Sunday, 13 August 2017

Pay The Penance by Rob Ashman - Blog Tour Guest Post


Today Life Of A Nerdish Mum is taking part in the blog tour for Pay The Penance by Rob Ashman, the third book in the Mechanic Trilogy. 

Pay The Penance

Murder. Corruption. Revenge.  

Lucas has been tracking a killer, known as Mechanic, when his world is shattered. Unable to continue his hunt for the murderer he is forced to rely on his friend and colleague Dick Harper. But Harper has a knack for not playing by the rules. He doesn’t disappoint. 

Meanwhile Detective Moran is trying to piece her life back togetherThe police stumble upon new evidence without grasping its significance. She has to divert the investigation if she is to survive. 

The police are closer to Mechanic than they realise which putMoran right in the firing line. 

Mechanic, as usual, has other plans and the consequences for Lucas and Harper are terrifying… 

Guest Post - House-husband and writer.

I am lucky enough to be able to write full time. My wife Karen has a responsible job and works hard to keep me in the luxury to which I have become accustomed, so I have taken on the responsibility for running the house. Well, it seems only fair.

My day starts at 6am when the radio goes off for the news. I get up, make tea and fix Karen’s pack lunch while she gets ready for work. Then I make a start around 6.30.

If I am in full blown writing mode the words start flowing straight away. It’s as if my characters have been waiting for me to wake up and they compete for my attention, each one eager to tell me their side of the story. I write in bed until about 8am, then get up and have breakfast and check my social media.

By 9am I am back at my desk, well when I say my desk, I mean whatever room feels right. I write in the dining room, my office, the lounge, the kids bedrooms and out on the patio when the weather is good. I find that helps to keep the dreaded writer’s block at bay. I also write in two local cafes and the library. I like to keep moving around, it keeps my thinking fresh.

I normally stop for lunch at midday while catching up with the news and respond to Facebook and Twitter messages. Though sometimes I am so engrossed in my writing that I lose all sense of time. This normally culminates with me running out of steam and starving hungry, I look up from my work to find it’s 2.30pm and I haven’t moved.

I try to be really disciplined with social media because it eats up the time. To help this I switch off the wifi on my laptop to ensure I am not tempted when I should be writing. If I want a break I do the food shop or the washing which helps me get things straight in my head for the next time I am sat at my keyboard.

The time flies by and in the blink of an eye it is 6pm when I stop to prepare dinner. Cooking is a great source of relaxation for me, I reckon I am really a frustrated chef.  If I am on a roll I will start work again at around 8pm and write until I’m done. There are times when I finally pack away my laptop in the small hours of the morning. When the voices are in full flow you have to go with it.

My friends are hugely supportive of my writing and are always asking how I have spent my day. I tell them that I watch day time TV in between taking naps. They are fine with that.

About The Author


Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Rob is delighted that all three books in the Mechanic Trilogy will be published with Bloodhound Books in 2017.

Those That Remain  –  22 June
In Your Name            –  13 July
Pay The Penance     –  8 August

Rob now writes full time and has recently completed his fourth novel titled Faceless.

To Connect With Rob Ashman

Twitter tag : @RobAshmanAuthor

Facebook author page : Rob Ashman Author

Website link : www.robashman.com

Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Tour




Saturday, 5 August 2017

Double Jeopardy by M.A. Comley - Blog Tour Review


When I heard that there was a new M.A. Comley book coming out and it was the next in the Hero series, I waved my arms around wildly to make it known that I was really looking forward to reading it. Therefore I am extremely happy to be taking part in the blog tour from Double Jeopardy today and sharing my review. 

Double Jeopardy

Successful entrepreneur, Ross Spalding, has everything to live for; a thriving business, a stunning new home, and a high society wedding to his beautiful fiancĂ©e to look forward to in the coming months. That is, until his life comes to an abrupt, gruesome end. 

DI Hero Nelson and his team need to dig deep to find the reasons behind someone wanting Ross Spalding dead. As more people connected to Ross also die, some in suspicious circumstances, the suspect list grows beyond all expectations, until a major clue presents itself and spins the investigation off in a totally new direction.

However, Hero’s personal life is also dealt a major blow when his parents are faced with a life or death situation. He is forced to put his personal problems aside when the murderers are revealed and Hero is faced with a tight deadline in which to apprehend them.

My Review

Double Jeopardy is the fourth book in the Hero series, but don't let that put you off as it can very easily read as a stand alone (though I do recommend you read the previous three first as they are all very good). There are some things mentioned from In Plain Sight, but nothing that takes you out of this story.

During In Plain Sight, I really struggled to bond with Hero, but that all went out the window in Double Jeopardy and I really enjoyed and liked him as a character. I couldn't tell you what was different this time, but I am very happy that I now like him as I said last time, he's a nice guy and a good detective so I don't know what my problem was. 

As well as having quite a big case going on, Hero has a lot of personal things going on and it was really nice to see the interactions with his wife, children and family. It was interesting seeing him deal with things that are happening and how he tries to balance them with making sure he's doing his job to his best ability. His wife is so supportive and that's so good to see in crime novels as you see a lot of single detectives (both male and female). 

The opening sequence is gripping and I instantly liked Ross Spalding and was rooting for him, even knowing that his end was coming. It was so well written though, I really hoped the synopsis was wrong and that he was fine! Even though it was only a short opening chapter, I really felt that his character was well fleshed out. 

Overall another brilliant book and one that I couldn't put down as I really wanted to see what had happened and who had done it! A definite recommendation to me. 

I gave this book 4 stars. 

About The Author

New York times, USA Today, Amazon Top 20 bestselling author, iBooks top 5 bestselling and #2 bestselling author on Barnes and Noble. I am a British author who moved to France in 2002, and that's when I turned my hobby into a career. I'm fortunate to be represented by a top New York agent.

I share my home with two crazy dogs that like nothing better than to drag their masterful leader (that's me) around the village.

You can find out more about me at the following blogs.

http://melcomley.blogspot.com

http://melcomleyromances.blogspot.com

Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Tour


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (A Junior Novelisation) by Michael Kogge - Review


I have been on a major Star Wars kick recently (well more than usual anyway), I think after this review, I have another 3 or 4 Star Wars related books on my to review list! Before I get into my review though can we just appreciate the simplicity and beauty of that cover. Kylo Ren's lightsaber is my current favourite lightsaber, so to have it as the focus on the cover is perfect. 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Luke Skywalker has vanished. In his absence, the sinister FIRST ORDER has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed. With the support of the REPUBLIC, General Leia Organa leads a brave RESISTANCE. She is desperate to find her brother Luke and gain his help in restoring peace and justice to the galaxy. Leia has sent her most daring pilot on a secret mission to Jakku, where an old ally has discovered a clue to Luke's whereabouts...

My Review

This book does exactly what it says on the tin and is an accurate novelisation of The Force Awakens film. There are a couple of minor added scenes that helped pad out a few things, but nothing that was game changing. I particularly liked the added scene with Finn at the beginning giving him a bit more background and a reason why he was so important to Captain Phasma and Kylo Ren. 

The writing was very good and though you can tell it is aimed at younger readers, the story and language used has not been babied. The only thing that did make me chuckle at one point was the line "Captain Phasma stood with a gaggle of generals...", gaggle seems such a funny word to use and to me lessened the importance of a group of high up military personnel. If the author didn't want to just use group, they could have used muster which would have fit far better. 

I'm not going to say too much about the story as those of you who've seen the film know it anyway and those of you who haven't seen it but may want to, I'm not going to be the person who spoils it for you. The only thing that I want to mention is because I picked up on it in the book but not the film (so I totally need to watch it again for scientific purposes), when Rey and Finn met up with Han Solo and Chewie, they are asking if they were the ones that fought with the Jedi council and whether the force was real or not. Finn (in the book any way) seems surprised by it all, but surely he's aware of Kylo Ren's powers if nothing else? What does he think his powers are? Even if he only finds out about them on Jakku when Kylo does something pretty darn badass, he surely must think its the force? If you know or I've missed something in the book do let me know! 

The story to me was just as good and as exciting as the film and I even cried at certain parts, even though I knew they were coming. In fact one bit I actually felt was even more emotional in the book than in the film which a pretty impressive feat. 

Overall a really great novelisation of the film and one I really enjoyed. 

I gave the book 5 stars. 

About The Author

Michael Kogge is an American screenwriter and author who has written for several Star Wars projects, including the Star Wars Adventure JournalStar Wars Gamer magazine, HyperspaceStar Wars Insider magazine, and the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire roleplaying game. He has also authored a series of Star Wars Rebels chapter books, adapting episodes from the show's first season.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

House Of Lies by E.V. Seymour - Cover Reveal

I'm super excited to be sharing a gorgeous cover reveal for House Of Lies by E.V Seymour. But before you can see it in all it's glory, here is the synopsis to whet your appetite!

House Of Lies

A sudden disappearance…

When Roz Outlaw's partner Tom mysteriously vanishes, she knows his life is in danger. Tom has been distracted lately, afraid, as though he is being hunted…

A desperate search…

With the police showing little interest Roz knows it falls to her to find Tom. But as Tom's secrets are uncovered nothing can prepare Roz for the dark lies and twisted truths she finds. She thought she loved Tom, but quickly realises she has been living with a stranger – a man with murder in his past.

A house of evil.

The key to unlocking Tom's past lies in his childhood home – Vixenhead. A house of wickedness that keeps its secrets well hidden. Can Roz find Tom before it's too late or will the evil within Vixenhead claim her too…

Cover Reveal

How amazing does House Of Lies sound? And if that's not enough, here it is the cover you've been waiting to see


So tell me what you think of the cover? Will you be buying House of Lies? (You can get your own copy here). 

Monday, 24 July 2017

The Shield (The Finder Series Book 1) by C.J. Bentley - Blog Tour Review


Life Of A Nerdish Mum is hosting the blog tour for The Shield (The Finder Series, Book 1) by C.J. Bentley and I have both my review of the book and a super extract. 

The Shield

People lose their belongings. That is a fact of life. It can happen by accident, but sometimes it can happen when you put them in a very safe place and forget where that safe place is. Not many people are good at finding them again.
A young, gutsy girl with a kind heart, who’s searching for her own identity growing up in the 1960s, just happens to be very good at finding things. Can she be the one to help return whatever is lost – anywhere and at any time - to its original owner? 
With the help of a beautiful yet mysterious wise woman and a chivalrous knight she does just that. She finds and returns his shield, lost in battle, which unbeknown to her holds a secret that is important to his King, the safety of the Kingdom and the life of the daughter of his best friend.
The Shield is the first story in The Finder Series, taking our heroine on extraordinary journeys back in time. Her first adventure takes place in Medieval England in 1340 where she meets King Edward III, his wife Philippa and their son, who will later become the Black Prince.

My Review

The Shield took me right back to my childhood in the way it was written. The way the characters talk and the way the group of children interact, especially at the beginning remind me so much of books that I read as a child, such as The Famous Five and The Secret Seven. This meant that the story was a bit slower paced to start off with than I'm used to with more modern styles of writing, so it did take me a couple of chapters to get into it, but once I did I was hooked. 

This book is full of action and adventure and I know my step daughter is going to absolutely love this. The story is clever, and is on the perfect level for the age it's aimed at without talking down to them, which is definitely good to see. 

I loved the prologue and I thought it was really well written, a knight has to deliver an important message that is hidden in his shield but he is gravely injured after an ambush. I really got sucked into this and I really wanted to find out what was happening, what the message was and if the knight was ok, which I think is a really great start to a book. 

I thought it was a really nice touch at the end to have some historical facts at the end of the book s that children can learn a bit more about the time period that is covered in the book. Especially as York has such a rich history. 

Overall a really great book and I will now be passing on to my step daughter and I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the next books in the series. 

I gave this book 4 stars. 

Extract

The Past…..
The shield releases its secret and Sir Kay and the girl are taken back to 1340 and the time of King Edward the third a lawless time where the barons are planning to overthrow the King and the French are planning to invade the country. Peggy, brought back in time to become the Lady Eleanor questions everything and everyone, even the wise woman who seems to control time…….

Sir Kay dismounted and held my pony’s head while I did the same he then tied both sets of reins to the garden fence, allowing both mounts to graze on the grass growing outside of the garden.  We opened the gate and as we walked together up the garden path the door opened and a lady greeted us.  Not the ugly, grim witch like person I was expecting, far too young and quite pretty with long dark braided  hair and a big smile.  She was dressed in a blue dress like me so I immediately liked her.
“You have brought her then Sir Kay?  She looks well”, she addressed this to Sir Kay but her eyes were on me as she spoke in a light lilting voice.
“Er, excuse me but I am here, in front of you so please address me.”  I was not going to be ignored.  “I hope you are going to answer all of my questions because I have many and I am not playing along with this charade until all of them are answered”.  I spoke with authority but I didn’t really feel brave, I was more than a little worried about this meeting and knew I had to keep on her right side if I wanted to see my friends and family again.
We entered the cottage, it was gloomy inside but I could make out various herbs hanging from the ceiling beams which gave the inside a perfumed smell and the fire blazing in the hearth gave an orange glow to the rough wooden chairs either side of the fire.  A black pot was hanging over the fire with interesting smells coming from it which made me remember I had not had time for breakfast.  I was waved towards a chair and I sat down readying myself for the interview I was ready to give this wise woman but she handed me a spoon and not taking no for an answer she ladled contents of the pot into a wooden bowl which she then handed to me with a nod of the head for me to eat.  I didn’t need telling twice, it was a savoury stew, not sure what was in it but it was absolutely the most delicious meal I had eaten since arriving wherever I was, so I tucked in.  When I finished I really looked at her, (not being very good at telling ages I didn’t try to age her but I would have thought around my mum’s age, so between thirty and forty I guessed).  She had dark coloured hair which was braided like mine but her eyes were what drew me in, they were a very light blue but had darker blue centres, very strange indeed, different but having looked into them you would not forget them in a hurry.  I took a deep breath and launched into my speech.
“Right, I take it you are the wise woman Sir Kay has told me about and that you arranged for my being here, wherever here is and more importantly when, I seem to have been brought back in time somehow, so how and when and why?”  As usual it all came out in my usual sudden rush of words.  I looked at them both as they glanced at each other before their eyes rested on me again.

About The Author


Originally heralding from the North of England, C.J Bentley has travelled extensively and enjoyed living in a variety of countries across the world from Dubai to Doha, Qatar and now the countryside in the South of France. A background in teaching and childcare she has always enjoyed creating adventure short stories. However, it was when she became a grandma and with her grandchildren growing up  that she discovered that books seemed to contain only stories of vampires, zombies and farts that she decided seriously to take matters into her own hands and put pen to paper which today she calls The Finder Series.

Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Blog Tour


Sunday, 23 July 2017

Dying To Live by Michael Stanley - Blog Tour Review


I'm excited to be part of the blog tour for Dying To Live, which is the sixth book in the Detective Kubu series. Any time a new Michael Stanley book comes around you can be sure that I'll be reading it, so when Orenda Books got in touch to say Dying To Live was coming out, I jumped at the chance of reading it. 

Dying To Live

When the body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the death is written off as an accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that, although he's clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What's more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles ... but where is the entry wound? When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective 'Kubu' Bengu gets involved. But did the witch doctor take the body to use as part of a ritual? Or was it the American anthropologist who'd befriended the old Bushman? 

As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case seems to grow. A fresh, new slice of 'Sunshine Noir', Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world's most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction's most endearing and humane heroes.

My Review

Well they did it again, I absolutely loved this book. Detective Kubu is easily one of my all time favourite detectives. He isn't your usual grumpy, hard drinking detective. He's happy (well as happy as a murder detective can be) and has a loving and wonderful family and he genuinely tries to be good to everyone. This on top of being a really great detective. If they could get the casting right, this series should 100% be a tv series. 

The stories are always quite dark and in Dying To Live, that is still true. The stories always contain things that I've never read about and things that I wouldn't have even thought about and I love that about them. They are also incredibly well written and thought out. There are twists and turns which don't always lead to where you are expecting and will keep you guessing. As usual Botswana is a character in itself and you can feel its essence throughout the book.

It was really good to see more of Detective Samantha Khama and get to know her better after enjoying her character previously. All the characters though are very strong and there isn't any I can pick out as being weak. Ian Macgregor the pathologist is also another one of my favourite characters, even though he isn't in it quite as much. 

Though Dying To Live is the sixth book in the series, reading this as a stand alone is very easily possible. I would definitely recommend reading the whole series though just because of how good it is. 

Overall another excellent book from Michael Stanley and I'm already excited waiting for their next book. 

I gave this book 5 stars.  

About The Authors

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award, and book 5, A Death in the Family, was an international bestseller.

Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Tour



Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag!


Something a little different today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum, I'm doing the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag. I have seen this around everywhere and kept meaning to do it so here it is! I don't know who created the tag, so if you know please tell me so I can give them credit, but the most recent version I read was on The Book Review Cafe.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2017? 

Ahhh I'm not sure any reader could ever choose only one book for this kind of question, so I'm cheating and putting two! 

The first is Hereafter by the ever lovely LeeAnne Hansen (my review is here). 




And the second is Walking Wounded by Anna Franklin Osborne (this review is here).




Best sequel of 2017 so far?


I could easily put Hereafter in this section too as it is a sequel. but I'd like to put something different for each section so I'm choosing Black Butler, Volume 19 by Yana Toboso. 




New releases you haven’t read yet, but want to?


I have a ridiculous amount of new releases, that are no longer new releases because I've had them so long, but I just haven't had time to read them yet even though I want to! So I'll pick just one and that is Heartless by Marissa Meyer, it was published in November 2016, but as I wanted a paperback, my copy was published in February 2017.


Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017?

Another question I could put loads of books to but most definitely I think the top of the pile is Monster by Michael Grant, I can't wait to revisit the FAYZ! 


Biggest disappointment of 2017?

This was a tough one, but I think it has to be Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. I read it many years ago but remembered nothing and reading it again I can see why. It was just not what I was expecting and didn't have the kind of impact I thought it would have. 


Biggest Surprise?

100% The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I don't know why, but I always thought that I wouldn't enjoy anything by Margaret Atwood, but I absolutely loved this. (My review will be up soon). 


Favourite new author (debut or new to you)?

I have two, one is Anna Franklin Osborne (author of Walking Wounded, see the first question) and the other is Harriet Springbett the author of Tree Magic. I have been horribly remiss and my review isn't up yet, but I can honestly say it is a 5 star read! 



Newest fictional crush?


Hmmmm I don't think I've had any major new crushes this year (yet). I think the closest is kind of a cheat as I watched the film first, but I have read the book now too. So I'm choosing Galen Erso from Rogue One. 




Newest favourite character?


I'm currently reading Fairest by Marissa Meyer and I think Levana is my newest favourite character.



A book that made you cry?


There have only been two books that have made me cry this year and I've already mentioned both of them, the first was Walking Wounded by Anna Franklin Osborne and the second was Rogue One (yes, even though I knew what happened already I still cried). 





Books that make you happy?


Any book I enjoy is a book that makes me happy! 

Favourite movie adaptation of 2017?

I watch very few book - movie adaptations as they usually leave me enraged (I tried watching the Divergent movie and I had a three day rage headache, no joke). So I'll answer this slightly differently and give my answer for the best book to film adaptation I've seen rather than just this year, I have three, The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (totally counting this as just one), Interview with The Vampire and The Devil Wears Prada. I love all of these adaptations. 

Favourite review you’ve written this year
I had no idea on how to choose my favourite review, so I have followed Lorraine over at Book Review Cafe's lead and I've picked the one that has had the most traffic. That review is for The Promise by Casey Kelleher


Most beautiful book you’ve bought or received this year?

It was published back in 2015 but I only just got round to picking it up and the cover is stunning, The Vagrant by Peter Newman.



Books you need to read before the end of the year?


There isn't enough room on the internet to list all the books I want to read before the end of the year so I'll just pop up a couple that are begging me to read them soon.






Nominations!

I'm not going to nominate anyone as it is a little late to do this as we're just over the middle of the year, but if you want to do this then I tag YOU!