Blog Tour (Book Review): Game On – Laura Silverman (ed)

Hello!

Today I am delighted to be reviewing ‘Game On: 15 Stories of Wins, Losses, and Everything in Between’ as part of the TBR & Beyond Blog Tour. You can check out the tour schedule Here and please check out the other blogs involved.

Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Book Summary:

A charming and inclusive YA anthology all about games–from athletic sports to board games to virtual reality–from editor Laura Silverman and an all-star cast of contributors.

From the slightly fantastical to the utterly real, light and sweet romance to tales tinged with horror and thrills, Game On is an anthology that spans genre and style. But beneath each story is a loving ode to competition and games perfect for anyone who has ever played a sport or a board game, picked up a video game controller, or rolled a twenty-sided die.

A manhunt game is interrupted by a town disappearing beneath the players’ eyes. A puzzle-filled scavenger hunt emboldens one college freshman to be brave with the boy she’s crushing on. A series of summer nights full of card games leads a boy to fall for a boy who he knows is taken. And a spin the bottle game could end a life-long friendship.

Fifteen stories, and fifteen unforgettable experiences that may inspire readers to start up that Settlers of Catan game again.

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Book Review: Where Blood Runs Gold – A.C. Cross

Hello!

The blog will be getting back into full swing at the start of February. I’ve been using this month to try and build up a bit of a buffer with posts, and just to rest and reclaim some activities that had fallen to the wayside in the last year or so.

However, today I am delighted to be reviewing ‘Where Blood Runs Gold’ by A.C. Cross which turned out to be an incredibly fun and compelling read.

Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

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Book Summary:

Sheriff Errol Thorpe’s life is chaotic, brutal, and above all, solitary. After an unimaginable loss years ago, all he feels is the compulsion to seek vengeance. But when a vulnerable family arrives in town, facing an ugly future, he is pulled headfirst into a web of violence, secrets, and things he never imagined. In search of truth and answers, Thorpe finds himself battling deadly flesh-eating Dust, acidic golden blood, and the political designs of powerful people – all the while learning how to be a person again. When Dust rises in San Dios, people hide indoors. When Sheriff Thorpe arrives, people run.

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Blog Tour (Book Review): Mestiza Blood – V. Castro

Hello!

Today I’m here with the first blog tour of 2022, and I am delighted to be helping to kick off the Random Things Tour for Mestiza Blood by V. Castro which is out from Flame Tree Publishing later this month. This was a stunning collection that caught me completely by surprise.

Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Book Summary:

From the lauded author of The Queen of the Cicadas (which picked up starred reviews from PW, Kirkus and Booklist who called her “a dynamic and innovative voice”) comes a short story collection of nightmares, dreams, desire and visions focused on the Chicana experience. V.Castro weaves urban legend, folklore, life experience and heartache in this personal journey beginning in south Texas: a bar where a devil dances the night away; a street fight in a neighborhood that may not have been a fight after all; a vengeful chola at the beginning of the apocalypse; mind swapping in the not so far future; satan who falls and finds herself in a brothel in Amsterdam; the keys to Mictlan given to a woman after she dies during a pandemic. The collection finishes with two longer tales: The Final Porn Star is a twist on the final girl trope and slasher, with a creature from Mexican folklore; and Truck Stop is an erotic horror romance with two hearts: a video store and a truck stop.

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Book Review: A Sorrow Named Joy – Sarah Chorn

Hello!

I’m delighted to be back with the first review of the new year, and even better it’s a new book that’s out TODAY and by my favourite author. A Sorrow Named Joy is a beautiful novella that packs one hell of an emotional punch, and will make you think.

Disclaimer – I received an e-arc in exchange for an honest review, and I was also a beta reader for this book. All thoughts and emotions are my own.

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Book Summary:

Joy desires nothing more than her husband’s happiness. She spends her days creating the perfect life for him in their idyllic suburban home. Everything is neat, predictable, and in its place.

When Joy finds a picture that hints at a past she cannot remember, the facade cracks. As secrets are revealed, Joy realizes her blissful life is crumbling and to find herself, she must first lose herself.

Perfect, after all, is only an illusion.

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2021 Rewind

Hello!

So here we are on Hogmanay with 2022 not that far away now, or already there depending where you are in the world. If you missed them, I shared my Top 20 books for 2021, Top 10 series for 2021 and my 10 Most anticipated releases for 2022 last week. I’d hoped to have a few more reviews up this week, but work and my own clumsiness resulting in a trip to minor injuries yesterday put paid to that, so they will be running over into the start of the new year.

While this year didn’t end quite the way I’d hoped – and it’s been A Year in so many ways, there are still many good things to look back on for this year. Firstly, this was an absolutely fantastic year of reading (hence the top 20 rather than top 10 because I couldn’t choose). While the blog has gone (and taken me) to places I never imagined when I first started it, and it turned 2 earlier this week which was a little surreal as it feels like it couldn’t possibly be that long, and at the same time it feels like I’ve been part of the book community for far longer. And it’s onwards and upwards and there will be some updates on the blog in the next couple of days, as well as a little bit about what’s coming in the near future.

Today though is about the books of 2021, and below the cut you’ll find my year in books (it’s a looong post), and at the end of the post I have my book of the and series of the year, and a special shout-out.

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Top 10 Series 2021

Hello!

For my final post for today (and this week) I’m looking at my top 10 series for the year. Not all of them are complete, but the only rule was that I had to have read at least two from the series in 2021 for them to count. Again, these are done alphabetically (by series title) because I couldn’t choose an order.

Thank you again to all the authors for making 2021 such a wonderful year with your words and stories!

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Top 20 Books 2021

Hello!

The end of 2021 is fast approaching, so it’s the time to look back on the year of reading. This was supposed to be a Top 10 and that lasted all of five minutes, and there were so many more books I could add to this list, because 2021 has been a truly phenomenal year of reading. And I will admit… I cheated a little, because I have a second list of Top 10 series that I have read this year (they don’t have to be complete, I just had to have read at least two of the series this year) so that I could shout about more of the fantastic books that I have read this year. For this list (and the series list) I have gone alphabetically by title because it has been so hard to rank them. These lists are entirely subjective, and the only ‘rule’ I have applied is that if they are on this list they can’t be on the series, and vice versa.

I do have a top book and a top series for the year, but they will be on the 2021 rewind post on the 31st.

I also have to shout out the amazing Indie and Self-Published books that I’ve read this year. While, I have read some fantastic traditional books this year, it is the indie scene that has really blown me away this year and I have discovered so many new series and authors that my TBR for 2022 is towering high with books I can’t wait to pick up.

Thank you so much to all the authors for making 2021 such a wonderful year with your words and stories!

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10 Most Anticipated Books for 2022

Hello!

Kicking off the ‘lists’ with a look ahead at the books that are coming out next year that I can’t wait to get my mitts on. This list will undoubtedly expand throughout the year as I hear about more books, read more books and am tempted by the wonderful people in the book community, but at the moment these are the books I most looking forward to in 2022.

It’s already shaping up to be another phenomenal year of reading!

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Book Review: The Isle of a Thousand Worlds (The Weirdwater Confluence #2) – Dan Fitzgerald

Hello!

Today I am delighted to be reviewing The Isle of a Thousand Worlds by Dan Fitzgerald, the second book in the Weirdwater Confluence Duology which is out from Shadow Spark Publishing on the 15th January 2022. I absolutely adored the first book in this pair, The Living Waters when I read it earlier this year, which was a remarkably meditative book that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about, and I have been counting down the days until I could get my hands on book two and thank you so much to Dan Fitzgerald for the opportunity to read it early – and for such a wonderful second book!

Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Book Summary:

An aging alchemist seeks the key to the Universal Tincture said to unlock the Thousand Worlds of the mind, but she never expected to solve the riddle of her hermetic heart. 

A meditation acolyte travels the mystical social media known as the Caravan and finds that the Thousand Worlds lie just below the surface, if she can only learn to see the space between the stars. 

This steamy romantic fantasy explores the confluence of the physical and the metaphysical through the commingling of bodies and minds.

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