About a month ago we had blazing hot weather in the UK. It was so hot, I even had to get my legs out and expose the milk-bottle flesh to poor passers by who were blinded by the sun reflecting off them. Suddenly, in the news all the water companies were panicking, "We have had too dry a winter", they said, "we'll have to implement a hosepipe ban/water rationing". Since then it's pretty much rained non-stop, with maybe a few days here and there without rain. The temperatures have also been about 5C or more lower than average.
Curse you, water companies, curse you. This is all your fault.
My Reading Week
The Invisible Chains - Part 1: Bonds of Hate by Andrew Ashling
Someone recommended this to me. I think it might have been Chris. It's been on the TBR pile for a little while and I fancied a fantasy so I decided to give it a read. I'd be hard pushed to set down the plot in a few words but it tells of two half brothers, Anaxantis and Ehandar, who are sent by their king father on what seems like a fools errand to protect the Northern borders of the country. Anaxantis is weak and sickly and his brother takes full advantage of that. However, after brutal treatment by Ehander, Anaxantis vows revenge and is determined to turn the tables. There are some very difficult themes in this book, incest for a start - although there's hints that they may not be true brothers - and a pretty horrible rape scene. However, as these events are needed for the story to progress, and also because incest doesn't bother me anyway, I could see why they were included. The book is thick with rich plotting, fully rounded characters, devious plotting and politics, and a hero who I both liked and disliked - he truly was a mix of anti-hero and true hero, and one of the best parts of the book was the conflicted personality of Anaxantis. My only niggle was the excessive head-hopping which jarred me out of the narrative. However, that seemed to be the style that the author was aiming for with an omniscient narrator and so I went with it after a while. The book is first of a trilogy and as such ends on a cliff hanger. I rushed off to buy the sequel and I'm looking forward to that. Grade: Excellent.
Make You Sweat by Pia Veleno
I've read several quite heavy themed books in the last few weeks and mostly fantasy and UF, so I really fancied a light, fluffy contemporary. This hit the spot exactly. I'd had it on the TBR pile after I bought it because of the PL Nunn cover (yes, I'm a total sucker for her covers) and dug it out because I reasoned that anything with a PL Nunn cover tends to be generally light in tone. It was. The story follows Tyler who is spending his summer before senior year in College with his father who works at a beach resort. He meets Cody and they begin a summer fling. Tyler knows he has to guard his heart because he's going back to College at the end of the summer, plus his Dad doesn't know he's gay. I like heroes who have some self esteem problems and Tyler was just like this. He's skinny and lacking in muscle and that makes him feel unsexy. I loved the scenes where Cody tried to bolster Tyler's self-esteem and show that he's perfect for him, and I also liked the way that Tyler works hard to try and get fit and improve his own image - it showed an admirable determination. In fact both characters were nice guys and I liked reading about their romance. The story was a sweet and sexy, undemanding read which was perfect for what I was looking for and I finished the book feeling like I'd had my palate cleansed in a most enjoyable way. Grade: Very Good.
Also this week I reviewed the excellent Stone Rose by Megan Derr. I was supposed to review A Time For Secrets by Marshall Thornton, but time got away from me and I only finished reading it last night. I'm hoping to put up a review either later today or over the weekend instead. Over at BER we've just about got the DSP Time Travel stories all reviewed and there are reviews of some highly recommended stories. Do pop over and have a look see.
On Tuesday, I did what I haven't done for ages and wrote a commentary post. It was about my views on blog tours for publicity purposes and it's here if you didn't see it. Thanks to all of you for the comments. They were really insightful and helpful.
I've had a bit of a disaster and mislaid my notebook which has all my review books listed in order of when they get a review, plus the dates for blog tours. I'm hoping it turns up soon because I can't quite remember who's next on my list of reviews. I think it's Last Stop by Lou Harper so I'm going to go with that for a review next week. I shall also review Giving It a Name by Elizabella Gold.
On Tuesday, I plan to do the second post about promotional blog tours - from an author's views this time. Some authors left comments on Tuesday's post, but no-one has emailed me. If you're an author who takes part in these tours could you email me at jenre30ATgmailDOTcom and let me know the positives and negatives of taking part in the tours. I promise to keep your name out of the post if you'd rather be anonymous.
Watch out for a post tomorrow advertising the Canada Fortnight that we have coming up at Brief Encounters Reviews. Tam and Cole have put a lot of hard work into this and I'm very excited about it!
And that's it. I've a busy weekend of toing and froing with the kids but at least I've finished the marking now. Hooray!
Have a great weekend everyone!