Tuesday, 22 October 2019

When Stars Will Shine: Helping Our Heroes, One Page At A Time - Cover Reveal

Most of you will have already seen the cover reveal for When Stars Will Shine: Helping Our Heroes, One Page At A Time yesterday, for anyone who missed it (as my day didn't go as planned) I'm sharing again today!

When Stars Will Shine: Helping Our Heroes, One Page At A Time

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

You can pre-order now by clicking here

The Reveal

How absolutely stunning is that!?

I cannot wait to read When Stars Will Shine and I am honoured to be taking part in the blog tour on the 16th of December.

More About The Book - A Note From Emma Mitchell

As the blurb tells us, When Stars Will Shine is a multi-genre collection of Christmas themed short stories complied to raise money for our armed forces and every penny made from the sales of both the digital and paperback copies will be donated to the charity.

Working closely with Kate Noble at Noble Owl Proofreading and Amanda Ni Odhrain from Let’s Get Booked, I’ve been able to pick the best of the submissions to bring you a thrilling book which is perfect for dipping into at lunchtime or snuggling up with on a cold winter’s night. I have been completely blown away by the support we’ve received from the writing and blogging community, especially the authors who submitted stories and Shell Baker from Baker’s Not So Secret Blog, who has organised the cover reveal and blog tour.

When Stars Will Shine is available for pre-order now and will be published on 9 December 2019.

There isn’t anyone in the country who hasn’t benefited from the sacrifices our troops, past and present, have made for us and they all deserve our thanks.

It has been an honour to work on these stories and to create this anthology and I hope you enjoy reading the stories as much as I have.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

North by Lucas Ehrenhaus - Blog Tour Review

Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I am sharing my review of North: A Tale Of Yore Per The Burden Of Dwarves by Lucas Ehrenhaus. Something a little different, so big thanks to Faye at Authoright for having me along.


After one of the most decisive warring campaigns in European history between Barbarians and Romance, the sheer possibility of a full-scale Roman invasion into Barbarian lands launches a lifelong recruitment process, which drives to the re-discovery of old mighty forces in the long forgotten North. The most apolocalyptic pan-tribal conflict amongst central and northern European natives will ensue.

My Review

North is really well researched and presented. I like the use of story to tell the history and facts while mixing them with conjecture as to what really happened.

I enjoyed the illustrations and family trees, which I felt really added depth to the book and the maps, well everyone loves a book with a map.

It was a really nice change to read about Norse mythology, as a lot of the books I've read have been based on Greek mythology. I'll be passing this onto my step daughter too as I'm sure she'll find it fascinating.

The writing throughout was vivid and brought both the story and the characters to life.

There is a nice interactive feature as part of the book. I won't spoil it, but it really added a certain something to the reading experience.

I gave the book 4 stars.

About The Author

Lucas Ehrenhaus was born in Belgium. Raised in Argentina, lived in Spain for fifteen years, travelled western Africa, Scandinavia, and the north- west of South-America.
Growing up his primary education took place at a Scottish school in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Struggling with secondary studies he started working in a vending company as a driver. Illustration was a constant throughout this period. In Spain there were a series of odd jobs in ten years whilst experimenting with photography and graphic design; two years after the economic crisis hit Madrid, he became an In-Company English Teacher in several big companies for five years during which his passion for northern European history took over. An urge to help other people drove Lucas to travel to Scandinavia in order to go through a programme for volunteering. This took him to western Africa, north western South-America and back to Scandinavia, living mainly in Norway and in Denmark on & off. This added to a broader insight to Northern Scandinavian culture where the finishing of the book North took place. 
He currently lives in the U.K.

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Sunday, 13 October 2019

50 Dinosaur Tales by Sabrina Ricci - Blog Tour Review

Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum, I am sharing my review of 50 Dinosaur Tales by Sabrina Ricci, with thanks to Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for having me along on the tour.

50 Dinosaur Tales: And 108 More Discoveries From The Golden Age Of Dinos

"Gualicho takes a bite out of the ornithopod’s back as it runs away from her, causing it to stumble and fall. She jumps on top of the body and rips open its neck with her teeth. The ornithopod becomes still and limp.

Satisfied, Gualicho begins to feast. But, after only two bites, she senses something is wrong. She lifts her head and sees a Mapusaurus making its way toward her."

Blending fiction with fact, 50 Dinosaur Tales imagines the way 50 newly described dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous lived in their natural habitats.

Also included is a list of fun facts for each dinosaur story, and facts about 108 additional dinosaurs.

If you want to hear more about new dinosaurs as soon as they are discovered, listen to the weekly podcast I Know Dino.

My Review

What an interesting book. We're a fan of dinosaurs in this house, so this book was right up my street. I though that it was really well thought out and organised, the book was sectioned into continents and then the dinosaurs that lived on each continent etc. It felt smooth to look at and made sense.

I liked how the language used wasn't "dumbed down" and that proper terminology and names were used, though it did give me a challenge at times trying to pronounce some of them!

Each story gives a brief intro into possibly what the lives of the dinosaurs discussed would be like and the other animals/dinosaurs they would have met along the way. These lead into facts about the dinosaurs which I found fascinating. I'm a big fan of fact lists.

I was originally going to get Mini Nerdling to read this along side me, but I think it's just a tad too old for him just yet. He's going to absolutely love it when he reads it though!

Overall a well written, interesting and fact filled book that I'm going to be recommending to others. I gave this book 4 stars.

About The Author

Sabrina is a writer and podcaster. She loves nerdy things, like technical specs and dinosaurs, especially sauropods. When she’s not writing, she’s podcasting with her husband at I Know Dino (iknowdino.com), a weekly show about dinosaurs.

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Saturday, 12 October 2019

Don't Get Involved by F J Curlew - Blog Tour Review

I was incredibly honoured when F J Curlew contacted me to see if I'd be interested in reading her new book. I have previously read and loved Dan Knew, so I immediately said yes. Thank you so much for having me as part of the blog tour.

Don't Get Involved

A missing shipment of cocaine.
Three street-kids fighting for their lives.
A mafia hit-man intent on killing them.
A naive expat who gets in their way.
Who would you bet on?

My Review

Don't Get Involved is a huge step away from Dan Knew and F J Curlew proves that she's just as talented in this genre. The writing is really well done and the world building is brilliant. You can really tell that the author lived in the Ukraine as it all felt so authentic.

The story is told from more than one perspective over a period of time and the story unfolds slowly before coming to a fast paced ending. I enjoyed following the street children and "watching" as they survived in ways that wouldn't cross your mind if you'd never been in that situation.

I would normally say that books containing, mafia or gangs wouldn't be my cup of tea, but I'd say Don't Get Involved is more based on the people than the gangs etc and so I really enjoyed it.

Overall a really well written book and one I enjoyed. I gave this book 4 stars.

About The Author

Fiona spent fifteen years working as an international school teacher, predominantly in Eastern Europe. Much of her inspiration comes from her travels. Her writing has been described as, “Human experience impacted upon by political situation, interwoven with a love of nature.”
She now lives on the East Coast of Scotland with Brockie the Springer, and Fingal the rescued Portuguese street-cat. Her days are divided between dog-walking in beautiful places and working on her stories. Not a bad life!
Don't Get Involved is her third book.

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#Sonnets by Lucien Young - Blog Tour Review

Life Of A Nerdish Mum is closing out the blog tour for #Sonnets by Lucien Young with a review of this hilarious collection.


'I thought I could, with verse iambic, pry
Some sense from nonsense, and our modern scene 
Depict and mock, while using "thee" and "thy" 
In pages fit to rest by thy latrine.'

Lucien Young

Shakespeare's sonnets are among the great achievements in world literature. Alas, the immortal Bard never used his command of iambic pentameter to explore such themes as porn, Snapchat and Austin Powers.

#Sonnets is a collection of hilarious and inappropriate poems complete with illustrations of Elizabethan RoboCop and Snoop Dogg in tights. Musing on everything from Donald Trump to Tinder, comedy writer Lucien Young offers a Shakespearean take on the absurdity of modern life.

My Review

When I first heard about #Sonnets, I absolutely knew I had to check it out as it sounded so absurdly brilliant! I was right.

There are 167 sonnets in #Sonnets and there is absolutely something for everyone. The topics are incredibly wide ranging and random, jumping from auto-correct to Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I haven't read in iambic pentameter since I think secondary school, which was *mumble mumble* years ago, so it took me a couple of sonnets to fall back into the reading rhythm, but once I was there it flowed really well.

I chose to read #Sonnets by jumping in and out and reading one or two at a time, taking my time to enjoy each one as the small masterpiece it was. I had to google a couple of things as I had no idea what they were and I haven't watched Breaking Bad or The Sopranos, so though those sonnets probably had slightly less impact on me, I could still appreciate the quality of the writing and the humour within.

I liked the fact there were some sonnets dedicated to the man himself, Shakespeare, it was a nice touch at the end of the book. I have three absolute favourite sonnets though, Darth Vader, Liam Neeson, and Batman. Both Vader and Batman are from my top fandoms and so they really made me laugh.

I've picked up #Sonnets a few times since finishing it and re reading some of my favourites. I really feel it's a book that can be enjoyed over a long period of time and more than once. It's also just a really pretty book with some really brilliant illustrations throughout.

I gave this book 5 stars.

About The Author

"Thy poet was in Northern England born,
Upon the Geordie Shore in '88.
He spent his adolescent years forlorn,
Bereft of hope that he might find a mate.
But reading Shakespeare's verse, it did occur
To him that he should master sonnetry
And write some stanzas to a fancied her,
Escaping thus his cruel virginity!
Of course, that did not happen: they were shit
And, filled with shame, the lad set down his quill,
Then left his teens with naught to show for it,
Beyond a new and truly pointless skill.
So now he doth, in quasi-comic guise,
Attempt his wasted youth to monetise."

(Lucien Young is a comedy writer who has worked on various TV programmes, including BBC Three's Siblings and Murder in Successville, as well as authoring three humour books, Alice in Brexitland, Trump's Christmas Carol and The Secret Diary of Jeremy Corbyn. He was born in Newcastle and read English at the University of Cambridge, where he was a member of the world-famous Footlights Club).

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Monday, 7 October 2019

Ring The Hill by Tom Cox - Blog Tour Review

Today Life Of A Nerdish Mum is extremely happy to be sharing my review of Ring The Hill by Tom Cox. I fell in love with his writing in Help The Witch and when Anne Cater, of Random Things Tours asked if I'd be interested in reading his next book I'm pretty sure I answered before she finished asking I was so excited!

Ring The Hill

Ring the Hill is a book written around, and about, hills: it includes a northern hill, a European hill, some hills from East Anglia that can barely be called hills at all. Each chapter takes a type of hill – whether it be knoll, cap, cliff, tor, bump or even mere hillock – as a starting point.

These hills can leads to an exploration of an intimate relationship with a beach, a journey into Cox's past or a lesson from an expert in what goes into the mapping of hills themselves. Because a good walk in the hills is never just about the hills; it will take your mind to many other places.

My Review

I don't feel any review of Tom Cox's books would be complete without talking about how beautiful the books themselves are! Ring The Hill has a gorgeous illustration of Glastonbury Tor on the front and Tom's traditional hares are scattered around. Then on the end pages are more hares on a background of soft yellow. Honestly stunning, I'm always proud to display his books.

I'm not sure what you'd expect when someone says they're reading a book about hills, but Ring The Hill is a sometimes whimsical, sometimes joyous, sometimes sentimental take on different kinds of hills and their connections to the town, people and world around them.

The language used is beautiful and almost poetic and the book made me feel gentler and reflective. I live in a very hilly area (if you're ever lost where I live, head downhill and you'll end up in town) and I walk A LOT and I'd never really thought much about hills before other than cursing them when I'm tired and on my way home.

There are gorgeous photos throughout as well as some illustrations. They all match the tone of the book and I could picture myself on adventures, or in the case of the cow, scratching it's friendly nose.

I feel like this is a book I'll return to again and again and one I'll be sharing with both friends and family.

If you haven't read anything by Tom Cox yet, I recommend that you do! I gave this book 5 stars.

About The Author

Tom Cox lives in Norfolk. He is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling The Good, The Bad and The Furry and the William Hill Sports Book long-listed Bring Me the Head of Sergio Garcia. 21st-Century Yokel was long-listed for the Wainwright Prize, and the titular story of Help the Witch won a Shirley Jackson Award.

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Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Whee To The Moon by Arron Charman - Blog Tour Review

Today Life Of A Nerdish Mum is taking part in the blog tour for Whee To The Moon by Arron Charman. I'm happy to be sharing my review of this children's book today. Thanks to Faye at Authoright as usual for having me on board.

Whee To The Moon

Neil is a young boy who likes to scream “whee!” with excitement when he’s at the playground. Neil develops a love of flying. As he gets older, he learns how to fly aircraft that will take him on many different adventures. Even though he is now a grown up, Neil still excitedly screams “whee!” as he gets to fly all the way to the Moon!

My Review

Whee To The Moon is a children's book aimed at giving an introduction to Neil Armstrong and his life up till walking on the moon. It's a very quick and easy read and can either be read by an adult to a child or by the child themselves.

The illustrations are really lovely and reflect well what is happening in the text. I liked the simple use of colour throughout.

The author has chosen pivotal parts of Neil Armstrong's life to highlight in the book. I found it really interesting, seeing the path that he took towards being an astronaut and space travel. Mini Nerdling is currently choosing to read all about space and how to become an astronaut so this book was perfectly timed for us.

The only bit I was unsure of, was the mentioning of the bombing. I understand that it's real life and what happened, I just felt it's a little too soon to be introducing children to that if unneccessary and I would have preferred a couple more pages at the end to finish off the return to earth instead. That's just my opinion though.

I enjoyed reading Whee To The Moon and even I as an adult learnt things about Neil Armstrong that I didn't know which is always a bonus.

I gave this book 4 stars.

About The Author

Arron Charman is a chemistry graduate and father of four who lives in Hemel Hempstead in the UK. He has always been interested in the natural sciences and space exploration.  He embarked on writing a book to try and share the amazing adventure of space flight and the process of becoming an astronaut with children.

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