Sunday, 23 April 2017

Moby Dick by Herman Melville - Review

I'm writing my reviews for my buddy reads all completely out of order so this one is actually from this year and we finished it not very long ago (7th of April to be exact)! It was my turn to choose and I thought we hadn't done a long read in a while so why not get a "biggie" read now and so I chose Moby Dick by Herman Melville. It was not quite as long as I expected and I am eternally grateful that it wasn't. I did also get us The Turn Of The Screw to read in between as a break when we needed it (which I'll review soon) and it was a good job I did.

Moby Dick 

'Call me Ishmael.' 

So begins Herman Melville's masterpiece, one of the greatest works of imagination in literary history. As Ishmael is drawn into Captain Ahab's obsessive quest to slay the white whale Moby-Dick, he finds himself engaged in a metaphysical struggle between good and evil. More than just a novel of adventure, more than an paean to whaling lore and legend, Moby-Dick is a haunting social commentary, populated by some of the most enduring characters in literature; the crew of the Pequod, from stern, Quaker First Mate Starbuck, to the tattooed Polynesian harpooner Queequeg, are a vision of the world in microcosm, the pinnacle of Melville's lifelong meditation on America. Written with wonderfully redemptive humour, Moby-Dick is a profound, poetic inquiry into character, faith, and the nature of perception.

My Review

When I started Moby Dick, I was wondering why people said they struggled so much with it, I was really enjoying it and the pages were flying wrong was I! This book tricks you into thinking that it will be good. The first 100 pages are really good, Ishmael is witty and engaging and his relationship with Quequeg was wonderfully endearing.

There was a lot more religion than I expected, but it was of a time where religion was pretty much the most important thing around.Though it isn't always dealt with as reverently as you'd expect, Ishmael mentions orchard thieves which took me a minute to realise he meant Adam and Eve and then I full on laughed out loud.

From the minute Ishmael and Quequeg step on the Pequod the whole book starts going down hill. I was thoroughly looking forward to meeting the infamous Captain Ahab and I expected him to be such a badass...but no sadly I was wrong. He was basically non present for most of the journey and when he was present he was not a particularly strong or stand out character.

I wanted a fast paced revenge story of one man and a whale, but what I got was an encyclopedic look into whaling in the 19th century. Don't get me wrong, the details were fascinating, but if I'd wanted to learn that kind of information I wouldn't have  read a novel, I would have done some research. When the story was being told, the writing was wonderful, but I just didn't like the dry facts throughout.

The ending to me really disappointed too, it felt rushed and half a$$ed. I won't spoil it in case there are people who haven't read it who still want to. It wasn't spoiled for me so I won't spoil it for other people. I will say however is was very unsatisfying.

It was a hard slog but I'm glad we did it, it's another one off our wish lists.

I gave this book 2 stars.

About The Author 

Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. His first two books gained much attention, though they were not bestsellers, and his popularity declined precipitously only a few years later. By the time of his death he had been almost completely forgotten, but his longest novel, Moby-Dick — largely considered a failure during his lifetime, and most responsible for Melville's fall from favour with the reading public — was rediscovered in the 20th century as one of the chief literary masterpieces of both American and world literature.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Game Point by Malcolm Hollingdrake - Blog Tour Review

Today I am really pleased to be a part of the blog tour for Game Point, by Malcolm Hollingdrake, the fourth book in the DCI Cyril Bennett series. 

Game Point

DCI Bennett faces the most harrowing case of his career. A psychopath, who escaped capture, is hell bent on revenge and executes a series of events that will not only impact on Bennett physically, but will have emotional and professional consequences.

A body is found with its fingers amputated, then an investigative journalist, embroiled in the pornography and drugs scene, is murdered.

Bennett’s team is faced with some baffling evidence. Hatpins and bicycle spokes become pivotal to the inquiry but the police struggle to connect the evidence.

It is only when a Detective Sergeant from the team is kidnapped that Bennett realises that he is the true target. 

Can Bennett solve the case before it’s too late? How many people will he lose in the process?

My Review

First of all can I give some love to this absolutely stunning cover! It's eye-catching and having read the book completely spot on. 

Game Point is extremely fast paced and filled with twists that DCI Cyril Bennett has to navigate. A lot of the darker side of life is covered in this book and is dealt with incredibly well. Do be prepared though for some more gruesome aspects as the bodies pile up. The story is very well told and the writing is excellent. All of these points add up to making Game Point a book you can easily read in one sitting! 

I think the strongest thing that comes across in this book is just how good a person Cyril is both personally and in the work place, he's just trying his best to do the best he can. Also just how much people can achieve when they work together. The crimes committed and the kidnapping of a team mate could have been make or break for the team and yet they all came together and worked hard. You can feel the emotion from them all and the anger, fear and determination they all have to solve the case as soon as they can. I felt myself holding my breath at points waiting to see what happened. 

Though Game Point is book 4 in a series, it can be read as a stand alone like I have. The character development and story are strong enough to completely capture you. There are references to previous cases though, so beware if you plan on reading the rest of the series (like I'm now going to), then do that first, then come straight back and read this. 

Overall an excellent book and another author I will be adding to my must read list! 

I gave this book 4 stars

About The Author

You could say that the writing was clearly written on the wall for anyone born in a library that they might aspire to be an author but to get to that point Malcolm Hollingdrake has travelled a circuitous route.

Malcolm worked in education for many years, even teaching for a period in Cairo before he started writing, a challenge he had longed to tackle for more years than he cares to remember. 

Malcolm has written a number of successful short stories and has four books now available. Presently he is concentrating on a series of crime novels set in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. 

Born in Bradford and spending three years in Ripon, Malcolm has never lost his love for his home county, a passion that is reflected in the settings for all three novels.

Malcolm has enjoyed many hobbies including collecting works by Northern artists; the art auctions offer a degree of excitement when both buying and certainly when selling. It’s a hobby he has bestowed on DCI Cyril Bennett, the main character in his latest novel.

To Connect With Malcolm Hollingdrake

Twitter - @MHollingdrake
Publisher - Bloodhound Books

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

Friday, 7 April 2017

Getting To Know... John Lov - Ascendia

Today is the day! I am so happy to kick off a new part of my Getting To Know... feature with John Lov of the absolutely freaking amazing band Ascendia! 

So to get us started off, could you introduce yourself and tell me what your part in the band is?

My name is John and I am the lead guitar player and one of the song writers for the band Ascendia

Your sound is very distinctive (and awesome), have you always known how you wanted to sound or has it come about more organically?

We appreciate the compliment! I think life as a musician starts by absorbing all the musical influences you possibly can and learning as much as you can. The music we write is the product of 3 guys with unique musical influences and experiences combining them in the most cohesive way possible. I think through this process we have managed to develop our own unique sound that we are very proud of!

Growing up who were your favourite bands or musicians?

I started off listening to classic rock/metal which includes bands like Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Scorpions, Whitesnake, Rush, Boston and Europe. After years of listening to these bands I got introduced to a band called Nightwish and everything changed! Once I got a taste for new modern metal there was no looking back.

When you're all not performing, recording, writing etc, what would we find you doing?

We all are either working or in school! I work for a finance company, Nick is an electrician and Billy is studying finance at York University.

What would be your absolute dream stage to perform on be?

I think we would all love to be able to play the stage at Wacken festival in Germany. It is an epic festival with some epic bands!

Other than the obvious, singing and playing instruments, do you have any other hidden talents?

I like to take naps. I’m pretty good at that!

Your music videos are extremely well polished and make an impact, do you have a lot of say in the concept and what you'd like the finished video to look like?

The first thing we do is break down the lyrics and the meaning of the song. At this point we start brainstorming ideas and ways to convey the message and overall vibe of the song. We then present these ideas to the music video director and discuss how these ideas will look on camera. He then gets his input and we create a plan of execution.

If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?

I would probably pick Batman just to ride that crazy motorcycle he has haha!

Are any of you gamers, whether it be console, pc, table top or heck even mobile phone? If you are, what's your favourite game?

Billy Lov is into gaming quite a bit! He’s got PS4 and I catch him playing Call of Duty all the time.

As well as loving music, I am a huge reader. Do you get any time in your busy schedules to read and can you give me any book recommendations?

Being a past business student I would recommend the “Big Short.” It is a really interesting book that explores the 2008 US mortgage housing crisis. Yea, I’m boring.

I know the new album is in the works which is incredibly exciting for fans, can you tell me anything about it and what we can look forward to from Ascendia in the future?

The new album has been taking a while, but for a very good reason. A lot of things have changed in our musical interests and tastes and we needed time to be able to put these ideas together in a cohesive manner. You will get everything you love about Ascendia in there. What I can tell you is that it is going to be a very lean, polished, melodic, emotional and heavy album.  We are working hard on the recipe and we think all our fans will be happy

THANK YOU so much to John Lov for taking the time to answer my questions, especially with how busy he is with the new album and up coming tour!

To connect with Ascendia

Facebook - Ascendia
Twitter - @Ascendiamusic
Instagram - ascendiamusic
Snapchat - ascendiamusic
Youtube - Ascendia

To purchase a copy of The Lion And The Jester 


Monday, 3 April 2017

Getting To Know... Me - Nerdish Mum!! (And A Cheeky Announcement)

As I've had a couple of weeks break from Getting To Know... to catch up on reviews and other things (see my announcement at the end), I thought it would be fun to do a Getting To Know... with me! So instead of writing my own questions I asked in Book Connectors (an awesome book group on FB and Twitter full of authors and book bloggers) for questions that I could answer and I got some absolutely great ones! This is a bit nerve racking now being in the hot seat but here goes!

What is the inspiration behind your blog name, Life Of A Nerdish Mum - Mairead of Swirl and Thread

When I first set up my blog, the idea was to blog about all the nerdish things that I get up to, to share my experiences and meet other people who like the same things as I do. So Life Of A Nerdish Mum just made sense as I was already Nerdish Mum on twitter. This included reviewing books and comics etc and the book review side of things has just bloomed so much it's the majority of what I post now, but I still do blog about other things too and there is more on it's way (sneaky hint about my announcement below).

What made you decide to be a blogger, how long have you been doing it and how long do you spend each week doing it? - Marie Campbell author of Baby

After having my little guy, Mini Nerdling, in 2013 I ended up with quite bad post natal depression (which goes well with my normal anxiety and depression *sarcasm*) and I needed something that was just about me so I set up my Twitter account and dived into the nerdy/geeky community. I discovered an amazing group called IGGPPC (International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club) and they have loads of groups that are just so friendly. I obviously was drawn to the book group (Iggleworms) and everyone was talking about what book challenges they were going to be doing for 2015 and how they were going to keep track of them. I made the decision to start up a blog that would be a place to review each of the books that I read for my chosen challenges as well as a place to share my experiences of cons and other such things that I went to. So on the 1st of January 2015 my first blog post went up and I've been blogging ever since. For the first year I only really published my posts and never shared them or promoted them in any way until probably about a year into it when I became more and more involved in the book blogging community. As to how much time I spend each week, it varies but I can tell you it's a full time job! I am a stay at home mum during the day, I work six evenings a week and until recently I volunteered one morning a week helping children aged 2-5 with speech delays. Every bit of my spare time (hahahahaha) is spent either reading or blogging. When I'm prepping for my Getting To Know... feature as well, it takes even more time as I like to personalise my questions as much as possible so I research each participant so I can ask the most interesting questions I can manage,

What else do you write aside from blogging and what inspires you to write these things? - Chantelle Atkins author of The Mess Of Me

I used to write articles for Teddy Bear Times as before I had my little guy I made collectors style teddy bears and I somehow ended up working for one of the most well known teddy bear magazines. I also write letters which I absolutely love doing when I have the time as I have met some absolutely wonderful people through being a pen pal and I keep a couple of journals, one book and one bullet, These really help keep me organised, focused and motivated which is really important to me.

I am also in the process of writing my own novel, it's all laid out I just need to finish writing it. Other than it being fantasy I won't give anything else away ;)

I wondered how you deal with books that you start with a view to reviewing, but find you really don't like, do you always finish them? Do you always write a review? - Peta Rainford, author of Isabella, Rotten Speller

I am very lucky in the fact the the books I have received for review have all been good (so far anyway) as I try to only accept ones that I think that I will enjoy. I have a real problem with not being able to put a book down though even if I am hating it, I came very close last year to putting my first ever DNF (on a book I chose myself from the library), but I felt so much readers guilt that I finished the whole darn thing!! I will always leave a review though good or bad for a few reasons; firstly that it'd look weird if I liked every single book that I ever read, I don't think anyone has got that lucky. Next, good or bad, a review on a book is good for the author as it gets their book more audience and I try to be as constructive as possible and a lot of the time I explain that the reason I don't like something is that it's just not for me rather than it being bad. The only thing I would do differently if my review was "negative" is that I wouldn't tag the author or publisher on social media and I probably wouldn't promote my blog post like I do when it's positive review.

What do you find most fascinating about your feature Getting To Know... and is there something that you've learnt that you can use in your own reading? - Susan of The Booktrail

I find each and every person I interview fascinating. I love finding out about people and each person is so different from the last and the next. There was something I did learn which I think is invaluable to both readers and writers from Anna Osborne, author of Walking Wounded, (Anna's Getting To Know... is here) who is also a chiropractor, make sure you stand up and pace around every 20 minutes so that you don't damage your back.

What world from a story you've read is the one that you'd least like to live in; and conversely, the one that you'd most like to inhabit? - Karl Drinkwater author of They Move Below

There's quite a few that I'd hate to live in like Panem, The Phase, The Glade and other such places, though thinking about it they are all post apocalyptic/dystopian so I'm pretty sure I shouldn't want to live in them haha! Also anywhere like Gotham City, Star City or Central City, I couldn't cope with the constant threat of one bad guy or another.

The one I'd most like to live in is actually really hard, I think it'd have to be Discworld! Terry Pratchett just created an amazing world full of both good and bad.

What's the best and worse thing about blogging? - Lorraine of The Book Review Cafe

The best thing is the people! The bloggers and authors and publishers that I've got to know have all been so wonderful and welcoming. I am extremely awkward when communicating so I don't always comment or interact too much, but no one minds and I'm always made to feel so at home with everyone. I finally met my buddy reader a few weeks ago which was so nice after knowing her for over two years and I'm hoping to meet more people in the future.

The worst thing I think is the guilt - you feel guilty for saying no, you feel guilty for taking too long to read a book, you feel guilty for not sharing other peoples blogs as much as you'd like, you feel guilty for spending so much time blogging, you feel guilty that your review is too long/short....the list of guilt is endless. But it's all worth it!

I'd like to know what made you decide to review books in the first place and how you find the books? - Harriet Springbett author of Tree Magic

I've enjoyed reviewing books since I was little. My local library when I was in primary school had a kind of book club in which you could progress through the ranks by reading books and writing reviews for the librarian to read. My primary school was also very into books and having us write reviews so I had a solid foundation in writing reviews when I'd finished a book. I did fall out of it for a while until I discovered Goodreads and the online book community. As to where I get books, 95% or more of my books are books that I buy myself or get from the library, it's only been in the past year that I have started receiving books from authors and publishers, but even then if it is a book I adore, I go out and buy my own copy to make sure I'm supporting the author.

Which book that you've read do you really wish you'd written? - Linda of Linda's Book Bag

Oooooh there's a few for this one (I'm allowed more than one right?) - The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis, The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub and The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. In fact I could go on and on!

What was the first book you remember from your childhood? - Jane Cable, author of The Cheesemaker's House

I still own a lot of my childhood books so that'd be cheating to just look at them, but the first book I really remember reading myself and it really sticking with me was The Sixth Seal by Mary Wesley. I had read things like the Chronicles of Narnia, The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, The Hobbit etc before it, but this one really stood out to me. I had borrowed it from the library and I wrote a book review for school about it (I think I was in year 5) and I even decorated the edges of my review with pictures I'd drawn from things that happen in the book. I always remembered this book and so as an adult, early twenties, I decided I needed a copy of it and I went out and bought it. I've read The Sixth Seal again about two or three times since then and I still absolutely love it.

What is your favourite genre to review? - Alison of Ali's Romance, Thriller and Christian Fiction Book Reviews

I always say that fantasy is my favourite genre, which is the truth. However, I don't like to read just one genre of book, I love classics, non fiction, YA, middle grade, horror, crime, children's etc etc. I could never set myself just one to read as I'd always feel like I was missing out. Since book blogging I have also read books in genres that I never thought I would read and have thoroughly enjoyed reading them so it's always good to keep an open mind.

And that's it! Phew that was pretty intense, but I hope you all enjoyed that as much as I did! Thank you so much to all the authors and bloggers that gave me questions, it is greatly appreciated and I hope I did justice in my answers!

Now onto my announcement! As well as reading, my other number one love is music! I have always been a HUGE music fan and have been to countless gigs over the years. From pop to classics to heavy metal, I love it all (though I am a full on rock chick when it comes down to it). So to include this part of me in my blog, I will now have a monthly feature where I interview bands. I cannot explain how much this excites me and I am really looking forward to my first one going live this Friday the 7th of April. I really hope that this is exciting for you all too and that you'll come join me on Friday when I interview John Lov, the guitarist of Ascendia. (Check out one of their music videos here)

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Meet The Imaginative Joe Dreamer by Karlene Stewart - Review

Today on Life On A Nerdish Mum I am reviewing a children's book, Meet The Imaginative Joe Dreamer written by Karlene Stewart and illustrated by Telmo Sampaio. 

Meet The Imaginative Joe Dreamer

Meet the Imaginative Joe Dreamer is the first edition in a series of children's picture books, introducing a young boy who channels his frustrations into his creative passions - drawing and his imagination. In this first edition Joe faces the challenge of going to the beach on a rainy day. 

The book is set in the beautiful Cayman Islands, where Joe resides with his parents. Joe's parents are entertained by his creativity and sense of humour. Similarly, the book serves to encourage young children to be creative and imaginative. Older children may read alone or younger children may have their parents read to them. This cosy picture book is a great addition for any family as it brings together exciting ingredients of the Caribbean, imagination and viewing problem solving through a young child's eyes,

My Review

Meet The Imaginative Joe Dreamer is a wonderfully bright and enjoyable read for both child and adult. This is important with children's books as you are bound to be reading it numerous times. 

I enjoyed the family dynamic displayed in Joe Dreamer with the parents spending time with their child and encouraging his loves and imagination. They obviously love each other and that is really nice to see. 

The fact that the book celebrates a child's imagination and encourages it is really important to me as I feel imagination is being lost by some children in this current time. As an adult it's also a nice reminder that we can use our imagination too, I know I still use mine on occasion. Also the use of simple crayons and paper can be so meaningful to a child and is a brilliant and age appropriate way to help with a child's development, 

The story itself is fun and easy to read and both my 3 and 8 year old nerdlings enjoyed me reading it to them, My 8 year old found it easy to read herself and she asked questions about the Cayman Islands as she had never heard of them which led to learning more about them, where they are in the world and that yes it does really rain in paradise. 

Overall a great read for both me and the children and one that will be read again. 

I gave this book 4 stars.

About The Author

Karlene Stewart is the author of several books and ebooks; You Can Rise Up, Journey of Miracles, Meet the Imaginative Joe Dreamer and What If…All You Can Imagine. Karlene holds a Master of Arts Degree in Communication for Social and Behavior Change from the University of the West Indies. Karlene began her published writing in her teenage years as a Youth Writer with Jamaica’s national newspaper The Gleaner. Today, she focuses mostly on writing blogs, ebooks and short stories. Her favourite authors are Joel Osteen and Dr. Seuss.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

In Plain Sight by M.A. Comley - Blog Tour Review

Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I am proud to be part of the blog tour for In Plain Sight by M. A. Comley, published by Bloodhound Books. I am sharing with you my review of this great book! 

In Plain Sight

No one is safe... not even the police. 

DI Hero Nelson is used to violent crime but this one is personal. When he's called to a crime scene he discovers the victims are two police officers one of whom is a good friend.

Determined to track down the killer, he’s dealt another blow as the body count continues to rise. To catch the killer before he strikes again, Hero calls upon the public for help. But when the criminal ups the ante by taking hostages, he soon regrets his actions.

Can Hero and the police catch the murderer before more innocent victims are hurt?

Hero must apprehend a killer who is hiding in plain sight before the time runs out.

My Review

In Plain Sight is my first M. A. Comley book and I have been really looking forward to picking one of her books up as I have heard nothing but good things about her writing. 

In Plain Sight is the third book in the Hero series, but can 100% definitely be read as a stand alone. There is plenty of character development in this story to feel comfortable enough picking the series up here. 

This book is not a who dunnit, but a why dunnit and we meet the killer almost immediately and then get to know him throughout the book. The character is terrifying in the fact that he just doesn't care and will kill without prejudice and seems to get a thrill from other peoples pain. The fact that he targets the police too as they are the ones who are supposed to protect us but if they can't protect themselves, how can we hope for them to protect us?

The story was fast paced and you have to keep reading to see what the killer will come up with next. I kept telling myself just one more page, but that was never the case. 

I really enjoyed the representation of the Territorial Army and some of the work they do, I have no real idea of what they do apart from training, so it was good for me to have a peek into their world. 

Hero Nelson is the main character of In Plain Sight (and the series) and he seems to be a great family man who quite clearly loves his wife and kids and he works extremely hard to solve cases and a is good guy to work with...however I just didn't gel with him and I had no real connection with him like I have with other Detectives. I have no idea why and it didn't affect my enjoyment of reading In Plain Sight, but I couldn't bond with him. 

Overall an absolutely brilliant book and I'm excited to go through M. A. Comley's other books now so I can catch up with her work. 

I gave this book 4 stars.

About The Author

M A Comley is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Justice series. As an indie author she has reached the top 20 on Amazon, number 2 on Barnes and Noble, and the top five in the iTunes charts on both sides of the pond. To date her novels have sold over one million copies worldwide. She is a prolific author who writes fast-paced thrillers. She often pushes the boundaries and is not afraid to tackle tough subjects. Mel has also written, the Hero series, the DI Sally Parker series, the Intention series, and the DI Miranda Carr series. She has also co-authored the OCT series with Tara Lyons and the Deception series with fellow NY Times bestselling author Linda S Prather.
Even after six years of publishing, she still spends over a hundred hours every week pounding away at the computer, her life truly does revolve around her love of writing and entertaining her fans. 
On the odd occasion she takes time off she enjoys going on long walks with her dog Dex, a rescue labrador, who she adores, spending time pottering around in the garden and reading fellow thriller authors’ works.
Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Tour

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Deadly Game by Matt Johnson - Blog Tour Review

Another exciting Orenda Books blog tour today for Life Of A Nerdish Mum. I had the pleasure of reading Deadly Game by Matt Johnson and I'm sharing my review. 

Deadly Game

Reeling from the attempts on his life and that of his family, Police Inspector Robert Finlay returns to work to discover that any hope of a peaceful existence has been dashed. Assigned to investigate the Eastern European sex-slave industry just as a key witness is murdered. Finlay, along with his new partner Nina Brasov, finds himself facing a ruthless criminal gang, determined to keep control of the traffic of people into the UK. On the home front, Finlay’s efforts to protect his wife and child may have been in vain, as an MI5 protection officer uncovers a covert secret service operation that threatens them all… Picking up where the bestselling Wicked Game left off, Deadly Game sees Matt Johnson’s damaged hero fighting on two fronts. Aided by new allies, he must not only protect his family but save a colleague from an unseen enemy … and a shocking fate. 

My Review

Right from page one I could tell the quality of the writing and I knew I would enjoy this book. The standard of writing continues throughout the whole of the book and the author shows his skill with the written word. 

Robert Finlay, the main character, is a very complex and well developed character. He is suffering greatly from previous occurrences and you can really feel how close he is to breaking due to the stress. He is a likeable character though and you really feel for him as he deals with that along side of dealing with his hard work life. I felt the authors real life experience really showed in the work side of the story and added an authenticity to the investigation. 

Deadly Game deals with sex trafficking which is a very real and serious problem around the world today so it is very important that we talk about it no matter how hard it is, I feel it was covered realistically and definitely in no way glamorises anything about the industry. It shows how very easily someone can get caught up in it because of how clever the traffickers are, 

Though Deadly Game is the second book in the series, it can very easily be read as a stand alone, my only warning would be that if you do plan on reading book one, Wicked Game, (which I fully recommend that you do) then do that first as during Deadly Game it does give away what happens throughout the first book. 

The plot twists and turns and the story is incredibly planned out. There's very little I can say without giving spoilers as so much happens in Deadly Game. It's fast paced and keeps you on your toes till the very end. 

A definite recommendation from me and I will be looking forward to the next instalment in the Robert Finlay series. 

About The Author

Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for 25 years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game once again draws on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour stops

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Burning by Rebecca Fernfield - Review

Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I am sharing my review of Burning by Rebecca Fernfield. Burning is the first book in the Dark Powers Rising trilogy and was released yesterday as well as book two in the series, Primitive. 

Burning is a YA dystopian story which caught my attention as I haven't read a YA dystopian in some time and I thoroughly enjoy the genre, What also caught my eye was that it was set in England. I've been on the lookout for more England based YA that isn't contemporary, so was pleased to pick this up. 

The main characters we follow are Edie Fletcher and her family. Edie is a very independent and impulsive 17 year old who is just trying to help her family and others survive in the new world after the disease has ravaged the population. She does things she's not supposed to like any other teenager as she feels she knows better, but she does them for the right reasons as she has a good heart. Pascha is a typical little brother who gets under the feet and is generally irritating to his older sister, but in reality is just a good boy. 

Throughout the book there is a constant feeling of unease and that there is always a threat hanging over everyone. It made for quite an uncomfortable yet compelling read. I feel this is the closest to a "real" dystopian story that I have ever read and the fact that it could happen makes it all the more scary. It shows how different people cope in these situations, some become strong and lead others in the best way to work together and survive, others become followers and need other people to deal with things for them and some people use it as a way to gain power and control others in the most sinister and vicious way. 

The story is very well written and the ending was incredibly intense. I found myself yelling at a particular character because of how angry and terrified I was of him. 

I really enjoyed Burning and I'm glad Primitive is already out as I will be going straight on to read that! 

I gave this book 5 stars

To get your own copy of Burning click here

To get your own copy of Primitive click here

About The Author

British author, Rebecca Fernfield, is a lapsed medievalist who spends her days plotting the overthrow of evil regimes and devising intricate plans to rescue their victims. 

She lives among the flatlands of the Humber estuary where Vikings and Saxons once fought and where, sometimes, on foggy mornings, you can still hear the echoes of clashing swords. 

She is the author of the series Dark Powers Rising which explores the experience of young men and women at the hands of extremist criminal gangs, intent on carving out power in a post-apocalyptic world.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski - Blog Tour Review

I've been waiting patiently and finally the day has come when I can share my review of Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski! Today marks the turn of Life Of A Nerdish Mum on the blog tour for this amazing book. 

Six Stories

The novel is constructed as a series of podcasts, in which an investigative journalist describes the circumstances around the death of a teenaged boy in an outward-bound centre, interviewing witnesses, suspects and people close to the incident. Their six accounts form the six stories of the title, creating a "chilling and compelling, page-turning thriller that also delves deep into notions of truth, perception and loyalty"

My Review

Another amazing 5 star read from Orenda Books. I swear Karen has a golden touch when picking out books to publish! 

Six Stories is an absolute breath of fresh air in the crime genre with an incredibly modern and unique way of presenting a story. The story is told in the form of pod casts that cover six interviews with people involved with the murder of a teenager twenty years previously. 

The writing is beautiful and easily draws you in, making you feel like you are listening to the pod casts as they are being broadcast - in fact this is the first book that I've ever wished I could listen to in audio because I think it would be perfect. The interviews are personal and are at times uncomfortable both from the person being interviewed and the reader. The way the story unfolds from different perspectives is so smoothly done and I was kept fully immersed the entire time I was reading. 

Matt Wesolowski has really captured the complex relationships of teenagers as well as their thoughts and feelings. Each character, both likeable and un-likeable are all extremely well fleshed out and believable. Scott King I found fascinating and his narration throughout the book really added to the atmosphere instead of disturbing it, he also added important information without feeling like it was being tagged on or info-dumped. It was skillfully done and I really enjoyed the whole experience. 

Scarclaw Fell, the site of the murder is a character completely in it's own right with its overpowering presence and beauty, Matt Wesolowski describes Scarclaw Fell in such a way that you can picture yourself within it and feel it around you as you are reading with the trees looming over you. 

Overall an excellent read and one I think everyone needs to go out and try as it's something so new and exciting, but with a theme that's recognisable and comfortable. 

I gave Six Stories 5 stars. 

About The Author

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. 

Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous magazines and US anthologies.

Wesolowski's debut novella ‘The Black Land‘ a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013 by Blood Bound Books and his latest horror novella set in the forests of Sweden is available in 'Dimension 6' magazine through Coeur De Lion Publishing.

Wesolowski was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at 'Bloody Scotland'; Crime Writing Festival 2015, his subsequent debut crime novel 'Six Stories' will be available through Orenda Books in the spring of 2017

Don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour stops

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Watching You by Joyce Schneider - Cover Spotlight

Yesterday the next book by J. A. Schneider went up for pre order (here) and I'm excited to give a peek at the cover as well as announce that I will be on the blog tour for the book release! Watching You will be published on the 25th of April 2017.

The cover is absolutely stunning and it really gives off the feeling of fear which matches perfectly with the synopsis below. It also follows in how perfect each of the Kerri Blasco book covers have been so far which is really good to see. 

About Watching You...

A serial killer texts his victims first. A detective vows revenge. He comes after her.

In the chill of an October night, Detective Kerri Blasco is called to a bizarre murder scene. Leda Winfield, a young volunteer for the homeless, has been shot. Her cell phone displays the frightening text, WATCHING YOU, and into her back, hideously pushed with a hat pin, is a note with the same awful message. Leda’s socialite family and friends insist that no one would have wanted to harm her, but Kerri isn’t convinced.

Until another random young woman is killed in the same way. Kerri and her team profile a monstrous killer who enjoys terrifying his victims before stalking and killing them. But how does he get their phone numbers?

Kerri soon finds that the killer is after her, too, and that the key to finding him may just be in the homeless shelter. When the body count rises, she vows to stop the madman - even if it means battling her own personal trauma, risking her job, her love relationship with her boss Alex Brand, and her life. 

How absolutely amazing does that sound? I was part of the last blog tour for Her Last Breath and I shared my review of that as well as a wonderful Q and A with the author, if you'd like to go check that out, you can right here. As part of this blog tour I will be sharing my review on the 26th of April, so make sure you pop back then to see what I thought. 

About The Author

J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek Magazine, a wife, mom, and reading addict. She loves thrillers…which may seem odd, since she was once a major in French Literature - wonderful but sometimes heavy stuff. Now, for years, she has become increasingly fascinated with medicine, forensic science, and police procedure. She lives with her family in Connecticut, USA.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Place That Never Existed by Jim Ody - Blog Tour Review

Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I am part of the blog tour for The Place That Never Existed by Jim Ody and I am sharing my review of the book. 

The Place That Never Existed

For Paul and Debbie it was meant to be the happiest time of their lives – a small village wedding in front of their family and friends, followed by a quiet honeymoon in Devon. Not everyone was happy to see them together. Someone from the past was intent on ending their marriage before it had really started. Now, supposedly away from it all in a picturesque log cabin, Paul and Debbie find themselves in the midst of mysterious happenings. Unexplained disappearances with people turning up dead, and all of it centred on the site of an horrific murder. A place the locals wish was a place that never existed. 

My Review

The writing in The Place That Never Existed is beautiful, however I did struggle with it at first as it's unlike anything I've read before, but once you get into the rhythm then it's so very enjoyable and well written. I found myself picking out lines to remember because of how well constructed they were and how much of an impact they had on me while reading. He also uses comedy and mentions of popular culture really well to lighten the tone at times.  

Throughout the book I was chilled to the bone as the overall feel of the book was so very creepy and I never knew what was going on. Jim Ody weaves a tale of suspense and then the closer to the end it gets, the threads all get tighter and come together for the ending which was completely unexpected. 

I really liked the characters of Debbie and Paul and I enjoyed their relationship. It was nice to see what they thought of each other through their thoughts and the fun that they had together. I always find it refreshing to see a couple together in thrillers and crime books. 

There's very little I can say about the story without giving anything away, but it is extremely clever and well thought out and is full of surprises that I really didn't expect. 

Whatever your expectations of The Place That Never Existed are, just take them and throw them out the window as it'll be like nothing you could have expected. If you want to check out a new author this year, definitely check out Jim Ody. 

About The Author 

Jim Ody appeared on Getting To Know... earlier this year so for more information about him, go check that out here.

As a child Jim wanted to be a truck driver - more specifically Kris Kristofferson in the movie 'Convoy', however somehow this never happened, nor did he ever smuggle moonshine in Hazzard County, find treasure with his buddies in the Goondocks, or hunt sharks on Amity Island. He did win ‘The Spirit Of Judo’ award as a seven-year-old, and have published his design of a ‘Dog-Walking Machine’ in an English text book at the age of ten; so every cloud and all of that…

Jim has had poems and articles published on a number of websites, and for eight years, was a weekly music reviewer for a popular music website where he got to meet bands and see free gigs.

Jim has published two books 'Lost Connections' and 'The Place That Never Existed', and had his short story, 'The Moth In The Jar' selected and published in the charity anthology 'Dark Minds'.

Jim lives with his wife and three children in Swindon, Wiltshire, and is currently writing his next novel 'A Cold Retreat' (due out in summer 2017); and more than likely eating chocolate. And watching football.

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