I’m Done With The Book Community

After some very nasty events over the last few weeks in particular towards me personally, involving ableist comments and tensions growing in the community towards various dramas, I’m done. All the enjoyment I had from doing something I was truly passionate about and have felt for nearly five years in the last twenty-four hours has all but evaporated.

I’ve had lots of messages asking me to stay, to reconsider, to change my mind. I understand where you are all coming from. However I’m freaking done. I will not and never turn a blind eye to harassment, trolling and I’m also talking about big name awards suddenly cutting myself and others off. To have people I called friends go behind my back suddenly and cause lots of tension and drama. To be labelled as untrustworthy because I’m neurodiverse. Bullshit.

I’m happy for the fun memories and opportunities I’ve had in the past but never in my life have I ever felt so heartbroken by all that’s taken place. I’ve quit my social medias and will be cutting off ties with almost everyone I know. Call me overreacting if you will. But I’m furious, hurt, upset. It’s too late to say your apologies. The damage has already been done.

I will still read books, no question about that. However from now on, I’ll be leaving. It’s clear that the community itself has turned into a vile and toxic environment that really doesn’t care about feelings of others. Thanks for the fun times. This journey however now must end.

This blog will remain up for a while longer. When I have the mindset to come back and take everything down, I will.

Alice

Neurodiverse Book Bloggers Are Struggling For Acceptance!

DISCLAIMER FOR THIS POST- I am not hating or being nasty towards other bloggers, creators or writers in any way, shape or form. This is directed more towards the publishing industry and the book reviewing opportunities in general. If there is anything in this post that can be worded better, don’t hesitate to send me a message either on here or my Twitter at www.Twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3. Thank you for reading!

Hello readers.

It is never easy to log online and type posts up to creative spaces like this one. For some bloggers and book reviewers, it can be even more difficult to log into social media accounts and check emails. This can be a scary reality for neurodiverse bloggers and today, I would like to address an issue that has been spoken up in the past before and really, there should be no more excuses for it. I tweeted yesterday exactly how I was feeling after the winners of the UKYA blogger awards were announced.

NOTE-After posting the above tweet, I met Nicola from Fantastic Book Dragon who won best established blogger last year and is neurodiverse. Please give her a follow- https://twitter.com/PrythianBworm It is a small step in the right direction however more can be done!

It is always an amazing feeling to get recognised for doing what you love and I generally don’t want to take that away from anyone. Let’s look at the bigger picture however. There are thousands of neurodiverse bloggers out there in the world. You may say that you haven’t heard of any of them. This is the problem. It’s because a huge majority get overlooked. As stated in the first paragraph, socialising can be very tricky, even when sending a text message or replying to someone’s tweet. That’s why readers turn to bloggers that are a lot more active and sociable. Bloggers that are not neurodiverse.

I’m even more concerned about the number of POC neurodiverse bloggers in the worldwide community that really haven’t been given a lot of opportunities at all to be noticed. This issue needed to have been addressed a long time ago. It’s the middle of 2020 and still, enough hasn’t been done. As a neurodiverse blogger and reviewer myself, I’m not asking for special award inclusions for any awards or competitions. We are all human and eligible for the main categories (blogger of the year, champion of diversity, best blog post etc) in awards surely? More research and education honestly is the best step forward.

We are at a time in the world where inclusion is the key. I spoke to one autistic blogger this morning over social media who is generally very close to quitting the blogging community altogether. It’s very disheartening to see and really, questioning why others are being made to feel like this is a severe blow for mental wellbeing.

There was a question of whether there are a shortage of neurodiverse bloggers and my reply was no. Social expectations again being the main reason why. I joined Twitter in 2015 for example but it wasn’t until the end of 2018 that I considered myself a regular daily user on the platform. That’s 3 years. 3 years is a long time for a person to find a way to make interaction comfortable yet it can take longer.

Most of the awards season is now over for another year. I dream of coming back to this written post in twelve months time and seeing a real difference. Without people power and changing attitudes, the same will continue to happen. The voices that still shout from the rooftops about books will vanish. The lack of support and tolerance will end up turning traumatic. Do we really want excuse after excuse time and time again? I certainly don’t.

If you are neurodiverse and would like to be featured on my blog, then contact me either on Twitter or through my business email fromgoodreadsmarriedtobooks44@gmail.com. Let’s pave the way for new voices, starting from today. This will result in hopefully more neurodiverse creators coming forward. POC bloggers are strongly encouraged for featuring applying 🙂

Thank you again for reading. Comment down below your experiences and let’s make the community a more tolerant and diverse space that I know it can be.

Alice x

Advice on ARCs- How To Score The Best Connections and Opportunities!

Hello readers!

This is a blog post that I feel is very much needed right now. For a few reasons in particular after the events I woke up to this morning and was devastated to see. I found a post from a bookstagrammer on Instagram with a 20,000 user following account who created a course on how to get ARCs from publishers and was charging users £100 to do it. I read through the comments section from the announcement post and was compelled to type this up in response. I personally advise anyone reading this to try searching the internet first (for posts just like this one) or asking other reviewers around on Twitter/Instagram first before looking into a course on it. Lots of us (myself included) are more than willing to offer advice like this for FREE.

I started book reviewing at the age of seventeen. I was a student, unemployed and most definitely would not have been able to afford the costs of this £100 course. In my time as a reviewer starting out, I was alone and anxious. Where was the best place to start? Who could I really turn to as some sort of mentor or adviser? How do you even review ARCs professionally and happily? Here readers is what I’ve learnt in the last four and a half years of doing this and now, I’m passing on my knowledge and advice to you all. You are more than welcome to ask any questions on anything I share in this post or you if you would like to do so privately, my Instagram DMs are open (www.Instagram.com/alicetiedthebookishknot) and I will reply as quick as I can!

The Lighting Bolt Moment

I like to call the first foray into reviewing ARCs The Lighting Bolt Moment. It’s when completely and sometimes unexpectedly you get chosen to review your first book (ARC or finished copy) for a publisher. In February of 2016, I was one of ten winners for a brand new YA book giveaway hosted by HarperCollins UK and were looking for readers regardless of statistics that they had to review Kook by Chris Vick. I did what the publisher asked, read it, reviewed it and tagged both them and the author in my review which I tweeted out. Twitter is very good and quick at sharing links and informing others. If your tweet is retweeted by one person, it gets seen by a new group of users. Most likely, they will retweet what the person retweeted as well (your original tweet) and so on. After this experience, I was invited to review YA books for HarperCollins UK, as well as getting recognised by agents and publicists for Harper through word of mouth on Twitter.

How To Get That Moment!

You can call it luck or a sign of passion. If you truly want something, then your voice needs to be heard. There may a chance of still getting contacted by the publisher or author after a giveaway anyway (if you didn’t win one) and it does happen. Just this year I entered a giveaway for Meerkat Press which I didn’t win, however the author found my email address through this blog and reached out to me anyway with a physical copy of their book which I accepted! Enter giveaways from publishers on Twitter and Instagram does help. It proves that for one thing, you are very serious and two, enables strong chances of getting the best connections!

Let’s Get Digital- NetGalley Style!

On Goodreads, there are a ton of writers and readers groups. Most have forums filled with authors or small presses looking for reviewers on their books. I do know that some reviewers choose not to review self-published books and honestly, that is a decision that is completely up to you. I personally do, since I’ve met lots of new people that way and have stayed in contact over the last few years. In 2016 as a birthday present to myself, I signed up for NetGalley. However for quite a long time, I kept being declined or files wouldn’t load properly. Then, I stopped being a procrastinating sloth and read the publishers wishes and way of working for reviewing properly. It does take time, some publishers have a long list of guidelines (the big 5 in general do!) however, others are a lot more relaxed and only ask for links to your written review. There are books listed under READ NOW tab which are offered by publishers (and sometimes some really anticipated titles are there in full for around 24 hrs) so keep an eye on their Twitter accounts to see what drops! With READ NOW, you don’t have to put a request in. You get the title right away and as before, tagging the author and publisher really helps, since you never know who else in the publishing world will see it 🙂

One of the biggest 2020 NG updates for me personally was being added to a bloggers master list by Bonnier Zaffre publishing after three years of reviewing titles for them. It takes time but being recognised for doing well can really boost your confidence. They are one of the best publishers I’ve reviewed for and if you do get the chance to be on a tour for them, then take it!

NetGalley Dos and Don’ts I’ve Learnt!

  • DO: Update your reviewing profile bio with what genres you like to read as well as the number of followers you have on your blog.
  • DON’T: Randomly request a bunch of ARCs you are generally not interested in- it takes away a spot for a reviewer who may have generally wanted that chance to review it.
  • DO: Add all the extra links for where you post a review so publishers take more notice of you.
  • DON’T: Plagiarise someone else’s review. Yes folks, that has happened on NetGalley 😦

Blog Tours and Promo Events!

In 2017, I signed up as a host for Xpresso Blog Tours and I actually do have a number of old tour posts on this blog (which I’m happy to share links for) in which you register your interest for and if selected, get a FREE digital copy of the book/books in question for review. All you need is a device which you can read either Mobi, PDFs or ePubs on so for example, I use iBooks for ePubs and a Kindle for Mobis. There is always an option to request multiple formats to see what works best for you. With Xpresso in particular, I learnt time management so when to write the post and have a deadline to upload it by, the writing style in which to boost a book properly and professionally and also honesty. There were a few times when the book wasn’t for me, yet I still boosted it, I just withheld my review until after the tour and posted to Goodreads. You are not forced or pressured to like everything you ever pick up to read.

Xpresso are still running tours and I still do keep an eye out from time to time, it’s INTL and free to join. You can also do tours in which you can do promo boosts instead rather than writing a full review. Whatever way works best for you as a reviewer, definitely consider joining them- https://xpressobooktours.com/

I’ve been to physical book launches and events as well. The first one with an official invitation was for Lucy Powie’s book The Paper and Hearts Society last year. From there, it was a great time to meet other bloggers and publishing people so physical meet-ups can help!

What If I’m An INTL Reviewer?

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you. If you live outside of the US/UK, it can be harder to get opportunities. Never fear, here are some current INTL profiles with top publishers and tour hosts that I either follow or have helped to boost around to my followers!

#OwnVoices

This one I’ve been seeing lots of sad stories about. It does happen and it is not a nice feeling when you truly identify with the author/main character (ethnicity or sexuality or neurodiversity) and are either turned down from a review copy from the publisher or don’t get on review tours for the book either. Just to clarify, I myself am autistic and offer an #OwnVoices review for any books written by a character with autism or by an autistic author or both. I do feel that publishers really need to take this more into account.

I would like to share a recent moment here with you all in which I was finally invited to review an #OwnVoices book for autism representation. It was after I posted a comment on Instagram about how much I enjoyed a recent anthology of essays under a promotional post for it that I was then contacted by the team boosting a brand new book. It is called A Kind of Spark by Elle Mcnicoll who also has autism. They noticed that I mentioned on Instagram that I am autistic and said they were looking for readers with autism to review it. I said yes right away and currently I’m really enjoying the book!

Closing Thoughts

  • SPEAK: I have social anxiety and writing posts like this or even replying to a tweet can be stressful. Instead, take a deep breath, politely ask a publisher who the best place/person to contact is. One example is what I normally ask- Hi, I’ve seen your tweet and would love to know more. Who would be the best person to contact please?
  • ACTIVE: Twitter and Instagram are growing by the day. Everyone starts at 0 followers and reviewing opportunities don’t happen overnight. You may feel lonely if you see others uploading photos of ARCs and you haven’t received one. Your moment will happen!
  • TAG: As before, let the authors and publishers know you are here and close by if they need reviewers. Follow the #booktwitter #bookbloggers #writingcommunity hashtags which is where I’ve personally found new contacts.
  • GET EXCITED: Thank the publishers/agents/authors for an ARC, if they see you are friendly and hardworking, they’ll remember you for the right reasons.

That is all for this post. There are other INTL accounts out there and if you know anyone else, please comment below so I can update this INTL list on the post. If you are new to the book reviewing world, then welcome. It’s an adventurous journey but one of the ones I can say has changed my life for the better. My advice will always remain FREE and if have any other advice from your reviewing that would like to share, also leave a comment. I’m planning to do a follow-up post about real-life stories from other reviewers and advice for newbies!

Thanks for stopping by, have a good day and happy reviewing 🙂

Alice x

The Joys Of Second-Hand Books!

Hello readers!

Welcome back to my blog. I hope you are all having a good day wherever you are on planet Earth. Today’s post is rather a personal one but still book related and it is all about my life decision to work with second-hand books and the aspirations I have for working in the antiquarian and bookish industries. I’ve tried many other careers out before turning to books including an IT engineer via a computing course at my old college, floristry which was also through my old college and retail working in a gift shop. Yet when one by one none of these options seemed to work out, I found myself turning back towards books. Then, the lightbulb flashed. I was always meant to work with books, but never realised until last year this was truly it.

I’ve heard lots of stories about adults changing their career paths and here I was an awkward eighteen year old in 2017 and having absolutely no clue where to go or how to live. I’ve always been surrounded with books from a young age and always on day trips ended up visiting a bookshop (or two!) yet I never really got the career pep talk or proper advice about how to get there. Instead, I was spoon-fed information about a career in beauty and hairdressing which I didn’t want to follow. Others who know me personally say that I have a business kind of brain and more recently since volunteering in a charity bookshop, I’ve put myself forward to study a distance learning certificate in business management. It costs zero to enrol and learn, however due to the current situation, my start date has been pushed back most likely until September. In the mean time, I’ve wanted to educate myself more in essential knowledge so that I can apply it for future use.

Book fairs (antiquarian ones) are my first love. What really drew me into older publications was the historical stories behind them. A book edition of Pride and Prejudice for example could have been passed down multiple generations or have a note inside wishing the recipient a happy birthday from the 1930s or prior. The mystery with the history when doing research is already fulfilling my dream of being a detective. In all seriousness, I really dislike the smell of damp, smoky scents coming off the pages or when a massive spider that has been lurking around suddenly jumps out onto your hand. No thanks!

In antiquarian bookselling, I came to realise that getting your hands dirty and being exposed to moths, spiders and flies/maggots is all part of the job. Not everyone takes pride and care in looking after their book collections and that annoys me greatly. However, most of the second-hand handing of books for me personally has been positive. I found a rare edition of Strange the Dreamer by Lani Taylor where I volunteer at which sold for £150 just before lockdown. That edition was in pristine condition and second-hand. To this day, I don’t think the previous owner knew just how valuable their donation came to be.

Donation hunting was always fun. With all the heavy boxes and bags, I would lug around a few at a time and have a little nosy through them. Some books damp, other books stuck together with nasty glue. A few duplicates of Twilight or Fifty Shades in one bag sometimes. You never know what to expect and that’s the beauty of second-hand. There’s lots of charity shops popping up all the time as well as second-hand bookshops and websites such as AbeBooks. There are lots of easy ways to find a good bargain. Antiquarian shops have also started to become more popular, which is great! Even though I was the youngest at the antiquarian bookshop I worked at, it didn’t scare me one bit. If anything, more young people need to consider books as a great career, especially antiquarian ones.

No-one lives forever and so what is important is having the next generation come along and preserve important historical works for the world to enjoy. History is so fascinating and only a book away. Now writing this post, maybe I should write a memoir about my shop experiences and books… would that be a work others would want to read about? Maybe. All I do know is that even though the world paused for an amount of time, books and voices still exist.

I hope to continue to study business management and one day train as an antiquarian certified bookseller and dealer. Even have my own bookshop in Hay-On-Wye… my favourite place in the universe… anything can happen.

If you love or loathe second-hand books, I would love to know your thoughts. Feel free to comment in the section below and let’s get discussing! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Don’t forget to follow all my social medias, links will be provided below this paragraph. See you all soon!

Instagram- www.Instagram.com/alicetiedthebookishknot

Twitter- www.Twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3

Goodreads- www.Goodreads.com/Marriedtobooks44

Alice x

My Reading During Lockdown!

Hello readers!

It’s me, Alice from the rock she’s been hiding under on this blog and not posted much content here. I’m not going to lie, my passion for writing as well as the energy needed to craft up new ideas for posts left me way back in March when my country went into lockdown. It’s now the middle of June and only today did this post plan surface from the depths. Since having lots of time at home, awkward sleeping and waking hours and being surrounded by a ton of books, it was only going to mean one thing. A lot of reading.

When the weather was very warm and sunny over the spring break, I spent many hours outside in the family garden in an old sun tent. Most of the time with a few physical books and one of my cats for company. However, I found myself listening to more audiobooks and found some new favourites along the way. With the current world happenings, I’ve realised that I need to open my reading and explore new diverse reads and authors. So, this month of June, I’ve made it my mission to read as many books written by BAME authors as possible.

I’ve loved With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo. The audiobook for it is fantastic and so is the story. A young high school senior called Emoni who has dreams of becoming a chef (she is afro-latina) and a teen mum to a young daughter. Her life felt so powerful and realistic. I enjoyed the book wholeheartedly. I’ve also read and loved The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. This novel in verse is about a young mixed-race guy called Michael and his life story of growing up and learning who he really is as a person. He finds out about Drag Society at his university campus and everything changes for him. There is also LGBTQIA+ representation in the book, so a great read there for Pride month!

My library book TBR is still very high (yes I’m currently eyeing up my copy of Priory of the Orange Tree sitting there!) which I still need to review as soon as I can. Not being around bookshops and libraries for a quarter of a year has been really strange. I have used some time though in finding new independent bookshops to order books from. There is one in Edinburgh called Armchair Books and they were great at finding all the books that I asked for, fast service too! I’ve also ordered directly from Scholastic Books some YA releases including The Black Flamingo and in return, nominated my old high school to receive some books in return.

Next month is my birthday and no surprise when all I’m wishing for is books… except that’s not all the case. I also wish for safety, peace and happiness to everyone everywhere. I’ve done lots of thinking during this lockdown about my personal life and where I really want to aim with my book reviewing and blogging. I’ve done distance learning courses from home on business management and English literature and loved them. I’ve still been active posting new reviews to Goodreads and my Instagram. On my account, I’m getting closer each day to 10K followers which is insane!

I know for fact that reading experiences for everyone have varied over the past few months. Have you read more or less since the lockdown started? Are you reading and boosting more books by diverse authors? I’d love to know your experiences in the comments section below. Thanks for reading this new post, it means a lot sharing my thoughts and hearing from readers all over the world on how they feel about books and anything bookish in general.

As always, I’m always active over on my Instagram at www.Instagram.com/alicetiedthebookishknot as well as my Twitter at www.Twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3. If you are new to my blog, then hi! I’m also on Goodreads and you can follow my reviewing there at www.Goodreads.com/Marriedtobooks44.

Thanks again, stay safe and see you all soon with a new post!

Alice x

Spotlight Post: Venators Promises Forged by Devri Walls

Hi readers!

Welcome back to my blog, this time for a spotlight post. I will be boosting the second book in the Venators series by Devri Walls called Promises Forged. This post will contain all the purchase links and important information about the story-line, there are minor spoilers in the blurb for book one in the series.

Release Date: 30th April 2019

A young adventurer must harness her magic abilities before saving her friend from a fiendish Fae queen in book 2 of this YA dark fantasy series.

When their friend Grey Malteer was abducted from their college dorm and taken to the alternate world of Eon, Rune Jenkins and her twin brother Ryker ventured into the dark unknown to save him. Now they are trapped in a world of fae, vampires, werewolves, and wizards. And after discovering the truth of their ancestry, the three are a world away from anything resembling their mundane lives of the past.

While Ryker is still held captive by the eerily beautiful Zio and her goblins, Grey fall into the clutches of Feena, the Fae queen. As she drain his soul bit by bit to feed her underground garden, Grey has no hope of escaping on his own. It is up to Rune to save him.

But the Council has denied Rune permission to embark on a rescue mission until she harnesses her Venator gifts. As Rune discovers that promises in Eon are forged with life-or-death consequences, she realizes that she must act quickly, or else be swallowed—and Grey along with her—by the dangers of Eon.

Amazon Kindle e-book link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Venators-Promises-Forged-Book-ebook/dp/B0851NS7WV/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=venators+promises+forged&qid=1591724316&sr=8-1 (from the UK store!)

Amazon Paperback Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Venators-Promises-Forged-Devri-Walls/dp/1612543006/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1591724316&sr=8-1 (from the UK store!)

Devri Walls lives in Kuna ID with her husband, two kids and one very bouncy lab. After suffering from an abundance of creativity with not enough places to put it, she turned to writing. Which in the end, turned out to be exactly where she should have been putting it all along.

You can follow Devri on Twitter at https://twitter.com/devriwalls?lang=en

You can also follow Devri on https://www.instagram.com/devriwalls/?hl=en

Hit the like button on her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/DevriWalls/

Add the Venators series to your Goodreads shelves!: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36192231-magic-unleashed

That concludes this spotlight post, a big thank you to TheWriteReads and Devri for running this promotional tour during the first ten days of June. Stay safe and happy reading!

Alice x

#NetGalleyLibrary TBR-Seven Books In Seven Days!

Hello readers!

We are onto the fourth week (or perhaps fifth week) of lock-down here in my home country and it’s been crazy, scary and a strange experience. However, I think I’ve found the perfect way to find a positive kind of distraction and participate in two of my friends readathon that they created! I’ve been a NetGalley reviewer since 2016 and have been lucky to find some new favourites via requesting the ARC of new releases from publishers and being part of major tours. Yet recently, I haven’t been reviewing there as much and my TBR is longggggg XD

So, thanks to Haf over at Library Looter and Anniek over at Anniekslibrary for coming up with this awesome reading challenge idea. There are seven challenges and as always, me being Slytherin and all, I will be attempting one book per challenge. So that’s seven books total over the course of the week-long readathon. A book a day, that’s going to be OK right? I hope so. This post features the books I will be attempting to read and review, hopefully boosting my NetGalley stats in the process. Here are the books in question!

  1. Read a hyped book

This one is already out and I’ve seen lots of buzz across both my Instagram and Twitter for Reverie. I follow the author Ryan as well. It’s a debut YA novel involving time travel, romance and superheros. I’m just all down for this one I’m telling you!

2. Read the oldest book from your NetGalley TBR

So I requested this one in the year of 2016… and still haven’t read it. Yes guys, this is proof that I’m a crappy reviewer. I know that there is a ton of catching up that I truly need to do. This is a YA Sci-Fi read about a girl who loves the poet Sylvia Plath and starts to struggle with mysterious hallucinations and ending up in different worlds. Lots of creepiness I’m getting just from the story-line and even the colourful cover too…

3. Read the newest book on your NetGalley TBR

I’m delighted to have been given the exclusive chance to read part one of Paolini’s newest novel due to be published in the fall of 2020. The author also wrote Eragon which is currently sitting on my TBR physical trolley in my bedroom. I don’t know too much info about this one other than the fact that it is set in space and there’s lots of travel. I’ll have more info once I’ve read and hopefully have the chance to read part two if I am selected by the publisher to do so!

4. Read the longest book on your NetGalley TBR

Out of all the NetGalley books I have to review, this is the only non-fiction one on the list. It is also the longest one in length at just over 400 pages long. In the last year or so, I’ve really come to love reading non-fiction and Lost Connections talks about the high levels of people struggling with anxiety and depression. This is relevant to me personally since I have an anxiety and depression disorder.

5. Read the shortest book on your NetGalley TBR

At just 208 pages long, The Spy is the shortest read out of all the review books I have on my NetGalley. I actually went ahead and read The Alchemist by the same author last year, which was OK. This follows a dancer called Mata Hari during the first world war and she is a dancer, until the moment she is arrested of being a spy. It does look promising, however, I’m expecting lots of action to happen!

6. Read an upcoming release

I am lucky enough to have a NetGalley account on the US website for being a tour blogger with various companies based in the states. For 72 hours only, one publisher (either Macmillan or Simonteen) put up a ton of new YA releases under the ‘read now’ tab (meaning that you didn’t have to submit a review request if you wanted it) and Lobizona was the one that caught my eye immediately. This is a YA read heavily inspired by Argentinian folklore about a girl living in the US as an undocumented immigrant until the moment where she lives is raided and her family attacked. This girl called Manu then tries to investigate more about her dead father’s past since he was heavily involved criminally. This latinx read looks very promising indeed!

7. Read a book with a pretty cover

The Beast’s Heart has a gorgeous cover and is also a Beauty and the Beast retelling but from the POV of the beast himself and I’m all for it. I’ve heard lots of positive reviews from reviewers on both Goodreads and Amazon, saying this is one of the better retellings. This year so far, I’ve read some quite awful ones. Let’s hope this one doesn’t fall under that category!

So, that concludes my readathon challenge TBR! Are you participating and what books do you have to review on NetGalley? Thanks again for reading and see you all soon with a new post!

Alice x

Blog Tour: Sanctuary by V.V. James

Hello readers!

I was excited to be invited onto the UK blog tour for a new publication by the publishers Gollancz for the paperback release of Sanctuary by V.V James. As always, this post will contain more details about the book as well as a spoiler-free review from myself and purchase links. Due to the current worldwide situation, it is very important that we don’t forget about new released books and keep spreading the word about them! Thanks for stopping by, here is my post!

Release Date: 8th August 2019, however being re-published with a cover change and new edition this Spring of 2020!

Sanctuary. It’s the perfect town. . . to hide a secret.

To Detective Maggie Knight, the death of Sanctuary’s star quarterback seems to be a tragic accident. Only, everyone knows his ex-girlfriend is the daughter of a witch – and she was there when he died.

Then the rumours start to fly.

Bereaved mother Abigail will stop at nothing until she has justice for her dead son. Her best friend Sarah will do everything in her power to protect her accused daughter. And the women share a secret that could shatter their lives – and their community.

It falls to Maggie to prevent her investigation – and Sanctuary itself – from spiralling out of control.

A Sunday Times bestselling thriller for fans of Big Little Lies, A Discovery of Witches and The Familiars.

Amazon Paperback link!- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sanctuary-V-V-James/dp/1473225736

Kindle e-book link!- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sanctuary-V-V-James-ebook/dp/B07FSR52Z5/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

REVIEW: Yesssssss, it’s time to dive into a new witchy thriller of which I’ve seen the old cover design for Sanctuary on various social media platforms (Instagram being one of them) so when my copy arrived, I dived into hopefully a twisted and spooky thriller. This was a spooky read and everyone was out of blood of some kind. The story is told in short chapters and multiple POVs, which is not only tricky to do but adds to the character connections well. I liked hearing from everyone, whether they were friendly or not. The story of a young girl called Harper accused of witchcraft after murdering a popular boy (one she was supposedly dating) and the town residents all caught up in the shocking events. When I reached the conclusion, I gasped out loud. It’s thrilling, it’s spooky, the blurb I also agreed with regarding the comparison books. For fans of Liane Moriarty’s books for sure!

That concludes this blog post! A big thank you to the publishers Gollancz for contacting me and a group of amazing book reviewers to be a part of the tour. Thanks again to the author V.V. James for the oppotunity to boost your book to the blogging community. Have a safe day and enjoy reading!

Follow the publishers on Twitter!- https://twitter.com/gollancz

Follow the author on Twitter!- https://twitter.com/DrVictoriaJames

Alice x

Reading 1930s Literature!

Hello readers!

It’s been a few days of pleasant sunshine and for most of it, I’ve been reading in the family back garden with my cat. Well, that’s when my cat wants to go outside and try to get a suntan.

I worked in an antiquarian bookshop before the pandemic crisis began and being around many classic titles, I wondered whether to improve on my literature knowledge of the past or not. I’m so glad that two of my Instagram friends are currently hosting a Backlist readathon, since the first two books I completed were both old classics that have sat on my bookshelf for years. So, which ones did I pick up to read?

The first was Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. This 1932 classic is about a young 19 year old girl called Flora, who finds herself an orphan after her parents pass away. She leaves her old life before and travels to relatives in the farm called Cold Comfort. There are a bunch of strange and eccentric characters including Aunt Ada who hasn’t been downstairs for years. Although a quick read, I struggled to fully grasp the humour since the blurb referenced the book as a satire read. My parents actually loved the book and got the humour quite well. I did joke that I was born in the wrong century, however, myself and them were also born in the 20th century… so cue major facepalm there!

Then I dived into my edition of Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, a 1938 classic that is very reminiscent of the fairytale Cinderella following a governess by the name of Miss Pettigrew and one day, she finds herself in the company of Miss LaFosse, who herself is in the mixes of high society. The novel runs over the course of a single day and during that time, both ladies become acquainted and new bonds are made and broken. This was super easy to get into, mostly told in dialogue however my edition had some good illustrations throughout.

Once I hopefully return to work in the antiquarian bookshop, I can say to customers that I know and have read both classics should they either be looking for copies or wanting to discuss plot points or characters with me. Do you know any good 1930s literature that would help me? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

Thanks for reading, stay safe and see you all soon with a new post!

Alice x

Spotlight Post: Dreams of Thunder by Christian Cura

Hello readers!

During this tough time across the world, we are having to face lots of life-changing moments. With many of us self-isolating, author and book events/festivals have been cancelled, meaning new releases could be forgotten about due to lack of publicity. I had Christian reach out to me via my business email about his latest novel in progress and wondering if I could spread the word. I am very happy to do so, and if you are an author affected by the current pandemic, I’m open to boosting your books too!

Here is Dreams of Thunder which is the second book in a new Urban Fantasy series. I’m delighted to share an exclusive extract from the novel which Christian has very kindly sent over to me. Enjoy reading and hopefully finding a new read to dive into!

Christian Cura is a new author who just recently published his debut novel Dreams of Fire. Ever since he read Lord of the Rings as a teenager, it has been his dream to write and publish a novel of his own. His favorite authors include J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and Robert Jordan. Christian lives in Northern Virginia where he lifts weights at home and creates artwork. When he is not writing, he can be found drawing or getting beaten up at his MMA gym.

Purchase the first book in the series here!: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082FGCV1T/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Dreams+of+Fire+Christian+Cura&qid=1575648225&sr=8-2

Friend the author on Goodreads!: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/101334456-christian-cura

Follow the author on Facebook!: https://www.facebook.com/writerchriscura/?modal=admin_todo_tour

That concludes this spotlight post! Thanks again to Christian for reaching out and again, if you are an author, don’t hesitate to contact me via my Instagram or business email and I can do a spotlight post just like this one. Stay safe, see you all soon!

Alice x