Monday, 27 May 2019

Around The Blogs With Chuckles


We all enjoy snooping and lurking on other people's blogs right? Why not share those entertaining things you found with other readers and bloggers too! Welcome to Around the Blogs with Chuckles, where I take time out to show you some of my favourite blog posts from the previous seven days and link you up so you can check them out. 

This Week! 

1) The Oh So Sad DNF Collection! 
Bark looks at a few that just couldn't be finished...
http://barksbooknonsense.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-oh-so-sad-dnf-collection-take-2.html 

2) Upcoming YA Book Releases
AJ looks at books to watch out for.
http://ajsterkel.blogspot.com/2019/05/top-ten-tuesday-upcoming-young-adult.html 

3) The Next Five
Elle looks at her next five planned reads.
http://elleinked.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-next-five-6.html 

4) Fantasy
Nikki shares her thoughts on the genre and her favourites within it.
https://breathesbooks.com/2019/05/20/discussion-fantasy/ 

5) Book Review-One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence
Mogsy's review.
https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/05/20/book-review-one-word-kill-by-mark-lawrence/ 

6) Book Review-Little Darlings by Melanie Golding 
Carole goes mystery/paranormal
https://carolesrandomlife.blogspot.com/2019/05/review-little-darlings-by-melanie.html 

7) Book Review-Mistress Of The Ritz by Melanie Benjamin
Katherine looks at historical fiction.
http://iwishilivedinalibrary.blogspot.com/2019/05/mistress-of-ritz-historical-fiction.html 

8) Book Review-Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets
Erica's review.
https://www.ericarobynreads.com/book-review-breaking-wild/ 

9) Book Review-The Favourite Daughter by Kaira Rouda
Mogsy goes thriller.
https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/05/21/audiobook-review-the-favorite-daughter-by-kaira-rouda/ 


Sunday, 26 May 2019

Chuckles Cover Love #127-Pink Pretties!


If there is one thing that makes a great book even better, it is when it has a cover that we love! The cover design is what catches the eye as we browse through a bookstore shelf or check out the Amazon or Goodreads recommendations. The right cover makes me look closer at a book, to read the blurb and maybe make a purchase. A poor cover might mean I never look at the blurb at all.

NB: I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus, or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow them to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account.   

This Week! Covers I love with pink on them.



Saturday, 25 May 2019

Chuckles Mini Reviews Catchup


I review everything I read, on my blog and on Goodreads. Most reviews are of a decent length but sometimes you don't have much to say about the book because of its length or you DNFed it or various other reasons. In cases like that it makes sense to write a few mini reviews in one post and clear them out your way! So lets catch up with reviews from April and May.

1) Shrabani Basu-Victoria & Abdul 
The tall, handsome Abdul Karim was just twenty-four years old when he arrived in England from Agra to wait at tables during Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. An assistant clerk at Agra Central Jail, he suddenly found himself a personal attendant to the Empress of India herself. Within a year, he was established as a powerful figure at court, becoming the queen's teacher, or Munshi, and instructing her in Urdu and Indian affairs. Devastated by the death of John Brown, her Scottish gillie, the queen had at last found his replacement. But her intense and controversial relationship with the Munshi led to a near-revolt in the royal household. "Victoria & Abdul" examines how a young Indian Muslim came to play a central role at the heart of the Empire, and his influence over the queen at a time when independence movements in the sub-continent were growing in force. Yet, at its heart, it is a tender love story between an ordinary Indian and his elderly queen, a relationship that survived the best attempts to destroy it.  

Abdul was handpicked to come to the UK when Victoria wanted to form a closer relationship with India, the fascinating country that she was the new Empress of. He began as a common servant which is not what he was expecting as his skills were in administration but Victoria took a liking to him and gave him a more fitting role where he could assist her with her papers and become her teacher in her desire to learn Urdu. He soon became her most trusted companion, something that other Indian servants, the stuffy Royal Household and her family did not approve of. I understand their concerns as he did ask for honours and perks for himself and his father and friends, which is really not acceptable behaviour. It brought her into a conflict every time with her UK or Indian based staff, and he even tried to get her to take the side of the Muslims over the Hindus in an India that was getting close to splitting.  It is easy to see their frustrations with the situation.

On the other side it does seem that Abdul genuinely cared for Victoria and knowing the hostility against him, was perhaps being prudent in ensuring that he had a future after she was gone ie looking for land to own in India. Her family were certainly not going to provide for him after her death and Victoria was also concerned for her future. He certainly filled a void in her life after the death of John Brown and tried to look after her interests. I can imagine that he also had to endure not just hostility and jealousy but outright racism. This book gives an interesting insight into this friendship, the political upheaval in India and Victorian life. I was also fascinated by the personality of Victoria, how much she wanted to learn about India and her determination to learn to speak and write Urdu. I found it very interesting and will probably watch the film.

Read May 2019
3 stars.

2) Boyd Craven-Breaking Point
We hear with increasing frequency, reports of mass shootings or terrorist activities on American soil. Don’t you get tired of the media sensationalizing everything? Do you hate how the police have their hands tied on how they can react, by politicians who are more worried about political correctness, and getting re-elected? Don’t you fantasize about just giving the bad guys what they have coming to them? That’s what this story is about. It’s guaranteed to offend the crap out of some people! It’s not illegal to fantasize in this country… Yet. 

Two Middle Eastern attackers exit an SUV and murder most of the 150 men, women and children attending and participating in a church nativity play. Computer hacker Dharma loses three family members but has little faith in getting justice and decides to get payback in a different way. She investigates and hacks into the ATM camera across from the church and then sees the same vehicle outside a local gun store. She decides to contact the owner Mike to see if he wants payback too for the terrorists buying their murder weapons in his shop, along with hiring men to gain revenge on the terrorists. 

The idea was good in theory as a lot of angry people long to get revenge when their loved ones are killed in terror attacks, so I was interested to see where this story would go. I didn't much like Dharma, whose thirst for revenge leads to other people being put in danger. Will works at Mike's gun store and gets into a violent conflict outside with a pro jihadi protester that leads to him being investigated for murder after Mike rescues him. Despite being cleared Will has to run a gauntlet of hate and go into hiding while a furious Mike realises that terrorists did invade his store for evil purposes. He is happy to involve his friends, a shadow group for hire who are happy to hunt down the terrorists for Dharma. However, I found the whole thing to be a bit over-the-top and not the most interesting plot and characters to read about. I ended up really annoyed by the unsatisfying ending, which only seems to prove that getting revenge leads to other innocents being hurt. I hated the ending! It did not make me want to read on.

Read May 2019
2 stars. 

3) Arthur T Bradley-Anarchy Rising (The Survivalist #2)
After the worst pandemic in mankind's history, anarchy threatens to break apart the United States. The government is years away from providing even the most basic necessities. Militias, gangs of convicts, and rogue soldiers face off in a violent free-for-all as they vie for power. Few safe havens remain. Big cities have been overrun with deformed survivors of the Superpox-99 pandemic. Smaller towns are being overtaken by authoritarians and lawless thugs. And congested interstates have become thoroughfares for desperate travelers and bandits seeking to capture women and supplies.

President Glass must face daunting challenges, completely unaware that some of her closest advisors are using unthinkable methods to have her removed. Their clandestine hunt for her eleven-year-old daughter, Samantha, intensifies, and the only person standing in their way is a ruthless convict who will stop at nothing keep the young girl safe.

Duty drives Deputy Marshal Mason Raines to leave the small town of Boone to discover the fate of his fellow lawmen. With his faithful wolfhound, Bowie, at his side, he crosses paths with desperate refugees, a bloodthirsty hangman, and savage cannibals. Only as he discovers the horrific truth, does he realize that he may be the last of his kind.
 


I was disappointed that Mason was leaving Boone because the scenes in the town with the supporting cast were the best bits of the book. I wasn't as keen on the President's story or her daughter's journey and those plots were the main part of this book along with Mason deciding he wanter to go to Marshall HQ in Georgia for some strange reason. I would've thought that trying to get the towns around Boone settled and on trading terms would be priority instead of a bit of a weird road trip where he gets into all kinds of trouble. I mean, why bother going to take action on two men robbing an armoured bank vehicle, then leaving them alive and swearing revenge, and then rob it yourself??? What was the point in that Mr Lawman??? And yes that decision does come back to bite him! 

The puppet President continues to struggle and it becomes clear that she has lost control of rogue members of her government. She really is a pretty pathetic and ineffective character and I got quite bored reading about her. Mason's journey was full of non stop stupid decisions and I missed seeing what was happening in Boone. The third plot was the journey of irritating smart arse child Samantha who really gets on my nerves and who is travelling with Mason's convict father Tanner. there is more action in their story with zombies and government agents trying to snatch Samantha but I didn't find their problems that interesting. The characters just don't feel well developed and more like cardboard cutouts, while the plot meanders along in random directions. The most interesting things are the different versions of the infected but they are background in the book and vastly underused. This is book two in the series but I'm not going to read on with it.

Read May 2019
2 stars. 

4) GR Carter-The Pullback aka Dawn of Darkness (Fortress Farm #1) 
Dawn of Darkness begins the Fortress Farm series detailing the story of ordinary people forced into extraordinary situations. Technology meant to create utopia forsakes billions of people, setting society’s clock back over a hundred years. Complex supply chains quickly break down, leaving people to answer the most basic question – how do I care for myself and my loved ones? New cults and strongmen emerge from the chaos establishing power by controlling the food supply; while outlaws simply seek to pillage. Just as humans have done for millennia, heroes and villains arise from the ashes of a great empire, struggling to determine the fate of people looking to them for guidance. Ramifications of simple decisions and desperate conflicts will resonate for generations.

Against storms of nature and man, Fortress Farms arise from the prairie to shield good people from evil and despair. Technology of our forefathers becomes new again, giving hope that bountiful food and shelter will return once more. Heroes roam the countryside like fables of old, determined to provide a better life for their children's children. Find out how one community rebuilds and provides a shining example for other survivors. Follow the rise of a new republic, inspired by a simpler life and led by common people creating a new world where freedom and safety take root.
 


This might well be the most boring apocalypse book that I've ever read. The story starts three years before the event as temperatures globally will soon drop, causing shorter growing seasons, food shortage and disease. The US government plots how best to ensure most people don't survive the crisis and it only takes one small speech to sway the outraged world leaders into total agreement. They will switch off the power in three years, letting everyone perish as the chosen people take over the best land to survive on near the equator. Scotland was a test case for a brief power switch off for a month. We apparantly became total savages in that time which really annoyed me.

We then get rich rural men endlessly talking politics in their towns and debating the economy yet every one of them seems to talk with the exact same voice. There was no character development in either these guys or the out for themselves politicians to make you really care about the story. There were endless councils and political meeting and it was just all so dull. I gave up on it long before we got anywhere near the actual event itself. It was repetitive and the story was all over the place. I could not get into this at all and struggled through several chapters before the boredom overcame me and I quit.

Read April 2019
DNF 1 star.  

5) Harley Tate-Darkness Begins
Madison spends her days tending plants as an agriculture student at the University of California, Davis. She plans to graduate and put those skills to work only a few hours from home in the Central Valley. The sun has always been her friend, until now.
 
Tracy starts her morning like any other, kissing her husband Walter goodbye before heading off to work at the local public library. She never expects it to end fleeing for her life in a Suburban full of food and water. Tackling life’s daily struggles is one thing, preparing to survive when it all crashes down is another.



With no communication and no word from the government, the Sloanes find themselves grappling with the end of the modern world all on their own. Will Madison and her friends have what it takes to make it back to Sacramento and her family? Can Tracy fend off looters and thieves and help her friends and neighbors survive?
  


I read a lot of these apocalypse books and it amazes me how many have the dumbest female characters in them. This one was exactly the same. Tracy was the best of the characters and she at least tries to get herself organised when she becomes aware of the danger that they might be facing. She goes and stocks up with food and supplies, though why she cares if a woman she hardly knows thinks that her stocking up is weird is beyond me. I'm more interested in how she deduces from a vague text from her daughter that she should check online for any sign of trouble in space. I can forgive her because she is a character I didn't actually hate and the situatios she got into were interesting enough to read about. Brianna, travelling companion of Madison, is well aware how dangerous things are going to get and she is capable of looking after herself and surviving. 

What a pity about Madison and Wanda. Wanda is a work colleague of Tracy and Tracy decides to give her a lift home, worried that harm might come to her on the streets alone. Wanda doesn't seem to take in anything that Tracy tells her about losing the power long term, and she keeps on about getting back to her flat for a shower. I was ready to throttle her as she just wasn't getting it at all. It took forever for her to finally wake up and smell the power cut, but even then she tells Tracy she can't cook and has no skills to offer. Then we get to Madison, the college student. She knows less than Jon Snow but is forever bleating that her friends are overreacting to everything, the supplies aren't needed, things are fine, looting is bad and so on. She doesn't listen either and can't seem to grasp the chaos around them. Madison is guiding her friends to her family home but can't seem to manage not to get them lost. She 'forgets' that the park is a dangerous place at night because of gang warfare and lets Brianna park there, almost getting them all killed. But it is her whining that drove me mad!

I'm not sure how I managed to finish this book but I'm not reading on with the series!

Read May 2019
2 star.

 

 

Chuckles Mini Reviews Catchup


I review everything I read, on my blog and on Goodreads. Most reviews are of a decent length but sometimes you don't have much to say about the book because of its length or you DNFed it or various other reasons. In cases like that it makes sense to write a few mini reviews in one post and clear them out your way! So lets catch up with reviews from April and May.

1) Jason Fox-Battle Scars  
This is a true story. The events depicted took place during the last decade in an unnamed warzone. The names and locations have been redacted to protect the security of those involved and the practices of the British Special Forces. Out of respect for the KIA and survivors, everything else has been told as it happened…

Jason Fox served with the SBS for over a decade, thriving on the close bonds of the Special Forces brotherhood and the ‘death or glory’ nature of their missions. Battle Scars tells the story of his career as an elite operator, from the gunfights, hostage rescues, daring escapes and heroic endeavours that defined his service, to a battle of a very different kind: the psychological devastation of combat that ultimately forced him to leave the military, and the hard reality of what takes place in the mind of a man once a career of imagined invincibility has come to an end.

Unflinchingly honest, Battle Scars is a breathtaking account of Special Forces soldiering: a chronicle of operational bravery, and of superhuman courage on and off the battlefield.
 


I first came across Foxy in the hit TV Show SAS Who Dares Wins, where ex-SAS men train members of the public to see if any would be tough enough to pass the brutal selection process. I love the series and rushed out to buy the books by Ant and Foxy when I saw them. It starts with Foxy in a foreign warzone having a mental meltdown that puts him in real danger. His descriptions of the battle area, the confusion and shooting, the conditions and the fear he was feeling show exactly what our brave armed forces put up with on deployment and I really admire him. Foxy talks about his gradual disengagement from the job he loves after he gets home, the feelings of fear for his next mission, breakdown of personal relationships and how he was able to finally confess the mental health issues that followed. He then dealt with being ejected from the military, avoiding his colleagues through shame and struggling to find treatment that worked for him as he faced an uncertain civilian life.

The book was really interesting but be advised that the main focus of the book is the mental health side of it and the treatments that Foxy tried. There are small bits of the deployments that he went on and the training provided for him but don't go into it expecting a military memoir. I think Foxy is brave to speak out on something that the military like to sweep under the carpet and there must be better treatment and support for soldiers like him in the future.

Read April 2019
3 stars.

2) Naomi Alderman-Zombies, Run!  
From the creators of the bestselling app, Zombies, Run!, comes a guide to motivate even the most relucant fitness-phobic to get moving and to eat well. Stick to your new year's resolutions, achieve your fitness goals and have fun while you're doing it. The zombie apocalypse is here. We have all lost a lot, but we are surviving. Together we will overcome the outbreak but we need every man, women and child to do their bit. This is an informational guide to help you stay fit and healthy in both body and mind during the crisis. It includes:

- Indoor activities that build the strength, stamina and flexibility you need to survive contact with the zombie hordes
- Expertly-designed running, cycling and swimming programmes to build up your distance safely when venturing out for supplies
- Advice on nutritious meals when resources are sparse and treats need to be rationed
- Tips on building and maintaining a community and remaining fit of mind when humanity is pushed to the brink

This was the helpful book airdropped to survivors of the zombie apocalypse by the Ministry to give them vital tips about remaining fit and healthy, dispatching zombies safely, working towards a new community and living the best life possible under the circumstances. I've read several of these guides to apocalypses and this is one of the better ones. The chapters on indoor exercise are actually really useful for anti-social people who prefer to get fit in private rather than on display at a gym. I hope to be trying out quite a few of them! I really liked the 'real life case studies' of survivors who told often funny stories of things that worked and didn't work in the apocalypse. I could just imagine the British people sending in their stories like a reader's letters page in a newspaper! 

I always thought that the app sounded like a good way to make exercise a bit more interesting rather than just pounding away on a treadmill but as I don't have a mobile phone and have no interest in getting one, I thought the book would be fun to read. I certainly did like it for entertainment and I'll find the indoor exercise guide helpful for the future!

Read May 2019
3 stars.

3) Mike Ingram-Bosworth 1485 
Full details on the battle that marked the end of the reign of Richard III and the rise of the Tudor dynasty

Bosworth Field saw the two great dynasties of the day clash on the battlefield: the reigning House of York, led by Richard III, against the rising House of Tudor, led Henry Tudor, soon to become Henry VII. On August 22, 1485, this penultimate battle in the War of the Roses was fought with the might of the Lancastrian army ranged against the Yorkists. This book describes how these two great armies came to meet on the battlefield and how the tactics employed by the Yorkists eventually led to their defeat and the death of King Richard III.


I picked this book up cheap and actually found it very interesting. It goes into the history of the War of the Roses, the commanders, who was on what sides, the types of soldiers, their weaponry, and a look at the lives of Henry Tudor and Richard III. It details the rebellions and the gradual march to war which ends with the battle itself. The author indicates where he thinks each army was lined up according to eye witness reports and how the battle progressed and ended. For anyone interested in finding out more about the War of the Roses and the start of the Tudor dynasty, it is a good introduction.

Read May 2019
3 stars.  

4) Nick Lancaster-Pandemia 
A virus outbreak in China is quickly spread to the United States. The US Government tries to quarantine the infection but despite rigorous protocols the virus manages to infect the general population. Fortunately Mike has been preparing to survive in the event that society changed or collapsed around him. Now he and Liz must use all their resources to stay alive and try to rescue their loved ones.  

The story is quite a typical prepper plot-prepper becomes aware of a threat to his family from a raging pandemic and gets safely to the remote cabin that should keep them safe. It is the type of scenario that I never get tired of reading and will always seek out. In this case Mike is our prepper hero who decides to get his wife safely to the family cabin to ride out the pandemic in what they hope is safety.

The formatting in this book is pretty dreadful-at least my copy was. There are huge gaps between every line and some pages only contain about 10 lines of writing on them. There are bad spelling and grammar issues too. I can ignore this kind of thing if the book has a fantastically written story but not in this case. The story itself is fine if you ignore the abject stupidity of the things that the characters are doing, and the anti-corporate rants but there is nothing really that new to it and it does have the cliche prepper wife who questions everything, doesn't support her husband's prepping and complains a lot. The stupidity includes talking to the rest of the family on the phone as the pandemic starts but not making an agreement to all meet at the cabin, then after the pandemic and loss of contact, leaving the refuge to try and collect those family members. A family member already infected says nothing about it on the phone causing Mike to drive for hours and risk his life, to arrive and be told 'you shouldn't have come'. Mike then decides to report the family member to FEMA and watches him being dragged away before wondering if it would've been better to let him die in his own house in peace. Yeah good one. 

It is an ok story but not something I would rush out to buy or continue on with the series.

Read May 2019
2.5 stars.

5) David Baldwin-Henry VIII Last Love
In 1533 Katherine Willoughby married Charles Brandon, Henry VIII's closest friend. She would go on to serve at the court of every Tudor monarch bar Henry VII and Mary Tudor. Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen, she became a powerful woman ruling over her houses at Grimsthorpe and Tattershall in Lincolnshire and wielding subtle influence through her proximity to the king. She grew to know Henry well. In 1538, only three months after Jane Seymour's death, it was reported that they had been 'masking and visiting' together, and in 1543 she became a lady-in-waiting to his sixth wife, Catherine Parr. Henry had a reputation for tiring of his wives once the excitement of the pursuit was over, and in February 1546, only six months after Charles Brandon's death, it was rumoured that Henry intended to wed Katherine Willoughby himself if he could end his present marriage. This is the remarkable story of a life of privilege, tragedy and danger, of a woman who nearly became the seventh wife of Henry VIII. 

This was another book that I picked up cheap and enjoyed. The book delves into the life of Katherine as she becomes a ward and then the young wife of Charles Brandon, friend of King Henry VIII. Brandon is a character that has always fascinated me ever since I first watched The Tudors on TV, with several books praising him as a kind and generous man, while others talk of a nasty and brutal man-depending on the stance of individual authors and which Queen they loved. It was interesting to see a bit about his marriage to Katherine covered in the book, which also paints him in a favourable light.

Katherine herself is an interesting Tudor woman-independent and outspoken, becoming fanatical about the new religion and having to avoid her Catholic enemies because of it. It looks at her interactions with various monarchs like Mary and Elizabeth I, her friendship with Queen Katherine Parr and her difficulties with the wife of her son. We also see the various tragic events in her life as well as her exile in Europe. It all paints a fascinating picture of the woman. However the one thing missing was any real evidence of any romantic relationship with Henry VIII or any prospect of her being his next wife. A few vague pieces of gossip prove nothing to me really but I still liked the book.

Read May 2019
3.5 stars.  

Friday, 24 May 2019

Chuckles Weekend Roundup


Welcome to my feature Chuckles Weekend Roundup where I will be looking at what books I've received, anything interesting I've done or bought or watched and other random stuff. I'll be taking a look back at what happened in my blogging world too, sort of like The Sunday Post that some of you do! 

Please note that I'll be visiting your STS/SP as normal, but I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus, or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow DISQUS to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I am the only one who does that on my social media! I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account. Sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress-they try to block me because I deleted my account with them but I will persevere as it only happens the odd time!
****************
Another busy week ends and another one looms on the horizon! I've been very busy this week getting things done around the house, see my Chuckles Chuntering post for what I've been doing, and this next week will be pretty much more of the same to finish off some tasks inside the house. I'm toying with the idea of taking a week of rest from the blog the week after or at least some reduced activity to recharge my tired batteries! I'll make a decision on that at the end of next week though. It has been busy but I'm pleased with productivity! The weather has been a bit cold for painting though so no more action on that side of things. 
 
As I have had a good few productive weeks I decided to treat myself to a few paperback books as a wee reward! You do have to treat yourself sometimes, don't you! I've got a bit of reading done and some TV watching so that is pleasing. As I write this today, the political intrigue in the UK hits fever pitch as we await news on an upcoming leadership contest. Things like that are pretty exciting for a politics fan like me! It could be an interesting few weeks. Well I need something to fill the gap left by Game of Thrones! 
 
PAPERBACKS
 
 


 
Chuckles Blogging World 
It has been a better blogging week where I have caught up on some book reviews and done a few fun posts about Game of Thrones. 
 
Book Reviews 
 
Suzanne Lazear-The Secret Life of Rockstars

Bobby Adair-Ebola K
 
JR Tate-Tornado Warning

Hunter Shea-Antarctic Ice Beasts

Chris Pike-Unexpected World
 
Regular Posts 
I went Around The Blogs looking for interesting posts to share with you, Cover Love looked at pretty white covers, Top Ten Tuesday was another Page to Screen topic and Books From The Backlog looked at The Line.
 
Chuckles Cover Love

Around The Blogs With Chuckles
 
Top Ten Tuesday

Books From The Backlog
 
Discussion Posts 
 
Chuckles Chuntering

Game of Thrones Season Eight Episodes 4-5
 
Book Challenges 
 
Tackling The TBR

Reading Challenge Update
 
Book Review Challenge Backlog

Special Posts
none this week
 
Films & TV 
I watched season two of Game of Thrones again for fun and enjoyed watching all the extras. I love those history and lores read by each character on the Blu Ray boxsets!
 
Book Tags/Blog Awards 
 
Game of Thrones Book Tag
 
Currently Reading/Up Next 
 I read two of last week's selections-Henry VIII's Last Love and The Last Bastion of The Living and liked them both. I'm starting The King is Dead and On Duty With The Queen and will continue with that today. I'm trying to get a few done on my Royal Challenge and that has worked nicely over the last week or so. I'm back on track with that. After The King Is Dead I'll be looking at these as my next three reads.


Reading Challenge Update

Why do all my reads have the same letters?  Gameland, Going Home and Graduation Day! Independent Study, Into the Darkness, Infestation and Into the Mist! Royal Marriages, Rebel, The Remaining, Redfall and Red Headed Stepchild!

A) A Dance With Dragons
B) Booked 4 Murder
C) The Chalk Man
D) The Devil's Fingers
E) Ebola K
F) The Farm
G) Gameland
H)
I) Independent Study
J) Jack and Jill
K)
L) The Last Bastion Of The Living
M) The Mage in Black
N) No God Is Safe
O) Operation Antarctica
P) Premonitions
Q) Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault
R) Red Headed Stepchild
S) Secret Lives Of Rockstars
T) The Testing
U) Unexpected World
V) Victoria & Abdul
W) The War Mage
X)
Y)
Z)
Zombies, Run!



Welcome to my ebook challenge! This year I plan to get as many books off the ereader and the tbr and free up space for other things. 

Here is my starting list of those I really want to deal with. I'll add to the list through the year.

1) Bobby Akart-Axis of Evil (Lone Star #1) (DNF)
2) Bobby Akart-36 Hours (Blackout #1) (DNS)
3) Bobby Akart-The Loyal Nine (Boston Brahmin #1) (DNS)
4) WR Benton-Premonition of Death (Fall of America #1) (DNS)
5) Lee Murray-Into The Mist (read)
6) Lee Murray-Into The Sounds (DNS)
7) Donna Galanti-Joshua & The Lightning Road
8) Jeff VanderMeer-Annihilation
9) Meg Collett-Fear University
10) Alex Hughes-Clean (DNF)
11) Adam J Wright-Lost Soul (DNF)
12) Norman Christof-Destination Lost
13) Seth Skorkowsky-Damoren
14) Simone Pond-Exodus of Magic
15) Steve McHugh-Crimes Against Magic
16) Suzanne Lazerar-The Secret Life of Rock Stars (read)
17) Michael F Haspil-Graveyard Shift
18) Lisa Blackwood-Betrayal's Price (DNS)
19) Bobby Adair-Ebola K (read)
20) Ania Ahlborn-The Shuddering
21) Saul Tanpepper-Gameland (read)
22) Hunter Shea-The Devil's Fingers (read)


This year, I really need to get a pile of paperbacks off the tbr and bookshelf, and out to the charity shops! Every month I'll be trying to tackle a few that I'm not sure I'm going to like based on gut feelings, reading tastes or Goodreads reviews. On this list I'll indicate what I managed to read, what was DNFed and if any of them are keepers! I'll be adding to the list through the year and the challenge will end in December.

1) A American-Going Home (The Survivalist #1) (read-3 star)
2) Annie Berdel-Alpha Farm (Prepper Chick #1) (DNF)
3) Justin Somper-Allies & Assassins (Allies & Assassins #1)
4) Michael J Sullivan-The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles #1)
5) Candace Robinson-Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault (Glass Vault #1) (read)
6) Candace Robinson-The Bride of Glass (Glass Vault #2) (DNS)
7) Conn Iggulden-Darien (Empire of Salt #1)
8) RL King-Stone And A Hard Place
9) Stephen King-Revival
10) Joseph Nassise-Eyes To See
11) Joseph Nassise-By the Blood of Heroes
12) Boyd Craven-Breaking Point (read-2 star)
13) Mary Kubika-Every Last Lie
14) CJ Tudor-The Chalk Man (read-3.5 star)
15) DB Thorne-Troll
16) Seth C Adams-If You Go Down to the Woods
17) Belinda Bauer-Snap
18) Terry Brooks-Running With The Demon
19) Thomas E Sniegoski-The Demonists (DNF)


The idea is to read books with a royal theme ie Kings, Princesses, Queens, Dukes, Knights, Castles, Kingdoms, Quests etc. This challenge is hosted by Adriana Garcia over at https://shesgotbooksonhermind.blogspot.com/ .

Here are the books from my tbr that I hope to get read this year for the challenge. I've picked 15 to try and get Queen status but if I do well or DNF a few, more may be added!

1) David Baldwin-Henry VIII's Last Love (read)
2) Shrabani Basu-Victoria and Abdul (read)
3) Jane Bingham-The Tudors (read)
4) Lady Colin Campbell-The Royal Marriages (read)
5) Lady Colin Campbell-Diana in Private
6) Sharon Kay Penman-The Queen's Man (DNF)
7) Dinah Lampitt-Pour The Dark Wine
8) E Knight-My Lady Viper
9) Elizabeth Fremantle-Sisters of Treason
10) Katherine Longshore-Tarnish
11) Laurien Gardner-Plain Jane
12) Margaret Campbell Barnes-My Lady of Cleves
13) Diane Haeger-The Queen's Mistake
14) Judith Arnopp-Intractable Heart
15) Kate Emerson-The Pleasure Palace
16) Mike Ingram-Bosworth 1485 (read) 
17) Suzannah Lipscomb-The King Is Dead 
18) Dickie Arbiter-On Duty With The Queen (read)


I'm intending to catch up on quite a few series this year, starting with a few of the shorter series that have been lurking on my shelves for a while! If I can clear them it will help in the battle to reduce the never-ending tbr! 

The Plan is to start this year with a few series that I really must finish or catch up with. Once I've done them all I'll extend the challenge by adding more series on until I run out of days in the year. The challenge will run all year.

SERIES TO BE FULLY READ

1) DD BARANT-BLOODHOUND FILES
1-Dying Bites
2-Death Blows
3-Killing Rocks
4-Better Off Undead
5-Back From The Undead
6-Undead To The World

2) JAYE WELLS-SABINA KANE 
1-Red Headed Stepchild (read)
2-The Mage In Black (read)
3-Green Eyed Demon
4-Silver Tongued Devil
5-Blue Blooded Vamp
 -Violet Tendencies #2.5 (read)
 -Rusted Veins #5.5

3) MLN HANOVER-BLACK SUN'S DAUGHTER 
1-Unclean Spirits
2-Darker Angels
3-Vicious Grace
4-Killing Rites
5-Graveyard Child 

4) CHRISTINA HENRY-BLACK WINGS
1-Black Wings
2-Black Night
3-Black Howl
4-Black Lament
5-Black City
6-Black Heart
7-Black Spring 

5) KELLY MEDING-DREG CITY 
1-Three Days to Dead
2-As Lie the Dead
3-Another Kind of Dead
4-Wrong Side of Dead
5-Requiem For the Dead
6-The Night Before Dead 

6) JOELLE CHARBONNEAU-THE TESTING 
1-The Testing (read-5 star)
2-Independent Study (read-4 star)
3-Graduation Day (read-4 star)

This is my latest update. Over the last couple of weeks I've tried to concentrate a bit more on my Alphabet Challenge and have completed Z and L. I have 4 letters to complete and hope to have that done by the end of next month. I've also been catching up a bit with my Royal Challenge which is now back on track

Book Review Backlog Challenge


Having happily completed catching up on reviews for all the books I read last year I've decided to keep motivated by writing a list of everything I've read this year and have yet to review. Seeing the actual list to be done has really motivated me to get it done so hopefully that will continue right through the year!

JANUARY READS (COMPLETED!)
1) George RR Martin-A Dance With Dragons part 2 (reviewed Feb 19)
2) Saul Tanpepper-Gameland (reviewed Feb 19)
3) Lady Colin Campbell-The Royal Marriages (reviewed March 2019)
4) Joelle Charbonneau-The Testing (reviewed March 2019)
5) Joelle Charbonneau-Independent Study (reviewed March 2019)
6) Joelle Charbonneau-Graduation Day (reviewed March 2019)
7) A American-Going Home (reviewed March 2019)
8) CJ Tudor-The Chalk Man (reviewed March 2019)
9) Diana Anderson-Premonitions (reviewed March 2019)
10) Lee Murray-Into The Mist (reviewed March 2019)
11) Jay J Falconer-Redfall (reviewed March 2019)
12) Christopher Coleman-They Came With The Snow (reviewed Feb 19)
13) Chris Lowry-Flyover Zombie (reviewed March 2019)
14) MV Stott-66 (reviewed March 2019)
15) Edward Chilvers-Curse of the Forever Rain (reviewed Feb 19)
16) Cheryl L Cholley-Survivalist By Circumstance (reviewed Feb 19)
17) Kealan Patrick Burke-Jack and Jill (reviewed Feb 19)
18) Doug Kelly-Into The Darkness (reviewed March 2019)
19) DJ Molles-The Remaining (reviewed April 2019)
20) Bobby Akart-The Loyal Nine (reviewed Feb 19)
21) Bobby Akart-Axis of Evil (reviewed Feb 19)
22) Annie Berdel-Alpha Farm (reviewed Feb 19)
23) Catt Dahman-George's Terms (reviewed March 2019)
24) Adam J Wright-Lost Soul (reviewed Feb 19)
25) Alex Hughes-Clean (reviewed March 2019)

FEBRUARY READS (COMPLETED!)
1) Jaye Wells-Red Headed Stepchild (reviewed March 2019)
2) Jaye Wells-The Mage in Black (reviewed March 2019)
3) Jaye Wells-Violet Tendencies (reviewed March 2019)
4) Hunter Shea-The Devil's Fingers (reviewed March 2019)
5) Candace Robinson-Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault (reviewed April 2019)
6) SM Wilson-The Extinction Trials: Rebel (reviewed April 2019)
7) JC Eaton-Booked 4 Murder (reviewed April 2019)
8) Greig Beck-Primordia (reviewed April 2019)
9) Sharon Penman-The Queen's Man (reviewed March 2019)
10) Greig Beck-Primordia 2 (reviewed May 2019)
11) Bruno Miller-Breakdown (reviewed March 2019)
12) Ryan Casey-Into The Dark (reviewed March 2019)
13) Ryan Casey-Blackout (reviewed March 2019)
14) Mildred Abbott-Cruel Candy (reviewed May 2019)
15) Amy Cross-The Dog (reviewed March 2019)

MARCH READS (COMPLETED!)
1) William Meikle-Infestation (reviewed April 2019)
2) William Meikle-Operation Antarctica (reviewed April 2019)
3) Matt Shaw-Voyage To Hell (reviewed March 2019)
4) Brad Harmer-Barnes-Tempest Outpost (reviewed April 2019)
5) Thomas E Sniegoski-The Demonists (reviewed March 2019)
6) Suzanne Lazear-The Secret lives of Rockstars (reviewed May 2019)
7) Bobby Adair-Ebola K (reviewed May 2019)
8) JR Tate-Tornado Warning (reviewed May 2019)
9) Hunter Shea-Antarctic Ice Beasts (reviewed May 2019)
10) Chris Pike-Unexpected World (reviewed May 2019)
11) Jane Bingham-The Tudors (reviewed April 2019)
12) Various-Become An American Ninja Warrior (reviewed April 2019)

APRIL READS
1) Jules Verne-20000 Leagues Under The Sea (reviewed April 2019)
2) Jason Fox-Battle Scars 
3) Orlando A Sanchez-The War Mage (reviewed April 2019)
4) Orlando A Sanchez-No God Is Safe (reviewed April 2019)
5) Matthew Reilly-Roger Ascham and the King's Lost Girl (reviewed April 2019)
6) David McMullen Sullivan-Moorehead Manor (reviewed April 2019)
7) Eric S Brown-The Squad (reviewed April 2019)
8) William H Weber-Defiance
9) Kate Morris-The McClane Apocalypse 
10) GR Carter-Fortress Farm
11) Grace Hamilton-Dark Retreat
12) Courtney Konstantin-Prepared 

MAY READS
1) Harley Tate-Darkness Begins
2) Arthur T Bradley-Anarchy Rising
3) Boyd Craven-Breaking Point
4) Boyd Craven-Flirting With Death 
5) Shrabani Basu-Victoria & Abdul
6) John W Vance-The Defiant
7) Johnathan Davis-900 Miles
8) Mike Ingram-Bosworth 1485
9) Naomi Alderman-Zombies, Run!
10) David Baldwin-Henry VIII's Last Love 
11) Nicholas Woode Smith-Cape Zero
12) Nick Lancaster-Pandemia
13) Rhiannon Frater-The Last Bastion of the Living 
14) Dickie Arbiter-On Duty With The Queen 

I have now completed all my reviews for the books I read in March, which is great! I'm now working this weekend and into next week on the April reviews and a a mini reviews post which will be another big step!