Thursday, 18 April 2019

The New Achilles by Christian Cameron - Blog Tour Review


Today Life Of A Nerdish Mum is happy to take part in the blog tour celebrating the release of The New Achilles by seasoned historical fiction author, Christian Cameron.

The New Achilles

Alexanor is a man who has seen too much blood. He has left the sword behind him to become a healer in the greatest sanctuary in Greece: he has turned his back on war.
But war has followed him to his refuge at Epidauros, and now a battle to end the freedom of Greece is all around him. The Mediterranean superpowers of Rome, Egypt and Macedon are waging their proxy wars on Hellenic soil, turning Greek farmers into slaves and mercenaries.

Greece needs a champion.

When a wounded soldier is carried into his temple, Alexanor believes the man's wounds are mortal. But he is not destined to die. But Alexanor must face his own daemons before he can help the hero face his.
Because this is the new Achilles. His name is Philopoemen.

This is Greece's champion. The last hero. He is the new Achilles.

My Review

I only discovered my love of historical fiction a couple of years ago, but I sadly don't find time to read the genre very often. When the opportunity to read The New Achilles came up though, I jumped at it as I absolutely love Greek history in part due to my Greek heritage. Also the story sounded fascinating.

The action is right there from chapter one and continues right the way through the story. There are many extremely well written battles, both exciting and detailed. I'm not always the biggest fan of battle scenes in books (in War and Peace, I far preferred the "peace" sections to the war scenes), but in The New Achilles, I was kept engaged and wanted to know the outcome, instead of zoning out or skim reading.

Alexanor is an interesting character as he is someone who has moved from a life of fighting to a life of peace, before becoming embroiled again in the world of war. He is a far more stable character than you'd imagine and I really enjoyed his presence and his character development.

You can tell the author is a historian, this is not a detrimental thing, as the language and terminology used is obviously correct of the time period. I enjoy learning when I read, so having to use the glossary (and good old Google) on occasion was really helpful. The author's knowledge also helps with the feeling of authenticity of the places and people of the time period. This all really helped immerse me fully into the story. 

Overall a really excellent and intense read, not one to be sped through, but one to be savoured.

I gave this book 4 stars.

About The Author


Aka Miles Cameron. Also publishes as Gordon Kent with his father Kenneth M. Cameron.

Christian Cameron was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1962. He grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, Iowa City, Iowa,Christian Cameron and Rochester, New York, where he attended McQuaid Jesuit High School and later graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in history.

After the longest undergraduate degree on record (1980-87), he joined the United States Navy, where he served as an intelligence officer and as a backseater in S-3 Vikings in the First Gulf War, in Somalia, and elsewhere. After a dozen years of service, he became a full time writer in 2000. He lives in Toronto (that’s Ontario, in Canada) with his wife Sarah and their daughter Beatrice, currently age four. And a half.


Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Tour



Tuesday, 26 February 2019

The Secret Life Of Moles by Liz Burgess - Blog Tour Review



Thank you to Clink Street Publishing for having Life Of A Nerdish Mum on the blog tour for The Secret Life Of Moles (And Their Friends) by Liz Burgess.

The Secret Life Of Moles (And Their Friends) 

Liz Burgess has always held a keen interest in nature, especially small furry mammals!

Long fascinated by their secret activities at home in her own back garden, and the fields surrounding it, she decided to explore this special underground world, and find out more about moles and their other little friends. Liz Burgess lives in South Yorkshire and The Secret Life of Moles is her first book for children.

My Review

The Secret Life Of Moles follows Ragwort Teasel, a young mole, as he wants to spread his wings and move out of the family tunnels into more space. There's a road being built and there's a farm and tractor near by so he has to go into uncharted territory. Along the way, there are trials and tribulations until finally he is settled nicely in his new home.

As the story progresses, it shows how working together and helping your friends can assist in achieving your goals. There is also give a small insight into how moles live.

The Secret Life Of Moles is aimed at children, I would say it would be better for age seven and up as there is a lot of text and though there are pictures, they are simple (but beautiful) sketches with no colour and they are not very often. As a grown up reading the book, I found the names of things difficult, wingthings, climbing fox etc. But I'd imagine for children this would be a fun way of describing each animal and them guessing as what they were.

Overall an engaging story and I will be interested to see what Liz Burgess produces after The Secret Life Of Moles.

I gave this book 3 stars.

About The Author


Liz Burgess lives in South Yorkshire has enjoyed a varied career, including working for a UK Environmental Charity, the latter 10 years as a Director. She had always had a keen interest in nature especially small mammals, activities in her own back garden and the surrounding fields inspired her to write the Secret Life of Moles. Any reference to a moles natural behaviour in The Secret Life of Moles is correct according to Liz’s small amount of research. All the drawings were been done by Liz in pencil and ink.

At the age of 68, Liz enjoys hiking, bird-watching anything to do with wildlife. She has done quite a bit of foreign travel, including rain forests, jungles and was fortunate to see a 'tiger' in the wild. Liz retired at 60, previous to this she worked for an environmental charity for 28 years. Mainly involved with operational developments but she does have a background in Human Resources and Employment Law.

Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Tour



Monday, 18 February 2019

Where Have I Been? - An Update Chatty Post


Some of you may have noticed I came back for a little while after "maternity" and then I vanished without a trace! I just thought I'd give a little update on what's been happening and announce the (hopefully) good news, that I am back and raring to go! 

So, the plan was to take a "maternity break" from my blog from just before Baby Nerdling arrived, until September. With this in mind, I took on blog tours and had plans for reviews. All good intentions. I managed quite well to start off with, but then life became overwhelming with a new baby, a five year old, daily life and some other personal stuff and the thought of going back to "work work" looming. Reading and blogging, were no longer a priority. I ended up letting a couple of people down on blog tours and reviews, I just felt like quitting blogging altogether. With that in mind I sent an email to all the publishers and blog tour organisers that I normally work with just to give them a heads up and to ask them to bear with me. They were all absolutely wonderful about it, so it made me feel so much better about the whole situation. 

As time went on, I wasn't sure if I was going to come back to blogging or if I was just going to quietly go on my way and just not update or upload any more. I didn't even read until Nerdish Dad decided enough was enough and started handing me books he had chosen that I had to read! I went through January pretty much thinking that was it for blogging though, I'd gone back to "work work" and genuinely I had zero time to blog even if I wanted to. But then February hit and I started to get the itch to start sharing my reviews and getting back into the bloggersphere! So I've signed up for, just a couple, of blog tours, all of which I'm looking forward to. 

Going forward I will be doing blog tours, but nowhere near the amount I used to, not only just because of the lack of time, but I want to avoid burning out again. I'm also excited to be catching up on the many reviews and blogs that I haven't posted that will start appearing over the next few weeks. I'm also going to be going ahead with blog posts that I've had planned for so long, but have not got around to it. Life Of A Nerdish Mum is going to start looking a little bit different than it used to, but hopefully you'll all join me for the ride and enjoy the experience. 

Thursday, 6 December 2018

12 Days Of Clink Street - The Cubit Quest by Trevor Leck


Today I'm part of a wonderfully exciting blog tour celebrating books published by Clink Street Publishing. My choice was a YA fantasy, The Cubit Quest by Trevor Leck.

The Cubit Quest 

Twelve-year-old Charlie Watkins could have inherited his dad’s massive intellect.

He got his massive feet instead.

Perhaps if Charlie had that intellect he might have been able to figure out why so many men in suits were suddenly following him or where his dad hid the Cubit - a mythical object that men have sworn to protect and even more have died trying to possess - before his so-called accident.

If starting yet another new school wasn’t bad enough, Charlie meets Mr Leopold, a disfigured, mind-reading lunatic and discovers that he alone must find the Cubit if he is to save his dad. The Brotherhood, however, have other ideas. Led by the ruthless Draganovic, they will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. With the help of Mr Leopold and fellow new boy Elvis, Charlie sets out on The Cubit Quest.

Hunting for the Cubit, playing football, lessons with the dreaded Funeral Face and unsuccessfully avoiding school bully Grimshaw by day, Charlie finds his nights no less complicated. Stalked in his dreams, he’s soon immersed in a world of power struggles, battling dragons and duels to the death. With the Brotherhood hot on his heels and as the bullets begin to fly, there are no guarantees that Charlie, or anyone else, will make it to the end in one piece.

My Review

This had me at dragons! I love a book with a dragon in it. I also love how the mythical sits alongside normal every day things. I think the world building it very clever and I enjoyed it thoroughly. With how North Shields is described, I felt like I had visited in person and not just in book form. I'm incredibly happy this is the first book in a series rather than a stand alone as I want more of both the world and the characters.

The Cubit Quest is fast paced and a whole heap of fun, it reminds me very much of an 80's style coming of age movie (except in book form obviously) and it also gave me similar feelings to my favourite book of all time (The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub). With how the book starts and getting to know Charlie and then Elvis, you can't help but just fall in love with them and Charlie is easily a new favourite character of mine.

The story is really interesting and it kept me both engaged and guessing as to what would happen next. I was invested in finding out what had happened to Charlie's dad and what exactly was going on.

I may be a bit (ok more than a bit) older than the targeted audience, but that really didn't take away any of my enjoyment, so don't let the fact that it's YA put you off, you definitely need to try it out.

I gave this book 5 stars.

Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of 12 Days Of Clink Street


Friday, 16 November 2018

Secrets Between Us by Valerie Keogh - Blog Tour Review


Today I'm proud to be part of the blog tour celebrating the release of Secrets Between Us by Valerie Keogh.

Secrets Between Us

One letter a week for fifteen years. 780 identical white envelopes brimming with my sister’s darkest secrets. All the intimate details of a life as different to mine as could possibly be.

I read each letter slowly to make sure I understand it perfectly, one day very soon it will be a matter of life and death…

At the end of each letter, after signing her name, there is always one final sentence:

Don’t forget to burn this letter.

I’ll let you decide if I do…

A jaw-dropping psychological thriller that you will read in one sitting. If you loved dark, twisty thrillers like The Girl on The TrainThe Couple Next Door and Friend Request, this unputdownable novel will have your heart racing long after you’ve finished reading.


My Review

When I first read the blurb for Secrets Between Us, I was instantly drawn to it as I love anything that has letters in, being a big snail mail fan myself. I also find they add intrigue and mystery to thrillers when done properly.

Secrets Between Us is definitely a slow burn, in the fact that it builds up in both pace and tension until a super fast paced ending. I really enjoyed this as it kept me engaged and I wanted to keep reading "just one more chapter". Honestly this book is one you just need to find a cosy spot, get a blanket and a brew and sit there until you're finished.

The characters were both fascinating and I was never really sure who to fully trust, or whether both Ellie and Tia were unreliable. The relationship between twins is always interesting and I think this story added a different dimension to that with the fact the sisters are living such different lives.

I really loved this book and I am already looking forward to Valerie Keogh's next masterpiece.

I gave this book 5 stars.

About The Author


Valerie Keogh grew up reading Agatha Christie so when she started writing it seemed natural to write crime novels. She writes two different series, one based in Ireland featuring Garda Sergeant Mike West and a grittier one based in the UK featuring Nicola Connolly, a serial killer.

The Garda West series: THAT ONE MAY SMILE, CLOSE RANKS, MURDER ON CLARE ISLAND and DEATH IN FOXROCK. 

The Hudson and Connolly series: DEADLY SLEEP, TWISTED POWER, BITTER BUSINESS, and WICKED SECRET.

Valerie has also written a stand-alone psychological thriller, Exit Five from Charing Cross

In March 2018, Valerie signed a two-book contract with the publisher, Bookouture. The first of these, Secrets Between Us, is out now.

Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Tour


Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The Haunted Broch by Wendy H Jones - Blog Tour Review


Today I'm excited to be taking part in the blog tour for The Haunted Broch by Wendy H Jones (If you missed my review of her children's book Bertie The Buffalo, check that out here). Thank you to Kelly from LoveBooksGroupTours for having me aboard. 

The Haunted Broch

A Scottish Broch.

An archaeologist scorned.

A ghost disturbed.

The Detective Duo, Fergus and Flora, are spending their summer on an archaeological dig, searching for the Lost Broch. 

But someone—or something—seems set on sabotaging the project. An infestation of spiders—a swarm of mice—the campsite trashed—who knew archaeology could be so dangerous? 

And is the Lost Broch really under a curse?

My Review

Though this is the second book in the series, it can easily be read on it's own though after reading The Haunted Broch, I'm personally going to go back and read the first too because of how much I enjoyed this. 

This kind of adventure is exactly the kind of adventure that I always imagined I would have when I was younger during my summer holidays. Heck even as an adult I imagine the adventures I could have which is why I was carried away by the excitement of doing something as cool as archaeology! I felt there was enough explanation was gone into without overloading and it doesn't talk down to the reader. 

The characters were really well developed and we learnt quite a lot about them as the story progressed. Both Fergus and Flora were really likeable and their banter and relationship is really enjoyable to read. 

Some of the themes are very grown up and very relevant in the current climate. I think it's important that these are covered in a way that can get the younger generation involved in the conversation - people not getting the recognition they deserve because of their race, religion, gender, etc - and can help their learning and understanding going forward. 

I could have done without the spiders! I am not a fan of spiders, but that is definitely a personal thing! 

Overall a great book and I gave this four stars.

About The Author


Award Winning Author Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent travelling around the UK, and lands much further afield. As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer's Countdown is her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series. Killer's Crew won the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2107. There are now six books in this series with Killer's Crypt being released in August, 2017. The Dagger's Curse is the first book in The Fergus and Flora Mysteries for Young Adults. This book is currently shortlisted for the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award Book of the Year. She is also a highly successful marketer and she shares her methods in the book, Power Packed Book Marketing.

Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Tour



Saturday, 3 November 2018

Bertie The Buffalo by Wendy H Jones - Blog Tour Review


Today I'm really excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Bertie The Buffalo by Wendy H. Jones, a fabulous children's picture book. 

Bertie The Buffalo 

Bertie the Buffalo is based on a true story of when a Water Buffalo escaped from a Buffalo Park in Fife, near Dundee, Scotland. A rhyming book about the adventures Bertie got up to and how he safely returned home, demonstrating how important each of us is no matter how insignificant we feel. Bertie felt that no one noticed him. But he didn't need to think that as we are all special. We are all a part of one big family.  

My Review

I really, really enjoyed this lovely story. Bertie is adorable both in words and in the illustrations. It was nice to see an animal not usually given a spotlight in children's stories, as buffaloes are not your typical "cutesie" animal. 

I thought the pace and tempo of the story was perfect and it felt really natural and easy while reading. My five year old managed to read it fluently and pointed out how the words rhymed. 

The story was clever and covered some big ideas like dealing with different and new situations and the importance of family and friends. Each issue was covered in a manner that would be understandable to a child without overwhelming them with information or any fear. 

The illustrations were beautiful and memorable. I thought all of the animals were incredibly cute and the pictures told the story just as clearly as the words. 

Overall a really wonderful book and one I will enjoy reading again and again with my both my little ones. 

About The Author


Award Winning Author Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent travelling around the UK, and lands much further afield. As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer's Countdown is her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series. Killer's Crew won the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2107. There are now six books in this series with Killer's Crypt being released in August, 2017. The Dagger's Curse is the first book in The Fergus and Flora Mysteries for Young Adults. This book is currently shortlisted for the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award Book of the Year. She is also a highly successful marketer and she shares her methods in the book, Power Packed Book Marketing.

Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Tour