Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Winter's Child by Cassandra Parkin - Blog Tour Review

Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum, it is my stop on the blog tour for The Winter's Child by Cassandra Parkin. 

The Winter's Child

Five years ago, Susannah Harper's son Joel went missing without a trace. Bereft of her son and then of her husband, Susannah tries to accept that she may never know for certain what has happened to her lost loved ones. But then, on the last night of Hull Fair, a fortune-teller makes an eerie prediction—on Christmas Eve, Joel will finally come back to her. As her carefully-constructed life begins to unravel, Susannah is drawn into a world of psychics and charlatans, half-truths and hauntings, friendships and betrayals, forcing her to confront the buried truths of her family's past where nothing and no one are quite as they seem.

My Review

The Winter's Child is one of the most atmospheric books that I have read this year. Cassandra Parkin's writing is excellent and I was quickly drawn into the mystery of why Susannah's son Joel disappeared and where he is now. I thought the use of mystics/psychics was a unique and unusual way of investigation and it was really interesting to see Susannah's reliance on them even though she knows most of them are charlatans. 

As a blogger myself, it was good to see the main character use blogging too and I enjoyed the blog pieces throughout the book. I really enjoyed mixed media books, especially when they are done well as in The Winter's Child. 

The characters are all complex and you end up having an opinion on everyone whether it be good or bad. What Susannah is going through is every parents worst nightmare and it was quite distressing seeing her trying to deal with the disappearance and everything that happens after. She isn't the most likeable character though and that makes it to me even more realistic as you end up judging her even when you're telling yourself not to. 

I was fully immersed in this story and when things start to get eerie I really felt creeped out even when I had put the book down. The Winter's Child is a dark and emotional book and is a perfect autumn/Halloween read, one to pick up on these dark nights and curl up with a blanket and a hot brew. 

I won't be giving away any of the story, but I will say it is extremely well executed and kept me questioning my own thoughts. 

Oh I also couldn't finish my review without mentioning just how gorgeous the cover is for The Winter's Child. Excellent and eye catching art work. 

Overall an excellent read and I gave this book 5 stars. 

About The Author

I was lucky enough to have Cassandra take part in my blog feature, Getting To Know... so you can check that out here

Cassandra Parkin grew up in Hull, and now lives in East Yorkshire. Her short story collection, New World Fairy Tales (Salt Publishing, 2011), won the 2011 Scott Prize for Short Stories and her work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.

The Summer We All Ran Away (Legend Press, 2013) was Cassandra's debut novel.

Her work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. The Beach Hut (Legend Press, 2015) is her second novel.

Visit Cassandra at or on Twitter @cassandrajaneuk

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

Friday, 13 October 2017

Innocent Blood by Linda S. Prather - Blog Blitz Review

Today Life Of A Nerdish Mum is proud to be one of the stops on the blog blitz for Innocent Blood by Linda S. Prather. Innocent Blood is the second book in the Redmond Investigations series. 

Innocent Blood

Loki Redmond swore she’d never return to the reservation, but two missing hunters and the ancient Choctaw myth of Nalusa Falaya take her and her brother, Dadron, on a dangerous trek through the wilderness.

Meanwhile, her partner Jake Savior, heads to Tunica, Mississippi, to investigate the second mass killing by a Choctaw police officer. Are the cases connected?

The only thing they know for sure is innocent blood has been shed, and unless they can find the source more are going to die.

My Review

Well Innocent Blood certainly starts the way it means to go on and it gets it's hooks into you right from the very start. I loved how it started and it certainly got my attention. 

Innocent Blood is full of fabulous characters and I love the importance given to family, loyalty and friendship. It's not something you always see in crime novels so it really stood out to me. Loki and Jake, really work well together and their differing "methods" make things interesting. 

This is the second book in the series, though it is the first book I have read. I felt I could quite easily pick up past goings on from the history the author gives in the story, so it can definitely be read as a stand alone. However I think I would have been happier reading The Forgotten first (so obviously I am now going to read that as I enjoyed Innocent Blood so much). 

I thought the story was really well written and it was incredibly clever how things were connected. I thought the concept of Loki's connection with the spirits was really well done and very respectful. It was also really interesting reading about Choctaw Indian's as I can't recall any books I have read in which there are Choctaw characters. Their culture is incredibly rich and fascinating. 

Overall a really brilliant book and one that I really enjoyed. 

I gave this book 4 stars. 

About The Author

Linda S. Prather is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author of 8 novels including two legal thrillers, a paranormal FBI series, one romance, and her current series involving Loki Redmond, a Choctaw private investigator and Jake Savior, a former police officer. Linda lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband and grandchild, along with the "king" of the house, a Shitzu name Popcorn. Her latest release, Innocent Blood is her second in the Loki Redmond/Jake Savior series. In Linda's own words: "This book is my favourite so far. My grandfather was a full-blooded Native American, and my mother half Native American. Prior to my marriage and children I studied Shamanism and developed a true love for nature. Studying the Choctaw history, customs, myths and religions was fascinating. Taking the facts I learnt and weaving them into Loki's story and her investigation into the disappearance of two hunters on the reservation was an emotional roller coaster for me. I found myself crying quite often."

Don't Forget The Rest Of The Blog Blitz

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater - Review

Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I have something extremely exciting! I have the very first review of Karl Drinkwater's newest novel - Lost Solace. 

Lost Solace

Sometimes spaceships disappear with everyone on board - the Lost Ships. But sometimes they come back, strangely altered, derelict, and rumoured to be full of horrors. 

Opal is on a mission, She's been seeking something her whole life. Something she is willing to die for. And she thinks it might be on a Lost Ship. 

Opal has stolen Clarissa, an experimental AI-controlled spaceship from the military. Together they have tracked down a Lost Ship, in a lonely nebula far from colonised space. 

The Lost Ship is falling into the gravity well of a neutron star, and will soon be truly lost...forever. Legends say the ships harbour death, but there's no time for indecision. 

Opal gears up to board it. She's just one woman, entering an alien and lethal environment. But perhaps with the aid of Clarissa's intelligence - and an armoured spacesuit - Opal may stand a chance. 

Can she face her demons and survive?

My Review

I'm giving a spoiler away for my Twelve Books Of Christmas by saying that Lost Solace is 100% on that list! I absolutely loved this book. It's been a while since I read my last sci-fi (that isn't Star Wars related) novel and Lost Solace made me remember just how much I love the genre. 

Opal is a kick ass protagonist and I instantly felt a connection with her. She knows she isn't perfect but she is determined and passionate. Over the course of the story we learn snippets about Opal and her life before Lost Solace, each bit makes me want to know even more and find out what she has gone through to get to this point. 

I love Opal, but I have to say I think Clarissa, the AI, is my favourite character. She is intelligent, straight to the point and just a little bit sassy! Her personality develops over time and she becomes her own "person" instead of just a programmed robot and it is really good to see this process. I think the author has done an excellent job of representing female friendship (even if it is between a human and an AI) and I recognised things from my own friendships over the years. 

The story is excellent and there is a perfect balance of sci-fi and horror. At one point not long after Opal boards the Lost Ship. I had to put the book down for a few minutes because I'd been so creeped out. It wasn't down for long though as I needed to know what happened next. Lost Solace is absolutely compulsive reading. 

I enjoyed the fact that there is technical terminology and logical facts throughout, but not too much to take you out of the moment (to figure out what it meant haha) or to make any scenes drag. It's punchy and fast paced. The technology and armoured suit are incredibly thought out and intelligent. The armoured suit is definitely the kind of thing I would want if I was in that kind of situation. 

I honestly cannot emphasise how much I loved this book. When I finished it my initial notes were as follows - Omgoodness ALL OF THE STARS! 5/5! It's creepy, it's action packed, it's awesome! - so I think that shows maybe just a hint of my feelings! Also I don't often think or say that books should be made into tv shows/movies, but I would love to see this as a movie on the big screen! 

As you can probably tell, I gave this book 5 stars. 

Help Out The Author

If this sounds like your cup of tea (which it definitely should) then you can actually help the author out by going to vote for it on the kindlescout page to get it published by Amazon. The link you need is here

About The Author

Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but has lived in Wales for half his life. He's a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you'll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn't writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

To Connect With Karl Drinkwater

Twitter - @karldrinkwater
Facebook - Karl Drinkwater

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Hell To Pay (A Detective Kay Hunter Novel) by Rachel Amphlett - Cover Reveal

I could not be more excited to be part of the team participating in the cover reveal for the fourth Detective Kay Hunter novel by Rachel Amphlett - Hell To Pay. 

Before I share the cover though, here's more about the book -

Hell To Pay 

When a road traffic accident on a dark autumn night uncovers a disturbing conspiracy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer exploiting vulnerable young women.

With her enemies unmasked and her career spiralling out of control, Kay’s determination to seek vengeance for the victims brings her dangerously close to those who want to silence her.
Undeterred, she uncovers the real reason behind a plot to destroy her career and sets in motion a terrifying chain of events.

Could Kay’s need for revenge be her undoing, or will she survive to see justice served?

How amazing does that sound? Hell To Pay is being released on the 16th of November and Life Of A Nerdish Mum will be part of the blog tour, so make sure you keep your eyes open for that in the future.

Now on to the cover -

Absolutely stunning! I certainly can't wait to read Hell To Pay and this brings it even closer! 

About The Author

Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.

She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore's TIMECrime imprint in 2014, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag in 2017.

To Connect With Rachel Amphlett

Twitter: @RachelAmphlett
Facebook: Rachel Amphlett

Monday, 2 October 2017

The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen - Blog Tour Review

As always I'm extremely happy to be part of an Orenda Books blog tour and I was exited to be able to read Antti Tuomainen's next book The Man Who Died after  thoroughly enjoying his book The Mine (my review for that is here). 

The Man Who Died

A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists.

My Review

I could not put this book down! Such a cleverly written book and a really interesting concept. Jaakko finds out that he is dying from a slow acting poison and so he decides to try and find out who is killing him. I like the idea of the victim solving their own murder. As Jaakko isn't in the detective business, he's a mushroom exporter, he has no idea how to go about figuring it out and this leads to all sorts of situations that he shouldn't have got himself into. 

Jaakko is an interesting character and I enjoyed watching his journey of emotions, his paranoia that it could be anyone and the determination to find out who the culprit is and save his hard earned company from them. He discovers things about the people around him that he never knew and it all adds to the mystery of what has been happening to him. 

The translation is excellent and the words flow and it feels very much like it was written in English to start off with. I also have to take a moment to actually mention the cover of The Man Who Died as I think it is absolutely stunning and extremely eye catching. 

There are twists and turns throughout the story and each one kept me hooked as I just needed to know who had been poisoning Jaakko and why. I ended up devouring The Man Who Died in one sitting as I didn't want to surface until I knew what had happened. As always with crime novels, I don't like to go into the plot too much as I would hate to ever spoil something for someone wanting to read it themselves. 

Overall an excellent book and one which I will recommend with gousto. 

I gave this book 5 stars. 

About The Author

Finnish Antti Tuomainen (b. 1971) was an award-winning copywriter in the advertising industry before he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed Veljeni vartija (My Brother's Keeper) was published two years later. In 2011 Tuomainen's third novel, Parantaja (The Healer), was awarded the Clue Award for 'Best Finnish Crime Novel 2011'. Thus emerged a bright new star in the field of crime and noir. The Finnish press labeled Parantaja – the story of a writer who is desperately searching for his missing wife in a post-apocalyptic Helsinki – as "unputdownable". With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen is one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula. Antti Tuomainen lives in Helsinki.

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

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Monster Joke Month 2017 - Welcome, Ideas and a Prize!

Monster Joke Month is back! This is the third year of me hosting Monster Joke Month since I launched it in 2015 and I still absolutely love it. (You can see my original announcement here).

For those of you new to Monster Joke Month, an explanation - During the month of October, any post that you send you put a joke about monsters either on the envelope or in the letter (or both) and you take a picture and use the #s #MonsterJokeMonth and #MJM2K17 on all social media so I can see what people are sending and receiving. I like to do a round up of some of my favourite I've seen at the end of October. This year I've also decided to step it up a bit and I will be choosing my favourite monster joke and I will send the person who wrote it a prize! I'll announce the prize later in the month so keep your eyes peeled for that!

If you don't normally send post but want to get involved, I have plenty of ideas for you to be able to join in.

 - Sign up for a pen pal at IGGPPC (International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club) - there's nothing more satisfying than sending and receiving old school snail mail. Don't let the name fool you, both males and females are more than welcome! It's also a wonderful community and there's a lot more going on than just pen pals, so check it out! 

 - Send a note, card or letter to a friend or family to let them know you're thinking about them or just to say hi!

 - Sign up at Postcrossing. Postcrossing is a super fun service where you can send a postcard and then you receive a postcard in return (it's explained much better on their site!) I've received and sent postcards from China, USA, the Phillipines and Finland just to name a few of the places. 
 - Regardless of Monster Joke Month Post Pals is a wonderful charity that helps brighten the lives of sick children through the power of snail mail. (I know this is a UK based charity, but I'm sure there are similar charities in other countries).

 - Send a card or letter to a soldier. There are hundreds of sites where you can send a morale boosting letter to a soldier overseas and I'm sure they'd enjoy a good monster joke too!

These are just a few of the many, many ways you could join in on Monster Joke Month! If you have any other ideas though, please make sure to put them in the comments. Also let me know if you're planning on joining in, the more the merrier!

Don't forget to post your pics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and be sure to use the hashtags #MonsterJokeMonth and #MJM2K17 if you feel like tagging me, I'm @NerdishMum on both twitter and Instagram and my page is Life Of A Nerdish Mum on Facebook.

I can't wait to see all your jokes and the fun mail that you send this year!

Some previous years jokes