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



Monday, 29 October 2018

Unspoken Truths by Liz Mistry - Blog Blitz Review


I am incredibly excited to be one of the fabulous people kicking off the blog blitz celebrating the release of Unspoken Truths by Liz Mistry, the fifth novel in the DI Gus McGuire series.

Unspoken Truths

In Unspoken Truths, DI Gus McGuire and his team navigate a complex web of intrigue, espionage and murder. Set in Bradford, Manchester and on Saddleworth Moor, Gus is pushed to his physical and psychological limits. 

First a rural train between Manchester and Bradford is deliberately derailed by a vehicle with a boot filled with drugs, then a woman’s tortured body is discovered in Keighley. When Gus’ brother-in-law goes missing, the investigation becomes personal. As he battles against the storms of the Beast from the East, Gus must uncover the links between the dead woman, a pharmaceutical company in Manchester and a research facility in Northern Cyprus, as well as the disappearance of his brother in law. With the body count increasing, Gus sets Compo loose on the Dark Web - how will Gus react when he discovers that things are not as they seem?

Meanwhile, DS Alice Cooper faces extreme danger in prison and, as the evidence piles up against her, Gus and his team’s loyalties are pushed to the limit.

Can Gus stop the blueprint for a deadly bio weapon from falling into the wrong hands? Can he solve a series of murders and track down a psychotic killer? Never before has Gus faced such a demanding test.

My Review

Wow! Wow! Wow! Unspoken Truths is 100% the best book in this series so far. I have loved each and every one of the DI Gus McGuire cases, but this is definitely my favourite. It's an awful lot darker than the previous books and I really like where Liz Mistry went with it.

Being the fifth book, I already knew some of the characters and their backgrounds quite well, but I learnt a lot more about them throughout this story, which is really good as sometimes in a series as you get further in, the characters can become stale. That is not the case here! In particular the strength and resilience that DS Alice Cooper shows is extremely well written and it was really quite difficult reading about what she has to endure. Also the strength of character that DI Gus McGuire shows trying to get to the truth no matter what he's dealt.

I love the fact that this series is set in places that I know really well as it adds to my immersion in the story. With the inclusion of Beast From The East and it being a real weather phenomenon we all dealt with earlier in the year, it gave an added dimension of realism.

If I had the chance, I would have happily read this all in one sitting, as when I had to put it down I spent my time wondering what would happen next.

If you haven't already read the rest of the books, I would really recommend you get on that and then you can catch up on this absolutely amazing crime series.

I gave this book 5 stars.

About The Author


Liz writes crime fiction books set in Bradford, West Yorkshire. The DI Gus McGuire series is gritty Northern noir with a bit of Scottish thrown in.  She is currently researching for a Ph. D in creative writing at Leeds Trinity University. As part of her Ph.D she is researching how the teen killer’s voice is portrayed in the adult crime fiction novel with specific reference to the influence of teen social media usage, with a view to writing a crime fiction novel around these issues.

Liz also teaches creative writing, specialising in crime fiction and is a regular panellist at literary festivals throughout the UK.  She enjoys reading her work at Open Mic and Noir at the Bar events. She was chosen to be one of the spotlighted authors at the Bloody Scotland crime writing festival in 2016.  She is the lead blogger for the well renowned crime fiction blog The Crime warp which reviews contemporary, mainly UK based, crime fiction, comments on current issues around the genre and creative writing in general and interviews authors on a regular basis. 

She is available to comment on current issues around creative writing in general and crime fiction in particular and to speak at local and national festivals and conferences.

She is contactable on:
Facebook: @LizMistrybooks
Twitter: @LizCrimeWarp

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


Monday, 15 October 2018

Jacob Starke Loves The Dark by Peta Rainford - Review


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum, I am reviewing Peta Rainford's latest children's book, Jacob Starke Loves The Dark. I've read Peta's books before and I've always loved them, so when Peta contacted me to possibly review her newest book, I jumped at the chance. 

Jacob Starke Loves The Dark 

Are you afraid of THE DARK? Jacob Starke is. Jacob Starke is TERRIFIED! Until, that is, he gets to meet The Dark face-to-face and shares an amazing adventure through the wonders of the night sky.
Jacob Starke Loves The Dark is a charming rhyming picture book about being brave, outer space, loving plants and animals and the necessity of Dark Skies. An important environmental issue is tackled with beautiful illustrations, humour and a light touch.
Jacob Starke Loves The Dark is the sixth picture book written and illustrated by Peta Rainford. Her other books are Hairy Fairy, Jamie and the Joke Factory, Isabella Rotten Speller, Isabella’s Adventures in Numberland and The Niggle.

My Review
As I said in my intro, I've read a few of Peta's books before and I can honestly say that Jacob Starke Loves The Dark is officially my all time favourite of her books.

The artwork throughout (also illustrated by Peta) is absolutely gorgeous and fits so well with the tone and feel of the writing and story.

Confession time, yes I am a grown up, yes I am scared of the dark. It may seem silly to some, but I feel no shame, it's just what I happen to be scared of (and massive spiders!) Even though this book is aimed at children, I have to say it spoke to me as well as someone who is afraid of the dark. I loved how the reason Jacob is scared of the dark is explained as it's accurate. I also then love how important the dark is was explained and what happens because of the dark.

As usual, the rhyming is beautiful and the book is incredibly easy and fun to read, it's one that can be read over and over at bedtime.

I gave this book 5 stars.

About The Author
I was lucky enough to have Peta on my Getting To Know... feature and you can check that out here

Peta grew up on the Isle of Wight so long ago she can remember buying crisps from the school tuck shop for 21⁄2p. As a child she loved words, and loved drawing too, but she had no idea what she wanted to do when she grew up. She studied English at York University and then worked in London as a business journalist and editor for 14 years. She went to art classes and even studied fine art at St Martins, but she still had no idea what she wanted to do when she grew up. She moved back to the Isle of Wight in 2006, and it was here that Peta, now balancing the roles of freelance writer and mum, decided to write and illustrate her first book for children. It was a revelation: a way of combining picture making with her love of words – not to mention an outlet for her awful jokes. It may have taken more than four decades, but finally, Peta knows what she wants to do when she grows up.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Help The Witch by Tom Cox - Blog Tour Review


Life Of A Nerdish Mum is super excited to be part of the blog tour for Help The Witch by Tom Cox, a collection of weird and wonderful short stories. 

Help The Witch

Inspired by our native landscapes, saturated by the shadows beneath trees and behind doors, listening to the run of water and half-heard voices, Tom Cox s first collection of short stories is a series of evocative and unsettling trips into worlds previously visited by the likes of M. R. James and E. F. Benson.
Railway tunnels, the lanes and hills of the Peak District, family homes, old stones, shreds fluttering on barbed wire, night drawing in, something that might be an animal shifting on the other side of a hedge: Tom has drawn on his life-long love of weird fiction, folklore and nature's unregarded corners to write a collection of stories that will delight fans old and new, and leave them very uneasy about turning the reading lamp off.

My Review

I would firstly like to say just how absolutely stunning the cover is, if I was walking past this book in a bookshop I would buy it just on the basis of its cover without knowing another thing about it! Seriously just look at it. 

It seems to be tradition now that I read a collection of short stories around this time of year and I'm really glad that this year, Help The Witch came along. Each and every one of the stories is just as strong as the last. While reading I was trying to choose my favourite story like I would normally do, but I really struggled. So the one I chose to highlight was the one I thought was the most original and left me feeling uncomfortable as I read it, Listings. Listings is incredibly clever and it tells the story of a cave Goblin, a Tunk, through the medium of listings in a newspaper. Things like house lettings, lost pets and obituary's, give you small snippets of the story and the things that are happening in and around a house with a "cavern" underneath it. It's I think the shortest story in the book, but it's very impactful and the cleverness of it's telling rally stands out. 

There's such a wide range of topics in Help The Witch, it really keeps you interested. Though with short stories, you can read one story, put the book down and then come back at another time; with Help The Witch you want to keep seeing what the next story will be about and how it will be told. Because of this I ended up reading it all in just one sitting and I loved it. 

This is definitely a big recommendation from me and this time of year is the absolute perfect time to cuddle up in a blanket with a brew and this book. 

I gave this book 5 stars. 

About The Author


Tom Cox has written nine books, including the Sunday Times top ten bestseller The Good, The Bad And The Furry. His account of his year as Britain's most inept golf professional, Bring Me The Head Of Sergio Garcia, was long listed for the William Hill Sports Book Of The Year Award in 2007. Tom gave up writing for traditional media outlets in summer 2015 and now writes fiction and pieces about nature, folklore and the British countryside for his voluntary subscription website www.tom-cox.com. His last book, 21st Century Yokel - a nature book, but not quite like any you'll have read before - was the fastest ever book to fund with the crowdfunding publisher, Unbound, taking just seven hours.

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