February has officially become the Month of the Hermit for me! Not a bad thing at all between the oft-unpredictable Scottish weather and the fact I had a novel to finish.

It’s been a great month in spite of- or thanks to?- both of these things and I’m settling back into the family home with far more ease than I’d previously predicted.

Make sure you check out the ‘Writing’ section of this round up for your change to WIN a signed paperback of Amanzimtoti: The Ridge, as well as a place to grab some pretty great books for FREE!


[ 18 / 125 ]

Nine books read this month, which isn’t bad considering the amount of writing I had to get done. I wish most of them been better books though, and it occurs to me that instead of working my way through the… 594 books I already own (omg! and those are just the ones on my kindle!), I may need to start afresh. Which is a terrifying prospect when I think about how much money I’ve spent and how very little return I feel I’m getting out of them in regards to enjoyment. Just look at the January Round Up, almost every single read was a 4 or 5 star for me, and they were all ‘new’ books. UGH. But I won’t worry about that just yet because I definitely don’t have money to buy new books right now. #readerproblems

It's All Relative by J.M. Snyder

 

It’s All Relative
by J.M. Snyder

3 Star

Notes: DNF 42%. Probably not the best book to have started off the month with, though I did enjoy the beginning of the story. By the time I made it towards the half-way point I was bored, Michael was irritating the shit out of me and just the thought of reading any further annoyed me. It’s hard though because I know what the author was trying to do here, and I completely believe that when siblings reunite they regress to a certain mentality but… it was too much drama, too much of the time. There was one saving grace though, and his name was Dan. Dan you have the patience of a saint!

Hunter of Demons by Jordan L. Hawk

 

Hunter of Demons
by Jordan L. Hawk

1 Spectr – 3 Star

Notes: From the same author as the Whyborne&Griffin series which I adore, and just highlights to me that I should probably only read that series by her. I tried another one of her prior stories and was horribly disappointed. This one… wasn’t too bad, and as much as I loved the concept I hate it when authors rush the character development just so they can throw them into bed together. Despite being possessed by an unknown entity, all these guys could think about was how hot the other one was. When they weren’t eyefucking each other, the story was actually pretty decent and I want to read more (hell I already own the next two), I just don’t know if I want to be horribly disappointed by Hawk again :/

Waylander by David Gemmell

 

Waylander
by David Gemmell

3 Drenai Tales – 4 Star

Notes: This one is a re-read for me. First read way back in 2007 (omg!) when I was all over epic fantasy. I found my box of David Gemmell novels and decided I was going to re-read the lot of them this year. There is a written order and a chronological order for the Drenai Tales, I’ll be re-reading the series in chronological order, just for kicks! It was actually really nice reading a book without romance being the focal point for a change.

Body Art by Jordan Castillo Price

 

Body Art
by Jordan Castillo Price

3 Star

Notes: A short little murder mystery with well thought-out characters (who are very yummy together!) and a pretty good concept plot-wise. Why only three stars? The ending seemed really rushed and I was left unsatisfied on a whole. It almost felt as though the author was writing to a word count and tried to tie everything up as quickly as possible in order to keep the book short. This was my first novel by this author but I’ll definitely read more, she’s on my radar for the ‘Psycop’ series everyone has been reccing me (yes, I will get onto those… at some point!)

The Harbinger by Nelou Keramati

The Habinger
by Nelou Keramati

1.5 The Fray Theory – 5 Star

Notes: I will be writing and posting a proper review to this one on launch day (March 1st) but until then can I just say OMG YOU GUYS IT WAS SO GOOD LIKE RIDICULOUSLY SO asdfgh I cannot get over how gorgeous this author’s prose is. I urge you all to check this new series out if you’re a fan of well written fantasy, amazingly interesting characters and late nights because you refuse to put it down until you’ve finished!

Why Love Matters by Jay Northcote
Why Love Matters
by Jay Northcote

3 Star

Notes: A relatively satisfying little short. I kind of wish the author hadn’t mentioned it was previously a Merlin fanfiction at the start of the book, as that’s all I could see the characters as whilst reading (which, isn’t terrible, who doesn’t love a wee bit of Merlin Slash?). That and, as good as the touch-therapy concept was, ‘Alastair’s’ aversion to touch and physical intimacy felt way too easily fixed. Or maybe ‘Martin’ is just ~magic?

Macarons at Midnight by M.J. O'Shea

 

Macarons at Midnight
by MJ O’Shea & Anna Martin

3 Star

Notes: DNF 69%. Le sigh. This book. Ugh. Don’t get me wrong, I was enjoying it, but omg it was ridiculously sweet. Like scrunch your nose up I’m going to be sick if this gets any sweeter kind of sweet, and it was annoying because I knew the build up was leading to some kind of epic drama– the summary tells me as much, and yeah. I just got to a point where I literally couldn’t stomach another word. I checked out some of the reviews to find out what I was missing and tbh I’m glad I decided to quit when I did.

Found At the Library by Christi Snow

 

Found at the Library
by Christi Snow

4 Star

Notes: I went back and changed my rating for this one from a 3 to a 4 star because even though Mac was creepy-as at the start and Tommy was way too woe-is-me and there were so many ‘bad communication’ tropes separating these boys, I actually really enjoyed this one! I started it as a wee ‘just one or two chapters’ between writing breaks and ended up devouring half the book before I’d realised it.
As a side note, I grabbed this one from instafreebie just this week! Thanks to The Book Locker, check them out if you’re on the hunt for some free reads.

 


[ [ ♥ ] Finish Toti 2 Rough Draft ]

Even though I still need to polish off the last three chapters, I’m am very happy and relieved to announce that the rough draft of Amanzimtoti: Inyoni Rocks has now been completed!

Who’s excited? Are you excited? I sure as hell am! XD 

I just need to give it one last read through, see if I can’t cut around 10k (needlessly wordy? who me?) before I send it off for editing. My artist is getting to work on the cover this week and I’m hoping to publish early April! ~flail

I’ll be looking into ARC opportunities for you guys around the start of this month (March) so stay tuned for that! And for anyone interested, I’ve added some information regarding the next two books I plan to write for the series, and you can check that out ⇒ h e r e ⇐


In other writing– or rather book— news:


Want to Win a Signed Paperpack of
Amanzimtoti: The Ridge + Goodies?

I’m currently giving away one signed paperback edition of my debut novel over on Goodreads! So if you’d like to get your hands on this, quite frankly gorgeous looking book (plus some exciting goodies!), pop on over to Goodreads and…

click  to  enter


And finally, I recently took part in my first instafreebie promotion with a few other authors over on The Book Locker, we’ve banded together to offer a free novel each (two guesses which one I offered! XD), and all you have to do to get one is sign up for the author’s mailing lis!

I’m not sure about you but I love a little something for relatively nothing, and with this not only do you get a free book, but the author can then contact you about other great novels they’re working on.

The Book Locker

They don’t just cater to Young Adult and LGBT novels either, they have 30 different genre categories you can have a look though with books being changed at the start of every week. So if you see something you like, make sure you grab it quick, as they won’t be up there for long!


[3/24] Cinema  

  • Assassins Creed
  • XXX
  • Hacksaw Ridge

Podcasts

This month I started listening to podcasts! The job I’ve got at the moment involves me cleaning smoke-damaged musical instruments for up to eight hours a day. As I’m sure you can imagine, this got boring pretty damn fast! Thankfully I’m in a position to pop some earphones in and, instead of listening to music all day, decided to go back and listen to something I’d originally started way back in 2012…

[ ♥ Welcome to Night Vale ]

This is one of those weird, addictive, potentially bad for your health–… oh, wait. No, it is. Like really bad for your health. You should probably consider stopping. I’m reading the label and symptoms may include death, quasi-death and eternal scout levels of creepiness. So, you know, just some things to consider first. Before you start listening to it yourself. Which you should. (It is mandatory after all!)– kind of podcasts!

It’s presented by Cecil Balwin a radio show host reporting on the strange events that occur in Night Vale:

A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep.

Welcome to Night Vale.

It’s an amazing series and I quickly devoured all 102 episodes currently available. Aside from the oft-entertaining levels of weird/supernatural/creepy, there is also the fact it portrays a LGBT relationship (ASDFGH CECIL/CARLOS ♥_♥ you guys, these guys! ) with at least one of them a POC character (the other one? Well as the host, we don’t really know what Cecil looks like because he never describes himself, and has a prophetic aversion to mirrors… so actually Cecil is one of those Schrodinger-type characters who is everything and nothing at all times! But you know the best part? It doesn’t actually matter! And isn’t that just Carlos-levels of perfect?!

[ ♥ The Black Tapes ]

After catching up with WTNV I needed something else to listen too and found myself trawling through recommendations for fans of Night Vale, where I discovered The Black Tapes.

a serialized docudrama about one journalist’s search for the truth, her enigmatic subject’s mysterious past, and the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both.

I caught up on both seasons within a week and I’m desperate for season three already. I love how creepy this one is, and just when I get to a point where I’m all “it’s real omg” Richard Stein (the enigmatic subject with the mysterious past!) steps in and casts doubt over the validity of everything and I love that. I love how he can make you question what you’re actually witnessing versus what you want to witness.

 

What’s next for me then? Well I’ve listened to the first episodes of both A Scottish Podcast and Limetown, so I guess I’ll keep at them this coming week and see how they go. I’m definitely on the look out for recs if anyone has them as I’ve got about six more weeks of this crazy cleaning malarkey to get through with my sanity intact!


And Finally…

By the end of March I hope to have…

  • Completed the editing for Amanzimtoti [2]: Inyoni Rocks
    • & sorted out ARC opportunities
  • Read 10-12 books
  • Posted to my Wanderlust Blog (casually forgetting to mention she failed at this for February!)
  • Seen something at the cinema

–Carmen-Shea

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