Reading List – October 2020

Hello everyone and thank you for checking out my reading list post for October. I don’t know about you but I’m really starting to notice the nights are drawing in faster. I actually enjoy this time in autumn. It’s still light when I leave work, but by the time I’ve eaten and gotten cosy for the evening with a cup of tea, it’s dark. It makes you feel justified curling up with a good book!

Speaking of which, would you like to find out what I’m reading this month? I haven’t made an ambitious list this month. I’ll freely admit I lost a bit of steam last month and didn’t read half as much as I planned at the beginning in my reading list. Ultimately, reading is a hobby. I’m not going to force myself to read if I really don’t want to, and I didn’t.

This month I have a little less flexibility. Almost all of the books listed are books I’ve signed up to the blog tours for. The last two are actually touring in November, but very early in November. Let’s find out what they are!

 

Limelight – Graham Hurley

Goodreads – Limelight

Life is dangerous. No one survives it. Enora Andressen makes a series of mind-blowing discoveries when her friend disappears in this compelling thriller set in an idyllic Devon town.

Actress Enora Andressen is catching up with her ex-neighbour, Evelyn Warlock, who’s recently retired to the comely East Devon seaside town of Budleigh Salterton. The peace, the friendship of strangers and the town’s prestigious literary festival . . . Evelyn loves them all.

Until the September evening when her French neighbour, Christianne Beaucarne, disappears. Enora has met this woman. The two of them have bonded. But what Enora discovers over the anguished months to come will put sleepy Budleigh Salterton on the front page of every newspaper in the land . . .

Limelight is a completely gripping and fascinating thriller featuring strong characters forced to make impossible decisions, the impact of which will be felt far beyond their quiet town… Perfect for fans of JOHN HARVEY and PETER ROBINSON.

What readers are saying about the Enora Andressen series:

“A first rate mystery with an exciting premise” Booklist on Off Script “Excellent characterization and plotting . . . I read it in a couple of days and loved it” NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars for Off Script “A very strong series debut . . . An intriguing start to a promising new series” Booklist on Curtain Call

 

I love a good thriller, and this is perhaps the best time of year to curl up and read one! Coming from a reasonably small place myself, I think I’ll be able to relate to the atmosphere and sleepiness that is the setting of the book. Although it is the fourth book in a series, I get the impression that it’s pretty standalone and therefore won’t matter that I haven’t read the previous books. At least, I’m hoping so.

I’m looking forward to checking out this thriller. From what I have read, it’s quite an atmospheric and slow build mystery so I’m expecting a lot of world-building, which I love.

 

Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord – The Secret Landlord

Goodreads – Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord

Get ready to learn what really happens behind closed doors.

Landlords have become one of the most hated groups in society. Parasites, they’re often called. And there’s a lot of them. The Treasury estimates there are almost 2.6 million landlords in the UK with around 5.45 million rental properties.

But the real life of a professional landlord is very different to what most people think. From burglaries and break-ins to drug raids, police warrants, crazy tenant antics, bailiffs, squatters, lawsuits, wrecked properties, interfering council officers, game-playing freeholders to moments of heartfelt joy and happiness, the life of a landlord is never dull. Especially when the government keeps moving the goalposts.

This explosive front line exposé blows the lid off what it’s really like to be a landlord and the shocking reality of renting out a property. Hovering close to a nervous breakdown and likely suffering PTSD, The Secret Landlord exposes truths rarely shared. Stories that will grip you, move you and smack you in the face.

This is the truth, the other side of the door.

 

I don’t read much non-fiction, but when I was approached by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources about a potential tour for this book I was intrigued immediately. I’m glad the author decided to go ahead and schedule it, because now I get to read the book!

I want to read this book to get a different perspective on landlords. I suppose I have dealt with a couple in my time and I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have the best experience with them at all. It’s not a wealth of experience though and I don’t want to tar everyone with the same brush. Yes, there are bad landlords, but I know there are tenants just as bad – I’ve dealt with one myself. I hope there’s plenty of these stories in the book!

 

Unbroken Truth – Lukas Lundh

Goodreads – Unbroken Truth

Beneath the arcane Rustpeaks lies the city of Lansfyrd, capital of one of the Dustlands many Holds. Visibility is at an all-time low and airships rumble through the skies. Detective Lentsay “Len” Yoriya of the Lansfyrd PD is a homocide detective stuck at a burglary assignment as punishment for loving the wrong person. When a xenophobic radio-shaman is murdered and the killers try to frame the city’s oppressed insectoids, Len knows better. But there is an election coming up, and the tension simmering in the city is reaching a boiling point. High-profile murders are rarely uncomplicated.

Meanwhile Len’s partner, Vli-Rana Talie, works as a lector at the Lansfyrd University, trying to keep her research going in an increasingly xenophobic environment. As the temperature rises for her partner, Vli will soon realize that delving into history, that some would prefer was forgotten, will carry risks of its own.

 

Science-fiction is one of my go-to genres to read and Unbroken Truth is my sci-fi fix for the month. For not being a big fan of politics in real life, I really enjoy the conflict it brings about in novel plotlines. This seems to be a prevalent part of the novel so I’m excited to see how this plays out!

This blog tour is now taking part in November, however, it was supposed to be at the beginning of this month. This is why I have ended up with so many tour dates in a short space of time, but I’m sure I’ll manage.

 

Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper of Whitechapel – M. K. Wiseman

Goodreads – Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper of Whitechapel

I am afraid that I, Sherlock Holmes, must act as my own chronicler in this singular case, that of the Whitechapel murders of 1888. For the way in which the affair was dropped upon my doorstep left me with little choice as to the contrary. Not twelve months prior, the siren’s call of quiet domesticity and married life had robbed me of Watson’s assistance as both partner and recorder of my cases. Thus, when detective inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard required a lead—any lead—I found myself forced to pursue Jack the Ripper alone and without the aid of my faithful friend. And all for the most damnedable of reasons:

Early on in my investigations, Dr. John H. Watson, formerly of 221b Baker Street, emerged as my prime suspect.

 

I really enjoyed reading M K Wiseman’s Magical Intelligence this year. On that basis alone I would have signed up to a blog tour for a book by her. I also love the mystery of Jack the Ripper, so the fact that this blog tour features both is huge! By the time I signed up for this tour I think I knew about the delay to Unbroken Truth, but I couldn’t pass it up. I’m really looking forward to delving into this. I only hope it lives up to expectation!

 

Rags of Time – Michael Ward

Goodreads – Rags of Time

London.1639.

Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.

A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.

But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.

Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.

Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.

In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.

Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?

And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?

Rags of Time is the first book in an engaging and entertaining new historical crime series, set during the upheaval of the 17th Century.

 

Rags of Time is my current read. Whilst it’s on the back burner for a few days until my immediate blog tour obligations are done, I will be reading this in between the other books on my list. I have read most of the book now; I can’t wait to see how it ends! I’m certainly not waiting until the end of the month!

 

That’s my reading list for this month! Do any of the books catch your eye? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 27th September 2020

I can’t believe I’m sat here writing another Sunday Summary post already. This week has been busy and seems to have flown by!

I shared a couple of posts with you earlier this week. My first post was a review of a book I read and adored earlier this year. The fact that I went on to read the rest of the series published to date in around a couple of months speaks volumes! If you haven’t checked out my review of The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, please take a look.

Friday saw the return of my regular feature post, Shelf Control. It has been over a month since I last shared one of these posts. It was good fun to have another look at my TBR and feature the next book on the list and share why I want to read it.

 

Books Read

I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading this week, but not as much as usual. Work has been quite busy and on top of that I’m stepping up with studying for my exam next month. I don’t count that towards my blogging (I’m sure a textbook on how securities are settled across the global financial market would bore you all half to death), but probably half of my reading time was spent on this over the course of the week.

When I wasn’t studying, I picked up Rags of Time by Michael Ward and picked up where I left off last week. I had only really just started this as of last week’s Sunday Summary update, so I’ve probably read around 40% of the book this week. Not the best, but not worst either. Honestly, I’ve been feeling a little burned out over the last week and I haven’t read as much as normal, purely because I didn’t want to. I can’t force myself to and I won’t. I read for fun – if it becomes a chore then it’s time to stop.

During one particular day when I was feeling burned out, but also slightly guilty for it, I turned to the faithful audiobook by way of compromise. I said I wanted to keep going with Jack the Ripper: Case Closed and I have. I sat and listened to more of this whilst working on a knitting project I’ve started. Even though I was doing two things at once, I felt like I could switch off a bit more. It helped me wind down a bit, but also feel more motivated to get back into reading again. Around 15% of my progress reading of Rags of Time was done this morning after that night – put it that way!

 

Books Discovered

Again, I haven’t added a single book to my TBR this week. In fairness, I have been doing other things (blogging, studying, knitting etc)so I haven’t really been looking at books…

 

Coming Up…

Since I am stepping up the studying and trying to catch up on my TBR, I’m only going to share next month’s reading list mid next week. I also have a blog tour early in October that I will need to do the reading for (pretty sharpish) so I’m not going to overburden myself with too many posts.

I’ll round off the week with a Sunday Summary as usual.

 

That’s all from me until next week! Have a good one and I’ll see you around!

 

 

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Shelf Control #24 – 25/09/2020

Happy Friday everyone! Welcome to my first Shelf Control post in a little while. It’s actually my first post of this type in over a month! Since I have been taking part in blog tours this regular feature post was temporarily put on hold – but we’re back!

In case you haven’t read one of these posts before, Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

Today’s featured book is part of a genre that I don’t read all that often. I really should make more of an effort to read it because I really enjoy it when I do! I like the sound of this book in particular as I think it includes a lot of humour.

Shall we check out today’s featured book?

 

You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself – David McRaney

You are not so smart

Goodreads – You Are Not So Smart

An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise.

Whether you’re deciding which smart phone to purchase or which politician to believe, you think you are a rational being whose every decision is based on cool, detached logic, but here’s the truth: You are not so smart. You’re just as deluded as the rest of us–but that’s okay, because being deluded is part of being human.

Growing out of David McRaney’s popular blog, You Are Not So Smart reveals that every decision we make, every thought we contemplate, and every emotion we feel comes with a story we tell ourselves to explain them, but often these stories aren’t true. Each short chapter–covering topics such as Learned Helplessness, Selling Out, and the Illusion of Transparency–is like a psychology course with all the boring parts taken out.

Bringing together popular science and psychology with humor and wit, You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of our irrational, thoroughly human behavior.

 

My Thoughts…

Psychology is the main non-fiction topic that I’ll read, but picking up a non-fiction book in itself is rare for me. More often than not I read to escape reality, and so I find myself reading more fiction. I do want to make more of an effort to read different things though and I think You Are Not So Smart will be a perfect read for me. I like the psychology element, but also the humour and wit implied in the synopsis.

Have you read You Are Not So Smart? Is it as good as it sounds? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Book Review: The Alloy of Law – Brandon Sanderson

I’m really excited to be sharing my review of The Alloy of Law with you today! If you are a regular reader you will know that Brandon Sanderson has become one of my favourite authors of all time. The first books/series of his I read is the Mistborn trilogy which precedes The Alloy of Law. I read those books as a teenager so it has taken me a while to get back into the series. Honestly, too long! It was worth the wait though!

 

The Allow of Law – Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads – The Alloy of Law

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will.

After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

 

My Thoughts…

It’s natural to be dubious about how an author attempts to replicate the brilliance of a previous book or series. It’s all-to-easy to end up being disappointed because a reader’s expectations are far too high. I did have very high expectations for this additional series, but Brandon Sanderson pulled off recreating the magic of the first series and updating it to fit a whole new character base and setting. More often than not, this doesn’t work as it doesn’t have the same feel as the original, but that’s not the case with The Alloy of Law in my opinion at all.

I love the steampunk/western vibe of The Alloy of Law. It has a significantly more modern feel than the previous books; an element I really enjoyed. I loved the Mistborn trilogy and I wasn’t sure how well I would take to the jump in time period between the novels. I can hand on heart say that I think I preferred it to the original series.

There is more to this second series than the first, namely, the inclusion of Twinborn ability. I don’t remember much if any of this in the Mistborn trilogy, but it’s a huge part of this modern reboot. I think it adds a lot of depth to the magic system already established and fits with a modernisation/advancement theme. It’s a natural fit with the new storyline set in the future – more is going to be known about the ability and it will have been cultured into society as an ‘advancement’.

The dynamic between the two main characters, Wax and Wayne is hilarious. It’s one of my favourite things about the storyline as a whole. The two work together so well even though they are polar opposites as individuals. Wax, the lawman, cannot leave an injustice and always takes it upon himself to right a wrong. He can’t leave alone and walk away even if he wants to. I admire that about him – it’s one of his more altruistic points. Equally, however, he isn’t perfect at all. He despises his social stature and the expectations of society about him; he actively pushes the boundaries of propriety as well which is very funny to read.

Wayne, on the other hand, is Wayne. He is wicked with a firearm and excellent at going undercover but as a person, he is 100% more laid back than Wax. His ‘trading’ (stealing) habit is trademark to his character and it’s funny because he has a strange sense of what has value. He doesn’t steal the conventional items for the most part, but what he picks up does miraculously prove invaluable to the duo.

The biggest advocate of how much I love this book is how quickly I have gone on to read the rest of the series (published so far). I read the next two books within just over two months after finishing this one. With my reading schedule, that’s impressive! I wouldn’t hesitate to go back and read it again either – I enjoyed it that much!

I might yet do that, one day anyway…

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 20th September 2020

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s catch up in this Sunday Summary post! I hope you have all had a good week, whatever you have gotten up to.

Mine has been a busy week! Aside from reading and blogging, I’ve spent a good deal of time on home improvements. I’ve spent a good few evenings this week re-painting my downstairs loo. I have friends coming over next week for afternoon tea, so I wanted to get the most garish room in the house dealt with before then. I’m not joking when I say it was Kawasaki green…

It’s not anymore!

Around that, I’ve been writing blog posts about my Top Ten Fantasy Novel Covers in Tuesday’s ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ post and on Thursday, I shared my review of The Rue Stone by Janet Stock for the book birthday blitz blog tour. Try and say ‘book birthday blitz blog tour’ quickly five times, I dare you!

 

Books Read

Although I have been doing a lot of work on the house, I’ve still managed to get a fair amount of reading done. My top priority at the start of the week was to read The Rue Stone since I was taking part in the blog tour on Thursday. The Rue Stone is an 80-page or so novella, so I actually read this in one sitting one evening. It was nice to read something short for a change and I enjoyed the storyline!

I’ve also started reading Rags of Time this week. I haven’t made huge progress as I’ve been decorating and general house bits, but I’ll dive into this properly tonight once this post goes live.

Since I haven’t really been in a position to sit and read a book, I’ve made a lot more progress with listening to Jack the Ripper: Case Closed. I’ve now listened to around 4-and-a-half hours this week, so I’m nearly halfway through the audiobook. I’m finished with decorating again for a little while, but I’ll definitely have to keep up with listening to this and finish it soon.

 

Books Discovered

I haven’t added a book to my TBR since the 5th August. For once, it’s actually starting to go down. I’m starting to think there’s something wrong with me…

I’m actually quite glad about it, to be honest – the length of it is entirely ridiculous and I need to get on top of it. It’s nice to see the number dropping!

 

Coming Up…

I want to share another book review with you this week. I have a few on my list that I need to catch up with. Next week I’ll be starting with a follow-on series to a trilogy I read years ago. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson is set in the Mistborn universe but in a completely new timeline far into the future of the previous books. I’ve gone on to read all of the published books in this second follow-on series since,  but I’ll just be reviewing the first book in the coming days. I hope you can join me and check out what will be my glowing review!

Nearly a month after I planned to share this post (I got my blog tour days/dates mixed up so I realised last minute I had to postpone), I’ll be sharing a Shelf Control post on Friday! Yes, blog tour commitments and such have meant that I haven’t shared any regular Friday features for a month now. But, Shelf Control is back this Friday and featuring a humorous non-fiction book that’s all about the psychology of the mind.

As always I’ll round off the week with another Sunday Summary post.

 

However, that’s all from me in this week’s Sunday Summary update! What have you been reading? I’ll catch up with you in the next one.

 

 

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Book Birthday Blitz Review: The Rue Stone – Janet Stock

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s review of The Rue Stone as part of the organised book birthday blitz blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. The Rue Stone is an entertaining fantasy novella, so if that sounds like something you are interested in, please stick around to read on. Before diving into the detail, I’ like to say a huge thank you to Rachel and the author of the novella, Janet Stock, for the opportunity to take part in the tour!

In addition to my review, today’s post also provides the opportunity for UK readers to enter a giveaway and win a paperback copy of the novella! Those details can be found later in the post! For now, though, let’s talk about what I loved about the book!

 

The Rue Stone – Janet Stock

Goodreads – The Rue Stone

The rue is a mysterious and rare being who is rarely seen, and Janna is amazed when one arrives at the inn where she works, looking for a room. The next morning, her life has changed, and she is left wondering whether she will ever see him again, but only time and the rue stone know the answer to that question.

 

Purchase Links –  Amazon UK      Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

Whether you are a regular reader of fantasy novels or are looking to explore the genre, The Rue Stone is a perfect read regardless of audience. As a fairytale-like novella, it is really easy to pick up; there isn’t a huge commitment to a long, complex storyline to invest into. I personally read The Rue Stone in one sitting, so it’s also ideal for anyone who doesn’t have much time to set aside and read.

Even though the novella is only 80 pages, there is plenty of beautiful descriptions and folklore incorporated into the narrative. The rue are mysterious, magical beings of legend. Janna has heard the stories, but she learns the truth of them when a rue walks into the inn she works in and changes her life. There is a great deal of mystery about the rue and they have plenty of potential to be explored further.

There is an element of romance in the novella, but I liked that it didn’t overshadow the plot. Regular readers of mine will know that I’m not a big romance fan, but the budding relationship in The Rue Stone isn’t too heavy.

The amount of detail in the background of the story is well proportioned with current events. I would, however, like to see more from this world and the backstory to the rue explored further. Having read this particular story from the perspective of Janna I’m intrigued to know how different the story would be from Arval’s viewpoint. There is definitely potential in this story for further stories and I would definitely be interested in seeing Janet’s fantasy world explored in more depth.

 

Author Bio

Having written all of my life, I decided to self-publish my writing when I turned 50. I have published four books since then. Two are collections of short stories; Dark & Fluffy; Dark & Fluffy II and 500 Words, which is flash fiction. My latest book The Rue Stone is a fantasy novella.

My passion is medieval fiction, and I am working on my first novel The Little Servant – The Wait’s Son, set in the 12th century, in Lincoln, where I live.

All four books are available on Amazon.

Social Media Links –

www.janetstockwriter.wordpress.com

fb Janetstockwriter

@janetstock12

 

Giveaway to Win 5 paperback copies of The Rue Stone (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK 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 be 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/33c69494390/

Top Ten Tuesday – Fantasy Novel Covers

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s fun Top Ten Tuesday post. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Whilst I don’t take part every week, I do enjoy some of the topics that are chosen to feature and this week is one of those. It is one of the broader topics I have seen for a while as the topic centres around book covers. Which ones are entirely at my discretion!

In today’s post, I have decided to feature my top ten fantasy novel covers. Whether it’s just the aesthetic or artistic appeal of a cover or the clues they give as to the plot, characters or tone of the novel, I love each and every one of the covers listed below for a variety of reasons. I have read the vast majority of these books, with just one exception. There are also a couple of entries where I share a series because I couldn’t narrow it down to just one book! They all have a similar style, so I think it’s only fair to share them all.

Shall we find out my top ten fantasy book covers?

 

Mistborn Trilogy – Brandon Sanderson

 

 

Caraval – Stephanie Garber

Caraval

 

The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson

 

The Black Prism – Brent Weeks

 

The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

 

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

 

King of Thorns – Mark Lawrence

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

 

Circe – Madeline Miller

 

The Relic Guild trilogy – Edward Cox

 

So, here are my top ten book covers! Do you agree with any of my selections? What is your favourite fantasy novel cover? It can be featured here in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post, or any other cover you like! As always, I would love to hear from you!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 13th September 2020

Hello everyone and welcome to another Sunday Summary weekly update from me! I really appreciate you guys taking time out of your day to have a read my posts, so thank you very much! So what have I been up to this week?

On Wednesday I shared my first discussion post in a while. The particular topic is one I have debated for a while now – Book Subscription Boxes – Yay or Nay? If you haven’t already checked out my post, please have a read and let me know your thoughts! Then, on Friday, I shared a review of Freedom of the Creed by Nicholas Coleridge has part of the recent blog tour. If you are a fan of Western novels, this is definitely one for you to take a look at!

 

Books Read

I started the week by reading a bit more of Lord of the Flies by William Goldberg. I had to set this aside in favour of reading Freedom of the Creed for my blog tour post on Friday. Since then, I haven’t picked it up again though. It was okay to read, but not exciting enough to draw me back to it again. I have a lot of other books to read that I’ll probably enjoy more, so I decided to DNF this one.

As mentioned above, the next book on my list was Freedom of the Creed and I read this almost in its entirety this week. I had just started Freedom of the Creed last week, but with the upcoming tour this was my focus for the majority of the week, finishing it on Thursday.

For the first time since July, I listened to part of an audiobook this week! I haven’t picked up any in a while. Honestly, I think I almost listened to them too much when redecorating and I wanted a break. Now I’ve had that break, and rather ironically I might add, I started listening to Jack the Ripper: Case Closed yesterday when I started doing some more decorating! I have listened to the first few chapters now, so made a solid start. I’ll be chipping away at more redecorating this week so I expect I’ll listen to more of this as I’m going.

 

Books Discovered

Nothing to add again this week! This has to be a record by now, surely?!

 

Coming Up…

I’m going to share a Top Ten Tuesday post this week, with a superficial subject. This week, I’ve decided to share my top ten fantasy novel book covers. This won’t just be limited to books I’ve read either, so I could be featuring a lot of different books in this post!

On Thursday I’m taking part in yet another blog tour for The Rue Stone by Janet Stock. It’s a short fantasy novella, around 80 pages. Naturally, this will be my reading focus over the next few days.

As always, I’ll be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary post to update you all on my week and all things bookish!

 

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post, however. I hope you have had a great week, enjoy the next one, and I’ll see you again for another catch up in a week’s time!

 

 

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Blog Tour Review: Freedom of the Creed – Nicholas Coleridge

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour post for Freedom of the Creed by Nicholas Coleridge. In today’s blog tour post, I am featuring my review of the book. Thank you for checking out my post and also a huge thank you to the author and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour.

If you enjoy western-themed novels then saddle up and read on, as this book (and review) should be right up your street! Don’t forget to check out the other blogs that have featured in the tour as well. The details can be found at the bottom of my post.

 

Freedom of the Creed – Nicholas Coleridge

Goodreads – Freedom of the Creed

The Woe-Be-Gone boys, a vicious gang of outlaws rushes south through the American frontier, leaving desolation in their wake.

On their trail is Saoirse Creed, a bounty hunter with a debt to pay. Her only chance to pay that debt rides with the gang, but what depths will she sink to achieve her goal.

Now, as she tracks them down to a town on the precipice of despair, Saoirse must overcome the final hurdle in order to capture her man and return to a life that she thought was all but lost.

 

Purchase Links – Amazon UK      Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

It was Freedom of the Creed’s western theme that appealed to me. It’s not a genre I pick up very often, but when I do, I really enjoy them! I suppose the most recent read that it reminds me of is Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series.

Saoirse (pronounced Sur-sha) is by far the character I loved best. She is a wickedly smart and fierce young woman. Her motivations are largely unclear for the majority of the book, making her passion and drive in the chase an intriguing mystery. I’m glad the pronunciation of her name is clarified early on in the book – I couldn’t even have made a guess! It is unusual and makes her doubly stand out as a unique character.

The plot is full of deceit, subterfuge and layers of depth that make it easy to immerse you in the detailed storyline. Exciting clues and revelations to further developments of the story are timed perfectly for maximum impact. The pace of the novel is well balanced and allows for full, detailed setting of the scene whilst still including plenty of action to drive events forward. It’s a steadily fast-paced novel but equally doesn’t come across as rushed in any way.

The author really captured the essence of old-fashioned attitudes in small communities very well. Each individual character has their own distinct personality, but they also gel together as a community. There is enough commonality between them that implies years of co-existence together in a desolate, now derelict town. I could picture the characters and their interactions in the town of Kites Run so clearly! The Woe-Be –Gone boys are a sort of community in themselves and I enjoyed the dynamic and power struggle within the group. They’re also the seedy types of human beings that you love to hate; routing for Saoirse in her hunt for them couldn’t be easier.

I really enjoyed the conclusion of the book and there is a lot of potential for the remainder of the series. I can’t wait to see where Saoirse and Wolfe find themselves in the next chapter of their story. Given how well the book has been written, I am amazed this is the author’s first novel!

 

Author Bio

N.J Coleridge finds time to write when he is not performing his official duties as his daughter’s “royal servant.”

He has always had a passion for the frontier and the old-west. Freedom of the Creed is his first novel.

For more adventures featuring Saoirse be sure to read the novella “A Prayer for the Dying”.

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNickColeridge/

Book Subscription Boxes – Yay or Nay?

Book Subscription Boxes have really taken off in recent years. If you are stuck for finding a new read, need a push to pick up something different or are just curious, book subscription boxes are a good way to expand your reading horizons.

Just to give an idea of how many subscription services there are, and the themes/genres they cater to, here is a list published by the Independent that may be of interest. I couldn’t possibly list them all here, but to summarise – if there is a niche, it’s probably catered for.

I’ve toyed with the idea of one before; I’ve even done a decent amount of research to find one that’s a good fit for me. I always find myself talking myself out of it, however, and for the same reasons. I’m not saying that books subscription boxes aren’t great – others really enjoy them. If you do, I’d love to hear why! But here are my reasons and reservations over signing up to one personally: –

 

Books

I don’t like the idea of not having a choice over the books I would get. There is nothing worse for me than not liking a book, especially when I’ve paid for it. I say that at the risk of sounding tight-fisted, but that’s not the case at all. I spend more than enough on books. In fact, I buy a lot of the books I read and feature on my blog in one format or another. But if I spend my hard-earned money on a book and then I don’t enjoy it, or can’t read it, I feel cheated. Even I get it wrong. There are books I have ‘vetted’ and bought expecting to love them but didn’t. It’s disappointing, but it happens. I did the best thing I could with them and donated them to charity.

With a book subscription box, I’m one further step removed from the book or books I’ll receive. I’m pretty open-minded about what I’ll pick up, but that doesn’t mean I’ll read and love everything I get. I’m of the opinion that with a subscription box, I’m at more risk of getting something I wouldn’t want than if I just went to my local bookstore and chose something for myself. For the same reason, I don’t get on with book clubs. Ultimately, I don’t want to invest (financially or my time) into something I don’t want to read. There’s plenty more out there I will want to read. It’s as simple as that.

Yes, subscription boxes are more likely to encourage you to broaden your horizons. I don’t dispute that. If you love that then a subscription might work for you. Personally, if I want to try something new or that I’m unsure of, I’m more likely to try and borrow it from my library instead. That way if I don’t like it, I haven’t lost anything.

 

Book Related Merchandise

I have watched a good few ‘unboxing’ videos on YouTube and some of the subscription boxes are really cute with their themed book and extra goodies. From bookmarks to badges and beverage samples, they have an array of complementary items perfect for book lovers.

My personal bugbear is that after a year of subscriptions I’d be fast on my way to clogging up the house with, for want of a word, crap. Yes, themed bookmarks and little candles are cute, but can I possibly use them all? No. I don’t even have particularly like-minded friends I could pass them onto. Some come with some beautiful stationery, which I admit I would like. Let’s be honest though – I’m a stationery fiend and I don’t need any help hoarding more!

 

Pricing

Can I talk about the elephant in the room and say that some subscription box services are really expensive?! Not all of them are – I feel the need to jump in with that in case there are those interested that haven’t really done the research into it to know the market. But still, how some of them justify the price, I’m not sure.

The prices of the subscription range featured in the Independent’s article range from 9.99 to 34.99 per month. I find the top end of that to be quite pricey. I have found other boxes advertised for as much as £49 online. Fair enough, quite often they feature new or exclusive stuff. I suppose what it boils down to is whether you are willing to pay for that. That’s an entirely personal choice, but for me, it’s a no. I’d rather spend my money on another book instead.

 

Have you received a book subscription box before? What do you think of them? I’d love to hear your experiences or thoughts about them!

 

 

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