Wednesday, 31 January 2018

The Journal Of Curious Letters (The 13th Reality #1) by James Dashner - Blog Tour Review

For people who have followed Life Of A Nerdish Mum for a couple of years now, will know that I went through a huge Maze Runner phase and I read every thing I could find in the series (though I'm now slacking as I still haven't read the Fever Code!) So when I got the opportunity to review the first book in James Dashner's middle grade series, The 13th Reality - The Journal Of Curious Letters, I absolutely jumped at the chance. As well as my review today, I have an exciting tag for people to complete and share, so definitely make sure you check that out! 

The Journal Of Curious Letters (13th Reality #1) 

What if every time you made a choice that had a significant consequence, a new, alternate reality was created — the life that would’ve been had you made the other choice? What if those new realities were in danger? What if it fell to you to save all the realities?

Atticus Higginbottom, a.k.a. Tick, is an average thirteen-year-old boy until the day a strange letter arrives in his mailbox. Postmarked from Alaska and cryptically signed with the initials “M.G.,” the letter informs Tick that dangerous — perhaps even deadly — events have been set in motion that could result in the destruction of reality itself. M.G. promises to send Tick twelve riddles that will reveal on a certain day, at a certain time, at a certain place, something extraordinary will happen. Will Tick have the courage to follow the twelve clues M.G. sends to him? Will he be able to solve the riddles in time? Will Tick discover the life he was meant to live?

My Review

The Journal Of Curious Letters was so much fun! I really enjoyed the riddles and the fast paced adventure through the book. 

Tick was a really great character and he felt very realistic to me. He wasn't the usual perfect protagonist and he had his own faults, so it all just made him more loveable and easy to get behind. It was also so very nice to see a happy family and a character having a good relationship with their dad. It's so incredibly rare to see this is any kind of book. 

The riddles themselves were interesting and they weren't dumbed down for a younger audience, so me as a person (ever so slightly haha) over the target age enjoyed trying to work out the clues alongside Tick. 

Overall this was a really good book, with plenty of action and it certainly kept me invested and on the edge of my seat. You can tell this is the first book in the series as it feels very much like a set up for future action, but this didn't detract from how much I enjoyed the story and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. 

I gave this book 4 stars. 

Thank you very much to Sweet Cherry Publishing and James Dashner for the opportunity to review The Journal Of Curious Letters. 

The Tag!

And here are the prompts for the tag! I'll be tagging a couple of people on twitter, but if you want to do the tag yourself, then consider yourself tagged! My own answers to the tag will be up on a blog post very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that in the near future. If you do complete the tag, make sure you use the #The13thReality so people can check out your answers. 

About The Author

James Dashner was born and raised in Georgia but now lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series: The Maze RunnerThe Scorch TrialsThe Death Cure, and The Kill Order. His newest series is The Mortality Doctrine: The Eye of MindsThe Rule of Thoughts, and The Game of Lives.

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

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Hydra by Matt Wesolowski - Blog Tour Review

I don't think I can put into words, just how excited I am to be part of the blog tour for Matt Wesolowski's newest novel, Hydra. I absolutely loved Six Stories, so jumped immediatey at the chance of reading more of his work! 


One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 26-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the "Macleod Massacre." Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation.

King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal team made out. As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden "games," online trolls, and the mysterious Black-eyed Children, whose presence extends far beyond the delusions of a murderess. 

My Review

Matt Wesolowski is officially a genius. The way he crafts and weaves his stories is just, well....genius! I didn't think you could get a better book than Six Stories and then out came Hydra and proved me very wrong. 

Telling the story through podcasts is such a modern and unique way of storytelling and it really lays everything out so nicely for the reader. The writing is so exquisite that you feel like you are actually "listening" to a podcast instead of reading it. Scott King is an extremely interesting character in himself and I enjoy the way he goes about investigating cold cases, not necessarily to solve them, but to try and shed more light on them. Its definitively something I would listen to in real life or watch a documentary on. 

I won't touch on the plot as to do so would be to take away any new readers discovery of the twists and turns throughout. I will say however that you can really feel Wesolowski's origins in horror as Hydra is extremely creepy and gave me chills throughout the book. The story is fresh and full of surprises and I really enjoyed trying to discover the why of the horrendous crime that had occurred. 

Without gushing too much more, all I can say is go out and buy Six Stories and Hydra and read them immediately, you will not regret it! 

I gave this book ALL THE STARS! 

About The Author

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK - and US - based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature Feature, Selfies From The End Of The World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. 

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

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Guest Post - J.C. Macek III - The Enigma of Calderon

Life Of A Nerdish Mum is handing over the reins to author J.C. Macek III today as he talks about the Enigma of Calderon, a character in his new novel [Cargo]. 


Over the years Anthony Peterson has amassed a fortune, numerous properties, a trophy wife and a reputation for ruthless business dealings. He is a man who is used to getting his own way.

But when Peterson wakes to find himself locked in a metal shipping container, with only a cell phone and twenty-four hours of air left, he begins to unravel.

Desperate to escape Peterson soon learns that there is more to the container than he first realised. And when the kidnappers call and demand ten million dollars, while threatening to murder and rape his beautiful wife if he doesn’t comply, Peterson must fight to meet their impossible terms or face being left to die alone in the darkness.

Why has Peterson been targeted?
Who are those responsible for his kidnap?
And will Peterson make out of the container alive?

Cargo is an edge of your seat thriller about the choices we make.

Guest Post - [Cargo]: The Enigma of Calderon.

Agatha Christie once wrote “Everyone is a potential murderer-in everyone there arises from time to time the wish to kill...”
In a world where everyone is a killer, how does one determine the good guys from the bad guys?
Enter the mercenary known as Calderon. Calderon is the kind of killer who never attempts to rationalize himself as a good man, yet still sees the world in different shades of evil. The man called Calderon would certainly agree with Christie’s assertion about murderous mankind, but he separates different kinds of killers by motive.
“The difference is why.” Calderon has often told himself. For Calderon the “why” had always been money. Calderon had spent much of his life following the wrong men and, being that Calderon had few scruples, following the wrong men proved never to be much of a problem. That was as long as the checks cleared. And Calderon always made damn sure his checks cleared. Money made the world go round, right? So what the hell else was there?
There was no malice, no killjoy, no bloodthirst in what he did. Killing was his proficiency. If he had proven to be the best at football, he would have pursued football. Had it been flying he would have become a pilot. Had he been blessed with the pipes of an angel he would surely have graced the covers of several worn album covers by this time in his life. However, his blessing was more in line with the homicidal arts, so he followed what he had proven to be proficient in.
Some killed for sport. Some killed for pleasure. Some killed for greed. Some killed for convenience. Others hired people like Calderon so they could kill but still keep their hands clean and pretend they weren’t killers. Weren’t they all killers? If so, what is the difference? The difference… was “why”. Why do they kill? The “why” made all the difference in the world.
You can kill a guy because you’ve been paid to. That’s a living. You don’t ask questions. Maybe he’s being killed because he owes somebody money. Maybe he’s being killed because he coveted the wrong man’s wife. Maybe he was just as bad as any killer out there, including Calderon. Or maybe he was being killed for the wrong reasons. The wrong guy at the wrong time? The difference is why.
Calderon’s descent into the underworld was not prompted by loss. Calderon’s descent was paved with proficiency and opportunity. By separating himself from the emotion of the job he was able to isolate himself from the loss of life. That is until loss of life hit too close to home. That is until the one person who truly mattered to Calderon died while Calderon was too far away to be of any help.
Because of that loss, Calderon was painfully faced with a new question… does “why” truly make any difference? Is not a person just as dead regardless of the reason? And if there is no reason… what kind of world did Calderon occupy? If the difference is why and there is no why then the world was chaos. And Calderon is a man who values his control.
It’s enough to drive even the coldest man into a depression.
It is Calderon who is called in for the very specialized operation involving Anthony Peterson in the novel [Cargo]. This operation begins with revenge and evolves into an elaborate game in which Anthony Peterson, the man in the box, must deliver ten million American dollars in ransom lest he forfeit both his own life and that of his wife. With Calderon’s involvement the operation soon becomes rife with betrayal, deception, pensive introspection, mind games and intrigue.
When faced with the bloody pasts of all interested players, Calderon witnesses the lines blurring between every killer in the game. The stakes get even higher when Calderon matches wits with a fellow killer who has her own cynical take on the reality of humankind. While Calderon’s philosophy hinges on the difference of why, his new colleague argues “When you become the truth of death, there are no consequences.”
Before the final page, the mercenary named Calderon must reconcile these opposites in order to both survive and maintain his sanity.
In adapting the original screenplay [Cargo] into a full-length novel I knew there was no choice but to expand the novel outside of the box and to add new sequences and new characters that fit perfectly into the jigsaw puzzle that lay before me. Calderon and his nihilistic philosophy are two completely original additions to the story of [Cargo] that I created to enhance, more than expand, the narrative. You won’t find him in the film version, but you may still feel his shadow once you know he was there all along.
With virtually everyone a killer to one degree or other, it is hard to call any character the conscience of [Cargo]. However, if not the conscience, Calderon does prove to embody the second thoughts of [Cargo], the regrets and perhaps even the reckoning of [Cargo]. Is there a difference of why or are there no consequences for truth?
If these are the questions there can be very little room for innocents in Calderon’s underworld of [Cargo].

About The Author

He began writing at a very young age and launched his professional writing career after graduating from Louisiana State University with a BA in English Literature.

His first noteworthy professional writing was in the world of entertainment journalism. He became a movie, TV, book and music reviewer which soon expanded to film history columns and celebrity interviews. Over the years, J.C. has become known in his professional life for interviewing bands such as The Cult, Judas Priest, Faith No More, The Zombies, Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry,  Queens of the Stone Age’s Nick Oliveri and KMFDM.

After writing literally thousands of articles, columns, reviews and interviews for multiple print and online magazines, J.C. published his first novel Seven Days to Die: A Jake Slater Mystery in 2016. He followed this success in 2017 with a collection of short stories and novellas entitled The Pretty Good and Pretty Representative Stories of J.C. Maçek III. This collection continues the hardboiled detective saga of Jake Slater with the new novella The Pestilence of Spring: A Jake Slater Mystery.
J.C. is also an actor, musician, director and film producer. His most recent film is [Cargo], produced by J.C. and written and directed by James Dylan. As producer, J.C. also took the commission to write the novelization to [Cargo] which will be published by Bloodhound Books in early 2018.

J.C. lives in Southern California with his wife, daughters and a veritable zoo full of pets. He is currently working on more Jake Slater crime novels starting with the thriller Hard Core and is looking to expand the mythos of [Cargo].

Connect With The Author

Monday, 22 January 2018

One Summer In Rome by Samantha Tonge - Cover Reveal

Life Of A Nerdish Mum is happy to be taking part in the cover reveal for One Summer In Rome by Samantha Tonge and published by HQ Digital. 

About The Book 

To Rome…with love?

Mary Smith is turning her very ordinary life upside-down! She’s bought herself a one-way ticket to Rome and is ready for a summer she’ll never forget.
Men might be off the cards for waitress Mary, but within hours of arriving at the utterly charming family-run La Dolce Vita pizzeria, she’s already fallen in love with the bustling capital!
Only Dante Rossi, the mysterious (and drop-dead gorgeous) chef seems displeased with her arrival. And in the heat of the kitchen, it doesn’t take long for long-buried secrets to surface and sparks to fly…
A deliciously heartwarming romance to have you dreaming of summer. Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Caroline Roberts.
Pre-order now from Amazon UK:
Publication date: 9th May 2018

And Onto The Cover...

How eye-catching is that cover. It definitely makes you want to jump in and feel the warmth of both Rome and romance.

About The Author

Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat who thinks it’s a dog. When not writing she spends her days cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Best Romantic Ebook category at the 2015 Love Stories Awards.

To Connect With Samantha Tonge

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb - Blog Tour Review

I'm so excited to be on the blog tour for Steph Broadribb's newest book, Deep Blue Trouble, I've been waiting for this sequel ever since the minute I finished Deep Down Dead! 

Deep Blue Trouble

Single-mother Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson’s got an ocean of trouble on her hands. Her daughter Dakota is safe, but her cancer is threatening a comeback, and Lori needs JT—Dakota’s daddy and the man who taught Lori everything—alive and kicking. Problem is, he’s behind bars, and heading for death row. Desperate to save him, Lori does a deal, taking on off-the-books job from shady FBI agent Alex Monroe. Bring back on-the-run felon, Gibson "The Fish" Fletcher, and JT walks free. Following Fletcher from Florida to California, Lori teams up with local bounty hunter Dez McGregor and his team. But Dez works very differently to Lori, and the tension between them threatens to put the whole job in danger. With Monroe pressuring Lori for results, the clock ticking on JT’s life, and nothing about the Fletcher case adding up, Lori’s hitting walls at every turn. But this is one job she’s got to get right, or she’ll lose everything.

My Review

LORI IS BACK! I was so excited to get my hands on Deep Blue Trouble after enjoying Deep Down Dead so much. I would 100% recommend reading Deep Down Dead before reading Deep Blue Trouble, not only because it's awesome and you don't want to miss out on it, you'll be on the back foot with the story that is continuing from the first book. 

I absolutely love Lori, she's a badass, she's a great mum, she's strong and brave and intelligent (well she sometimes makes silly decisions, but don't we all!) She also have a softer side, in particular over her daughter. Her character is incredibly well rounded and you I think of her as a real person. I'm really invested in what happens to both her and her daughter and I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book just waiting to see what happened to her next. 

Deep Blue Trouble is extremely fast paced and I have to admit that I read it in one sitting, because I just didn't want to put my book down and not know what was happening in the world of Lori. I really enjoyed the story, though I was sad that Lori and JT were separated at the beginning as I really love their chemistry and their relationship. 

I really enjoyed the flashbacks used in Deep Blue Trouble, they were used wisely and really added depth and understanding to Lori and JT. I really think they added to the overall story. 

Deep Blue Trouble is just as amazing as Steph Broadribb's first book and I absolutely loved it. You really need to go out and get engrossed in this series. 

I gave this book 5 stars!

About The Author

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego - Crime Thriller Girl - she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases.

Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California. She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. Her debut thriller Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards in two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts. 

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

Fruit Woman by Kate Rigby - Blog Tour Review

Today I'm extremely happy to be part of the blog tour for the fabulous book Fruit Woman by Kate Rigby.

Fruit Woman

Fruit Woman is narrated by Helen Scutt, a quirky and naïve twenty-seven-year-old. The image of the Fruit Woman has appeared to Helen at important times in her life, particularly in relation to her own sexual and spiritual awakening. But only now, while on holiday with her extended family, does she get her first warning message from the Fruit Woman.

Set in the l980s, Helen returns with her extended family, after a twelve year break, to spend a fortnight at their favourite holiday destination in Devon: Myrtle Cottages. Due to join them for the second week of the holiday are: Helen's old friend, Bella, Bella's brother, Dominic, and Helen's cousin, Les.

But shortly after the family have arrived on holiday, Helen's mother announces that she has also invited along someone from church for the second week of their holiday: Christine Wigg, a friend of the family, and victim of a rape several years before.

In the context of the family holiday, where games of cards, scatological worries, and deep discussions abound, the story centres on Helen's anxieties over the second week's 'guest list'. She's not seen Bella for years, she’s attracted to Dominic in spite of his religious beliefs, and she thinks it a bad idea for her mother to have invited Les, who was originally accused of Christine's rape by her in-laws. Helen's concerns trigger off all sorts of childhood and adolescent memories, but as her anxieties mount, can she make sense at last of what happened years before?

My Review

Fruit Woman is a very interesting coming of age story done extremely well and written beautifully. 

I really enjoyed the quirkiness and the time of Fruit Woman, the 80's are a favourite time of mine so it was nice to be immersed with some of the references from the time. 

Considering the book is relatively short (under 200 pages) I thought the characters were extremely well rounded and full of complexities, especially the main character Helen. I also really enjoyed the Grandma, she came across exactly how you'd imagine a grandma (or great grandma would act and talk. I could really picture her. 

Some of the topics covered in Fruit Woman are actually quite dark and deep and I thought they were dealt with in an intelligent and sympathetic manner. It was interesting to see how certain issues and occurrences had shaped Helen and affected how her life was turning out. 

There was religion throughout the book, I've mentioned before I'm not particularly religious, but I found it fascinating how much it can affect someones feeling towards someone if they are from a different religion. It's also quite relevant with today's atmosphere.

The ending came at me from out of nowhere and I felt so many different emotions! For such a short story, it certainly packed a punch. I won't discuss what happens as I would have to take away the enjoyment of someone reading this for the first time, but certainly expect drama. 

Overall a really enjoyable read and one I will be recommending to people. 

I gave this book 4 stars. 

About The Author

"I am a hybrid writer, which means I have been published in a variety of different ways; traditionally, by small press and now independently, or self-published.
I've been writing novels for over thirty years.  Some of my book are available in paperback and all are available as e-books.
Social networking sites and writing sites have opened up a whole new world to me and introduced me to some great new writers and books I wouldn't otherwise have discovered.
I love cats, singing, photography, music and LFC.
I'm also an avid keyboard warrior, campaigning against social injustice"

Subscribe here for news about my books and writing.

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

Cover Reveal - The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James

I'm super excited to be taking part in the cover reveal day for Caroline James' newest book - The Best Boomerville Hotel. I love all of Caroline's books and I can't wait to read The Best Boomerville Hotel and share my review. In the mean time though... the cover.

How beautiful is that!

The Best Boomerville Hotel

Let the shenanigans begin at the Boomerville hotel …

Jo Docherty and Hattie Contaldo have a vision – a holiday retreat in the heart of the Lake District exclusively for guests of ‘a certain age’ wishing to stimulate both mind and body with new creative experiences. One hotel refurbishment later and the Best Boomerville Hotel is open for business!
Perhaps not surprisingly Boomerville attracts more than it’s fair share of eccentric clientele: there’s fun loving Sir Henry Mulberry and his brother Hugo; Lucinda Brown, an impoverished artist with more ego than talent; Andy Mack, a charming Porsche-driving James Bond lookalike, as well as Kate Simmons, a woman who made her fortune from an internet dating agency but still hasn’t found ‘the One’ herself.

With such an array of colourful individuals there’s bound to be laughs aplenty, but could there be tears and heartbreak too and will the residents get more than they bargained for at Boomerville?

About The Author 

Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. A public speaker, consultant and food writer, Caroline is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association and writes articles and short stories and contributes to many publications.

Her debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me is set in North West England, at the time of a famous gypsy horse fair.  The book went straight to number three on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun.

So, You Think You're A Celebrity...Chef? was runner up the Winchester Writers festival for best TV Drama and takes a light-hearted look at the world of celebrity chefs as they battle it out for fame and fortune. Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me was runner up at The Write Stuff, LBF, 2015 and is an Amazon best-seller and top recommended read by Thomson Holidays. Jungle Rock, a romcom novella set in Australia, revolves around a TV game show.

In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.