Month: November 2019

Reading List – November 2019

Hi everyone! I’m back, at last! You may not have even noticed I was gone, but my domain hosting was due for renewal and I needed to switch to a new contract. So, my site has been down for a couple of days but I’m almost back to where I was before I started.

There’s just the small matter of the back-up I forgot to do beforehand… Yep – stupid me forgot to back up her blog in all haste to get the contract switched over after all my blog tours but before the renewal date. Consequently, I’ve managed to recover an old one, but I have some backfilling to do to get my more recent posts online again. At least I draft and save copies of all my blog posts in Microsoft Word before I upload them because otherwise I would be doomed!

Anyway, enough of that! That’s my problem to sort out. Shall we find out what November’s reading list is looking like?

 

Imaginary Friend – Stephen Chbosky

Christopher is seven years old. Christopher is the new kid in town. Christopher has an imaginary friend.

Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with Christopher at her side. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It’s as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.

At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a tree house in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.

Soon Kate and Christopher find themselves in the fight of their lives, caught in the middle of a war playing out between good and evil, with their small town as the battleground.

 

Somehow, I had absolutely no idea that Imaginary Friend was 720 pages long until I started reading it. It was only when my percentage progress didn’t seem to be going very far that I looked into it. Naturally, I only started this at the end of my holiday and with a busy return to blogging last week, I am still trying to finish this now. I’m currently just shy of 70% through so I should have this finished in the next couple of days!

 

Howling Dark – Christopher Ruocchio

The second novel of the galaxy-spanning Sun Eater series merges the best of space opera and epic fantasy, as Hadrian Marlowe continues down a path that can only end in fire.

Hadrian Marlowe is lost.

For half a century, he has searched the farther suns for the lost planet of Vorgossos, hoping to find a way to contact the elusive alien Cielcin. He has not succeeded, and for years has wandered among the barbarian Normans as captain of a band of mercenaries.

Determined to make peace and bring an end to nearly four hundred years of war, Hadrian must venture beyond the security of the Sollan Empire and among the Extrasolarians who dwell between the stars. There, he will face not only the aliens he has come to offer peace, but contend with creatures that once were human, with traitors in his midst, and with a meeting that will bring him face to face with no less than the oldest enemy of mankind.

If he succeeds, he will usher in a peace unlike any in recorded history. If he fails…the galaxy will burn.

 

As it happens, I have actually made a very brief start on this book. I was restless on Saturday and in trying to decide what to do with myself, I picked this up and read the first chapter. I decided not to carry on reading it at that time (in favour of binge-watching three hours of Chernobyl), but if nothing else it has gotten me re-acquainted with the characters and the events from the first book. I am ready to dive into this in earnest after finishing Imaginary Friend.

 

Moroda – Lauren McNeil

Linaria is a world where dragons are revered as gods, where airships rule the skies, and where war is stirring.

For Moroda, a former Goldstone, her life of luxury ends following her father’s sudden death. When her city is destroyed by a dragon, she and her sister ally with a sky pirate and narrowly escape the carnage—only to find a vigilante from an exiled race has left a trail of destruction everywhere his growing army has travelled. With compulsion at his fingertips, he strengthens his hold over Linaria’s people by stealing the power of dragons. It’s only a matter of time before Moroda, too, is forced to submit.

With war nipping at her heels and danger lurking in her companions and adversaries, Moroda must quickly learn about herself, her world, and the dragons so intent on reducing it all to ash.

 

I have received a copy of Moroda after the author contacted me to request a review. I loved the synopsis immediately and Lauren’s author profile sold it to me as well – “My books usually contain dragons, rarely feature romance, and are typically fun and hopeful.” I can’t wait to read it and share my thoughts with you all!

 

Days of Blood and Starlight – Laini Taylor

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

 

I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone on holiday so if I didn’t add this to the TBR, I’d probably just end up picking it up anyway! I can tell it’s a series that I just want to binge read so I am as well taking that into consideration. Otherwise, I’ll just to try and cram it in around my other obligations and get myself in trouble when I can’t manage it all. I sincerely hope this lives up to the first book. In my experience of Laini Taylor’s books, I’m sure it will!

 

Awa and the Dreamrealm – Isa Pearl Ritchie

What if dreams are more real than waking life?

Life is already complicated enough for Awa Bryant when she starts having weird dreams – waking dreams – and strange coincidences start appearing in her real life.
She meets dreamcharmer, Veila, a quirky glowing creature who helps to guide Awa through the mysterious Dreamrealm.

At first the Dreamrealm is a glorious escape from Awa’s daily struggles but something is not right… Soon Awa discovers she has a bigger quest, and everything she cares about is at stake. Will she be brave enough to face her fears and save her friends?

 

I’m actually really looking forward to reading this book because I am not the intended audience. That might sound totally daft, but taking part in the blog tour for this book in December gives me the perfect opportunity to read something in a genre I love, but for a younger target audience. This is marketed as aimed at middle grade/young adult. It’s also comparatively short to some of the other books on this TBR, so it should be a welcome breath of fresh air.

 

The Shining – Stephen King

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

 

I’m gradually working my way through more of Stephen King’s book, and this month I’ve taken the notion of reading The Shining. It’s probably one of his most iconic books, so it’s about time I read it, right?

I am off work for about a week and a half later this month (yay!) to use up the rest of my annual leave. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to get some reading done then, but I don’t want to oversubscribe myself my giving myself a longer list. If I do finish my reading then I have the freedom to choose what I pick up as well.

What are you reading this month?

 

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Sunday Summary – 3rd November 2019

Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary post, albeit a little late! My contract renewal was up for my blog hosting and I did not want to renew the existing contract. Consequently, I’ve had to transfer to a different one, still with the same provider, but it has resulted in some downtime (and losses – but that’s my fault). Apologies! On the plus side, I am saving about £12 a month (they tried to bump my fees up a lot), so it’s worth it!

I hope you have all had a good week? Mine has been a busy, but rewarding one. In addition to being back to work, I have also taken part in no less than four blog tours. Not only that, but I completed Blogtober! It was… an experience. I’m glad I can say that I did it! It was a challenge, compounded by having to prepare a lot of posts in advance of my holiday. I still did it though! It just goes to show how productive I can be when I put my mind to it.

So, what posts have I been sharing this week? I started the week by sharing my Halloween book recommendations in Halloween Horrors post. From H. P. Lovecraft to Stephen King, I am sure the list has something for everyone. Then, blog tour season started on Tuesday with a review of Hallowed Ground by Paul Twivy. I really enjoyed reading this book and the author’s passion for Namibia shines through the narrative.

On Wednesday, I shared my second review of the week, this one for To Snare a Witch by Jay Raven. This is an easy to read novella, seasonably appropriate and only 85 pages long. It’s great if you are looking for a quick read! Thursday’s post was my third review of the week and shared my thoughts on The Haunting of Paradise House by Killian Wolf. Reviewing this on Halloween itself felt really appropriate.

Blogtober was officially over at that point, but there is no rest for the wicked as I had one final blog tour on Friday 1st for After Whorl: Bran Reborn by Nancy Jardine. This second book of the series suited me far better as it has far less of a romantic element.

 

Books Read

This week was understandably less active on the reading front than last. I have had a lot of blog tours to draft posts for, so I’ve only made a little progress on Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. I’m now 44% through this 720-page epic, so I’ve still managed to read around 160 pages this week. Not my best, but in the circumstances, I’m happy with it. I could have read more if I was in the mood on Saturday night, but I wasn’t. I ended up watching three episodes of Chernobyl instead…

Whilst I was trying to decide what I wanted to do with myself on Saturday, I picked up one of the books due to go onto November’s TBR. I managed to read just over a chapter of Howling Dark by Christopher Ruocchio before I decided I wasn’t in the mood to read at all. I’ll hopefully be making more progress on this next week.

I’ve listened to Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman on my commute home from work a few times this week. Having listened to Scythe not that long ago, this is really easy to get into and I am really enjoying it so far!

 

Books Discovered

I have got my hands on a few books this week, which is always exciting! I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone on holiday and absolutely loved it, so I treated myself to the next two books in the series from Waterstones.

I also received a copy of The God Game from Gollancz on Friday. Having seen it advertised on Twitter, I was selected to receive a copy to review which is really exciting!

I also bought an e-book copy of The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, since it was reduced in the Amazon store. I added this book to the TBR a little earlier this year, intending to get my copy nearer the time I planned on reading it. I figured it made sense to pick it up whilst it was only 99p though… so I did!

 

Coming Up…

It’s going to be a little tough trying to organise blog posts for this week with my site being down for the domain transfer, but it is what it is! As soon as my blog goes live again I’ll be posting my reading list for November, whenever that turns out to be.

On Friday I’ll be sharing my next Shelf Control post. I’ll be looking in detail at the next book on my TBR and telling you what interests me about it and why I want to read it. As ever, I’ll then share my next wrap up on Sunday. I’m keeping this quite a light week on blog posts so I can relax a little from Blogtober, as well as catch up with my reading.

So that’s all from me! What have you been reading this week?

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Blog Tour and Giveaway: After Whorl: Bran Reborn – Nancy Jardine

Good morning and happy Friday everyone! Blogtober may be over but there is no rest for the wicked. Today’s post is my fourth and final blog tour book review of the week. After Whorl: Bran Reborn is the second book in the Celtic Fervour series by Nancy Jardine. If you haven’t seen my review of the first book, The Beltane Choice, you can read that post using the link here.

Thanks again to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organizing the tours for this series.

 

After Whorl: Bran Reborn

AD 71 Northern Roman Britain

Ravaged at the Battle of Whorl, Brennus of Garrigill is irrevocably changed. He embraces a new identity as Bran, vowing to avert Roman domination of Brigantia. Though how, when he and Ineda – his healer’s granddaughter – are forced to labour for the Roman IX Legion? Trading with the usurpers provides opportunities for gathering information, but after they are attacked by a Roman patrol, Ineda cannot be found.

Distraught with her loss, can Bran find a new occupation?

The adventures of the Garrigill Clan continue…

 

Purchase Link   http://viewbook.at/heritis

 

My Thoughts…

The events of After Whorl: Bran Reborn pick up immediately after The Beltane Choice, albeit from a new perspective. Brennus is recovered from the battle at Whorl and over the course of several months is nursed back to health. In his shame for the loss of the battle, he takes on a new identity and begins a new life. The Roman threat is never that far away, however, and he is captured by them and forced into hard labour to sustain their camps.

I was promised that this second book of the series would have a greater historical fiction element compared to The Beltane Choice. The first book of the series is a romantic fiction novel as much as it is a historical one. I preferred the style and genre of this second book a lot more. I’m not that big on romantic fiction. The more subtle elements of romance in After Whorl: Bran Reborn was a lot easier to read, whilst still present. It is a nice balance for my taste.

As with the first book, the pace of the story entertains the reader without sacrificing taking the time to link back to the back-story and elements of the first book. The references are done subtly and at the appropriate time to help us follow other characters in the series. Perhaps we will get to see more of them in the next book, After Whorl: Donning Double.

I am really enjoying reading about a new era of British History. I’m enjoying how much detail is being put into the progress of the Roman invasion and what is being done by the early Celtic tribes to try to repel them! I haven’t read anything like it before, so I am looking forward to seeing how the rest of the series pans out!

 

 

Giveaway to Win x1 signed paperback of After Whorl: Bran Reborn to one UK winner; X1 kindle copy worldwide

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494296/

 

Author Bio

Nancy Jardine writes historical fiction; time-travel historical adventure; contemporary mystery thrillers; and romantic comedy. She lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where life is never quiet or boring since she regularly child minds her young grandchildren who happen to be her next-door neighbours. Her garden is often creatively managed by them, though she does all the work! Her husband is a fantastic purveyor of coffee and tea…excellent food and wine! (Restorative, of course)

A member of the Historical Novel Society; Scottish Association of Writers; Federation of Writers Scotland; Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Independent Alliance of Authors, her work has achieved finalist status in UK competitions.

Social Media Links –

Blog: http://nancyjardine.blogspot.co.uk

Website:www.nancyjardineauthor.com/

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/XeQdkG & http://on.fb.me/1Kaeh5G

Twitter https://twitter.com/nansjar

Amazon Author page http://viewauthor.at/mybooksandnewspagehere

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5139590.Nancy_Jardine