Friday 26 April 2019

Book Blogger Hop: At the end of a hard day, how do you get yourself psyched about writing a book review?

At the end of a hard day, how do you get yourself psyched about writing a book review?

Simple answer this one: I don't.

At the end of a hard day, I can't psyche myself up to do anything blog related. Somedays, I can't even bring myself to read so I turn to something mindless on Netflix to lose myself in.

This is why I have so many issues now with blog tours, book blitzes and cover reveals and why the quantity featured on my blog has significantly dropped.

I've had it with promo materials being sent in the day before (which for me in the UK usually means the night before) and having to try and muster the energy to prep a post and get it scheduled to go live on time.
I used to bust my ass to meet the commitments before I came to the conclusion that the PR people I'd signed up with weren't always meeting what I felt was their commitment to their hosts (like sending stuff through in a timely fashion!) so I just started saying no.
If I'd signed up for something and the material wasn't sent through in a timely manner (aka at least a full day in advance) then I wasn't busting a gut to meet their deadlines.
After all, we're not paid to do this.
We do this because we want to share our love of books and to help support authors/stories we care about in a 'crowded' market.
We receive nothing for our participation except for personal satisfaction and the occasional thank you.

I'm the same for review books.
I've had them sent through the day before a review was due. On multiple occasions and I'm not joking.
This is just completely taking the mick out of those giving up their time to review so I drew the line there too.
I only sign up for reviews in moderation and if someone thinks they can give me any less than a week to review, it ain't happening.
Honestly, even a week can be a problem as I'm a mood reader and if the book doesn't fit the current mood, I have to force myself to read it... Which never ends well.

It's taken me a long time to realize that running my blog should be fun.
It should not be another source of stress.
If something makes running my blog a repeated stress then that thing needs to be eliminated from my blog.
I no longer care about doing what the 'cool kids' are doing.
I, maybe surprisingly, no longer feel bad about not signing up for more release blitzes, tours and arcs from both authors I love and authors just starting out, because I just don't have the time and sometimes you just have to prioritise yourself and your own well-being over the bookish juggernaut. 

Friday 19 April 2019

Book Blogger Hop: Do you check how many views your posts have received?

Do you check how many views your posts have received? 

I load blogger onto my 'posts' page and never bother clicking onto the 'stats' page.
For one, I have no idea how accurate blogger is at tracking this. I've heard conflicting information and just don't know what to believe.
For another, I have no idea how many views would be considered 'good' and what would be considered 'bad'.
Is there a good or bad?
Surely good and bad is all relative?
What if I viewed my stats and was horribly disappointed in the numbers? That would make all the effort expended in writing, formatting and publishing posts completely wasted, wouldn't it?
What if there were no views?
Or the only views I had for a day were from the couple of times I visited my own blog to grab some post links for social media?
No one likes shouting aimlessly into a void and I'm my own worst critic. My stats could be awesome but with nothing to compare them to, I'd feel like they weren't good enough. Trust me, I'd never review them and think they were good enough... But that's just me.
I guess it all comes down to why you blog.
Do you blog to share your love of books, connect with other readers and to feel like you're part of a little bookish community, or do you blog to feel like the biggest cheese at the market?
I personally blog for the community, the connection and the love of it but I'd be lying if I said I didn't hope that people actually read my blog on the regular and therefore made the effort expended worth it. Plus, it's also nice to think that, even in the smallest little way, I'm having an impact and convincing other readers to try new authors or to read a story I absolutely loved.
I know I've certainly been influenced and bought books because other bloggers have recommended them.

What about you? Do you check your stats? Do you find it motivating?

Saturday 13 April 2019

Review: The King of Her Heart by Emma Kingsley

After watching her two best friends first date then marry celebrities, Paisley Goldberg is sure a life in the spotlight isn’t for her. She could never fall in love with a famous man... But then she meets Alex and suddenly she’s left questioning her biggest boyfriend rule.

Alex is smart, fun, and, like Paisley, spends his free time reviewing films online. They would be a match made in Heaven. Except he’s royalty, and there’s no stepping away from that level of fame.

Prince Alessandro has spent years in New York running away from his royal duties in Belmonte. With a flourishing software business and philanthropic pursuits to fill his days, he finds himself happy. But then Paisley arrives, and he sees what he’s been missing all along.

As the two of them fall into a deep, intimate friendship, they struggle with their secret desires for more. Alex never wanted fame, but it’s in his name, in his blood. He can’t just throw it away.

Most girls want to be princesses when they grow up, but Paisley wants to keep on being a waitress. She doesn’t belong in Alex’s world, and as time goes on, that becomes more and more apparent.

Can a waitress and a future king be meant to be together forever?

*Read via Kindle Unlimited*


Short novel.

Alternating, first person.


No, part of a series of interconnected standalones.






This was one of those books that were just ok.
The writing was ok, the story was ok, there's nothing much more to say beyond that it was enjoyable while reading but it's completely forgettable.

The story reads like a Christmas Hallmark movie about a waitress who has been chatting to a guy online over their love of movies with no clue he is a prince until they take the plunge and meet and the building attraction established via their online chats explodes into love.
But I use the term explodes very loosely because nothing explodes in this book. It's so squeaky clean that I almost lost my freaking mind. The heat level is very much hand-holding and a kiss on the lips but it's a sweet story and it kept me amused for a few hours so I can't really complain.

Oh! And I should say that even though I compared it to a Christmas Hallmark movie, the book isn't actually set at Christmas. It just has those magical cheesy vibes to it.

Nope, hate the cover. She looks like she's gearing up to take a bite out of his face.


Friday 12 April 2019

Book Blogger Hop: Do you re-read previous books in a series before reading the new one?

When reading a series, do you re-read the previous book/s before reading the newly released book?

There isn't an easy answer to this! Whether I re-read is dependant on so many other factors.

If it's a series that I love and have read a lot then I don't need to re-read before reading the new book but reading the latest in the series will probably trigger an excited re-read because I love it!

If it's a series I enjoy but I've only read the books once then whether I re-read will be dependant on how well I remember the past books and the length of time between the new release and the previous one.

If there's been less than a year between releases, I'm unlikely to need to re-read.

If the past books in the series are 500+ pages long, I'm unlikely to have the time to re-read (no matter how awesome).

How many books are in the series? If it's a couple then a re-read isn't an issue. If it's 10 then it's unlikely (unless I love the series).

I guess it all boils down to time... Time to re-read and time between releases. 

Tuesday 9 April 2019

TMST: Your favourite series you'd like to see revisited or a spin-off?

Question: What are some of your favourite series you would like to see revisited or a spin-off?

This is a difficult one for me for one of my absolute favourite series ever that ended last year has a spin-off/related series... And the authors have hinted at more to come in future. 
I'm talking about the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews.

It's missing the final book cover but I was lazy and didn't go back and change it... Sorry.
I love it!

The spin-off series is The Iron Covenant series featuring Hugh and as I said the authors have hinted at more spin-offs to come so I guess I'm hoping that those other related series actually materialise at some point in the not so distant future!
I'd love a Roman spin-off or a Julie/Derek Spin-off... Or both because I'm greedy that way!

Another series that left me gutted when it ended was The Hollows series by Kim Harrison.

I'd have legit pimped out a kidney to get my hands on more books in this world but I discovered only a few weeks ago that that would not be necessary as the author is returning to this world, and these characters, and I'm so beyond excited I do a little happy dance whenever I think about it. 

Richelle Mead's Dark Swan series

Anyone who has read this series knows the ending is awesome with the exception of one very big, ugly, and unforgivable thing that immediately needs correcting!
Seriously, thinking about it just fills me with rage!
The author needs to write another book because the series is awesome, and she's said she hopes to write another book for the series at some point, so I really hope if/when this happens the big ugly thing is finally resolved!

What about you? What series do you need more of?

Monday 8 April 2019

Review: Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn

Celebrity werewolf and late-night radio host Kitty Norville prefers to be heard and not seen. So when she's invited to testify at a Senate hearing on behalf of supernaturals, and her face gets plastered on national TV, she inherits a new set of friends, and enemies, including the vampire mistress of the city; an über-hot Brazilian were-jaguar; and a Bible-thumping senator who wants to expose Kitty as a monster. Kitty quickly learns that in this city of dirty politicians and backstabbing pundits, everyone's itching for a fight.


Full length novel

First person - single pov


I guess you could read it without having read book one but I'd never recommended it with UF... A lot of the world building takes place in book one and to know where Kitty is coming from you need to understand what she's gone through.


Not really applicable.



Werewolves, vampires and other supernatural beasties...

After reading the first book in this series, Kitty and The Midnight Hour, I wasn't really wasn't sure what to make of the series.
I didn't like the pack dynamics, I didn't like that it took so long for Kitty to grow a backbone and the ending was kinda sad but I was intrigued enough to continue so here we are!
Book two.
I'm pleased to say that I liked book two more than book one but I still didn't love it.

Kitty has broken from her pack and has had to basically take The Midnight Hour on a tour of affiliated radio stations or be killed for staying in Denver.
Being 'out' as a werewolf and a pseudo-celebrity because of her radio show, Kitty is summoned to give evidence at a government committee on supernatural beasties in Washington DC.
Naturally, chaos and supernatural hijinks ensue as well as unethical escapades from politicians, scientists and journalists all working their own selfish angles with Kitty stuck in the middle.

I liked Kitty a lot more in this book.
She's grown a bit more of a backbone and she's just trying to live her life. We meet some Washington vampires, Kitty's lawyer Ben is more prominent and Cormac - a werewolf hunter and Kitty's friend - plays a welcome part, and I liked seeing Kitty's building relationship with them all.
We meet other were animals and they show Kitty that there is another way of living. That weres can live without packs and that a pack doesn't mean abuse and I'm very I'm curious as to what Kitty ultimately does with that revelation for she's got to return to Denver at some point, right?

I think the reason that the book was still only a 3-Star read for me was that even though there were lots going on I felt like nothing was happening. I was kinda bored. Too much page time was given to characters or events that served no purpose other than a momentary distraction.

However, once again, I find myself in the position of wanting to read more. So I will definitely be reading book three.

The jaguar kinda threw me. He's a bit part really so I have no idea why he gets a place on the cover but ok...


“We have a purpose for being who we are, and what we are, though we may not always know it.”



Thursday 4 April 2019

Review: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Percy is confused. 
When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.

Hazel is supposed to be dead.
When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem—when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wishes she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. 
His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery—although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely—enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.


Full-length novel

Alternating first person: Percy, Frank and Hazel.

Technically no. You don't need to have read book one to follow this as it's set with different characters at a different camp BUT I'd definitely read/listen to the first book of the series before this.

No, the overarching adventure is just beginning but this book wraps up it's own little arc.

Mild, fantasy, violence.

OMG! I loved this!
Seriously loved. All the loves.
I loved The Lost Hero (book one in this series) but no matter how much I loved it, it was missing the person I loved most in Riordan's world: Percy.
Percy is freaking awesome.
I've loved his character since reading The Lightning Thief and my love of him has grown book on book. He is one awesome demi-god and seeing him grow into the kick-ass, smart-ass, fierce, loyal and downright wonderful guy he has become has been an absolute joy.
I knew he'd make a splash - no pun intended - when he was thrown into the world of Roman demi-gods and I was right! Percy may not have much in the way of his memories but he's still 100% Percy.
From the opening scenes through to the end, The Son of Neptune is a fast-paced ride of Percy demi-god greatness.
But it is more! So much more!
For this isn't just the Percy show. Oh no, you get to meet Hazel and Frank too!
Plus, Camp Jupiter! You get to meet the Romans!
And Ella! Ella the harpy made me laugh more than any sane person should every time she appeared.

Hazel is a daughter of Pluto.
She's strong, steady, and level-headed. She has a heart-breaking past and a fierce yearning to right a wrong and just live her life. Learning her backstory and getting to know her was an absolute pleasure.
Frank is a son of Mars.
However, he's the most unlikely son of Mars there is! He's not angry, aggressive or warlike. He's slightly bumbling, sweet, and self-conscious but with a brilliant grasp of battle tactics and a host of hidden talents that he has to learn and master throughout the story.
Frank's past was another one that broke my heart... That seems to be a theme with this new batch of heroes: Tragedy.

The dynamic between the three of them was fantastic and I think questing with Percy really brought out the absolute best in Hazel and Frank.
Their journey was amazing. The ending breath-taking.
I seriously am about to expire with excitement for book three - The Mark of Athena - as we finally get to see the two groups of demi-gods unite and the Prophecy of The Seven really take off!

For the first time in a very long time, I like the US version of the cover much better than the UK one.
It actually captures a key point of the story.

“Life is only precious because it ends, kid. Take it from a god. You mortals don't know how lucky you are." 


“Because I know you, Percy Jackson. In many ways, you are impulsive, but when it comes to your friends, you are as constant as a compass needle. You are unswervingly loyal, and you inspire loyalty. You are the glue that will unite the seven.”


“Death has more in common with Love than you might imagine.”


“Nobody welcomes a war - not if they're smart. But war finds everyone sooner or later. It's inevitable.”

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