Hey readers! I’m late to party but Krisha @ Krish’s Cozy Corner tagged me to this so why not join the bandwagon. Thank you Krisha for tag. If you haven’t come across her blog you need to check it. It’s so beautiful.
Best Book You’ve Read This Year?
Do I have to tell why? I wish to read more books by the same authors.
Best Sequel You’ve Read This Year?
These were the best sequel I can think of.
New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To?
Whoever read this is singing praises for this book. I still need to read first book before I start this one.
Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year?
I enjoyed first book Gravemaidens last year and I can’t wait to read this sequel releasing in October. I hope to get this book.
I don’t know what I expected from these, I saw mixed reviews before I read them but both turned out surprisingly good. Those who rated it low complained about pace but I don’t mind slow pace if plot and is strong and characters are interesting.
New Favorite Author (New To You Or Debut)?
Book That Made You Cry?
No book I read made me cry but these made my heart heavy.
Book That Made You Happy?
I wiill call it feel good books
Favorite Book To Film Adaptation?
I haven’t watched any book to film adaption or read such book this year. ☹ But if Netflix series adapted from book counts my favourite is –
P.S. I haven’t read book but it was highly recommended to me by Lashaan @Bookidote so I will get this book, Probably before third book of this series releases and I will keep an eye on sale. 😛
Favorite Post You Have Done This Year?
Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought Or Received This Year?
These two have amazing maps as well.
What Books Do You Need To Read By The End Of The Year?
I bought these out of order whenever book reached lower price possible but now I have all of them so I will it in order starting with Shadow and Bone.
Hello readers! I’m happy to share excerpt from Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds 2 by Nick Albert as part of blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources. Read more about this memoir and excerpt in this post.
Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds 2 – Still living the dream in rural Ireland by Nick Albert Book 2 in a series Publication Date: 11th June 2018 Genre: Memoirs, Humour
Nick and Lesley’s desire for a better life in the countryside was a long-held dream. Unforeseen events and a leap of faith forced that dream into reality, but moving to rural Ireland was only the beginning of their story.
Foreigners in a foreign land, they set about making new friends, learning the culture and expanding their collection of chickens and unruly dogs. But their dream home was in desperate need of renovation, a mammoth task they attacked with the aid of a DIY manual, dwindling funds and incompetent enthusiasm. With defunct diggers, collapsing ladders, and shocking electrics, what could possibly go wrong?
Will their new life live up to expectations, or will the Irish weather, dangerous roads, and a cruel twist of fate turn this dream into a nightmare?
An exclusive extract from Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds 2, written by bestselling author Nick Albert and published by Ant Press.
Although Nick and Lesley Albert moved to Ireland on a whim, their desire for a better life in the countryside was a long-held dream. Unforeseen events and a leap of faith forced that dream into reality, but getting to Ireland was only the beginning of their story.
Now foreigners in a foreign land, they soon set about making new friends, learning the culture and expanding their collection of chickens and unruly dogs.
In this scene, Nick decides it’s time to cut the front lawn for the first time.
Before leaving England I had purchased, second-hand, a solid American-built petrol lawnmower, which had done sterling work keeping the grass of our British garden under control. It had a powerful Briggs and Stratton motor, a 14 inch rotary cutting action, powered wheels, and a handy grass box. After giving this sturdy steel thoroughbred machine a good service and oil change, the engine was purring efficiently and the freshly-sharpened blade was whirring in eager anticipation. Confident everything was working as advertised, I began cutting the half acre of front lawn at Glenmadrie for the first time.
After just three paces, the engine stalled. Several hard pulls on the starter cord failed to restart it and, on further inspection, I discovered the blade was completely jammed by a large chunk of grass. I cleared the obstruction and began cutting again, with a similar result. Growling in frustration, I pulled the grass away by hand and re-started the mower. Three more steps and the engine stalled again. As I screamed in frustration, the self-assured smile quickly left my face, to be replaced by a grim scowl.
This mower was obviously a well-designed machine, perfectly suitable for the neat cutting and collection of dry grass in the heat of California, or Texas, or even Essex. But it had no chance of coping with the lush and constantly dew-wet meadow grass growing in Ireland. Clearly, I needed to do some modifications – or buy several goats.
To upgrade our mower to Irish conditions, I attacked it with a hammer, a saw and a recently acquired electrical gismo called a disc cutter. This evil-looking toy made a terrifying noise and vibrated like a live snake, but it produced a delightfully pretty spray of sparks as I chomped through the steel case of the mower. The end result of my modifications, looked rather like a family car with the boot cut off. It would surely have reduced the manufacturer to tears, as well as breaching most European health and safety rules. Nevertheless, with all of the obvious impedances to the free movement of wet grass removed, I began a test run.
With its gaping backside on show for all to see, my American lawn mower bellowed into life. A few inches from my toes, the cutting blades spun into a blur and buzzed like a swarm of angry hornets. I made a mental note to take shorter steps, or I would soon have shorter legs. Aiming at a thick swathe of tough looking grass, I pulled the lever to engage the drive wheels. As I pushed forward, there was barely a dip in the roar of the motor to signal the successful cutting of grass. There was no sign of tangling nor a suggestion that the motor would ever stall again. It was safe to say my modification was a triumphant success – with one minor exception. The moment I began to cut, a torrent of wet grass and other unidentifiable debris hit me full in the face.
Ever the practical fellow, and determined to make my modifications work, I closed my eyes to the merest slit and pressed on. Unfortunately, with the blizzard of grass adding to my already-restricted vision, I went slightly off line and collided with a tree. Plan B was to turn my head sideways, shut one eye and use my sizable proboscis to deflect most of the flying debris from entering the other eye. Although my nose did a splendid job protecting my eye, there was now nothing preventing the grass and grit from filling my exposed ear and threatening to deafen me. Plan C was to lower my height sufficiently to remain below the level of the flying debris. To do this I had to bend my knees and walk like an aged orangutan with a bad back. Whilst this method was partially successful, I quickly began to feel like an aged orangutan with a bad back. Pulling myself upright and trying to shake some life back into my wobbly legs, I reluctantly conceded the need for some robust protection and made a trip to our local hardware store.
So, two hours behind schedule, decked out in overalls, thick leather gloves, ear protectors and goggles, I began cutting the lawn again. Apart from the frequent need to wipe my goggles, and my bright purple overall slowly changing to chlorophyll green as I was sprayed with wet grass, my redesigned mower worked splendidly. Admittedly, the constant stream of fragments hitting my face was annoying, but after swallowing something that may once have been a slug, I soon learned to cut the grass with my mouth shut.
After an hour of hard walking and breathing through clenched teeth, my modified American mower had transformed a scruffy patch of grass into a neat front lawn. It wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely an improvement. To finish the job, I did a final lap of the garden, just to tidy up the edges. As I mowed these last few yards, I cast my eye over my handiwork. “At least it looks like someone lives here,” I thought, quietly proud of my resourcefulness.
Just then the mower hit a patch of rough ground, perhaps a clod of earth pretending to be a clump of grass. I was instantly enveloped in a cloud of muddy dust and, as the mower groaned in anger, there was a sharp ting and a large pebble shot out. This rocky ballistic missile, travelling only slightly slower than the speed of light, would surely have broken a window, had it not hit me squarely in the groin. Cross-eyed and knock-kneed in agony, I let go of the lawnmower, grabbed my ‘crown jewels’ and collapsed like a man shot. Fortunately the mower stopped without hitting anything valuable, or running me over. I’m pleased to report that apart from a slightly dented blade, there was no permanent damage to the mower, but it was quite some time before I was able to uncross my eyes.
Nick Albert was born in England and raised in a Royal Air Force family. After leaving College he worked in retail management for several years before moving into financial services where he quickly progressed through the ranks to become a training consultant. As a very passionate and reasonably talented sportsman, Nick had always wanted to use his training skills towards creating a parallel career, so in the mid 1980’s he qualified and began coaching sport professionally. After a health scare in 2003 and in search of a simpler life, he and his wife Lesley, cashed in their investments, sold their home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country they had never before even visited. With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, they set about renovating their new home, where they now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly, but delightful dogs. In 2017 Nick was signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about his life in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019. Book four is due out in 2020.
Nick is also the author of the twisty thriller, Wrecking Crew, the first in a series of books featuring reluctant hero Eric Stone.
Hello Readers! This month felt long with many sleepless night and some frustrating WiFi issues with my slow laptop and mobile data. I so need new laptop and I hope sale arrives soon. COVID-19 positivity rate is high in Hyderabad and they are talking of another lock down in few days. Hospitals don’t have ventilators and oxygen cylinders. My husband fears if something happened to us we wouldn’t get treatment here and thinking we should fly back to our hometown at my parents’ home. There too cases are more and but at least we have doctors in family. We haven’t decided anything yet but if we are going we will leave in first week of August and will return, maybe, in Dec. And if not, still we will visit our hometown but in Nov and come back after Christmas.
Books Read : 9 (Actually 9.75! Still need to read last 100 pages of Cometh the hour) Pages Read : 3018 Reviews written : 8
Love is What You Bake of it (Meraki #1) by Effie Kammenou — [Review] ★★★★★ / / Romance / / entertaining and heart warning love story with beautiful setting, interesting characters and lots of mouthwatering confection.
No Signal (iMe, #2) by Jem Tugwell — [Review] ★★★★★ / / Dystopia, futuristic sci-fi / / brilliant, thought provoking, and impressive sci-fi thriller with realistic characters and intimidating world.
Any Day With You by Mae Respicio — [Review] ★★★★★ / / Middle Grade / / heartwarming, charming, lovely, and a perfect middle grade story with multigenerational Filipino family and culture.
Episodic Sleep Disorders by E.L. Haines — [Review] ★★★★☆ / / Mystery / / quick, intriguing, dark mystery with vivid description and eerie setting. I recommend this book to fans of short stories.
From the Shadows (Monica Kennedy #1) by G.R. Halliday — [Review] ★★★★☆ / / Crime Fiction / / compelling, dark and interesting Scottish Noir with many twist and turns.
The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner — [Review] ★★★★★ / / Historical Fiction / / simple yet beautiful, lovely and refreshing historical fiction with amazing characters and setting.
Say Yes Summer by Lindsey Roth Culli — [Review] ★★★★☆ / / YA Contemporary / / fluffy, feel good, enjoyable, cute and coming of age YA contemporary with lovable characters.
Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella — [Review] ★★★★★ / / Mystery / / deep, impactful, powerful, and thought-provoking mystery with great characters, philosophical writing and eye-opening history, and honest and raw representation of grief, loss and mental illness.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust / / Fantasy / / Amazing world building based on Persian mythology and interesting characters.
My Favorite books of the month:
In July I’m going to read 5 another NetGalley books and 4 books for tour.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in comments if you have read any of these book and which was your favorite book of the month.
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Hello readers! I’m happy to be part of blitz tour for DEFENSE OF EXETER STATION BY THOM BEDFORD, organized by Digital Reads Blog Tours. Check out excerpt from this interesting Space opera in this post.
At the turn of the twenty-ninth century, the Milky Way is on the verge of a galactic war. The Combined Systems Alliance continues to expand their territory—much to the displeasure of the Free Planetary Union who, until now, lacked the resources to halt the encroachment. In a bid to wrest control from the Alliance and retake their former colonies, Union agents throughout the Alliance Fleet organize a mass insurgency seizing countless assets. During the ensuing chaos, numerous ships are decimated and millions of lives are lost.
Retired Alliance Commander Tanic Sandorn finds himself stranded on a border station after the Union launches an all-out assault. Fighting against anxieties from the incident that pushed him into early retirement, Sandorn accepts being recalled to active duty and propelled to the front lines. This time, he will protect his crew and the inhabitants of the Exeter star system from any approaching threat—never again will he leave anyone behind.
But outnumbered, outgunned, and outflanked, Exeter Station is left running at a fraction of its operating capacity. Sandorn and the Alliance officers on board must strategize quickly and carefully to hold their ground, or they will be forced to surrender the station, the system, and their lives.
For fans of epic space operas, like Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, Jasper T. Scott’s Dead Space series, and David Weber’s Honor Harrington series.
Every crew member aboard the Veloz ran from stem to stern working tirelessly to patch every hole in the ship. The damage was critical to the point that nearly half the ship had been evacuated. With so little power available, compartmental force fields were inoperable, leaving only a single fire door between repair crews and the vacuum of space in many areas.
Not a single deck was spared at least some devastation, for as the ship’s superstructure twisted and contorted under heavy firepower, panels came loose and circuits overloaded throughout resulting in debris littering every room and corridor. The floors weren’t only littered with discarded paneling and blown circuitry, but also injured, dying, and dead crew members. The initial unexpected surprise attack caused the most death and destruction, taking over a hundred lives. Then as the battle wore on, further loss of life was inevitable.
The victory was Pyrrhic, but it was a victory, nonetheless.
Thom grew up in suburban Cheshire, England with his parents and brother. During school he had a propensity for creativity, either writing, building models, painting, or programming. Every subject choice was motivated by creating and building, whether it be design technology, graphic design, programming, or creative writing.
After studying Computer Science at The University of Manchester, he started working as a Software Developer. Following in his father’s footsteps, he worked as a Technical Consultant in London for several years, then in Data Warehousing back in Manchester.
In his spare time, Thom still writes, build models, paints, and programs, but nowadays also listens to a lot of music, watches a lot of films, and enjoys playing computer games.
His love for science fiction comes from blockbuster films like Starship Troopers, Star Wars and Star Trek, as well as B-movies like Wing Commander, Pitch Black, and Iron Sky. Computer games like Homeworld, EVE-Online, and Stellaris, and books like Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, Jasper T. Scott’s Dead Space series, and David Weber’s Honor Harrington series. In other words, sci-fi—particularly space opera—in any media.
Thom currently lives in Cheshire, England, with his wife, Helen, and their two cats.
Hello Readers! Today I’m excited to welcome Sherryl D. Hancock, author of WeHo Series to celebrate release of 16th book in series, Darkness Past, on Books Teacup and Reviews to talk about Stumbling blocks to writing a long series. The series is packed with strong, kick-ass women who deal with real issues and overcome a lot of adversity. Check out this interesting guest post and more about book in this post.
Stumbling blocks to writing a long series:
Writing a long series means never having to say goodbye!
As a writer you fall in love with the characters in your books, and writing interconnected series means you don’t have to stop seeing your characters. When I wrote my first book in what was to become the WeHo series, When Love Wins, I had no intention of writing a series. My character Tyler Hancock was inspired by my wife and her time spent in the United States Air Force. She was negatively affected by the military’s stance on gays in the military (they weren’t allowed!). At that point I just wanted to get that story out there. My second book, When Angels Fall, didn’t have the same characters. It was only when I began visualizing my third, Break in the Storm, that I saw a way to bring back Devin and Skyler from When Angels Fall. Even then, I didn’t really plan a “series.”
One year out of high school, before WeHo ever came about, I accidentally began writing my first series of books. The very first book I wrote from beginning to end was called Building Empires, which turned out to be the first and second book of my MidKnight Blue series. Building Empires was so long I had to split it into two books, when I finally got published many years later! That’s when I fell in love with the main character Midnight Chevalier; I didn’t even know I liked women then! In Midnight I had a strong female character, a woman who took no crap from anyone, and who was tough enough to hold her own against anyone! I found that after writing about her exploits, I didn’t want her story to end! I wanted her to grow, change, live and love! I wanted other characters in the book to grow up, and become their own people.
When I began writing WeHo number four, Turning Tables, I saw how I could bring characters from my other series, MidKnight Blue, into my WeHo universe. Even bringing a supernatural element to the books, using a character I’d previously developed who has the gift of premonitions. I think that’s when the idea of writing a series starring recurring characters and centering them all in West Hollywood (WeHo), California really took hold. Thus, the WeHo series was born!
By the time I started the third Midnight Chevalier story, I realized that I needed to add characters who’d grown up in the previous two books. So I started adding new characters, while developing the ones I already had. Giving them love lives, letting them change and grow as people. As it turned out, the characters changed me too. As I explored the options for their lives, what they could do, how they could find love, I realized what was truly missing in my life: REAL LOVE! Right around the time I started to write the story about Kana Sorbinno meeting the love of her life, a woman, was about the same time I discovered my preference for women. As I explored the gay lifestyle for my characters, I learned more about myself.
It took me another ten years to finally end my marriage to a man, and live the life I’d wanted for so long. That’s when I met my soul mate, and a few years later, finally decided to write a lesbian romance! And we all know what that led to!
Now, you’re probably wondering… I thought she said this was about the stumbling blocks to writing a long series… Well, yes, there are stumbling blocks and that is MANAGING so many characters and trying to keep track of their stories. There are over forty women in the series! With more to come! It’s not always easy to wrangle so many personalities, habits, backgrounds, jobs, cars, and music preferences (if you read the WeHo series you’ll see I’m all about the music and the cars!). It only becomes worse when your publisher moves to audio books! Then the poor narrator has to come up with different intonations for each character.
How do I keep track of all of them? Well, I have a book, and that book has notes from the books, from research on the books. The book also has a list of characters by name, age, the vehicles they drive. I know that probably seems silly if you haven’t read the series, but the cars are featured heavily in many of the “group” scenes! I even have pictures in this book. The pictures are of women that inspire the characters, shots of the cars they drive, random things like an article for an apartment rental in New York, or a picture of the Colonel’s Insignia for Kai Temple in Quid Pro Quo, or a picture of a tattoo one of the characters has. The pictures can be anything I need or want to remember about the character.
The music is a whole other arena! I have so much music downloaded from what the various characters listen to. I have playlists for certain characters, or at the very least a playlist of a type of music. I have a classic rock playlist for when I need to get into the head of Jericho Tehrani (from Turning Tables) when she’s driving her Dodge Challenger Hellcat down the road. I also have a house music playlist for getting into the mind of Memphis McQueen (In Plain Sight)! Music is very important to me and can stir up so many emotions and memories. Many people who have read my series have told me how they discovered Breaking Benjamin, or Linkin Park because they read the names of the songs in the book and downloaded it. I love sharing my passion for music with my readers!
The most important thing about writing a long series, is enjoying the feeling when another book is ready to come out and people are anticipating it! I love seeing the excitement of my readers when I post that a new book in the WeHo series is coming out! It fuels my need to write, even if it means adding another name to the growing list in my book! I am starting a new series, about fire fighters working for Cal Fire here in California…maybe I won’t use the same characters over and over again, but maybe you’ll see characters you know too!
Darkness Past (WeHo series #16) by Sherryl D. Hancock Publication Date: June 22, 2020 Publisher: Vulpine Press Genre: LGBT romance
Sierra Youngblood’s life is in danger. After being threatened and stalked by an old client, Kashena Marshal is assigned as her protection. But Kashena isn’t just any security officer, she’s an old flame that Sierra could never forget.
After years apart they soon discover they still share a spark, despite Sierra now being married to a man with a son. Eventually, she realizes she can’t live without Kashena and chooses to leave her husband. But when Jason turns violent, Kashena is forced to protect Sierra once more.
As the dust starts to settle, could there be yet more Darkness in the Past?
Sherryl D. Hancock lives in Sacramento, California, and has been writing since she was a teenager. Sherryl’s bestselling WeHo series deals with a number of important topics, such as abuse and problems with mental health. Sherryl’s books are filled with strong, inspiring women in the hope of helping and inspiring others.
You can find her latest book, Darkness Past, here.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about this guest post and if you have read any book in this series or are you going to add it to TBR.
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