#TheWriteReads #BlogTour Review: White Trash Warlock by David R. Slayton

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Exciting and atmospheric. Full of twists and a villain that is sure to get under your skin.

Thank you so much to The Write Reads and David R. Slayton for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary physical copy!

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review

Book CWs

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise (from Goodreads)

“The taste of black magic, battery acid and rotten blackberries mixed with the odors of cheap beer and cigarettes.”

Adam Binder hasn’t spoken to his brother in years, not since Bobby had him committed to a psych ward for hearing voices. When a murderous spirit possesses Bobby’s wife and disrupts the perfect life he’s built away from Oklahoma, he’s forced to admit that maybe his little brother isn’t crazy after all. Adam is happy to escape the trailer park and get the chance to say I told you so, but he arrives in Denver to find the local witches dead.
It isn’t long before Adam is the spirit’s next target. To survive the confrontation, he’ll have to risk bargaining with powers he’d rather avoid, including his first love, the elf who broke his heart.
The Binder brothers don’t realize that they’re unwitting pawns in a game played by immortals. Death herself wants the spirit’s head, and she’s willing to destroy their family to reap it.

Review (No Spoilers)

I really wish Goodreads had quarter (or even half) stars because I feel like this book was a solid 4.25 for me. While I wish there were more action sequences and that certain plot arcs had been tied together a bit better, I cannot deny the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed this story from start to finish. White Trash Warlock is a wild ride and despite predicting many of the twists that were thrown my way, I still encountered situations and revelations that rendered me shocked.

From the very first chapter I knew that I was going to love this book. David R. Slayton is an incredible writer and the world that he’s built is so amazing and awe-inspiring that you can’t help but want to learn more and more about it. On top of that there are a few jokes sprinkled throughout the chapters that had me laughing at very unexpected moments. A book that can make me laugh is always a memorable one for me.

Interwoven with the exciting narrative of magical realms and saving loved ones from evil is a heart-wrenching story of family abuse and trauma that is equally compelling. Through a series of character thoughts and flashbacks, the reader slowly develops a clearer picture of what exactly happened all those years ago that resulted in the big family fallout. The more I read about the lives of the Binder brothers, the more I begged for them to get their happy endings. A family should only have to go through so much, paranormal creatures or not.

As the book came to a close, the final 25%–jam packed with action and excitement–was by far my favorite part. There were so many last minute twists and turns that with each turn of the page I expected something even more fantastic and shocking to occur. Goodreads labels this as the first book in The Adam Binder Novels series and I simply can’t wait for the next one to be announced!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Blog Blitz Review: Deadly Whispers in Lower Dimblebrook by Julie Butterfield

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Exciting, enjoyable, and atmospheric!

Foreword

Thank you so much to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ andJulie Butterfield for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy and blog tour media kit!

About the Author

Julie Butterfield belongs to the rather large group of ‘always wanted to write’ authors who finally found the time to sit down and put pen to paper – or rather fingers to keyboard.
She wrote her first book purely for pleasure and was very surprised to discover that so many people enjoyed the story and wanted more, so she decided to carry on writing.
It has to be pointed out that her first novel, ‘Did I Mention I Won The Lottery’ is a complete work of fiction and she did not, in fact, receive millions in her bank account and forget to mention it to her husband – even though he still asks her every day if she has anything to tell him!

Review

Book CWs: For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

When Isabelle Darby moves to the delightfully cosy village of Lower Dimblebrook, she’s searching for peace and quiet as well as a chance to escape from heartbreak. After making friends with Fiona Lambourne, another newcomer to the village, Issie is left reeling when tragedy strikes and Fiona is murdered, the second wife Anthony Lambourne has lost in unfortunate circumstances. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the local gossips insist that Fiona had been embroiled in an affair before her death, something which Issie knows not to be the case. Determined to clear her friend’s reputation and solve the mystery of the rumours, Issie takes on both the gossips and the handsome but stern DI Wainwright, making both friends and enemies along the way!

Review (No Spoilers)

If there’s one thing that I wasn’t expecting from this book, it was how much I would enjoy it despite disliking one of the main characters. Isabelle (Issie) Darby was perhaps one of the most infuriating main characters I’ve ever encountered in a mystery novel, but Julie Butterfield has a way of writing that made it almost impossible to put this book down.

It’s not difficult to point out why I wasn’t a fan of Issie; she suffered from one of my least favorite tropes: unnecessary secrets. In a book that focuses on trying to solve a murder, you’d think that Issie would be more open to cooperating with local authorities. Instead, she keeps practically every discovery she makes a secret from the lead investigator (and often doesn’t listen to his instructions) for extremely weak reasons. I often found myself screaming at her for being so blatantly foolish. Towards the end of the book I actually wanted to jump into the pages and shake her into sense!

Despite all this, I very much enjoyed making my way through this novel. DI Wainwright was a character that rubbed me the wrong way from the start, but he grew on me so quickly that by the end I felt as if he could have possibly been my favorite character. Trying to solve a case in a small town where the inhabitants are less than helpful can’t be easy and the more I read the more I found myself understanding why he was such a grump and empathizing with him on a level I didn’t expect.

On top of that, this book has one of the best opening chapters I’ve ever read. I actually considered whether or not I could type out the entire chapter for all of you to read because it absolutely captivated me. If you’re interesting in seeing what captured my attention so quickly, you can either get a free sample sent to your Kindle from Amazon or view the first 50-ish pages with Google Books.

If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries and small towns full of juicy gossip, definitely give Deadly Whispers in Lower Dimblebrook a try. The second book, Wilful Changes in Lower Dimblebrook, is also out so you could even have yourself a nice sit-in and binge your way through!

Feel free to follow along with the rest of the tour listed below! If you’d like to purchase a copy of Deadly Whispers in Lower Dimblebrook, you can find it on Amazon US (affiliate link), Amazon UK, and Kobo!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Blog Tour Spotlight: Winter Whimsy by Georgina Troy

Today I’m bringing attention to the lovely book Winter Whimsy by Georgina Troy. This is the third installment in The Boardwalk by the Sea series but can easily be read as a standalone. I’ll take you through the blurb, about the author, and a few tour excerpts!

Premise

Zip up your puffer coat, winter has arrived!

When Lexi Davies discovers that her father has sold the fishermen’s cottages she runs as holiday lets and where she also lives, she is heartbroken. Then, when Oliver Whimsy arrives at the boardwalk and announces that he is the new owner, Lexi realises that the future she was looking forward to enjoying at her cottages is over.

Oliver might be handsome, wealthy and very sexy, but he’s new to the island and has already made a terrible impression on the locals. When he offers Lexi a job, she’s unsure whether she should accept. Unfortunately, she has little alternative if she wants a roof over her head for the winter.

As Lexi gets to know Oliver better, she discovers there’s far more to Oliver Whimsy than she or anyone else had imagined. Just what is the heartache Oliver’s trying so desperately to hide and why was he so determined to buy the cottages? Lexi wants to find out, but in order to do so she’s going to have to spend time with him…

Book CWs: For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Purchase Links: Amazon US (affiliate link), Amazon UK

About the Author

Georgina Troy is a pseudonym of author Deborah Carr, USA TODAY bestselling author of The Poppy Field, Broken Faces and the Mrs Boots series.

She was a finalist in the Contemporary Romance Category of the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards 2016 (RoNAs) with A Jersey Kiss, book 1 in her Jersey Scene series.

Georgina lives on the island of Jersey with her husband and three rescue dogs and is 1/3 of The Blonde Plotters.

What readers have to say

This book is so lighthearted even though it does talk about sad, and serious issues within the characters lives. This book is a book that you can sit down and read in one sitting which is practically what I did! 

Read it and Weep with MGD

If you like series about groups of friends and don’t mind reading about grief and changing family dynamics and love winter descriptions, this book is for you!

Readingtonic

The atmosphere is very well described, and I confess I had to tuck under my blankie because I could feel the cold snow and the wind.

Lu Reviews Books

As soon as I started to read the story, I just knew that I was in for a treat.  I had taken so well to Lexi Davies that I began to think of her as a friend.

gingerbookgeek

This really was a sweet book, based on friendships, family and romance. A great book to curl up with and escape these cold evenings and what’s going on in the world.

Readpea

Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Book Tour Review: The Corporate Menagerie by Tom Brown

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A fun but powerful poetry collection about people you will undoubtedly encounter in your day-to-day lives.

Foreword

Thank you so much to Digivolve Media and Tom Brown for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy and blog tour media kit!

About the Author

Tom Brown is a Chartered Banker by profession and spent 28 years working for the financial services industry until 1997, when he set up Training Concepts. His business designs and delivers training and specialises in leadership, coaching, customer service and diversity issues.

For the last few years, he has been turning his attention to his writing, and in 2019 he published his first Book, Pride of Lions. This is a unique chronicle of the journey of Celtic Football Club’s famous Lisbon Lions who were the first British team to win the European Cup in 1967.

Tom has taken an innovative approach to his writing in that everything he writes is in verse. In addition to his collection of story poems (short stories in verse), he has written well over 400 poems in various genres, together with a number of song lyrics.

Tom is 69 years young and lives in Edinburgh with his wife Ali, and would describe himself as a sports nut with particular leanings towards football, cricket, rugby, and boxing. He also loves reading and has done since he was a young boy, and listening to all forms of music. In addition, he posts his poetry and insightful posts on his Facebook most days.

Click here to visit Tom Brown’s website!

Review

Book CWs: For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

The Corporate Menagerie is a study in human behaviour and relationships, which uses animals, birds, insects and even the odd dinosaur to portray the diverse human characters whom Tom has met throughout his life and his work.

Here, you will explore a wide range of ‘people’ issues from leadership, personal development, emotional intelligence, and some of the more sensitive topics such as diversity, bullying and absence management.

These creature analogies combine serious topics in a poetic, thoughtful and light-hearted way, to highlight issues that affect us all. The Corporate Menagerie is a great learning tool or simply an entertaining and enjoyable read.

Purchase link: https://tombrown.online/shop/

Review (No Spoilers)

I’m not sure what I expected going into this book, but it definitely surprised me in a really positive way. I should have a physical copy on the way and you can bet that once I receive it I’ll be tabbing all of my favorite pages!

The Corporate Menagerie is a collection of 60 poems, each one about a different type of character you might encounter at work or even in your personal life. The “main character” of each poem is named (e.g. Biff the Bison) and an entertaining sketch of them is always provided. The digital copy I received (which I think was an arc) even included photos of the entire cast of characters at the very beginning of the book which gives you a nice gallery of the different art work that you’ll find as you make your way through.

Here’s a sample of some of the wonderful artwork you can expect to see:

Just as the blurb says, this book covers a very wide range of topics. Although the equating of human beings to different animals species may make this seem like a book based in comedy, it actually tackles a lot of important issues including mental illness, alcoholism, bullying, fraud, gossip, discrimination, and work ethic.

My favorite part by far was the emphasis placed on supporting mental health. It was not something I expected and I’ll admit that some of the poems got me emotional because of this. Throughout the book Tom Brown does not hesitate to reinforce the ideas that you should never be quick to judge and everyone deserves to be treated fairly. Sometimes people’s negative actions indicate that they just need some help and support. And being “different” isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

If you’re looking for a light but extremely relatable read about human behavior and work relationships, definitely give this book a try! You’ll not only recognize several of these characters as people you’ve encountered in your life, but you might even recognize yourself!

The Corporate Menagerie released on January 20, 2021 so get your copy today!

#TheWriteReads #BlogTour Review: The Unajdusteds by Marisa Noelle

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

An exciting first installment to an undoubtedly interesting trilogy!

Thank you so much to The Write Reads and Marisa Noelle for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy!

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review

Book CWs

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise (from Goodreads)

Sixteen-year-old Silver Melody lives in a world where 80% of the population has modified their DNA. Known as the altereds, those people now possess enhancements like wings, tails, and increased strength or intelligence. Although Silver’s parents created the nanite pill used to deliver these genetic modifications, Silver is proud of her unadjusted state.

However, when the president declares all unadjusteds must take a nanite, Silver has no choice but to flee the city with her father and some friends to prevent the extinction of the unadjusteds.

With Silver’s mother in prison for treason, Silver’s father is the unadjusteds’ only hope at finding a cure. But time is running out as Silver’s father is captured by the president’s almost immortal army. Vicious hellhounds are on Silver’s trail, and her only chance to recover her father involves teaming up with a new group of unlikely friends before all humanity is lost.

Review (No Spoilers)

I literally just finished reading this book so I have a lot of fresh thoughts flying around in my brain. Please forgive me if this review is a tad incoherent.

As someone who recently started toying with the idea that maybe YA Dystopia is my favorite genre, this book really succeeded in deepening this thought. While the book is pretty formulaic in terms of what a standard dystopia plot involves–oppression, a breaking point, a rising rebellion–there were still a couple of curveballs thrown in there that shocked me in a really good way. I actually thought I had a good idea about where this book was heading but I did not expect that ending at all. I basically have no idea what the next book is going to involve which is only making me more anxious to read it.

Something that I think this novel really excelled at was grabbing my attention from the very first chapter. A lot of novels (especially SFF novels) will take a few chapters to establish a background story and as a result the action might only begin around 50% into the book. The Unadjusted on the other hand throws you into the action almost immediately and I found that very refreshing.

There were a few instances in the book where I got confused by the pacing, but never enough to make me lose interest in what was happening overall. I think the biggest example of this was in this kind of love triangle plot that never really got established.

I’m going to get into mild spoiler territory here you feel free to skip this next section.

If you know me then you probably know that I absolutely despise love triangles, so when I noticed that it didn’t seem to be developing in this book I was pretty satisfied. I continued to be happy until suddenly a bunch of stuff happened in the span of a single page to force this trope out into the open. When I got to this part, I was so confused with what had just happened that I kind of just froze. It almost seemed as if certain events were thrown in to get the triangle over with and quickly check the “includes a love triangle” box. I think I would have preferred for it to be drawn out more (to see more interactions and developing feelings between the characters involved) or for it to not have happened at all (though as I’ve said I’m totally biased against love triangles).

You may resume reading if you skipped the previous section.

The other main pacing issue I had is something I keep going back and forth with because it’s what made the ending so unpredictable and the unpredictable ending is what is getting me excited for the rest of the trilogy. Basically there were several events that happened in The Unadjusteds that I would have expected to happen in the second or third installment and it has kind of thrown me for a loop. I’m curious to see what some of the other readers on this tour thought of the ending because I still don’t know if it was absolutely brilliant or super confusing.

That being said, I’ll definitely be continuing this series. If you’re a fan of YA dystopias like The Hunger Games and Divergent, definitely give this a try!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Blog Tour Review: New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Another powerful book on love, loss, and overcoming trauma. Jessica Redland is definitely and author I’ll be keeping an eye on.

Foreword

Thank you so much to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ and Jessica Redland for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy and blog tour media kit!

About the Author

Jessica Redland is the bestselling author of ten novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

You can find her at the following social media links!

Review

Book CWs: For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

Brand new from the top 10 bestselling author of New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms and Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow.

With new arrivals comes new responsibilities…
The sun is shining, wild flowers are blooming and Hedgehog Hollow is officially open for business.

For Samantha, the proud owner of this beautiful rescue centre, life has never been busier. But with an influx of new hogs and hoglets to take care of, not to mention a full-time job and ongoing family issues, can she accept the possibility that she has taken on more than she can handle?

Fortunately, she has the love of her life, Josh, by her side for support and encouragement. But Josh has his own family troubles to deal with. And soon he must decide if he’s ready to do the one thing he swore he’d never do – forgive his father.

For both Samantha and Josh it’s a season of change and for figuring out whether the past can ever truly be forgotten.

Review (No Spoilers)

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might recognize this book from a blog tour I did last year for the first book in this series, Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow. If you missed that review, feel free to click here to read it! It was one of my favorite reads of 2019 so you can imagine how excited I was when I signed up for this tour!

Once again, I am shocked by how much I love Jessica Redland’s writing style. This book switches back and forth between the two main characters and I had no problem connecting with them both on personal levels. Although the drama included in this book (and the previous) seems a bit over the top at times, it is clear that this is all orchestrated to give the book a stronger message. Bad things happen to good people and sometimes you just have to do the best with what you’ve got.

That being said, one of the main reasons why I rated this book lower than its predecessor was because although they both had very similar morals, New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow pushed this lesson much harder, to the point where I felt like it was straying very very close to preaching toxic positivity rather than support, validation, and healing.

There were two messages that I felt the book pushed often that I disagree with.

  1. Every misdeed, no matter how bad, should be forgiven.
  2. You should always put everyone else first.

Both of these are things that may seem reasonable at first glance but can quickly turn into toxic behaviors because they don’t put any emphasis on self-care. I don’t think that this was Jessica Redland’s intention at all since there were plenty of other powerful messages that I agreed with throughout the book–and Sam is by far one of the best characters I’ve ever read–but it was something that continuously rubbed me the wrong way as I made my way through the story.

That being said, I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye on Jessica Redland and her books. In fact, I recently told my partner Rob that I’d like to buy a physical copy of Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow to show my support for her and so that he can also have the chance of reading it.

I can’t say that New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow is a light read because it covers very hard topics (please see the content warnings above if needed), but I’d recommend this series for anyone who is interested in reading powerful stories of overcoming pain and trauma of the past.

Feel free to follow along with the rest of the tour listed below! If you’d like to purchase a copy of New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow, you can find it on Amazon US (affiliate link) and Amazon UK!

First Lines Fridays – January 8, 2020

Welcome back to my blog! Today I’m bringing you another First Lines Fridays post!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Today’s First Lines

She’s buried beneath a silver birch tree, down towards the old train tracks, her grave marked with a cairn. Not more than a little pile of stones, really. I didn’t want to draw attention to her resting place, but I couldn’t leave her without remembrance. She’ll sleep peacefully there, no one to disturb her, no sounds but birdsong and the rumble of passing trains.

So what do you think? Have I got you hooked? Can you guess what book it is?

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train… 

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

January TBR Announcement

It’s my first post of 2021 and today I’m bringing you my January TBR!

I’m participating in several TBR challenges and blog tours, so I have quite a few books I need to read for January. If you were here for my last TBR Announcement, you’ll also know that my partner and I have started a new thing where we each choose 3 books for the other to read during the month (two from our already established TBR and one wildcard).

Let’s get started!

January TBR

If you’d like to purchase any of the books mentioned below, you can click on the provided affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Rob’s Choices:

December Blog Tours/Requested Reviews:

Additional Books

These are books that I’ve wanted to get to for a while or are part of book clubs/challenges that I’m participating in.

That’s all for now (and it’s a LOT)! Have you read any of these books? Are you interested in any of these books? Tell me in the comments below!