Ed Bookfest Day 1

Hey guys!

So I’ve been busy the past couple of days. Saying that I’ll be catching up on blog hopping today with my blessed day off from running to Edinburgh for the Book Festival…which…has been amazing!

**That featured image belongs to EdBookFest definitely not meeeeee, please no one sue, I am poor*

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I saw Joanne Harris, and she signed my copies of Chocolat and The Gospel of Loki and she was just the sweetest person ever, I felt so star shocked meeting her and then Alexander McCall Smith.

Harris mostly discussed her newest novel The Strawberry Thief her writing process and how it feels to come a bit full circle with the world of Chocolat  and how her works aren’t different genres but rather more like same ideas from a different perspective. < I loved that so much I wrote it down.

Rosette is also such a different child than Anuk in these books and I loved the reading Joanne Harris did of her chapter. A girl considered different but she has a voice and Harris does her justice in bringing that voice to light.

She also discussed so much else about evil and more on Rosette that I’m going to leave for another blog post. Suffice to say I am an even bigger fan now after hearing her speak.

It was a bit of a crammed day because right after her book signing I have to turn tail toward the tent I had just left before it to Smith’s event. He was hilarious and just like this spark of life that I aim to be now let alone like five years from now lol.

He discusses his writing process, and it was so interesting to hear the differences described between him and Harris, both wonderful writers, two completely different processes [I mean that’st o be expected but it really hit home after hearing both in one day].

Smith is a man who loves what he writes, he finds the humor in it and doesn’t mind having a laugh at what he’s writing, but he also provides such warmth to most of his stories as well.

Meeting him, I only own Dream Angus [Thank you Canongate!] and the rest are more library reads for me when it comes to his works. And let me tell you, this man is a genuine sweetheart. He shook every single person’s hand, he sat to the side of the table so people could take better pictures with him and he stopped to chat with everyone, he didn’t care how long the line was, everyone was given his time.

I also had a fangirl moment and gave him a thumbs up instead of saying bye as I got flustered. I’ll probably never live that down.

Today I went, just to take my daughter to look around while the hubs was in a talk, we get to do a bit of coloring and of course, I broke down and bought her a book, and even got one for the hubby.

Anyway, I’ll be talking more about what both authors spoke about in different posts.

I leave you with my parting gift which I’ve also put on Instagram and Twitter because I find it pretty funny

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Fixed Odds – Blog Tour

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Book blurb:
George ‘Genghis’ McCann has stolen – and lost – a priceless masterpiece. Snooker champion Oscar ‘The Showman’ Bowman is charged with betting fraud. With a second baby on the way, and promises of great rewards if he wins Bowman’s case and recovers the painting, defence lawyer Robbie Munro has never been so tempted to fix the odds in his favour.

Book Information:
Title: Fixed Odds
Series: Robbie Munro #5
By: William McIntyre
Publisher: Sandstone Press
Date Published: July 4, 2019
Pages: 304
Genre: Crime/Thriller

 

My Review

I have a confession, I hadn’t read any Robbie Munro before this one and I wish I had. McIntyre gives us a hilarious and believably flawed character in Robbie Munro, a lawyer who acts perhaps as we assume all defense lawyers do behind closed doors, but also just as a person who has a family and may not always follow what we consider a strict moral code.

This book got more chuckles out of me than anything else I’ve read this year so far. With Robbie’s dad getting death glares from his daughter in law for his old and sexist remarks on woman’s football, to Robbie being swayed by cash and having to deal with a new baby on the way, a brother who thinks it’s okay to ‘pimp’ out his solicitor services, and an annoyingly arrogant client.

Robbie tries to do what he thinks is best for everyone, not necessarily ‘right’ and when it comes to a winning a case, he doesn’t mind using tactics that have the opposing solicitors shaking their heads (or even scratching their heads as they’re puzzled by his behavior).

Some of my favorite parts dealt with Robbie in the courtroom or just dealing with his job in general. McIntyre truly knows how to be funny while writing a good thriller/mystery plot and that’s a rare talent.

If you want a really fun crime thriller that’s got a great pace and enjoyable ending, go ahead and give Fixed Odds a go. I plan on backtracking and reading the other Robbie Munro books, if they’re anything like this one, I’ll have a few chuckles to last me through the year.

Four Cups of Coffee from me!

Thank you to Ceris Jones and Sandstone Press for a chance to read and honestly review this, as well as being part of this blog tour!

 

About the Author

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William McIntyre is a partner in Scotland’s oldest law firm Russel + Aitken, specialising in criminal defence. He has been instructed in many interesting and high-profile cases over the years and now turns fact into fiction with his Robbie Munro legal thrillers. He is married with four sons.

 

The Rest of the Tour

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Bride Squad Runaway Blog Tour

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GoodReads:
Ava and her trusty bride squad set off on an unforgettable Irish roadtrip. Along the way there’s ice-cream vans, roguish strangers and a very handsome Frenchman. Join them for this laugh-out-loud, feel-good romance with a twist.
‘Tu es belle – wow! Look at you!’ 
It should be the perfect moment. A sunny day at Vintage Brides, and Ava O’Hara is twirling in her wedding dress. Super-hot Stefan likes what he sees…
But Stefan won’t be the one standing at the altar. It’ll be Simon, Ava’s wannabe rockstar fiancé. Or will it?
Simon says he loves her, but he’s got a funny way of showing it. When his indiscretions go viral on the big day, Ava suddenly becomes a bride-NOT-to-be.
She needs her Bride Squad, and fast. It’s time for a runaway! But will Ava come home from her wild Irish roadtrip? And if she does, will it be to love, loss or something entirely different?
A brilliantly funny and uplifting story of love, friendship and freedom by real-life BFFs, Caroline Grace-Cassidy and Lisa C. Carey. Readers of Holly Martin, Marian Keyes and Katie Fforde will love this brilliant collaboration.

Where to Buy

Amazon Kobo

 

My Review

Bride Runaway Squad is a light hearted and funny read. Think of ‘Bridesmaids’ meets ‘The Decoy Bride.’ [2 of my fave wedding rom-com films, just incase you all were wondering] It’s really the kind of read that just leaves you feeling uplifted at the end, the authors do a great job of keeping real emotions while giving us something to chuckle at. It actually reads a lot like a rom-com movie and it makes the pages just fly by. But! The focus isn’t the romance, it’s the friendship, so keep that in mind, this is all about some Bride Squad Power.

One thing I tell you though, chapter six had me dying to find out what had Simon the fiancé done?! That whole chapter it was just me going ‘WHAT DID HE DO?!’

I really enjoyed is that our bride was just about 40 and just getting married for the first time, I just felt this was a bit more accurate in our day and age, people get married all across the age ranges now.

Also, while the humor is definitely what makes the book, I adored how this was truly a book on friendship, so even though it read like a ‘rom-com’ romance wasn’t the focus, it was a smaller part, the main bulk of the story is finding yourself along the way of reconnecting with those who make a difference just by being in your life.

[My favorite part was with the rats. Hands down. I’m still chuckling.]

The friends don’t always see eye to eye and I love that the issues were resolved in a way that just felt natural. Let me tell you, finding out you had more in common with someone and that jealousy can remove a lot of obstacles is so enjoyable to read. Cate and Lauren are different enough that they both really stand out from each other and from our bride Ava, and the cast of characters is just really fun, there’s a great energy between them and  whoever they meet along the way.

Friendship aside though, I just want to say I adore Stefan and felt like he was such a great character. He is supportive and a good friend before anything else. I may be a fangirl of his now haha.

If you like romance, if you’re getting married, if you just finished a relationship, and you like to have a laugh, this book is one to pick up! It’s a quick and fun summer read and I hope that you all get to enjoy it as much as I did!

Thank you to Black&White Publishing for sending me a copy and allowing me to take part in the tour. [My review is as honest as always!] And you can find the rest of the tour at the end of my post.

***Note! Royalties from the sale of this book are going to be donated to the Sarah Jennifer Knott Foundation for Cancer of Unknown Primary.***

 

About the Author(s)

 

Caroline Grace Cassidy is an Irish film and television actress, and author. She is best known for her role in David Gordon Green’s Your Highness. 

Her debut novel When Love Takes Over was released by Poolbeg on February 7, 2012. She was cited by The Irish Times newspaper as one of their ‘People to Watch’ in 2012.

Since then she has been published with , The Other Side Of Wonderful (2013), I Always Knew (2014) Already Taken (2015) and The Week I Ruined My Life was published in 2016 with UK Publishers Black & White Publishing.

 

Rest of the Tour

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Comparing Notes

 

Hey all! This is it!!! The FIRST in the series, Comparing Notes.

I had this in mind for a couple of months, it was inspired by the fact my friend Neda and I both read The Fever King and had completely different reading experiences. It kinda made me remember that we all have varied tastes, even our friends! *Gasp* I know, it’s shocking haha.

 

Anyway, now time to introduce Neda!

 

Neda and I have been friends since about the time we were 11/12 years old and we’re now…old. We’ll leave it at that. Anyway, she has a Master’s in English and is currently a stay at home mom like me, and she also writes wonderful poetry. You can find her and her reviews here.

This first post will be a discussion format and so we are awesome enough to share are very candid convo about The Fever King, and remember, we both just have varied opinions and no matter what, we’re both entitled to them, with that, let’s start! Please note we both read this a few months back and were laughable in our recall of some details.

[**ATTENTION: SPOILERS, SPOILERS EVERYWHERE**]

Discussion Time

Me: We could talk about where you think the book failed and where I thought it excelled?

Neda: Yea, especially if there are different opinions on the same concept.

Like, what really sticks out to me is how angry I was when it was revealed that Dara is a mind reader. I think I would have liked it better as a reader had I been in on the secret…maybe? At least then Dara would have gotten a sympathy vote. Same thing with…. Calix? I meant the main character, not Dara.

Also, in that same vein, it would be a totally different story if Lee had given us both Dara and the MC’s POV. Totally forgot the name…


Me: Noam

And I get that, I am glad Noam wasn’t a mind reader and I kinda thought Dara was just not a sympathetic character until we got to know more of his background. I actually was a huge fan of Calix, I thought that he was the most intriguing character. I preferred Noam without Dara. I think that I really enjoyed Lee’s take on the powers, that they’re induced by fever, and I do really love how the ending is Dara escaping, not Noam, or together, I think it’s a nice change and I hope that means more Calix lolol.

Neda: I loved the take on magic too! Dara was cool. My favorite character in the book. I need to write fanfiction from his POV. Noam was stupid. Especially, when he was running out of the building after killing that guy, but then ran back in? Who does that?
Me: lol!! I agree, Noam made some questionable choices but I think that’s why I liked him, he was a kid who grew up as part of a protest/rights group so even though he was born in a not so good part of town he was actually quite sheltered and I enjoyed Lee showing the differences between him and the others of his ‘class’ they may have come from money but at least a couple of them have some huge family issues. I could see why you wanted Dara’s Pov.

Neda: I liked the way she handled class, or at least nothing bad about it stuck out enough for me to complain. I will say tho, all the non-Atlantians did look pretty naive compared to Noam as far as the reality of the dystopian world goes.

Me: Fair enough on that I think she could have spent more time giving us world building we got snippets but not enough to really grasp what was going on, like when they went out to help in the camp, that was great, I wanted more of that

Neda: Agreed. More world building probably would have fixed my second problem: Noam’s mission never seemed urgent. I mean, he had a good reason to want to take the government down, but really they didn’t seem that awful? I don’t know. I wasn’t sure whose side to be on because Noam was questionable at best, and the government was just there.

Me: Hmm I guess I found what the govt was doing to be repulsive enough, and I was conflicted on how to feel about Noam being willing to kill someone for it though Should have done more with showing what the govt is doing. Otherwise, it’s like an invisible enemy lol

Neda: I am pretty sure Noam was influenced to kill that guy.

I agree Lee should have done more with the government. Like those between chapter, scenes should have had more to do with the world before the current world.

How did they get there?
How many died?
How long did the whole process take?

Who was patient zero?
Me: I hope she dives into all this more in book 2, and I think he was 2 but it’s like partly genius and partly infuriating that you’re not 100% sure, and I don’t think Noam is sure either And I really want to know more about the world before like you were saying.

Neda: More world building would have made the book probably 4 stars. And she had a genuine way to cram all that information in without taking up chapter space. So much disappointment…..I never felt 100% sure about anything or anyone. It’s so frustrating. I can see the appeal of grey areas because nothing is ever black and white. But this is a fictional story, especially teen fiction, I should know who’s good and who’s evil.

Me: Ah okay, I see where you’re coming from. I’m a huge believer in morally grey YA books, because the worlds are fiction but people are greyer in real life than in books, sometimes it’s nice having clear boundaries but I think it’s important to show that it’s not always easy to tell, because some teens can be susceptible of trusting people who are friendly, and if they can realize that those are not always the good ones, to keep up their guard, I think that’s useful.

Neda: Also, Noam bonded with the leader dude (more forgetting names) over their shared Jewish heritage. What is this, Batman v. Superman? That’s lazy writing. But more to your point: People who do bad things can have good intentions (See Thanos in the MCU as a prime example), and people who do good things can have bad intentions (see most characters in GoT, especially dragon lady). That’s a grey area that makes you think. If Lee had gone all the way with the character building, then, I think, she would have created something fun. But it’s just confusing.

Me: Hmm I guess I am seeing it as the first step, so I may feel more like you after book 2 if things aren’t looked into more!

Neda: Probably. I’ll read the second one because Dara, but I don’t have high expectations.

Me: fair enough man, fair enough

Neda: I think that’s everything I have to complain about.

So, we both still have not changed how much we enjoyed or didn’t enjoy the book but we did both realize the other had good points. I would say overall this was a very successful first Comparing Notes, the next one will be announced later on, but I’m really excited about it. Sometimes it’ll be a side by side comparison of reviews, sometimes we’ll be lamenting together on points we both didn’t like (or the opposite, cheering for what we did) and other times it’ll just be a chill discussion like this!

Gotta Get Down on Friday

As always, the infamous Rebecca Black song is stuck in my head so I invite it to be stuck in yours!

Late post today, we were doing adult things like looking at a house viewing and groceries. And the mini me is having a friend stay over [Seriously, I regret it every time I say yes, they stay up way later than this old lady and I can’t just let them go hay crazy so I have to stay up too.]

Oh that’s right, looking at buying our first place.

But as we house hunt we have to keep some important things in mind:

  • Bedroom that isn’t a broom closet for the daughter
  • Areas to walk the dog
  • That it can accommodate the necessary kitchen appliances (I’m not asking for a dishwasher, but I am asking for room for the fridge and freezer.
  • Carpet not from the 60s if it’s already at the top end of our budget
  • double glazing

And most importantly

ROOM FOR BOOKSHELVES

Obviously this last one is a serious issue, we are book hoarders of a sort and even though we regularly go through our books we still have so many that we cling onto.  There may be some un-hauling in our near future lol.

Homeownership has never been big on my priorities but as we get older we don’t really care to keep paying rent that’s higher than a mortgage, and we’ve been able to have enough to have a deposit otherwise we wouldn’t have much choice. This feels like a good step but I am seriously worried about having space for the books AND you know, us too hahaha.

Am I looking forward to moving?

A little.

We have to remember, I lugged those damn novels from Texas to Scotland and though I didn’t have to unload the boxes, I did pack them and move them from upstairs to downstairs in the house in Texas and then carried them about and emptied them here and there were so many.

So many.

And I hate the process of moving

I mean really dislike it with a burning passion. It’s so overwhelming. We have so much crap.

Anyway if we find a place to fit all our books, I’ll let you guys know, in the mean time expect some more non-review content tomorrow!

Book Reviewing: A Process

Hey all, it’s Saturday, you know what that means?

I revel in being lazy lol.

But also it’s the weekend for most of us, so yay for that.

Today’s post is more of a way to hopefully give you a laugh than an in-depth look at my process as my process is really…having none lol.

Step 1. Pick Which Book to Read Next

I look through my list to see which one is next to come out chronologically but sometimes it’s not that easy, there’ll be multiple ones coming out within like a two day span of each other. And so it’s just mostly a lot of me being overwhelmed.

 

Step 2. Read the Book I’ve picked

This is so much harder than it seems, the less time I have to read, the more pressured I feel. But pressured by who you may ask? Me. Myself. Oh, and I. Even though I can read most books in a day, I choose to worry over it until like 10PM and then I settle in to the actual act of reading.

 

Step 3. In Between Reading Take Copious Notes

I take notes to help me be more critical when writing my review. At least that’s what I’m telling myself I’ll accomplish by taking notes. More often than not I just suck at taking notes as well as writing up reviews.

 

Step 4. Finally Finish Reading!

I’m pretty good at this step haha, once I finally get into a groove with a book I’ll break it up over one to three days into a few sittings just so I don’t get too bored or distracted unless the book is really gripping.

 

Step 5. Writing up the Review

At this point I begin to sit there and look over my notes and stare at the laptop. It’s a hard process for me who really just is like ‘I liked it. It was good.’ I never feel I’m qualified enough to write up a review for you all lol.

 

Step 5A. Forget Everyone’s Names and Have to Look Them up

I don’t know why this happens to me, I’ll remember like one person’s name and it probably won’t be the person I’m actually wanting to write about at the moment so then I have to go back and look.

 

Step 6. Finish Writing Review and Publish it

I sit there, proud enough of it to just throw it at you all, knowing I finished.

 

Step 7. JK. It’s Never Done. Pick Another Book

 

And there you have it, book reviewing, a process!

 

Toodles guys!