little overwhelmed. It's as if Kathy was throwing a lot of ideas at the wall and seeing what would stick. It felt messy at times.

Though there were moments that I felt disjoined from the book, I did like it. Maybe not as much compared to other Kathy Reichs's novels but it's refreshing to see an author try and write new characters and ideas outside their series. And I do think Two Nights would make a good TV adaption and is a good solid start to a series, if Kathy wants to return to Sunday Night and her complex backstory. If for nothing else, I want to spend more time with Sunday's brother, August...

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Sneak Peek Into My NetGalley TBR

I sense this is going to be a running thing on the blog, but as some of you know, my NetGalley TBR folder on my kindle is getting out of hand! I have over 50 at the moment and I might need to do a cull.

For those of you that don't know what I mean by NetGalley, NetGalley is a website publishers use to give away ebook versions of advance reader copies of upcoming novels for librarians, booksellers, bloggers/vloggers and other people.

After resisting for a long time, I got an account and... well, it's far too easy to request an eProof and to be accept (publishers, you can decline me if you want. I get thrilled when I get a "We're decline your very kind offer"). I do culls if my tastes change but some books I've requested have been on my kindle since 2015/2016 and I feel like I should admit to my guilt of a slow reader and the fact I request these and I will read them or might read them one day.

I won't show you my most recent request as I have plans on a few. Maybe in a few weeks/month. Definitely am going to do this again before the year is out so, let me show you some of the oldest and the oddest choices (as I like to choose random stories on NetGalley to push myself in reading new genres/authors/etc)...

Sunday, 13 August 2017

They Both Die At The End Contest

I don't normally write blog posts at the weekend. I try and make weekends be blog free (posting, I mean. Writing blog posts is mostly at weekends), but today, I'm hosting a contest!

I am, via the lovely Hannah at Simon and Schuster UK, giving away three advance reader copies of THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END by Adam Silvera to give away. Oh, and they're signed as well. Just an extra magical touch.

Now, if you haven't heard of this, THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END follows Mateo and Rufus. Both get the dreaded call from Death-Cast, sadly informing them that today is their last day alive. Alone and isolated, the two boys reach out via an app and, together, they spend their last day on earth together... Living their lives to the full... Neither expecting that this would include falling in love...

Does that sound wonderfully heartbreaking?

If you want to win one of three signed advance reader copy, all you have to do is fill in the form below! This is a UK only contest (sorry international readers. I am planning a contest for you guys in the coming months!) and you had till 5pm on Thursday 17th August! The winners will be picked at random via and will be emailed sometime that evening to get contact information (aka how the publisher can send your winning book!).

All that is left to say is good luck!

Friday, 11 August 2017

Kindle Samplers - The Third Visit

After the lovely kickstart back with the lovely Lucy and Tom of Freshers book fame, I thought a nice way to get back into the groove of blogging would be another look at the Kindle Samplers I have downloaded on my iPhone. As you guys know, I download a lot of eBook Samplers on the Kindle app on my iPhone. I do it all the time for a number of reasons and I read/delete them off my phone at a fast pace. So, I felt it's time to show some titles to you. Not all, but a few.

ERAGON by Christopher Paolini
Ok, I read this YEARS AND YEARS ago. I read it on the train to one of my first real jobs. And it was a chunky book (for me at the time. Not now, though, I think). Anyway, I randomly thought of it a few weeks ago and went "I wonder if I would like it if I read it now. I mean, I can't remember a thing about it expect for the cover and the fact this book series has dragons on it". So, downloaded sampler and the cover is pretty! So pretty! Not attempted to read the sampler yet - not had time but soon...

MASKERADE and HOGFATHER by Terry Pratchett
Two for the price of one! I always mean to read more Discworld books. I have have read a few (not many), but these are the two I always been going "I really should try and read these". Plus, have you not seen the new cloth-isa bound hardback editions? These look wonderful! And would go so well with my copy of Reaper Man...

THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak
Do I really need to explain why this is on here, as everyone thinks this book is wonderful are in complete shock that I haven't read it? Do I really have to?

THE THIEF by Ruth Rendell
As someone who enjoys reading crime and thrillers, it comes as a surprise to some people that I haven't read a lot from the big crime authors such as PD James or Agatha Christie. Ruth Rendell is one of those crime authors that I've always been meaning to read, but I'm a little scared off reading her, because she is such a big deal! The Thief seems like a good place to start as it's a novella, part of the Quick Reads range that was published a few years back. The plan is to try this novella out and, if I like her writing, to go towards some of her other writing such as The Water's Lovely, From Doon With Death and the upcoming release of her short stories, A Spot of Folly.

WANT TO PLAY? by P.J. Tracy
This only appeared on my iPhone Kindle app a few weeks ago after a quick chat with Stephen (aka @MyBookishLife). We were chatting about crime/thrillers and he mentioned this title. I went "I think I read that a while ago, but can't remember". So, downloaded it to refresh my memory. I know this is now a big series now (seven or eight books) so intrigued to see if I have read this and if I can remember anything from this story... If not, NEW STORY TO DISCOVER!

And finally, this. I know NOTHING about this book. NOTHING! I know people are excited about this book on Twitter and someone told me that this is a Little Mermaid retelling/reimagining with LGBT themes. HOW I DIDN'T BUY THIS AS SOON AS I WAS TOLD, I HAVE NO IDEA! But I think I totally love this once I find time to read the sampler....

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Freshers Stop Here!

Am back from my mini blog break! DID YOU MISS ME? Rude.

Anyway, am back and, to kickstart, I would love to welcome Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen onto the Pewter Wolf. Lucy and Tom are co-authors of several books, such as Lobsters and Never Evers. And their latest has just come out!

Freshers follows Phoebe and Luke as they start uni. Phoebe can't wait! And with Luke, her secret crush there, it's going to be exciting. But Luke is still reeling over his break-up with his ex. When their worlds do crash together, they have to navigate new friends, parties, social media crisis. But with all this going on around them, will they find themselves and each other?

Now, as today is my stop on the tour, I wanted to do something a little different and talk music, mainly music that Lucy and Tom listened to while at uni themselves. Plus, to give it an extra twist, am adding a song choice of my own that reminds me of my college days (I was a bit of a wuss not going to uni! Let's not get into that can of worms.)

Before I show off their music choices, I want to thank Lucy and Tom for allowing us to snoop into their uni days and their music and Nina for asking if I wanted to be involved in the tour! Now, let's go back in time thorough the timey-wimey thing known as music!

Monday, 31 July 2017

A Mini RSM

Hi everyone! To everyone who went to YALC, how was it? Did you guys have fun? And to those, like me, who didn't go, how jealous did you get over their Twitter and Instagram posts?

The reason why am writing this post is because I decided, for a next few days/weeks, to take a little blog break. And it's all INVASION OF THE TEARLING'S FAULT!!!

Ok, backstory time. I had plans for what I was going to read and blog about this month. I was going to go on a bit of a LGBT+ reading binge in July and get my NetGalley/eProofs in some order during August. But reading Invasion of the Tearling took longer to read than I expected, and then I got invited to Waterstones Piccadilly to see "An Evening With Kathy Reichs" so I decided to read her latest, Two Nights, which I am having such a blast reading, FYI. Will take about this once I come back from my mini-break.  

But because the book reading plan has gone flying out of the window (my TBR plans always done, I now realise), I decided that I want a few days (7-10ish days) where I can just focus on my reading and go very erratic over what I read next within this timeframe. I have one or two books in my head I want to tackle but seeing as I am a slow reader, I might only just finish Two Nights when this mini-blog break is over! (Not sure what's going to happen with my 30 Minutes Writing Sprint Challenge in my break... keep eyes peeled!)

But, weirdly, this mini break is going to be helpful as one or two things have creeped up in real life so I want to focus on them for however long it's going to take. 

So, sorry for the last minute announcement/change of my plans.  I do have an blog break happening in October but this was unschedule. Hope that's ok! I'll see you all in the next 7 to 10 days on the blog, but I will be on my Twitter and the other social media sites so you can check in on me there! 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

30 Minute Writing Sprint - Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of my 30 Minute Writing Sprint Challenge. Basically, am trying to get back into writing regularly so, every week, must write for 30 minutes. And after that's up, whatever I write, I have to put on my blog so you guys can see what I've written!

Now, last week, I joked about writing something erotica (blame podcasts My Dad Wrote A Porno and We Write Sex for this idea) as it's a genre I don't normally read in so writing in it might be a fun/crazy challenge. I still want to do this, but I'm not sure I will. Plus, with YALC happening this weekend and wondering if I should write something more crime/thriller-like... Well, we shall see. Am going to make a cuppa, get my timer ready and then, hammer something out.

See you on the other side!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Missing YALC. Again.

So, it's here. One of the best weekends if you are a YA reader/blogger/publisher/author/etc. It's YALC (aka Young Adult Literature Convention). Imagine Comic-Com, but for books and for teens and you have a vague idea.

And I was meant to go this year. I REALLY WAS! But life got in the way. Again.

Ok, backstory time. I went back in 2015 because I was asked, very kindly, if I wanted to do involved in a small group/panel in the corner to talk about blogging. I was up with Laura from SisterSpooky and Michelle from Tales of Yesterday and we chatted about getting started in book blogging (Laura and Michelle were wonderful and gave insightful advice. I laughed nervously and joked that I made a mistake, came out of the wrong elevator and was only there because I was promised a hot chocolate...). And, after us, Jim from YA Yeah Yeah, Vivienne from Serendipity Reviews and Lucy from Queen of Contemporary were chatting more about blogging but giving more information, details and more insight.

After that, I walked round the stalls, listened to some chats, hugged a lot of book blogger pals and squealed/sloth-hugging at authors such as CJ Daugherty, Patrick Ness and Juno Dawson (who wore an AMAZING cosplay of Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones, AND I CAN'T FIND THE PICS ON MY PHONE!!!). and it was such a cool time. A long days due to train delays and getting lost (but seeing loads of Doctor Who cosplays, and several of Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Loki! From a far but still!) but I wanted to go back. I knew I wanted to, but I had to figure dates out.

Last year, though I wanted to go, things didn't work out. Dates clashed with family/friends so I decided that 2017 was the year I was going. THIS YEAR, I WILL GO!!!

And I was. I had it all planned and had ideas. I was going to go on the Friday (no idea why, but I was going to book day off work and get to London super early that morning to meet up with you guys!) But then, real life got in the way. Again. Mainly money. Basically, being a grown-up and paying for rent is a pain.

So, am putting this on hold for next year. NEXT YEAR, 2018, I WILL TRY MY HARDEST TO GO TO ONE DAY OF YALC (unless something happens which ruins my plans...).

But I want to say to you all who are going to YALC this weekend have a wonderful time. Have fun, read exciting books, drink plenty of water and stay safe. Maybe next year, I'll be with you guys... But this year, am with you in spirit (and Twitter).