Wednesday, 15 September 2021

The Lion And The Unicorn by Tom Ward - Blog Tour Review

 


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I'm closing out the blog tour for The Lion And The Unicorn by Tom Ward. A big thank you to both the author and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours.

The Lion And The Unicorn

London, 2054. After a devastating global pandemic and a bloody revolution,
Britain’s new government imposes peace by stringently dictating the nation’s
cultural intake. In the quest to create better citizens, everything from the
television we watch to the clothes we wear is strictly policed. As part of the unit
tasked with upholding these so-called ‘Bad Taste Laws’, H. and his partner,
Bagby, have their work cut out.

When former reality TV star Caleb Jennings is found murdered, some suspect it
could be a simple vigilante slaying. But, as H. digs deeper into the killing,
Bagby’s association with old revolutionary figureheads is called into question.

With the help of Caleb’s estranged sister, the museum curator Kate Faron, H.
must navigate a Britain in which paranoia and suspicion of the unknown are
rife, all the while dealing with the mysterious tech behemoth Vangelis, new
revolutionary murmurings, and the legacy of Kate’s biologist parents.

Compelled by what he uncovers, H. begins to question his loyalty to the state at
a time when national stability couldn’t be more precarious.

My Review

I have read many dystopian works of fiction and many murder mysteries, but The Lion And The Unicorn is my first with both mixed together and it really, really works! I really felt the different politics and morality laws added a whole extra layer of intrigue. 

The main character H is neither a traditional grizzled detective or a teenaged saviour and so is very relatable and deals with issues in ways that anyone would. I found myself debating what I would do in his place and most of the time I'd do exactly what he did. I really enjoyed his thought process and the feelings that followed. 

As the story takes place following a pandemic and the following fall out, it was very close to home as everything is not really that much of a stretch to imagine with the direction certain real life politics are heading. In some ways this made the story even more immersive as I could picture how situations would come about and obviously I still have very strong feelings about living through a pandemic. 

Overall a really excellent book. I really enjoyed the writing style and the story was wonderfully planned out. There were enough twists that kept me wanting to know what happened next. I would love to read more from Tom Ward. 

I gave this book 5 stars. 

About The Author


Tom Ward is an author and features writer, writing for publications including

Wired, Esquire and National Geographic.

He has won the GQ Norman Mailer Award, the PPA New Consumer Magazine

Journalist of the Year Award, and has been shortlisted for The People's Book
Prize. He is also a graduate of the Faber Academy.

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Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Gorilla by Christine Hamm - Blog Tour Review


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I am sharing my review of Gorilla by Christine Hamm. A big thank you to the author and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours.

Gorilla 

Poetry. Women's Studies. Winner of the 2019 Tenth Gate Prize. This surreal series of prose poems, harmonic and jarring, pops the reader into a world where the animal is a danger-suit we might all don, or is a force of chaos that breaks families, or America's unconscious hatred of women. Perhaps it is our world, perhaps more real than surreal. One of the most unusual investigations of gender and family, this collection disorders and disturbs, knowing that upending the status quo makes the best manners of all.

My Review

I'm so happy I "discovered" poetry a few years ago, it's so easy to check out different genres and types and finding your own favourite method is really fun to do. I love poems that tell a story and Gorilla definitely falls into this category, each poem itself tells a tale and there's also a running thread through the whole collection. 

Gorilla is on of the more challenging poetry collections I've read. The use of magical realism alongside anthropomorphism it at times meant I had to read the poem a second time to ensure I'd understood what I had read. This is not a bad thing! Poetry should be re read as you pick up something different each time you read. 

I was listening to a lot of Kate Bush while reading this, which I really felt enhanced the experience and feeling of being just on the edge of reality. 

The poems are written beautifully and I could definitely feel the emotion and I identified myself in more than one of them. 

Overall a really excellent collection and I'll be excited to read more poetry by the author. 

I gave this book 4 stars. 

About The Author


Christine E. Hamm, queer & disabled English Professor, social worker and student of ecopoetics, has a PhD in English, and lives in New Jersey.  She recently won the Tenth Gate prize from Word Works for her manuscript, Gorilla.  She has had work featured in North American Review, Nat Brut, Painted Bride Quarterly and many others. She has published six chapbooks, and several books -- including Saints & Cannibals, about which Cynthia Cruz said, "Joyfully acrobatic is her language and the wonderful jumps she makes. Hers is a voice we have been waiting for."

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Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Ruabon by Karl Drinkwater - Blog Tour Review

 


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum, I'm taking part in the blog tour for Ruabon by Karl Drinkwater. A big shout out to the author as always and thank you to Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for having me along. 

Ruabon

Welcome to Tecant.

Nothing ever happens here.

Until today.

Ruabon Nadarl is just another low-ranking member of the scan crew, slaving away for the UFS which “liberated” his homeworld. To help pass the time during long shifts he builds secret personalities into the robots he controls. Despite his ingenuity, the UFS offers few opportunities for a better life.

Then Ruabon detects an intruder on the surface of a vital communications tower.

He could just report it and let the deadly UFS commandos take over, while Ruabon returns to obscurity.

Or he could break UFS laws and try to capture the intruder himself. For the UFS, only the outcome matters, not the method. If his custom-programmed drones can save the day, he’ll be a hero.

And if he fails, he’ll be dead.

My Review

Another absolute page turner in the Lost Solace series by Karl Drinkwater! I flew through this do quickly because I just couldn't put it down.

I will never not be amazed at how much character development and world building that Karl Drinkwater can bring to a story, I become completely invested in the character and Ruabon was no different. Ruabon has depth and complexity and it was so interesting seeing what he would do next. 

The tone throughout is both thrilling and intense as you watch the scenes unfold. 

You can tell in all his work, but particularly in the Lost Solace series, just how much time Karl Drinkwater spends researching things and making sure the science in his world works. It's technically written, but doesn't exclude people who aren't technically minded. 

A really wonderful addition to the series and another 5 stars from me. 

About The Author


Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”. Karl is an active member of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order.

Website https://karldrinkwater.uk

Twitter http://twitter.com/karldrinkwater

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/karlzdrinkwater

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/authorkdrinkwater/

Newsletter http://bit.ly/newsletterkd

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Friday, 16 July 2021

Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater - Blog Tour Review


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum, I'm extremely happy to be sharing my review of Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater. A big thank you to Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources and of course Karl Drinkwater for having me along. 

Clarissa

If you’re reading this: HELP! I’ve been kidnapped.

Me and my big sister stayed together after our parents died. We weren’t bothering anybody. But some mean government agents came anyway, and split us up.

Now I’m a prisoner on this space ship. The agents won’t even say where we’re going.

I hate them.

And things have started to get a bit weird. Nullspace is supposed to be empty, but when I look out of the skywindows I can see … something. Out there. And I think it wants to get in here. With us.

My name is Clarissa. I am ten years old.

And they will all be sorry when my big sister comes to rescue me.

My Review

I am always incredibly excited to read anything new by Karl Drinkwater (I really should share a photo of my Karl Drinkwater book shelf!) and that wasn't any different this time. I'm completely invested in anything Lost Solace too, it's definitely one of my favourite Sci Fi worlds. 

Never underestimate just how much world building and character development that Karl Drinkwater can fit in a novella. Even though Clarissa is just over 100 pages long, I was so absorbed and felt like I learned so much without it being an info dump. 

I really feel like Clarissa is a really believable ten year old girl, I definitely related the way she thought at times to how I was back then (I know that was a while ago). She's so strong and observant, but considering who her sister is I'm not surprised. She's easily become one of my favourite characters in this series. 

In Clarissa you can definitely tell that Karl Drinkwater writes horror and I think the combination of the genres is perfect. They really compliment each other. I love how he knows when to bring it in for maximum effect.

As always I thoroughly enjoyed the writing and I always want more. I gave this book 5 stars and will continue to recommend this series to everyone!! 

About The Author


Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”. Karl is an active member of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order.

Website https://karldrinkwater.uk
Twitter http://twitter.com/karldrinkwater
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/karlzdrinkwater
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/authorkdrinkwater/
Newsletter http://bit.ly/newsletterkd

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Thursday, 24 June 2021

Preacher Boy by Gwyn GB - Blog Tour Review

 


Today Life Of A Nerdish Mum I'm taking part in the blog tour for Preacher Boy by Gwyn GB. A big thank you to the author, publisher and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours. 

Preacher Boy 

Dr Harrison Lane is everything you wouldn’t expect from a man with a psychology doctorate. For victims, he’s everything they need.

As Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Ritualistic Behavioural Crime Unit, Dr Harrison Lane knows his Voodoo from his Aum Shinrikyo and a Satanist from a Shaman.
Harrison had an unusual childhood, raised by a bohemian mother and one of the native American Shadow Wolves - the elite tracking squad that works with US Drug enforcers. After his mother’s murder, he dedicated his life to finding those who hide behind spiritualism and religion to do evil. 

Following the discovery of a missing boy’s body in what looks like a Satanic killing, Harrison is called in to help detectives. When a second boy is snatched, it becomes a race against time to save him, and sees Harrison come face-to-face with some dark secrets from his own childhood.

My Review 

Preacher Boy is the first in a new series by Gwyn GB and it's the first book I've read by the author, but it won't be the last. 

The story is fast paced from the start and pulls you right in. I found it hard to put down at times to do adulting when I wanted to know what would happen next. 

The writing is excellent and I really enjoyed Dr Harrison Lane, though I would have liked to get to know him a bit more. There are two more books due out, so I'm sure gaps will be filled in as the series progresses. It certainly makes me want to read the next book to get more information. 

Though kidnapping is a sensitive subject, especially one involving children, the author desks with it in as respectfully as possible. 

Overall a really good read and I look forward to the rest of the series. 

I gave this book 4 stars 

About The Author


Gwyn is an Amazon Top 20 bestselling author. She’s a former UK national TV newscaster and presenter, and journalist for national newspapers and magazines. Gwyn became a journalist because all she wanted to do was write and has finally realised her dream of being a full-time fiction author. Born in the UK, Gwyn now lives in the Channel Islands with her family, including a rescue dog and 17-year-old goldfish.

Gwyn launched her debut novel, Islands as Gwyn Garfield-Bennett in 2016, the romantic suspense book rose quickly into the Amazon top 20. Her first crime mystery series, featuring DI Falle, launched with Lonely Hearts in 2017.

You can find out more about Gwyn at www.gwyngb.com
Or on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GwynGBwriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GwynGB
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gwyngb/

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In Other Words: Eight Stories, Eight Unheard Voices - Blog Tour Review

 


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum, I'm sharing my review of a very special book - In Other Words. A big thank you to the authors, publisher and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours. 

In Other Words 

A shift in the nature of light reveals an eighth colour in the visible spectrum. A boy befriends the last tree in the natural world. A single mother finds help at the darkest point of her life. A young man finds himself trapped in a university overrun by crows.

These stories and more form In Other Words, an anthology as diverse as the writers themselves. Some cover trauma, societal issues and stigma; others offer fragments of hope and light. Some reach back in time while others transport us to another dimension altogether. There is heartbreak, wit, humour, poignancy and above all a mastery of the imagination.

What these transcendent stories share is that they were created by autistic writers, people often dismissed as unimaginative or incapable of creativity a myth that has persisted for generations. This collection hopes to shatter those stereotypes, those misconceptions and misunderstandings, and the perception that one must be neurotypical to be afforded a voice in the arts.

My Review

What a wonderful and perfect anthology of short stories! Not one story was less than another and each was extremely enjoyable in a different way. 

I laughed, cried and wondered throughout and feel I went through a whole gamut of emotions in between. I've been trying to decide if I had a favourite story, but genuinely I think it'd be unfair to make me choose and as it's my review I decided to say they're all my favourite, just for different reasons. 

The level of writing skill in each story is amazing and some beautiful prose is used. What Mainspring Arts have done to be able for this work to be shared is commendable as we might have missed out on some amazing new authors. 

I absolutely loved reading In Other Words and I will be getting myself a hard copy to keep in my collection. 

100% 5 stars for this anthology. 

About Mainspring Arts

Mainspring Arts, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to making the arts
inclusive, diverse, and accessible to all, was founded in 2015 by Katya Balen and
Miranda Prag. They were frustrated by the lack of diversity in the arts, where
neurotypical and non-disabled actors or writers frequently assume the roles or
voices of neurodivergent people, or those with disabilities. Katya and Miranda
believe those people should be able to tell their own stories, and Mainspring
Arts exists to help them do it. @mainspring_arts

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Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Finding Freedom In The Lost Kitchen by Erin French -Blog Tour Review

 


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I'm proud to be part of the blog tour for Finding Freedom In The Lost Kitchen by Erin French. A big thank you to the author, publisher and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours. 

Finding Freedom In The Lost Kitchen

Erin French grew up barefoot on a 25-acre farm in Maine, fell in love with food as a teenager working the line at her dad's diner and found her calling as a professional chef at her tiny restaurant The Lost Kitchen, tucked into a 19th century mill--now a world-renowned dining destination.

In Finding Freedom in the Lost Kitchen, Erin tells her story of multiple rock-bottoms, from medical student to pregnant teen, of survival as a jobless single mother, of pills that promised release but delivered addiction, of a man who seemed to offer salvation but ripped away her very sense of self. And of her son who became her guiding light as she slowly rebuilt her personal and culinary life around the solace she found in food--as a source of comfort, a sense of place, as a way of creating community and making something of herself, despite seemingly impossible odds.

Set against the backdrop of rural Maine and its lushly intense, bountiful seasons, Erin French's rollercoaster memoir reveals struggles that have taken every ounce of her strength to overcome, and the passion and courage behind the fairytale success of The Lost Kitchen

My Review

What an inspiring and emotional read. Finding Freedom In The Lost Kitchen, allows you to follow Erin French on her journey from developing her love of food and cooking to the darkest times of Erin's life, to finding herself again. 

The writing is beautiful and flows so naturally, you don't realise how much you've read as it's been so easy to read. If Erin ever decided to become an author of fiction I'm sure she'd be amazing. The way she described experiences and places, really made me feel like I was there and participating. I was really involved in her life. 

There are bits throughout which are hard reading due to the subject matter. Reading about addiction and what it can do to you, especially when you're so involved with the person and are rooting for them so much. Knowing the outcome definitely helped getting through those parts. I feel privileged that Erin decided to share her life with us. 

An absolutely amazing read and one that will stay with me. 

5 stars. 

About The Author


Erin French is the owner and chef of The Lost Kitchen, a 40-seat restaurant in
Freedom, Maine, that was recently named one of the World’s Greatest Places by TIME
Magazine. Booking is by postcard ballot on the first day of spring with over 20,000
postcards received last season. Erin French has written for The New York Times,
Martha Stewart Living and The Wall Street Journal. Her first book, The Lost Kitchen
Cookbook, was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award and named one of the
best 2017 cookbooks by The Washington Post and Vogue. Erin French will host The
Lost Kitchen TV show on Joanna and Chip Gaines’ new television network, the
Magnolia Network, launching in March 2021.

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Thursday, 10 June 2021

She Never Told Me About The Ocean by Elisabeth Sharp McKetta - Blog Tour Review

 


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I am happy to be taking part in the blog tour for She Never Told Me About The Ocean by Elisabeth Sharp McKetta. A big thank you as always to the publisher and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours. 

She Never Told Me About The Ocean

Told by four women whose stories nest together, She Never Told Me About the Ocean is an  epic about a rite of passage that all humans undergo and none remember: birth. 

Eighteen-year-old Sage has been mothering her mother for as long as she can remember, and  as she arrives on the shores of adulthood, she learns a secret: before she was born, she had an  older brother who drowned. In her search to discover who he was and why nobody told her,  Sage moves to tiny Dragon Island where her mother grew up. There, she embarks on a quest to  learn the superstitions of the island, especially its myths involving her mother. Gathering  stories from Ilya, a legendary midwife who hires Sage as her apprentice; Marella, Sage’s  grieving mother who was named for the ocean yet has always been afraid of it; and Charon, the  Underworld ferrywoman who delivers souls to the land of the dead, Sage learns to stop  rescuing her mother and simply let go. But when her skill as Ilya’s apprentice enables her to  rescue her mother one final time, in a way that means life or death, Sage must shed her  inherited fears and become her own woman.

My Review

This is the first book I have read by Elisabeth Sharp McKetta and it definitely won't be the last! I'm going to have to find all her back catalogue to work through I enjoyed She Never Told Me About The Ocean so much. 

She Never Told Me About The Ocean is such a beautifully written book and the language is poetic and pulls you into a world of folklore and myths. I absolutely love learning about both of these things so this really spoke to me and I was fascinated. 

The characters are extremely real and the story is very character driven. I always love reading multiple POV books as you get an insight into more characters than just the main character. 

Overall a very compelling read and one I have recommended to friends. 

I gave this book 5 stars. 

About The Author


Elisabeth Sharp McKetta grew up in Austin, Texas. She holds literature degrees from Harvard, Georgetown, and the University of Texas at Austin and teaches writing for the Harvard Extension School and the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. She is the author of eight books: We Live in Boise, Energy: The Life of John J. McKetta Jr., Fear of the Deep, Fear of the Beast, Poetry for Strangers Vols. I and II, The Creative Year: 52 Workshops for Writers, and The Fairy Tales Mammals Tell. She Never Told Me About the Ocean is her first novel. 

 elisabethsharpmcketta.com

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Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Resourceful Living by Lisa Dawson - Blog Tour Review


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I am taking part in the blog tour for Resourceful Living by Lisa Dawson and I a sharing my review. A big thank you to the author and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours. 

Resourceful Living

It's often thought that restyling your space comes with a hefty price tag and unavoidable waste. But in Resourceful Living, award-winning interiors blogger Lisa Dawson shows how with a little creativity, you can revamp your home with existing pieces, vintage finds and key purchases.
The clever ideas in this beautiful book cover the most important ways we use our homes, from eating to sleeping, living and working. Starting with The Basics, Lisa shares tricks for steering clear of interiors 'fast fashion', re-purposing favorite furniture and making the most of what you have. In Styling Your Home, she offers simple solutions for re-imagining each room, from gallery walls to home bars, repainted furniture to retro accessories.
Including her top ten key vintage buys and a guide to thrifting, as well Lisa's inspiring advice about the fun of creative sourcing as a more sustainable way to keep your home feeling fresh.

My Review

Coming out of lockdown a lot of people have completed some amazing home renovations and beautified rooms with simple tricks and honestly I would have loved to join in. Now that things are easing, I have the headspace to start thinking of projects and plans, and reading Resourceful Living has been a wonderful inspiration! 

All the photos are absolutely stunning and even without reading anything, just flipping through is such a relaxing and inspiring experience. I've tabbed so many pages of my favourite pictures ready for going forward with my ideas. 

The whole book is written with a friendly tone and it almost feels as if you are chatting with a friend and they're offering suggestions on the best ways to get things done. There's ideas and suggestions for everything and everywhere you could think of in your home. 

I really enjoyed the case studies and in particular the mood boards which showed more the decision process and colour choices. Not every design or idea will be for everybody, but there's plenty of choice as you go through. I'm a big fan of pre loved and thrifting, so the tips were very helpful and can be used for more than just furnishings. 

Overall a really wonderful, aesthetically pleasing and inspirational read that I will be referencing a lot over the next few months. A definite 5 stars from me. 


About The Author


Lisa Dawson is a multi-award-winning interiors blogger, writer, workshop presenter and social media influencer. She writes a popular weekly blog, is a regular contributor to Frank magazine and creates professional social media content for brands such as John Lewis and Loaf Home. She is co-founder of the popular Instagram hashtag #MyHomeVibe which had over 1.5 million posts and was the first UK-based interiors community hashtag when it launched in 2016. She lives in York with her husband, three children and a badly behaved Lhasa Apso called Buddy. Lisa shares her home inspiration on her Instagram @_lisa_dawson_ and www.lisadawsonstyling.com


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Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Shadows Of Hell by Duncan Thompson - Blog Tour Review

 


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I'm finishing out the blog tour for Shadows Of Hell by Duncan Thompson with my review of the book. A big thanks to the author and Emma Welton of DampPebbles Blog Tours.

Shadows Of Hell 

When a man of heavenly worth sins in Hell, darkness shall reign upon the earth

A message from the other side - an omen of the impending apocalypse. A message intended for one man, the only man who can prevent Armageddon, saving the soul of every man, woman and child on Earth. That man is Joe Costello.

But, not only is Joe trapped in the underworld, he is also the same man who has the power to unleash the shadows of hell upon the world.

Inspired by Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, Joe must battle his way through the nine circles of Hell - his escape being the key to salvation. Not only will he face all manner of Hell's demons, he'll also face his own.

However, Joe is not alone on his journey, as he is guided through each level of Hell by medium and psychic, Layla Thorne. Shadows of Hell is the epic follow-up to Shadows of the Woods.

My Review

What a book!! I was really grabbed by the blurb so jumped at the opportunity to read Shadows Of Hell. I'm definitely glad that I did. 

I fell in love with the characters. Considering it's quite a short book, the characters are very well developed and you feel a connection sign them. The dark humour was really well done too and made me chuckle when I really shouldn't have! 

I'm a big fan of Dante's Divine Comedy, I was intrigued to see what the author did with the story and I was not disappointed, Duncan Thompson takes the nine levels of hell and ramps up the volume all the way to 11! The level of gore could be too much for some people, but it's done so well and it fit perfectly for me. 

The book is fast paced and sharp witted and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute! I read in one sitting, cringing at some points and laughing at others! I wish I'd read Shadows Of The Woods first, but I don't feel it affected my reading experience too much, plus I now get to go and read that. 

This is a definite recommendation from me and a full 5 stars! 

About The Author


Duncan Thompson has spent most of his life in a small market town in West Yorkshire -- the same town in which most of his stories are set under the guise of Ravenfield. Duncan has been writing works of fiction since the age of seven. In those early days, his stories often involved himself and his friends being transported to fantasy worlds. However, as a teenager, Duncan fell in love with horror movies and his writing took a whole new direction.

Duncan works in financial services and lives with his partner and their two young children. He also has slight obsession with Spider-Man, the actor Bruce Campbell, as well as having an addiction to vinyl records, coffee and Lego.


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Friday, 19 March 2021

Notebook by Tom Cox - Blog Tour Review

 


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum, I can barely contain my excitement as I am sharing my review of Tom Cox's newest book, Notebook. I am a big fan of his work and am always honoured to be part of blog tours celebrating his publications. A big thank you to the author and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours. 

Notebook

Sure, sex is great, but have you ever cracked open a new notebook and written
something on the first page with a really nice pen?
The story behind Notebook starts with a minor crime: the theft of Tom Cox's
rucksack from a Bristol pub in 2018. In that rucksack was a journal containing
ten months worth of notes, one of the many Tom has used to record his
thoughts and observations over the past twelve years. It wasn't the best he had
ever kept – his handwriting was messier than in his previous notebook, his
entries more sporadic – but he still grieved for every one of the hundred or so
lost pages.
This incident made Tom appreciate how much notebook-keeping means to
him: the act of putting pen to paper has always led him to write with an
unvarnished, spur-of-the-moment honesty that he wouldn’t achieve on-screen.
Here, Tom has assembled his favourite stories, fragments, moments and ideas
from those notebooks, ranging from memories of his childhood to the
revelation that 'There are two types of people in the world. People who fucking
love maps, and people who don't.'
The result is a book redolent of the real stuff of life, shot through with Cox’s
trademark warmth and wit.

My Review

What a well needed breath of fresh air Notebook is. Tom Cox absolutely astounds me every single time I read one of his books as I can't believe the amount of whimsy he captures in his work. I definitely feel he has been blessed by the fairies with his talent. 

Notebooks theselves are a magical force, which anyone who is a fan of stationery can attest. You can leave your thoughts in them, come back at a completely differet time in your life and add more. This magic is what Tom Cox seems to have channelled with his collected thoughts gathered not neccessarily in order, but in a way that shows what caught his attention at the time. Sometimes it jumps from thought to thought and it made me chuckle at points as my husband says that's what it's like having a conversation with me. 

The art included by Cox's parents add to both the overall beauty of Notebook (Tom Cox's books are always absolutely stunning both inside and out) and I felt priviledged that not only had he shared his musings and thoughts, but he had shared a bit of his parents too. 

Reading Notebook, is a very hard experience to explain, but I felt so light and happy while reading and I felt I was left with an almost afterglow as I processed what I had read and thought on my own notebooks and journals.

I think this is my favourite book to date and as always I will wait patiently and excitedly for whatever Tom Cox brings out next. 

I gave this book 5 stars and would have given it more!

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 longlisted Bring Me
the Head of Sergio Garcia. 21st-Century Yokel was longlisted for the Wainwright
Prize, and the titular story of Help the Witch won a Shirley Jackson Award.

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Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Understanding Kids by Tanith Carey - Blog Tour Review

 


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I'm sharing my review of What's My Child Thinking and What's My Teenager Thinking by Tanith Carey. A big thank you to the author and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours. 

What's My Child Thinking

Find out what your child really means when he says "Look what I did", "But I'm not tired," or "You're embarrassing me," and discover what's really going on when he can't express himself at all.

Using more than 100 everyday scenarios, the book leads you through each one step by step, explaining not only your child's behavior and the psychology behind it but also your own feelings as a parent. It then gives instant recommendations for what you could say and do in response to best resolve the situation.

Covering all your child's developmental milestones from ages 2 to 7 years, What's My Child Thinking? covers important issues, such as temper tantrums, friendships (real and imaginary), sibling rivalry, aggressive behavior, and peer pressure. There's also a bank of practical "survival guides" for critical times, such as traveling in the car, eating out, and going online safely.

Rooted in evidence-based clinical psychology and championing positive parenting, What's My Child Thinking? will help you tune in to your child's innermost thoughts and be the parent you want to be.

My Review

As parent to a two year old, 7 year old and 12 year old, I was extremely interested in both What's My Child Thinking and What's My Teenager Thinking as they cover the whole range of ages. 

The format, style and illustrations are incredibly well organised and very easy to navigate in both books. The illustrations are also beautiful and easy to look at, I really enjoyed them. 

The way the sections are broken down into different age groups was really helpful and easy to pick out just the age you were interested in if you choose not to read through all ages at the same time. 

There is a lot of very valuable and obviously well researched information throughout. Though some suggestions may not work for all parenting types, it's still nice to be given ideas on what may possibly work or help in different situations. I personally also found it helpful that there were possibilities for what a parent could be thinking or feeling in certain situations rather than just the child. I felt it gave a much more informed and wider information. 

I found that the What's My Teenager Thinking was a lot more useful in my life as though I once was a teenager, it was a long time ago! Toddlers and slightly older children have quite simple needs overall, but when hormones hit things become more complicated. I really felt that I learnt some coping skills for both me and my pre teen going forward and hopefully that'll mean that we can get through this next period of her life together and with less stress. 

I really enjoyed both books and will be referencing back to them now that they're on my shelves. I'll also be lending out What's My Child Thinking to some friends who are going to be parents soon as I think it'll be a valuable read for them. 

I gave these books 5 stars 

About The Author


Tanith Carey is a parenting author who writes on the most pressing challenges facing today’s parents. Her 11 books include ‘Taming the Tiger Parent’, 'Girls, Uninterrupted, and ‘The Friendship Maze’. Tanith also writes on parenting, psychology and social trends for publications all over the world, and has appeared on TV and radio programmes, such as NBC Today in the US, Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and You and Yours, ITV’s This Morning, the Lorraine show, and Good Morning Britain. Tanith has two teenage daughters.

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Thursday, 4 March 2021

Watery Through The Gaps by Emma Blas - Blog Tour Review by



I'm excited today to be taking part in the blog tour for Watery Through The Gaps by Emma Blas. I'm sharing my review of this lovely collection of poems. A big thank you to the author and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours. 

Watery Through The Gaps

A compelling collection that slips between the crevices of the skin and buries itself into your bones."
 
'Watery Through the Gaps' is a book for those waking to the realisation that there is more outside than just us. It is for those of us who long to bridge the chasm between the human and earth experience. These poems are stepping stones leading us through the water. Following the river will lead us home and we will never be alone again.
 
In Emma Blas' second collection of poems, she invites you into dialogue with the sea, taking you into the depths and leaving you wondering whether you can trust the current. Despite the terrifying tug of the undertow, we are exactly where we are meant to be.
 
If you like poetry that ripples through the depths of the self, against the mirror of the natural world, this book is for you.

My Review

I had such an emotional journey while reading Watery Through The Gaps. Having lost two very close family members not long before reading this, I wasn't sure if it'd be too soon, but it turned out to be just what I needed. 

The theme of water felt very personal and has so many different meanings and interpretations. I'm always drawn to water and so it felt like the poems were speaking to me directly. What added to this was the lack of capital letters, it made it feel to me like it was my voice. I feel this made me more involved and almost like the stories were coming from me. 

The mix of nature with emotions work so beautifully. It's such a natural and powerful way to view grief, loss and other emotions.

Normally I plan to read poem anthologies by dipping in and out, but always end up reading them through all in one go. With the emotions evoked in Watery Through The Gaps though, I did find myself putting my book down for a while just to give myself time to think and digest what I had read. 

An absolutely stunning read and one I will be recommending and passing on. 

I gave this book 5 stars. 

About The Author


Emma Blas lives near gijón in spain. her poetry explores transitions, shifts of phase and form in the natural world. you will find her at the beach, walking through the dramatic landscape of asturias, or with her hands in the soil, trying to learn from the earth. it is these crossing points between the physical, psychological and imagined states of life that are painted in her poetry.

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The Last Witch by Sabina Gabrielli Carrara - Blog Tour Review

 


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum, I am happy to be sharing my thoughts about The Last Witch by Sabina Gabrielli Carrara. A big thank you to the author and Emma Welton of Damppebbles Blog Tours. 

The Last Witch

Back in 1974, the dormant Irish village of Seacross is shocked by the gruesome circumstances of young Margaret Morehouse’s death. Forty-five years later history seems to repeat itself and the quiet life of the coastal Irish village is suddenly shaken by a series of ritualistic murders. Someone had broken the pact of secrecy to obtain justice, but if the truth comes out nobody will be spared, from the future Taoiseach to the local men of power.

My Review 

I absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed The Last Witch. After an extremely shocking opening, the story starts on a slow burn before picking up pace towards the end. I found this really worked for me as it caught me with the murder in the first chapter and then I kept thinking "just one more chapter" because I wanted to know what happened. 

The mystery is masterfully done and I was kept guessing, I really should keep records of my theories in future to compare them to the actual outcome. 

Billy McCabe is more of your traditional old fashioned officers, but he's likeable and I like the fact he has a wife (and dog). His character development throughout is believable and I enjoyed seeing how he dealt with things. 

I felt like Seacross was a character in itself, I love tiny rural villages where everyone knows everything and everyone. It always gives the feel that there's something going on. I could also picture it perfectly from the beautiful description. 

Overall a incredible book and I will be finding other books by Sabina Gabrielli Carrara to go back and read. A definite recommendation from me. 

I gave this book 5 stars. 

About The Author 


Italian Ireland-based author of murder mysteries with a psychological twist, after a degree in History and Philosophy and some experience in Human resources, Sabina decided to go back to her old passion: writing.

She is a published author in Denmark and currently living in the little village of Balrothery in North Co. Dublin with her husband, their two daughters and three dogs.

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