So. Funny old week. Started off in a rather unspectacular fashion. Went to work. Did work type stuff. Got bored. Rinse and repeat on Tuesday. Well, Health and Safety meeting on Tuesday so I was mainly depressed by lunchtime, but still relatively uneventful. Flying visit to Dublin on Wednesday (literal as it’s a long walk from my house) in which I managed to set the Irish budget (mostly). Go me. On the plus side I got a lot of reading in at the airports and on the plane so it wasn’t all bad.
Thursday… what to say about Thursday? Well, first up, I was only in work for half a day which is always nice. I had the afternoon booked off to attend the book launch of Lloyd Otis’s debut novel, Dead Lands. Great book which I’ll be reviewing very soon and which, coincidentally, I was actually reading on my way to London. Arriving in London, me and my sister decided to treat ourselves to some wonderful Danish pastries at Ole & Steen on Haymarket. If you like Danish pastry (and I mean the real deal not the soggy stuff you find festering in the cake department fo supermarkets) then you could do worse than visit this place. I’m not being paid to say this, not at all. I just happen to think their food is lush and very reasonably priced for a central London Cafe/Restaurant.
So, one lovely toastie and cake fest later, Mandie and are are headed to the nearby (overpriced) giant sweet shop so that she can buy her friend a stick of pink rock. It’s a thing… Don’t ask. While I’m loitering in the entrance trying not to get enraged by the prices they are charging (£10 for a box of Oreo cookies!!!) I decide to check my emails. Oh my giddy Aunts. I won’t lie. I know I must have looked like a complete div. I know this as while I was reading one particular email I was stood staring out at Piccadilly Circus literally opened mouthed in shock, waiting for Mandie to join me and check that I wasn’t actually seeing things. Please note – I am getting very old and I wasn’t wearing my glasses so I could quite honestly have been reading anything. But no. I wasn’t seeing things. What I was reading was real.
I had received an e-mail from The Writer Awards, telling me that I had been named as one of the top nominated book blogs. Apparently they had been seeking nominations and from 1000+ recommendations, my little old blog had been selected as one of the best. Now, being honest, and being blind, I hadn’t read the whole email and I am always cautious about selecting links in emails as you never know if it’s a virus. I’d seen mention of top 33 so I figured number 30 wouldn’t be bad, but being the sceptical soul that I am, I googled The Writer Awards rather than followed the link. Sure enough a site showed up a the top of Google and I clicked through to find the Blogger Awards near the top of teh site. As I started clicking through the list, I really expected to be scrolling through for hours. Imagine my surprise when at No.10 I found Jen Med’s Book Reviews. No. 10!!!
I double checked the e-mail and sure enough there it was. Ranked no. 10. Of 1000+ blogs. And why – well apparently this little weekly mind melt is one of the reasons. Who knew. I thought it was just a good way to fill a gap in my blogging diary 😀
For those of you reading this on a phone, what this says is
This blog nicely weaves in the author’s own adventures through weekly recaps. It’s like you’re following a bookish journey from book tours to recaps to the reviews themselves. The creator’s personality really shines through!
Now personally I believe that they missed the word disorder out of the above statement but let’s look at the facts: Weekly adventures from book tours (Dead Lands – check), recaps (look below – check) and the reviews themselves (see the bottom of the post for links to all of last weeks posts – check). Well. Yep. That’s me then.
All joking aside, I am still rather stunned to have received the email. I’ve only been blogging for around 15/16 months, and in all honesty, only really been pushing myself to take it seriously since last November (a post a day for months now excluding Christmas) so this is absolutely amazing. Whoever it was that nominated me, thank you. It really means a lot. I knew nothing about this, can’t really understand how I got here, but at least I know that all of my hard work (well reading and occasional rambling) does mean something. I often feel that although I have a bias towards crime fiction, my blog is neither one thing or another, and so it feels like it’s harder to build a following that it might be for a dedicated crime fiction or Sci-fi/fantasy focused blog for example. And anyone who knows me will testify that being recognised for my ‘personality’ has seldom been a good thing in the past. 😉 So, for a gal without a gimmick I’m feeling kind of proud.
Enough of the fluffiness… Back to Thursday night. What an evening. So great to see Lloyd again and to be able to help him celebrate his success. I have no doubt that Dead Lands is going to do really well and that he has an amazing future in front of him. I first met Lloyd at Crimefest which seems forever ago now – long I’m sure for Lloyd – but it is so good to be able to support him on his journey, even if it’s just by way of a review. Good luck, Lloyd.
So. Back to my week. Friday was all work. Boo hiss… Any way. Moving on.
Book post wise – well Monday saw my last Mr Men Christmas book arrive so I am all set for Christmas month on the blog. Sort of. And, you know how Thursday was a pretty awesome kind of a day? Well what I didn’t mention is that when I popped home at lunch before catching my train I was greeted by the Post Man bringing me a parcel. A bookish parcel. A very exciting bookish parcel. It was only Now We Are Dead by Stuart MacBride which I’ll be reviewing for First Monday Crime in November. Stuart will be appearing alongside authors Vaseem Khan, Simon Booker and Elodie Harper, with the panel charied by Barry Forshaw. I was lucky enough to attend October’s panel and I’m sure as heck going back for the next one. Maybe I’ll see you there.
Book purchase wise – well aside from the signed copy of Dead Lands (whoop whoop), I’ve been a very good girl. I only bought 4 books. Just 4. 2 preorders, Helen Phifer’s Dying Breath and Susi Holliday’s The Deaths of December, and two books recommended in Ann Girdharry’s recent Book Love post as they sounded right up my street, LaRose by Louise Errdich and Red Blood, Yellow Skin by Linda L.T. Baer.
Netgalley saw me downloading two titles again, both for blog tours. First up Stephen Edger’s Dying Day and also Kierney Scott’s Now You See Me. I also received an ARC of Jennifer Gilmour’s new book (more on that tomorrow).
B.Reading wise, I read just the four books this week. Been busy and in schock 😉
Books I have read
Devious, ruthless, and loyal.
Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.
When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.
Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.
Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!
Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.
As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:
How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?
And is Zenka really who she says she is?
I read Alison’s last book, Brake Failure last year and really enjoyed the blend of humour and action. Based around an East End crime boss who is trying to get to know his son for the first time, this book is packed full of laughs, action and the odd body dump. It had me chuckling all the way through at the series of mishaps and misunderstandings. And god help Olga!!! You can see my review next week and in the meantime you can order the book here.
The stunning debut from thriller writer Lloyd Otis.
When a woman’s body is found a special team is called in to investigate and prime suspect Alex Troy is arrested for the murder. Desperate to remain a free man, Troy protests his innocence, but refuses to use his alibi. Trying to protect the woman he loves becomes a dangerous game – questions are asked and suspicions deepen.
When the prime suspect completes a daring escape from custody, DI Breck and DS Kearns begin the hunt. Breck wants out of the force while Kearns has her own agenda and seeks revenge – and a right-wing march provides an explosive backdrop to their hunt for Troy.
Lloyd Otis brings a startling account of the past back to life over a burgeoning ’70s landscape, and delivers a thrilling piece of crime fiction that will excite any fan of the genre.
What a debut. Full of suspicion, tension there is a ruthless and brutal killer on the loose but is he the man the police suspect? Set in 1970’s London I loved the freedom that this brings to the narrative as well as adding to the tension as you know that the police cannot rely on the forensics to get their man. So will justice prevail? Well – read for yourself to find out. I have and I’ll be reviewing in a little over a week for the blog tour. However, the book is available now and you can bag a copy here.
All singleton Isla wants for Christmas is to be left in peace, but a surprise trip to the Alps means there’s a chance for romance in every snowflake that falls…
It’s the week before Christmas and Isla McCoy has just received an unexpected gift: a letter announcing she is due a life-changing inheritance, but only if she’s willing to make amends with the father who abandoned her.
She has absolutely no intention of forgiving him, but who could resist an all-expenses-paid trip to the French resort of St Martin-de-Belleville?
There she meets smooth-talking Justin and nerdy glaciologist Sebastian; two very different men, with two very different agendas. Torn between her head and her heart, Isla finds herself utterly lost in a winter wonderland of her own feelings.
Surrounded by twinkling candles and roaring log-fires, Isla’s resolve finally begins to melt. But will she learn how to reconnect, not only with a whole new family, but with herself and her heart?
A gorgeously heart-warming festive read to help spark a little romance in those long winter nights. Perfect for fans of Jane Linfoot, Debbie Johnson and Jenny Colgan.
The difficult situation of meeting her estranged father is what greets Isla this Christmas. But maybe that’s not all. In an idyllic ski-resort setting, with crisp white snow and beautiful scenery all around, could love also be on the cards. Released on 26th October, I’ll be spilling the beans on this book really soon, in the meantime you can order a copy right here.
They placed me in here and threw away the key. I look down at the gown they’ve put on me. I want my own clothes. I don’t know how long I’ve been here.
An elderly woman is found murdered in her own home, and Detective Lottie Parker and her partner Detective Boyd are called in to investigate. When they discover that the victim’s daughter is missing as well, they start to fear for the safety of the whole family…
Two days later as a nearby house is set on fire and with the body count rising, Lottie and her team begin to unpick a web of secrets and lies, as the murders seem to link back to a case investigated by Lottie’s father before he took his own life.
With little knowledge of what really happened to her father, Lottie knows this is a case that could give her some answers. But how much does she want to know? And how far is Lottie prepared to dig to uncover the truth?
The Lost Child is a thrilling page-turner from the bestselling author of The Missing Ones and The Stolen Girls that will have you guessing right to the very last page. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Angela Marsons and Robert Dugoni.
Book three in the Lottie Parker series sees our troubled Irish Detective investigating a murder and brutal attack which could well have links back to her own father. With her personal life as complicated as ever, can Lottie keep her head clear enough to get to the truth? You can find out when the book is released on 27th October if you preorder the book right here.
I’ll take that as I’ve been busy this week. Blogging wise, another really full on week of reviews and book love which you can follow right here.
The week ahead is just as busy with a mammoth number of blog tours. First up today is Zoe Sharp’s Fox Hunter; on Wednesday is The Second Son by Andy Blackman, Thursday is Lily Graham’s Christmas At Hope Cottage and Friday is Sharon Maas’ The Girl From The Sugar Plantation. I’ll also have book love posts from Joanne Robertson of My Chestnut Reading Tree and Meggy Roussel of Chocolate’n’Waffles and my second Inspector Chopra review. Busy, busy, busy – just how I like it.
Adventure wise – well nothing bookish but I’ve got to travel to Manchester and Edinburgh this week to deliver some project training so who know what I’ll listen to along the way.
Have a fabulous week of bookishness all.
JL (award winning book bloggist )