The Box Blog Tour

Your daughter is missing. You’ve been accused of a terrible crime. How can you save her if everyone believes you’re a murderer? The Box holds the answers … if you live long enough to find them

The Box, Dan Malakin

Of course the minute I read that I knew I needed this book. Thanks to Angana and Viper Books I got my wish along with being part of the blog tour.

Ed Truman is a solicitor who finds his daughter, and subsequently his whole family targeted by an alt right men’s activist group – Men Together. As the smear campaign picks up speed, Ed’s daughter Ally is missing. Now Ed is focused on finding Ally and putting a stop to this war on the family. Which is easier said than done when the whole country thinks you are a sexual predator and murderer and DCI Jackie Rose has a task force on your tail.

As Ed sees hes life and family falling further and further apart, he knows that finding Ally will glue it all back together. Then he meets Phoenix. A friend of Ally, who claims to know where Ally is and why she is missing. It because of The Box.

The characters, the family dynamic, the interaction between awkward teen and father, the spouses frustrations, the mystery of Phoenix. All of this had me feeling for them. I loved them, hated them, wanted them to succeed. Dan Malakin writes fantastically flawed people not just the hero you root for. The story is fast paced without feeling rushed. You get those moments of history and backstory but you don’t lose get off track. Most of all you get drawn in, you stay up late, you run to work because you just had to finish it and now you are, in every sense, running late. Add The Box to your TBR, add Dan Malakin to your list of faves, and get ready to run.

Again, thank you to Viper Books for sending me a copy of The Box to review, and letting me be part of the book tour. The Box is released on Thursday 16th June 2022 which gives you time to book the day off and get you spot in the sunshine.

Dan Malakin can be found at DanMalkin.com, and on twitter and in the bookshop of your choosing.

A little bit of everything

Tomorrow it’s June – how? And that means the first day of Marvel-a-thon! I’m crazy excited as this is my first readathon for a while and I’m finding my way back to books after a long break.

After much internal debate I signed up. I joined team Shang Chi, led by the lovely Liv in Bookland, and although I don’t have a TBR planned, I think I’ve picked my first book.

And honestly I have missed my book babes, the excitement of new stories, and a good readathon to kick my butt to read with more focus.

I’m hoping that pushing myself to be more involved will prepare me a bit for YALC. I just had a weekend away and the tolerance I had built up pre-Covid has long dissipated as apparent by the severe meltdown I had upon returning home. As someone with ADHD, Autism, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain issues, I can tend to spiral. Books, the book community, and book events have been a huge part of my coping and distraction but my absence the past 2 years meant I disconnected with everyone and everything. I really want to reconnect with the people I love and make more friends. I guess say hi or drop me a message if you also want a weird bookish nerdy friend or if I lost you and you miss me too?

I’m also trying to work through some personal issues (I hate seeing my face and hearing my voice) and get booktok and booktube underway.

D.O.G.S

Are you ready to go back to St Aidans?

After the experiences of the last year at St Aidans, Greer is no longer a lonely outsider. She has her best friend Nel (Chanel) and Shafeen, her boyfriend. And this time they are the Medievals. The events of the previous term seem to be behind them until they realise that the Stags of St Aidans are of the Dark Order variety.

Greer should be focused on her Probitiones, particularly as she is directing the drama class in a play she has yet to choose, but she sees Henry everywhere. Distracted by the de Walencourt twins Cassandra and Louis, and the first scholarship student to attend S.T.A.G.S, Ty Morgan, Greer soon finds some focus when the first act of a presumably destroyed play by Ben Jonson is delivered to her room.

When our trio hear that Cass and Loius have invited Ty to the traditional Justitium huntin’, shootin’, fishin’ weekend her they wonder if the sins of the family those of the twins? But the Dark Order of the Great Stag are the only ones with secrets.

D.O.G.S is a fantastic sequel, exploring not just the new relationships of Greer, Nel, and Shafeen. but the ancient traditions of S.T.A.G.S and a secret society. Greer becomes more complex showing her struggle to balance having a relationship, exams and auditions, her guilt for Henry, and for Ty. Nel is a force to be reckoned with embracing her Savage technology in combination with her Medieval title, Shafeen is focused and driven and conflicted as he supports Greer but wants to move forward from the weekend the bonded them all. The depth of the characters against the greater plot and secret society make me eager for more.

M. A. Bennett can be found on twitter and Instagram. Books 1-4 of the S.T.A.G.S series are already available from Hot Key Books, H.A.W.K.S is to be released July 7th 202

S.T.A.G.S

At the prestigious and historic St Aidan the Great School, Greer MacDonald, scholarship student feels like an outsider. She spends her first term being ignored by everyone, including Jesus – Greer’s roommate not the deity, although it could be argued he ignores her too.

St Aidan’s might be run by The Abbot and the Friars, but its the Medieval’s who are really in charge. The school prefects, a group of upper sixth students, Henry de Walencourt, Cookson, Piers, Esme, Charlotte, and Lara. The ones who set the trends and standards the rest of the student body aspire to, even forging technology as “Savage”.

As the term ends Greer gets an invitation to spend the holiday weekend at Longcross Hall, for “huntin’, shootin’, fishin'” with The Medieval’s. At her roommates nudging, Greer accepts, she;s finally being accepted at S.T.A.G.S and by the most influential group in school.

After having her case vetted by Esme and a torturously long and quiet drive with Perfect, the head groundsman, Greer arrives at Longcross to find she isn’t the only guest. The other invitees are Chanel – a new money tech heiress, and Shafeen – a boy with all the advantages and upbringing of The Medieval’s but has never been accepted by them due to his heritage.

Greer is convinced that this is when her time at S.T.A.G.S will turn around.

Day 1, huntin’. A morning of explaining how the hunt works, of selecting a stag and setting the stage. Lunch is a luxurious affair before the final act of killing and the ritual that come along with it are complete. Greer notices that Chanel has been separated from the group. As they look for her, Greer is reminded of the hunt, right down to locating Chanel by the sound of the baying hounds.

But that was an accident. And Chanel is only scared because she was already terrified of the dogs.

Day 2, shootin’. Greer and Chanel opt to sit out the mornings shoot and head out to meet the shooting party for lunch. It seems the only shooter to rival Henry is Shafeen and after lunch the competition intensifies. Right up until Shafeen is shot.

Two accidents can’t be anything more than a coincidence, can it?

Huntin’. Shooting’. Only fishin’ is left.

The mornings fishing goes well, with Greer landing her first catch. What happens after lunch will change all their lives, and expose an old Order to the Savage world.

Greer transforms from the lonely underprivileged student to a girl who thinks she could be one of the chosen, to someone willing to fight for her survival and that of her friends and take down an insane hunting party of untouchable aristocrats. Chanel becomes Nel, her own person and not the coached model of the people she tried to fit in with. Shafeen opens up, allowing some behind the walls that were built to protect him from the systemic racism that he has faced his whole life, along with the perfectly paced story made it hard to put down.

I loved S.T.A.G.S and am re reading the series before the release of book 5, H.A.W.K.S

M. A. Bennett can be found on twitter and Instagram. Books 1-4 of the S.T.A.G.S series are already available from Hot Key Books, H.A.W.K.S is to be released July 7th 2022

Nettle and Bone

Marra is the third daughter of the King and Queen of a small kingdom caught in the constant threat of invasion from the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. She sees her eldest sister marry a prince and unite them with a powerful ally and protector.

Except mere months later her sister is returned home, dead. No longer bound and protected by a larger kingdom, the second sister is soon married to her sisters widowed Prince. But not all Princes are Charming.

Sent off to a convent, Marra sees her sister only a few times over the years, but this is enough. She knows that what she has to do.

Kill the Prince.

Marra seeks out the dust wife, a grave yard tender who speaks to the dead, for help. To gain what she needs to kill the Prince she must first complete three impossible tasks.

Nettle and Bone has all the elements of the perfect fairy tale, a Princess, a dust wife, a fairy godmother, a knight in shining armour (ok, a disgraced former knight), and a chicken.

I was so excited to be given the chance to review T. Kingfisher’s Nettle and Bone – thanks to Titan Books, and complete my own impossible tasks. Beautifully written, flawed and lovable characters, and adventure, Nettle and Bone is a delight to read. Putting it down is harder than catching moonlight in a clay pot.

Complete three impossible tasks, kill a prince, curse a kingdom

Nettle and Bone is released April 26th 2022, from Titan Books. T. Kingfisher can be found at Red Wombat Studio and on twitter

Ragged

Cal is a father grieving for his wife, lost to a mysterious case of rabies. As winter approaches, he must find out how
she died, and protect his pups from a town that would turn them out into the cold.
Cal is a mutt with a violent past, one that he can’t seem to leave behind. As he races to find out the truth, before
paranoia destroys his family, he is drawn towards a criminal empire, a ferocious gang of rats, weasels and stoats –
murderers all.
Because the woodland community is fraying at the seams as rumours of infection and sickness spread like wildfire.
Anyone could be rabid. Anyone could turn violent at a moment’s notice. And the local trader who should be
bringing much needed supplies to the community has vanished. With a long, hungry winter ahead, and the great
brown bear asleep on the mountainside, can the town overcome its fears before it destroys itself?

Ragged, Christopher Irvin

Cal has a great life now in the Woods with his wife Winifred and their two pups Gus and Franklin. Far from the Fells and the past.

Until he loses Winfred to the mysterious sickness that has their neighbours terrified of infection and attack.

Now Cal must protect his family and neighbours while confronting his past.

Did I mention the Woods are actual woods? And that Cal is a dog? This gripping tale takes draws you into a very familiar hysteria and uncertainty of a disease they don’t understand.

Ragged combines all the whimsy of your favourite childhood shows and the adorable animals with the intense drama and mystery of the latest binge show while holding a mirror to the pandemic panic of reality.

Christopher Irvin’s Ragged was released by Titan Book on Tuesday 19th April 2022,and I absolutely implore you pick up a copy and spend an afternoon in the Woods with Cal, just be careful to avoid infection. Follow Christopher Irvin on twitter, and instagram, and keep up with other news here.

The Accomplice

Everyone has the same questions about best friends Owen and Luna: What binds them together so tightly? Why weren’t they ever a couple? And why do people around them keep turning up dead?

Owen Mann is charming, privileged and chronically dissatisfied, Luna grey is secretive, cautious and pragmatic. Despite their differences, they begin forming a bond the moment the meet in college. Their names soon become indivisible – Owen and Luna, Luna and Owen – and stay that way even after an unexplained death rocks their social circle.

Years later, they’re still friends when Luna finds Owen’s wife brutally murdered. The police investigation sheds some light on long-hidden secrets, but it can’t penetrate the wall of mystery that surrounds Owen. to get to the heart of what happened and why, Luna has to dig up the one secret she’s spent her whole life burying.

The Accomplice, Lisa Lutz

Long after college Luna and Owens friendship continues. They even live in the same town. But when Luna finds the body of Owen’s we are thrown into 2 mysterious deaths. Alternating the current day murder with the mystery of the past. As Luna delves into her big secret she uncovers those of the people she knows, after all, everyone has something to hide.

The Accomplice was just what I needed to break the slump. With a sunny Sunday, snacks and a comfy chair I was in. There was no way I could put this down, not when every chapter brought as many questions as it did answers. Grab a copy and get your answers in the end!

The Accomplice is released by Titan Book on Thursday 14th April 2022, if you need a plan for the Easter weekend. Lisa Lutz books, appearances and information can be found here, on twitter, facebook and goodreads.

Back with a bang, it’s readathon time

This year has been a wild ride so far. But I’m trying to get back into the swing of things.

So It’s readathon time and June had two tempting ones for me. Panemathon and Make your Mythtaker.

Panemathon is the District inspired Hunger Games readathon, volunteering as tribute to represent your district and reading a book for each district.

Make you Mythtaker is a 4 step path to create your character. One of 16 in 4 classes of myth based roles. I have chosen the Warrior path, specifically that of Viking.

With that in mind, I have planned a TBR that covers both and that, hopefully, I complete.

District 1 – Read A 5 Star Prediction. Seafire.

District 2 – Read A Book That Features A Weapon, Armor Or Shield On The Cover.The hunger games.

District 3 – Read A Sci-Fi Book. Divergent.

District 4 – Read A Book Set By The Sea, On The Sea Or Under The Sea. The mermaid.

District 5 – Read An E-Book, Audiobook OR Read A Book During The Night. The ballad of songbirds and snakes.

District 6 – Read A Book Set Outside Of Your Own Country Or World. Insurgent m.

District 7 – Read A Book Set In Nature Or Features Nature On The Cover.

Group Read (Worth DOUBLE Points!): Bone Crier’s Moon By Kathryn Purdie. Naturally this will be my pick.

District 8 – Read A Book Featuring More Than 3 Colours On The Cover. The Shadow between us.

District 9 – Read A Book That Begins With “G.” Good omens.

District 10 – Read A Book With An Animal As A Featured Character Or An Animal On The Cover. Mockingjay.

District 11 – Read A Book That Showcases A Strong Sense Of Friendship. One of us is next.

District 12 – Read A Book With The Word “Fire” In The Title Or Displayed On The Cover. Catching fire.

Viking path

The first prompt is to read a book set in a cold place. For this I have chosen The Mermaid.

Prompt 2 is a book with a weapon in the cover, for me this is The Hunger Games.

For the third challenge, a book featuring a journey I will read Catching Fire.

My finally step will be an Overhyped book. Or a book you have seen a lot of chat and excitement for. The book I have chosen is Seafire as it’s 1 I have seen a lot of love for.

Hex Life

I love anything otherworldly, spooky, and supernatural. I live for Halloween and all things witchy all year round. When I heard about a collection of wicked witchcraft being brought to us by Rachel Autumn Deering, Christopher Golden, and Titan books at the beginning of my favourite month, I mean come on! And did I mention it’s gorgeous? Because it is. So beautiful.

Hex Life has tales of witch burning, of witches house – there’s one in every town, I bet you remember yours – and the widows who live there, momma’s who will do anything in their power for their children, tales of help to good to be true, of new gods and old religions. Each story as captioned bewitching as the last.

A beautiful blend of worlds and characters you know, Kelly Armstrong’s Otherworld, Rachel Caine’s Morganville, and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Hellchaser, come together with new realms and realities to enchant you.

This has been one of my favourite reads this year. I gobbled each story up like a lost kid finding a gingerbread house in the woods.

Wonderland An Anthology

Within these pages you’ll find myriad approaches to Alice, from horror to historical, taking us from the nightmarish reaches of the imagination to tales that will shock, surprise and tug on the heart-strings.

So it’s time now to go down the rabbit hole, or through the looking-glass or … But no, wait. By picking up this book and starting to read it you’re already there, can’t you see?

Wonderland, an anthology

I love a retelling. And Alice has been a story that catches the imagination of so many of us. There’s the fantastic wonderland realm, all the characters and adventures Alice encounters. One of the most fascinating things for me is that everyone finds a different twist, or moment, or character to draw from.

Wonderland is a collection of 19 Alice inspired short stories and poems. Ranging from historical to wild west to Japanese folklore to sci-fi, there is an Alice for everyone in this book. It was an absolute delight to experience each new Wonderland, every one becoming my a new favourite.

So grab your best teacup and be careful what you eat in Wonderland…