Brief blogs for busy bees

Author: Alyce

Blog tour: I Hold Your Heart by Karen Gregory

Blog tour: I Hold Your Heart by Karen Gregory

Hello everyone! This is the most exciting blog tour I’ve been involved in all year, and I’ve been dying to share my thoughts on I Hold Your Heart – Karen Gregory’s third novel – with you all. I absolutely loved Countless and Skylarks left me […]

Blog tour: The Partisan Heart by Gordon Kerr

Blog tour: The Partisan Heart by Gordon Kerr

Hi there, and welcome to my stop on The Partisan Heart‘s blog tour. It’s a huge honour to have been invited to take part in this tour, and I’m so excited to be sharing a brilliant extract from Gordon Kerr’s newest release with you. As […]

Blog tour: Breaking the Lore by Andy Redsmith

Blog tour: Breaking the Lore by Andy Redsmith

Hi there! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve had time to post (working in a chocolate shop at Easter is even busier than working retail at Christmas, so I’ve been struggling to recover) but I’m glad to be back and taking part in the blog tour for Breaking the Lore.

I was originally hoping to review Breaking the Lore as well as posting a spotlight for it, but unfortunately I’m only 10% through it (I wasn’t kidding about how exhausted I’ve been!) so this is solely going to be a spotlight post for today. Pop back in a couple of weeks and I should have a review up.

The cover for Breaking the Lore.

A magical, mischievous mystery perfect for fans of Douglas Adams and Ben Aaronovitch.

How do you stop a demon invasion… when you don’t believe in magic?

Inspector Nick Paris is a man of logic and whisky. So staring down at the crucified form of a murder victim who is fifteen centimetres tall leaves the seasoned detective at a loss… and the dead fairy is only the beginning.

Suddenly the inspector is offering political asylum to dwarves, consulting with witches, getting tactical advice from eves and taking orders from a chain-smoking talking crow who, technically, outranks him.

With the fate of both the human and magic worlds in his hands Nick will have to leave logic behind and embrace his inner mystic to solve the crime and stop an army of demons from invading Manchester!

If you’re interested in reading Breaking the Lore, you can purchase a copy via Amazon, Kobo, Google Books or Apple Books. Breaking the Lore is Andy Redsmith’s debut novel, and the first book in the Inspector Paris Mystery series, so this is the perfect time to get on board.

About the author:

Andy Redsmith was born in Liverpool and grew up in Runcorn. For university he moved the enormous distance to Salford and has lived in Manchester ever since. He says the people there are great, but we don’t talk about football.

He worked for many years as a project manager in the computing industry, a job which really is every bit as exciting as it sounds. Eventually the call of writing became too hard to ignore and he went off to do that instead. Over the years in IT he worked with some very clever people and some complete weirdos, none of whom bear any resemblance to the characters in his books. Honest.

He has a wonderful wife, a great son, and a loft full of old Marvel comics. One day he’ll get round to selling them. That’s the comics, not the family.

If you’re interested in learning more about Andy Redsmith, follow him on Twitter.

A huge thanks to Canelo for allowing me to get involved in this blog tour, and to you for putting up with me pulling yet another disappearing act. I should be back to regularly scheduled programming soon, I promise!

Alyce

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Top Ten Tuesday: First ten books I reviewed

Top Ten Tuesday: First ten books I reviewed

Wow, this is such a fun topic. For this post I’m delving back in time to the beginning of my previous blog, Everything Alyce. Travel back in time with me to the summer of 2014, and check out my first ever book reviews. 10) Picture […]

Blog tour: Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre

Blog tour: Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Fallen Angel blog tour. This is the first Chris Brookmyre novel I’ve ever read, but as soon as Caolinn invited me to take part I knew I had to say yes – she described Fallen Angel in […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Rainy Day Reads

Top Ten Tuesday: Rainy Day Reads

I feel as though it’s tempting fate to say this, but the weather in England has been uncharacteristically bright for the past few weeks. It’s still cold, yes, but there’s been a surprising lack of rain: although April is supposed to bring showers, it’s instead been providing weak sunshine.

Hopefully you won’t need to use these recommendations any time soon, but if the weather does get rainy again these are the ten books I’d recommend reading while curled up under a blanket with a steaming hot chocolate.

10) The Rain by Virginia Bergin

This might be the opposite of the kind of rainy day read you’re looking for, but if you’re sadistic and love mentally torturing yourself it’s the perfect time to read a book that features rain which kills you as soon as a drop touches your skin. You definitely won’t be popping to the shops after you finish it, though!

9) Retribution by Jilliane Hoffman

Retribution is one of my favourite crime novels of all time, although I read it on Christmas morning when I was in my very early teens – not the kind of festive reading most people that age were probably picking up! However, there’s a very important rain storm in this book, and I’m determined to reread it as soon as I have a gloomy, rainy day to spare.

8) The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

If you haven’t watched the Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House yet, you’re in for some wonderful surprises. If you have, you’re still going to end up being surprised, because the adaptation was only very loosely based on Shirley Jackson’s novel – it’s not as rooted in family, and each of the characters are far less developed than they are in the TV series. It’s well worth a read, especially on a rainy day, because that’ll make the goosebump-inducing moments all the spookier.

7) Opposite of Always by Jason A. Reynolds

My review of Opposite of Always should be coming at some point in the next couple of days – I’ve finished the book but haven’t had time to process my thoughts about it just yet – but it’s a brilliant rainy day read. Jack’s girlfriend, Kate, dies, and every time she dies he is thrown back in time to the moment that they met, destined to live their relationship over and over again. Sometimes when it’s raining the days feel endless, so living the same time period over and over again is the perfect plot!

6) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Let’s be honest, Red Rising is my favourite book of all time. I’d recommend it during rainy days, sunny days, snowy days, mild days… Just read Red Rising!

5) Wondrous by Travis M. Riddle

Wondrous transports you to a completely different world, but it begins with one boy hidden under his bedsheets during a thunderstorm. If that doesn’t make it the perfect rainy day read, I don’t know what you’re looking for from me!

4) Trapped by Nick Louth

I actually read Trapped on a very warm and sunny day, but it was so gripping that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from it so the good weather was completely wasted. This is the perfect book to sit and read in one sitting, so if you wait until a rainy day you definitely won’t be passing up on the opportunity to do anything better.

3) Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Reading about the beautiful scenery than Zorie and Lennon travel through during their camping trip will make you sure to forget about the downpour outside… Until they also get trapped in a torrential storm, and then you’ll be really grateful to be inside your warm house!

2) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl warms you to your very soul. As Wren and Cath go off to university and start travelling down vastly different paths, you’ll find yourself rooting for both of them (and the rain outside will make it completely acceptable to stay in and read it in one sitting!).

1) Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Born Wicked is such an atmospheric novel to read while the rain is pouring down. With the Cahill sisters discovering their magical powers and struggling with so many obstacles, you can’t help but be drawn into their story. It’s the perfect distraction from the terrible weather outside your window.

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday! Have you got any recommendations for me to read on a rainy day?

Alyce

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Top Ten Tuesday: Outrageous bookish things I’ve done

Top Ten Tuesday: Outrageous bookish things I’ve done

I found it really hard to think of ten things to put on this week’s list, because I haven’t done anything that outrageous in the name of books. I just about managed to scrabble a list together… Then I completely forgot to write it up […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Things that make me pick up a book

Top Ten Tuesday: Things that make me pick up a book

It’s been hard to narrow this list down to just ten, because there are so many different reasons I choose to read a book. I’ve had a lot of fun trying to pick which are my top ten reasons, though – I hope you enjoy […]

Rapid Reviews #1

Rapid Reviews #1

It’s been practically impossible for me to blog recently, as my glasses are broken and my laptop screen just isn’t clear when I’m wearing my contact lenses. However, it hasn’t slowed down my reading, which is why it’s time for my first ever Rapid Reviews post!

If I was going to try to catch up on writing reviews of all the great books I’ve read this month, it would be an endless struggle, so I’m just going to share my star ratings and some brief thoughts on each of the books I’ve gotten through.

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas – 5 stars

I loved The Hate U Give, but I waited far too long to read it (as in, I literally read it last month. Oops) so when On The Come Up was released I made it a priority to pick it up as soon as I could.

On The Come Up tells the story of Bri – daughter of dead rapper Lawless – who is following in her father’s footsteps trying to make a name for herself in the rap game. After an incident at school encourages Bri to write a rap which should be taken more sarcastically than literally, she starts getting painted as a hood rat and has to figure out who she really is.

Although Bri’s story is a standalone, it makes direct references to the events of The Hate U Give because they’re set in the same universe, so I would definitely recommend reading Thomas’s debut novel first.

Warcross by Marie Lu – 4 stars

Warcross is the second Marie Lu book I’ve read, and I genuinely think she might be becoming one of my favourite authors. Warcross is a game played via the NeuroLink, a high-end gaming system which uses your brain to make hyper-realistic graphics and authentic experiences. Emika Chen hacks into the opening ceremony of Warcross in the attempt to steal a power-up which she can sell to pay for her rent, but she ends up making herself visible – not so sneaky after all.

Fast forward a couple of days and Emika finds herself being flown to Tokyo by Hideo Tanaka, creator of the NeuroLink. Someone is attempting to hack into the game – someone known only as Zero – and Hideo needs Emika’s expert hacking skills to stop him before something seriously bad happens.

The only reason this didn’t get 5 stars is because at the beginning it’s really hard to distinguish between when the characters are in the NeuroLink and when they’re in reality, but that issue is resolved towards the end of the book. Looking forward to continuing this story in Wildcard, the second book in the duology.

I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan – 5 stars

I was torn between 4 and 5 stars for I Am Thunder, but I finished it a couple of days ago and I still can’t stop thinking about it which is why I’ve bumped it up.

Muzna’s family move across country after her father loses her job and her best friend is involved in a scandal. Her new school isn’t the most accepting of difference, but luckily hottie Arif is there to help. For some reason he likes her just as much as she likes him even though she’s not the prettiest, and he happily takes her under his wing to teach her about religion.

However, it isn’t long before the teachings of Arif and his brother start to feel uncomfortable to Muzna, who beings to wonder whether there might be some truth to the rumours of radicalisation.

I loved this book because it openly tackled the belief that all Muslims are followers of ISIS. “Islam was once a well-respected religion. Now these bloody ISIS and Taliban bastards come along and make it a thing to be reviled!” is just one of many quotes exploring the misconception that sharing a skin colour means sharing an ideology, and it was great to see this deconstructed. It also has a strong focus on family dynamics, and the way that it’s important to be able to explore your individuality rather than just following the path that your parents want you to take.  

The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble – 3 stars

The Dog Runner is a middle-grade dystopian novel, in which a red fungus has destroyed all wheat, leading to a shortage of food and a fight to survive. Ella and Emery take five big doggos and travel across the Australian desert to Emery’s mum’s house, avoiding danger and hoping to be reunited with their dad or Ella’s mum, who have both gone missing.

Until the end of the book this was a solid four star, but the last chapter is so rushed and underdeveloped that it undoes a lot of the hard work MacDibble put into crafting such a complex world. However, it’s likely to encourage young people to think seriously about the environment, which is always going to be a positive thing.

The best thing about The Dog Runner (other than the doggos) was Ella’s voice, which was extremely strong. Riddled with grammatical inaccuracies and slang, it brings Ella’s youth into the forefront of your mind and makes some of the trials that are faced all the more harrowing.

I hope you enjoyed this Rapid Review post! Leave me a comment down below if you prefer this style of reviewing, because it’s something really different for me.

Alyce

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite albums

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite albums

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is an audio freebie, so I thought it was the perfect excuse to talk about some of my all-time favourite LPs. I’ve been playing with this list for a few weeks, and I’ve already had to take some of my […]