Sunday, 28 February 2016

The Sunday Post #40 - 28th February 2016

sunday post, book blog, blogger, weekly review

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I'm gonna recap my week and give you an idea of what I have coming up plus anything else newsworthy!




First of all, hey how are you?

Second of all, this weeks Sunday Post is going to be a quick one as I am going to be off blog for two weeks.  

I'll have some scheduled posts and I hope to get some posts scheduled and catch up on my comments too during this time but I feel like a wee break plus my house needs a clean!!

Anyway to lure you back in two weeks time I have decided to have a giveaway to celebrate my second blogoversary!

Enter below, see you in two weeks!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Saturday, 27 February 2016

REVIEW - The Cherry Blossom Murder by Fran Pickering


Title: The Cherry Blossom Murder

Author: Fran Pickering

Publisher: Createspace

Release Date: 3rd January 2014

Source: Own Copy



Down-to-earth Londoner Josie has a great life in Tokyo with her new Japanese boyfriend and her friends in glamorous actress Tammy's fan club. What could possibly spoil it? Finding the strangled body of a fan club helper under the cherry blossom, that's what. 



Josie's quest to find the killer throws up some tough questions. Who was the mystery man who was the last person to see the victim alive? Who turned off the theatre sprinklers? What do sinister fan club boss Ms Kato and beautiful but fearful Tammy know? And does Josie really love her English boyfriend Dave? 


An entertaining murder mystery, rich with the atmosphere of present-day Japan, taking you backstage at Japan's unique and spectacular Takarazuka Revue as Josie fights to expose a murderer, save a priceless treasure and sort out her tangled love life.


I have a little bit of an obsession with Japan, I may never visit but with the help of a good book I can visit from the comfort of my own home and be immersed within the amazing sights and sounds.

The Cherry Blossom Murder is the perfect visit to Japan, viewed from the eyes of a young English woman, Josie who is living and working in Tokyo.

Josie is a member of a fan club dedicated to Takarazuka revue actress Tammy, these glamorous ladies put on incredible performances and Tammy is the best in her field.

Fan clubs in Japan are an extremely serious business and run by very diligent ladies who rule with an iron clipboard and mobile but when one of the fan club helpers turns up dead outside the theatre, Josie finds herself involved in the mystery of who killed the poor woman.

The story is a great whodunit but the story shares centre stage with the amazing detail of Japanese life and food, uh the food sounds amazing in fact I advise you to eat before you read this because it will leave you hungry, the descriptions are out of this world!

It just creates such visuals of Tokyo and Takarazuka and everything in between plus how a Londoner copes in the very different surrounds of Tokyo, Josie lives, laughs and loves in the city and it is a pleasure to read about her life.

She really does her best Nancy Drew to get to the bottom of the murder and she uncovers more than just the murderer, she discovers a secret that could rock the Takarazuka theatre to its core.

If you like a good murder mystery with easy humour and beautiful imagery then this is perfect for you plus it is part of a series so I hope to read more murder mysteries from Josie soon.



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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

BIZARRE BOOKS #21 - The Ladybird Book of The Mid-Life Crisis


Whilst looking through the hundreds of thousands of books on Amazon I discovered hidden gems, books that maybe have been overshadowed and have not had the credit they deserve.

They may be a bizarre, they may be funny or even unintentionally funny, they may be wonderfully cute or they may just be a total WTF!!! book.

This weekly post is a tribute to these wonderful gems and to be honest some of them are worth looking at for their reviews alone!


Ah the dreams I once had, I was going to write a book, become a famous author you know, ah the memories but the kids came along and now I spend my life tidying up their crap amongst other things, bless 'em.

This Ladybird book looks at the midlife crisis, something which at the ripe old age of 37 I am going through! 

The books has a tongue in cheek look at us people of a certain age whose dreams are firmly on hold!



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Sunday, 21 February 2016

The Sunday Post #39 - 21st February 2016

sunday post, book blog, blogger, weekly review

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I'm gonna recap my week and give you an idea of what I have coming up plus anything else newsworthy!



Just a very quick post this week as I being good and trying to catch up on my comments and visits!

Nothing exciting of note except two things, one is I got invited to the Pierce Brown Morning Star party but alas it is in London and I can't go.  But how awesome would that have been.

Second, it is my blogoversary, two years and they said it wouldn't last!.....

Have a great week!xx








Hmmmm, don't know...depends how my reading of Glass Sword and Golden Son go!


The serialisation of the John Le Carre novel The Night Manager hits UK screens tomorrow and it has a shit hot cast including Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie.



I have received physical and e-copies of some fab books this week, thank you to all the publishers for sending them! Also, some of them are my own purchases, the pics link to Goodreads for you to find 
out more!


BOUGHT FROM AMAZON







 KINDLE FREEBIES (MAY NOT BE ANYMORE!)

NOTHING!


NETGALLEY HAUL


 SENT BY PUBLISHER



Let me know if you have read any of them!



Happy Sunday!


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Saturday, 20 February 2016

RANDOM RAMBLINGS - It's about time or the lack of it.....



Time.....it is something that is very important to us all, as soon as we wake up we are aware of it and our lives can be controlled by it.

But before I start my ramble here is Doctor Who to put his spin on time....

Yep, the man with the biggest brain in the universe really does have a way with words.  Anyway my opinion of time is more like this....


I like to consider myself a reasonably organised person but hell, I just feel like I have no time, I work full time, I have two small kids, a husband, a dog and a ton of books that need my attention!!! 

I am not looking for sympathy I am just wondering how do you all do it? Drugs? Red Bull? A lightning fast typing ability? Time Travel?


As I reach my second blogoversary I am struggling to post more than a couple of times a week at the moment which pains me.
Blogging isn't meant to be a second job to me, it is supposed to be my hobby but I think I am starting to suffer from the dreaded bloggers guilt which I know I shouldn't. 

So I am asking you, how do you organise you family / work / blog balance? Is scheduling (which I have already proved useless at during a challenge last year) the way to go?  

What am I missing? Tell me more?!!!  


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Friday, 19 February 2016

BLOG TOUR: Read an excerpt of Shadow of Deception by Sophia L Johnson - GIVEAWAY


Hey and welcome to my stop on the Shadow of Deception tour, read an excerpt below of this YA/SciFi read and win a giftcard below too!


Shadow of Deception by Sophia L. Johnson 
(The Kazumi Chronicles, #1) 
Publication date: April 9th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Synopsis:

2153, Toronto, United Nation of North America (UNNA)

A horrific plane crash kills all five hundred and forty-two passengers except one. Kazumi emerges from the wreckage physically unscathed but has lost all her memories. Her miraculous survival has the whole city buzzing but all she wants is to go home, wherever home is.

After waiting a month in the hospital with no one to claim her, Kazumi is deemed homeless. She is about to be sent to a nearby teenage shelter when the nurse she grew to trust ushers her down a mysterious path, one that promises safety and maybe even the chance to recover her memories. With no better options available, Kazumi takes her chance and finds herself in the headquarters of the Sarcomeres, a secret society of genetically advanced humans hidden deep inside the Rocky Mountains. The Sarc’s heightened physical abilities and high-tech gadgets are not the only things that fascinate Kazumi. Finnegan O’Riley, a fellow Sarc she meets along the way also gets her heart racing. When Kazumi discovers that she possesses the genetic potential of a Sarcomere, she jumps at the chance to train with them, not knowing the death defying tests that are involved.

Meanwhile, a centuries-old nemesis of the Sarcomeres begins to stir in the dark, setting their dark plans in motion. Just when Kazumi thinks she can help protect her new found home, past memories surface to threaten her new identity. She soon realizes that layers of deception run deep and everyone has a secret agenda, including herself.

Who can she trust when she can’t even trust herself? One wrong decision could bring forth consequences worse than death.

Shadow of Deception is the gold medal winner at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award.


Despite my slower pace, we manage to put a good distance between us and the pursuing soldiers. The ruin that was once the train station is far behind us now. 
Just when I think we are out of harm’s way, four dark figures emerge from the trees fifty feet ahead, blocking our path. Their faces are hooded by their purple robes. 
Finn stops abruptly and I stumble forward. He tightens his grip on me so I don’t trip and fall. 
“What is it?” I gasp, feeling like a very large person is sitting on my chest. 
Neuronics,” Finn says under his breath. “Stay close to me, don’t look them in the eye, and don’t believe anything you see. Use this when you have the chance.” He hands me a gun. 
I don’t remember if I ever held a gun before, but it’s heavier than I thought. The cool and smooth metal is somewhat soothing against my hot and sweaty palm. There are red markings infused into its gleaming surface, just like the blades I saw back in the training hall. The lines and curves of the characters remind me of ancient runes. And the red ink inside seems to be moving, like a mini river flowing through a maze. This is his gun, not a stolen one from the soldiers like I thought.  
“Duck!” Finn pulls me to the ground as a massive tree trunk flies over our heads. I look up and see the four figures still standing at their original spot. Their hoods lowered, revealing their stern faces. All of them male. 
I want to ask Finn where did that tree trunk come from but the blue soldiers have caught up to us from behind. Finn springs onto his feet and collides with the crowd of blue in a flash. 
I hold up my gun with trembling hands, thinking I can help Finn clear out a few enemies. But the chaotic blur makes it difficult for me to aim. I shift my attention to the purple figures and they too have advanced closer. 
Trying to steady my aim, I heedlessly stare into the eyes of one of the Neuronics and find myself immobilized by his intense gaze. No matter how hard I try to look away, my eyes will not comply. I begin to feel something invisible reaching into my mind, like tentacles creeping through my brain, scrutinizing my every brain cell. 
NO! 
Frantically, I drop the gun and clutch my head with both hands. I need to get these tentacles out of my head. But they are growing in number and are now in every orifice of my head. 
AHH!. . . gross! 
I can see their ends flailing from my nostrils. I grab onto one with my fingers and I pinch as hard as I can. But the damn thing won’t die. The feeling is horrible, like a sickening itch in my brain that I can never scratch. 
The sensation intensifies. I drop to my knees with a piercing cry. “Get off me!” I scratch, squeeze, rake, and peel at every bit of tentacle that I can get my hands on. They are too slimy and quick. The terrible itch spreads down my neck, threatening to take over my whole body. I yank one tentacle out of my neck just before it creeps down to my chest, but three more take its place with a vengeance. 
“AHHHH . . .” 
My hands are furiously battling with the creatures when my knee bumps into something solid. Through the flailing limbs, I see the gun on the ground, the gun Finn told me to use when the time is right. 
I grab the gun and press the cold barrel to my head. The agony is insufferable. I wrap a finger around the trigger, ready for my sweet relief. 



I had my first adventure at the age of nine when I flew halfway across the globe all by myself, not knowing a word of English. I was lucky my parents didn’t decide to cheap out and ship me as a parcel instead. But all jokes aside, it was because of financial and physical limitations that I had to fly to Canada solo. It was a great adventure for a nine year-old girl to be honest; aside from the puking, the starvation due to inedible raw vegetables and smelly goo of which I later found out were called salad and cheese. But I made it. I reunited with my parents and soon welcomed my baby brother to the world.

Twenty-five years later, I have a beautiful daughter of my own and a loving husband. We all live in Toronto, enjoying the cultural diversity the city offers. The only adventures I get to have nowadays is by living vicariously through my characters.

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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

My Red Rising Re-Read!


Howlers listen up, I LOVE RED RISING!!!

Okay, okay sorry got carried away there but I have just finished my re-read of this amazing book and it has totally revved up my love of this series.

First of all, why the re-read?

Well it is because the final book in the series Morning Star has landed and I thought it would be kinda a good idea to read the series back to back, to meet the characters again, to live in their world.

Now before I ramble any further this is what I said about Red Rising back in August 2014

So I am not enjoying writing this review, why? Because it means I have finished reading this awesome book and am now in the horrible process of waiting on the second book, AAAAARGH!!
Ok hissy fit over, this book with its deadly red cover and amazing credentials all over it, mentions of the Hunger Games, Game of Thrones etc and you know what?, they are all well deserved its like the Katniss and co have been shot in to space, landed on Mars, given birth to the Game of Thrones whilst feasting on a bit of Blade Runner with a dash of Tolkien and Orwell, have I gone over the top in my description? 
No! 
I love this book, I would have read it in one sitting if life didn't get in the way (my pesky kids!).  It is set upon our red neighbour Mars, we meet Darrow a young miner deep under the surface of the planet, he is mining a precious element used to terraform planets and his job is extremely important but he is also the lowest of the low.  Mars has a class system and Darrow is a Red, the Reds are bottom of the list carrying out all the horrible tasks the highers classes wont do. 
Darrow knows no difference he continues in his work until following a heartbreaking tragedy (cue tears from me) he discovers that his life has been full of lies, he has always been told there is nothing on the surface of the red planet, so needless to say the discovery of a vast population living up top in cities living life to the max comes as a shock but with that shock comes vengeance.
The population up top is also sorted by the class system and the rulers are the Golds, selfish, beautiful, cruel they are horrible and they are responsible for the Reds being kept in the dark, Darrow is given the chance of revenge by a shadowy rebel group but it comes at a painful cost, he will need to disguise himself as a Gold and it is not a simple case of dying his hair and popping in coloured contact lenses, he is literally redesigned, his entire body is carved so it is a perfect Gold specimen, the description of this happening is truly painful, you truly feel for Darrow and his quest to infiltrate the Golds.
The rebels want him to attend The Institute a school which sorts out the weaker Golds from the superior ones.  Darrow needs to seamlessly blend in, to become one of the people he truly hates, to make them believe he is one of them. 
He succeeds but he has to endure The Passage, a bloody ordeal where the Gold's sort out their weaklings and wage war against one another, the students are put in to houses, Darrow is House Mars and they all battle against one another in a terrifying war that test these teenagers to their limits, Darrow discovers who is the cruelest, the kindest, the most intelligent and so on but he also finds himself thinking of these Gold's as brothers and sisters as his time in The Institute goes on, is he losing sight of his original mission and becoming a Gold?
Well you will need to read and find out, the one thing that made me think this book would be good is a map, all of my favourite books have maps (Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings) and I constantly found myself referring to it as Darrow and his fellow Golds moved across their battleground.
I really did feel bereft when I finished this book, I love it when a book can truly blow you away like that, I know that pitting teenagers against one another is hardly a new idea but the setting on Mars along with the class system and language they use makes this an extremely compelling read.
I cannot wait to read more about Darrow, I want to discover more about the planet he is living on and obviously knowing what happens at the end of this book I need to know if he completes his mission.
Red Rising is one book you need to add to your bookshelf now, it makes The Hunger Games look tame and I guarantee you will love it.
So yeah, I loved it!

Sorry I should I say I love it and with this second read there are characters that have jumped past Darrow to become favourites, such as Sevro who on my first read came across as a little creepy but now he is a totally crazy badass plus Pax is amazing too, so loyal and soft but a giant of a man who could probably crush your skull with a squeeze of his fist.

Plus Mars is just an amazing setting, having watched The Martian this week I am having a total Mars overload and the red planet is the perfect setting for any science fiction novel or film

This re-read has made me appreciate the characters, the setting, the story even more and I am very excited to start book two Golden Son.

Darrow, well I feel he is living on borrowed time as a gold, his transformation from lowest of the low red to superior gold has been traumatic to say the least, how will his story end?

Well now that I have all three books in my possession, I hope to know that answer soon!

So have you read this series? 

Have you visited www.redrising.com to find out what house you belong to? I am Apollo!!



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BIZARRE BOOKS #20 - How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack by Chuck Sambuchino


Whilst looking through the hundreds of thousands of books on Amazon I discovered hidden gems, books that maybe have been overshadowed and have not had the credit they deserve.

They may be a bizarre, they may be funny or even unintentionally funny, they may be wonderfully cute or they may just be a total WTF!!! book.

This weekly post is a tribute to these wonderful gems and to be honest some of them are worth looking at for their reviews alone!


Garden Gnome's - love 'em or hate 'em, what harm can they do, they are cute little bearded dudes, usually with a fishing pole sitting harmlessly in your garden..........well they are supposed to be.

Gnomes are the new zombies, stupid looking but deadly, oh and everywhere.  Gardens everywhere have these deadly demons waiting in situ to creep to your house and wreak havoc!

You need to be able to defend yourself, you need to read this book!


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