Sunday, 31 May 2020

Nightborn by Jessica Thorne - Blog Tour Review

Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I'm pleased to be taking part of the blog tour for Nightborn by Jessica Thorne. A big thank you to Bookouture and the author for having me along.


Like deep dark water, it pulls them down. The faint fire of magic within them flickers and dies. Their eyes turn black as night. They are nightborn now.

Grace Marchant has been many things: streetwise orphan, rebellious servant, and now beloved companion of Prince Bastien, heir to the throne of Larelwynn. But their sunlit happiness is not destined to last. The golden magic which brought them together in purest passion is threatened by strange and ancient forces. Innocent people are becoming nightborn – cruel, deadly, unrecognisable to their loved ones – and these two young lovers are the only ones with power enough to stop it.

In times of peace, striking a deal with their closest enemy would be unthinkable, but now their only hope is to ally with the neighbouring Valenti royal family: manipulative, cunning, and always with an eye on the Larelwynn throne. The partnership comes at a devastating price… if Grace wants to defeat the nightborn, she must watch Bastien marry a Valenti princess.

Grace knows she must make this heart-wrenching sacrifice for the good of the whole kingdom – but she also fears the magic in her veins, usually so warm and bright, is turning cold as deepest midnight. A beguiling darkness whispers to her from within. Is Grace herself becoming nightborn?

Time is running out. With Bastien promised to another, and a stony distance growing between them, will Grace find the source of the nightborn curse before every last soul is consumed by the darkness?

My Review

After reading Mageborn, I was thoroughly excited to read the next installment and I was not disappointed.

Following the slower paced first book, full of wonderful world building, Nightborn is fast paced and action packed almost beginning to end and it was brilliant.

The characters really came into their own, especially Grace which was really good to have followed from the beginning. I also enjoyed how relationships changed and evolved as the story progresses. Sometimes you find in series that relationships (friendship or romantic) hit a certain level and the stagnate for the rest of the story. This doesn't happen in Nightborn!

The story was well thought out and kept me engaged. I really cared and wanted to know what happened next. I would have liked a bit more use of powers, but that's just my opinion.

Overall a really excellent second book and I'll continue looking forward to more from Jessica Thorne!

I gave this book 5 stars.

About The Author

Jessica Thorne saw Star Wars at an impressionable age and life was never the same. She’s loved fantasy, romance and science fiction ever since and spends her time looking for adventure – in the pages of her books.

Sometimes she is Ruth Frances Long and won the European Science Fiction Society Spirit of Dedication Award for Best Author of Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2015.

Author Social Media Links:

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Sunday, 10 May 2020

The Happy Couple by Samantha Hayes - Blog Tour Review

Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I'm happy to be taking part in the blog tour for The Happy Couple by Samantha Hayes. Thank you both to the author and Sarah Hardy for having me along.

The Happy Couple

Me and Will. Will and Me. A perfect match. He said he would always be there for me, but it’s been a year since he drained his coffee, walked out the front door and vanished.

Did he leave me? Or did something terrible happen? I’m scared someone finally found out about what happened on the drive home that night…

I lie awake at night trawling the internet for rental properties, desperate for an escape. Until I see my husband’s gorgeous face smiling back at me from a photograph on the fireplace in someone else’s home, and something inside of me snaps.

At the house, I find no trace of him and the woman who lives there has no idea who I am. But I’m certain she’s hiding something behind the locked door upstairs. I know that if I want answers, I have to stay.

You might think that what’s inside that room is the answer to all my questions and the end of all my pain. But it’s only the beginning…

My Review

The start of The Happy Couple is a slow burn and the story comes together bit by bit before it really gets going. I like a gentler pace in my psychological thrillers sometimes as you can get lost in all the information too easily when it's thrown at you.

I'm not sure if I liked any of the characters, but I'm not really sure if I'm supposed to. Some of the lesser characters felt slightly less well rounded than others, but they were all still very easily imagined.  Jo, the main character was relatable and I could feel how confused she must be. I know if it was me, I wouldn't let it go without an answer and I'd be constantly doubting my sanity, so I completely empathised with her.

The pace picks up the closer to the ending you get and I was sat on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next! Would I find out what was really going on? The ending, without spoiling anything, is going to be a marmite ending. Some people are going to hate it, but people like me will absolutely love it!!

I gave this book 4 stars.

About The Author

Samantha Hayes grew up in Warwickshire, left school at sixteen, avoided university and took jobs ranging from private detective to barmaid to fruit picker and factory worker. She lived on a kibbutz, and spent time living in Australia and the USA, before finally becoming a crime-writer.

Her writing career began when she won a short story competition in 2003 and her sixteenth novel, THE HAPPY COUPLE is out 6th May. Her novels are family-based psychological thrillers, with the emphasis being on 'real life fiction'. She focuses on current issues and sets out to make her readers ask, 'What if this happened to me or my family?' And you'll always find a BIG twist at the end of her novels!

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING says "We're big fans of Samantha Hayes. Her believable psychological thrillers are completely gripping..."

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Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Missing by A D Hay - Blog Tour Review

Today is my turn on the blog tour for Missing by A.D. Hay. Missing is the first book in a reporter crime thriller series. A big thank you to the author and Sarah Hardy for having me along. 


Excalibur is missing, a killer is on the loose, and his career is on the line...

James has a nose for trouble. But that's nothing new.

This time, things are different...

...his life is on the line.

James is the chief editor of a small newspaper. It's hardly captivating work. He's bored. But all of that is about to change.

Late one evening, he returns home to discover his long-time girlfriend and journalist, Valentine has left. Early the next morning, James fails to reallocate her assigned story. To avoid blank space in the culture section, and loosing his job, he decides to write the story on the local museums latest acquisition, Excalibur.

But, there's one thing he didn't count on...

....Excalibur is missing, and a dead body is at the crime scene.

As his investigations commence, James unravels a tangled web of betrayal, kidnapping, and murder. But, his fact-finding hasn't gone unrecognised. The wrong people have started to notice. And there will be consequences...dire consequences.

You'll love this gripping cloak and dagger mystery because of the twists, turns, and ending you'll never guess.

My Review

Well wow, that was a lot of story in a small amount of pages! This novella definitely doesn't short change you on content. The story is fast paced and the turns it takes threw me off completely more than once!

James is a very well fleshed out character and it was so nice to see a main make character that's pretty in touch with his feelings. He's not afraid to show them and it's such a nice change from the usual battle hardened character.

I loved the idea of Excalibur and I'm just amazed it wasn't a front page story in the paper, not just a filler. But maybe that's just me.

I really enjoyed Missing and I look forward to delving further into James's world and am looking forward to more from A.D. Hay.

I gave this book 4 stars.

About The Author

A.D. Hay is a passionate bibliophile and can usually be found reading a book, and that book will most likely be a thriller. She is the author of Missing, the first book in a thriller series. When not absorbed in a gripping page-turner or writing, she loves to travel, drink tea, rosé, and eat pizza. 
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Sunday, 26 April 2020

Trembleath by Ruth Shedwick - Blog Tour Review

Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I am extremely happy to be part of the blog tour for Trembleath by Ruth Shedwick. A big thank you to Emma Welton and the author for having me along.


Amelia Scott is re-building her life in Southern England following a disastrous relationship. It was going to be an adventure, but when she hears news of a young girl found dead and another goes missing, she quickly begins to learn there is more to Creek Bay than she could ever imagine.

A village hiding a dark secret, two families at war, Amelia Scott gets caught up in a murder investigation with dire consequences.

My Review

I found Amelia a really relatable character. Most of us have made big decisions following heartbreak. Some of us chop and colour our hair and some of us, like Amelia move away. She's led by her heart and doesn't always make the best decisions for her. Sometimes I wanted to shake her and tell her to stand up for herself.

The story was nicely paced and kept me reading. I felt invested and really wanted to know what had happened.

I would have liked a bit more world development as Creek Bay could have been any small village, but that might have been the point.

I really enjoyed reading Trembleath and I'm really hoping for a second book. This is a well written and atmospheric debut novel and I'm looking forward to more work from Ruth Shedwick.

I have this book 4 stars.

About The Author

Graduating from Liverpool John Moores University with a degree in Environmental Planning, her passion for the natural environment and love for creatures great and small is evident in her writing. She currently lives on rural moorland on the edge of ancient woodland and shares her home with four cats and a wolf and spends most of her time ‘earthing’. Since an early age, Ruth has been intrigued by the ancient world, folklore, myths and legends and explores the unknown.

As well as writing, Ruth dabbles in Graphic Design and has worked with local charities including South Lancashire Bat Group and Rooley Heritage.

Ruth is also the creative mind behind Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival (first Chocolate Festival in the UK). She organised the event for the first 5 years, winning an award for Best Small Event in Greater Manchester. Capitalising on her passion for the paranormal, Ruth organised the Whitefield Halloween Festival whose specially commissioned beer by Outstanding Beers went on to win awards. Building partnerships with local community groups and businesses for over 20 years, promoting Town Centres and staging large-scale events to boost the local economy and bring communities together.

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Tuesday, 21 April 2020

The Princess Of Felling by Elaine Cusack - Blog Tour Review

Life Of A Nerdish Mum is happy to be taking part in the blog tour celebrating The Princess Of Felling by Elaine Cusack. I'm sharing my thoughts about the book on my stop. Huge thanks to both Anne Cater and the author for having me along.

The Princess Of Felling

The Princess of Felling describes Elaine’s childhood and adolescence growing up on Tyneside in the 1970s and 1980s. The book pays homage to her home town of Felling on Tyne and is an extended, loving letter to her late parents. 
This illustrated poetic memoir features a Foreword by Michael Chaplin, photographs of Felling taken in summer 2018 by Rossena Petcova and unique maps by poet and artist Steve Lancaster. 
The book contains reminiscences by Felling folk plus guest appearances by Nick Heyward, David Almond, Tracey Thorn, Sir Kingsley Amis, The Reverend Richard Coles, Lady Elsie Robson, U.A. Fanthorpe, Gyles Brandreth and more

My Review

What an absolutely lovely book. I felt really privileged to have such personal memories shared with me. They evoked a range of emotions from happy to sad, but left me feeling warm by the end.

I really enjoyed the mix of stories, poems and pictures. It gave the book it's character and it felt like a friend talking to you. I felt like I knew the people and places and I was very invested in them. The maps as well helped with feeling fully part of everything as I could visualise being there.

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of reading The Princess Of Felling and I'd really recommend it to others.

I gave this book 5 stars

About The Author

Find out more about Elaine’s writing and forthcoming gigs by visiting, and by liking her Elaine Cusack writer page on Facebook

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Friday, 27 March 2020

The Things We Did - Day 7

Well we've made it to Friday!! How's this week been for you? Better or worse than you expected?

We had a really lazy start to the day and I was all for counting today as the weekend. But once we got going we were ok. We've spent most of the day in the back yard, playing basketball and drawing and this morning we had a dance party. Not sure how the neighbours feel about me singing Toss A Coin To Your Witcher relatively loud!

I also became a work of art....if it keeps them happy!

We've dropped in and out of the Chester Zoo live tour today and we watched the Red Pandas, Elephants and Butterflies. 

School work was completed and so was mini Nerdling's kickboxing challenges, though we need to work on his tuck jumps.

It's been an emotional week, but we've made it and I think next week will be a lot more settled.

The Things We Did - Day 6

I wanted to shake PE up a bit today, so we completed the Cosmic Kids Star Wars: The Force Awakens yoga. It was absolutely amazing! I loved how they told the story through yoga and kept it fun, both Nerdlings loved it. Mini Nerdling is already choosing which session to do next!

After a brew and play with the blocks we spent a good couple of hours in the back yard just playing and enjoying the weather.

While we ate dinner, we virtually visited Blair Drummond Safari Park and learnt about Red Ruffed Lemurs.

We're making a list of all the places we've "visited" during lockdown and were going to try and visit them in real life to support them as soon as we can manage.

We spent more time in the back yard in the afternoon and though I never normally do these kinds of things, I thought it'd be fun to ask mini Nerdling while he was playing.

Just for fun... ask your kids these 16 questions

Mini Nerdling, age 6

1. If you won a million pounds, what would you buy?  An expensive rocket.

2. How long does it take to get to America? A thousand miles

3. What does Mummy always say to you? Stop being silly

4. What job would you like to do when you're big? A detective

5. What is the capital of England? London

6. Where do babies come from?  Mummys

7. At what age do you become an adult? 21

8. If you could change one rule in your family house what would it be? I can play Xbox every day

9. If you could be a superhero, what superpower would you have? Invisibility

10. What would you do to save the planet? Fight bad guys

11. If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Popcorn

12. How much does it cost to buy a house? £1000

13. Why do you think we should be nice to other? Because we don't want to hurt each others feelings

14. What does love mean? You want to be with them every day.

15. What are you scared of? Spiders and blood grosses me out

16. What is so important to you? Finding things that are interesting

He actually enjoyed it and really thought about some of his answers!

Mini Nerdling made his own pizza for tea and I just got it in and out the oven for him. He did a fab job!

After tea he got in his kickboxing gear and him and Nerdish Dad went and practiced his kicks and punches. It took him a minute or two to settle into it and take it seriously, but once he did he did absolutely amazing!! 

We're nearly at the end of week one of schooling from home, how's everyone managing?