Sunday, 31 March 2019

Weekly Update #54

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Now that's explained, it's on to my weekly recap!

This week can best be described as happy chaos!
It was the end of the financial year so I was busy sending deliverables out to customers and running about like a look getting everything signed off, but it's done! For a weekend. On Monday, I start working up the draft plans for the coming year and turning them into signed off work plans. 😭 Work... It never ends, lol.

Work aside, there was an end of FY lunch with my fellow project leadership types and one of my colleagues, who is on maternity leave, joined us and brought the baby for cuddles. You've gotta love baby cuddles.

The little dude's school play was this week and that was interesting... A bunch of 7-9yos performing A Midsummer's Night's Dream in app. 40 minutes. They looked like they were having so much fun though and it was infectious so fun times.

Then yesterday we spent the day at the local theme park - Paulton's Park - for a late birthday treat for the little dude. It's so close to us but we've never been before! However, all were pleasantly surprised with what it had to offer. It's home of Peppa Pig world which we walked through, out of curiosity, but skipped spending any significant time in it because he's 8 and well past Peppa Pig. It looked amazing if you have kids of that age and the rest of the park was also pretty good and definitely aimed at families for there wasn't a single ride he couldn't go on.

And today ends the week with the loss of an hour (stupid 'spring forward!) but also with Mother's Day.

Hope you've all had a great week!!


Okay, I'm saying it!
I love Rick Riordan's Olympians (Percy/Heroes) more than I love Harry Potter.
I feel like I'm going to explode with all the feelings.


(for both)

I wanted comfort reads this week and my brain took me to back to Sookie and I loved it.


Mary over at Dark Thoughts reviewed this one this week and I liked the sound of it so 1-clicked!
It was also free (at the time), yeay!

We watched First Man this week and I thought it was painfully boring. It was one of those things that I finished and then wondered why someone thought that should be made? And are Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin supposed to have been assholes? Because the movie didn't paint the prettiest light...

Review: Kitty and The Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn
Blitz: The Last Wingman by Daisy Prescott
Top Ten Tuesday: Audiobooks

Review: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
Can't-Wait Wednesday: Kylie Scott
Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book
Reading Challenge: March Update

Have a great week all!

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Review: Kitty and The Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station - and a werewolf in the closet. Her new late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged is a raging success, but it's Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew!


Full-length novel.

First person - single pov.

Kitty's relationship with her alpha is 100% abusive.

No, book one in a series!


Werewolves... So, yes.

This was an odd one for me in that I finished the book the same day I started it for I couldn't put it down but I'm not entirely sure I like Carrie Vaughn's take on werewolves.
In fact, I pretty much hate the world that has been created.
I hate the pack structure, I hate that the alpha male gets to fuck whoever he wants - even though he is mated! - because pack structure makes it so.  I hated the simpering adoration of a male who doesn't deserve a single iota of respect... Alpha's are supposed to be protectors. Not in Kitty's pack! Her alpha is an abusive asshole and the pack acts like a bunch of slavish automatons with no thought for themselves.
It made my skin crawl.

I was also not entirely sure about Kitty in the beginning.
I mean, I liked her, she was fun, but I hated how timid and submissive she was! I hate how she panted after an abusive knobhead because her wolf made it so even though she knew it was abusive!
“If we were human, and this was a human relationship, I'd have been expected to leave
him. This was abuse.”  
No shit Sherlock! The alpha pair was whacked!
I spent more than half the flipping book wanting to scream in frustration.
She was like two different Kittys! Sassy, spunky fun kitty when she was away from the pack and doormat whimpering idiot Kitty when she was close.
However, her submissive annoyance gave way to a mild sense of satisfaction when she started to grow into something stronger and push back... If she continues to develop, she could become a character I like very much but there is a long way to go.

One thing I did like was Kitty’s openness about the world. There’s no super psycho mandate that they - the paranormal creatures - be kept secret but it’s no society where the supernaturals are out and living free. It just is what it is. You choose to tell people or you don't with most people believing you’re insane if you do.

The whole novel is kinda surreal... You learn about this new world mostly through Kitty's radio show. You meet the supporting characters mostly because of Kitty's radio show. Kitty gets pulled into a police investigation hunting for a serial killer, because of her radio show. Kitty's radio show is the catalyst for Kitty finally growing a pair.
The radio show is the star of the book! And I love how the theme song for it is Bad Moon Rising.
I love that song.

All in all, I'm intrigued enough to continue.
I'm curious as to what comes next for Kitty given the events at the end (which I can't comment on because it'd be all spoilerish) and I'm crossing my fingers that we get to see more of the crazy but awesome werewolf hunter Cormac.

It's old school UF. I like it!


“Next caller. Betty, you're on the air. What's your question ?"
"Hi, Kitty. I just wanted to know, are you going out with that Cormac guy from last month?"
My jaw dropped. "What?"
"Are you going out with that Cormac guy?"
"We are talking about the same Cormac who tried to kill me on the air, yes? the guy who hunts werewolves for a living ?"
"And you want to know if I'm dating him ? Why on earth do you think that's a good idea?”


Tuesday, 26 March 2019

TTT: Audiobook Pros & Cons!

What is Top Ten Tuesday?

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Audio Freebie
(Any audio goes: audiobooks, music, podcasts, you name it.)

I've not been a listener of audiobooks for long and I'm not fully converted into the cult of their wonderfulness yet so I debated whether to bother taking part in this week's topic.

In the end, I decided I was going for it and I was going to list my long-held reasons for why audiobooks weren't for me and what I've discovered by seriously giving them a try!

Narrators are annoying.

OMG seriously! They can be so annoying! An unbearable accent, a tone of voice, or their weird pronunciations can ruin the entire flipping book!

My opinion now I'm a listener:
Narrators are annoying.
 You can listen to someone or you can't. Audible at least let you exchange a book if you don't like the narrator so it's not all bad.

 I can read faster.

I can read an 18hour audiobook in less than a third of that time so why would I bother with listening?

My opinion now I'm a listener:
Still true. There's no beating this.
Turning up the 'read speed' doesn't work as I'm left feeling like I'm listening to a chipmunk on drugs!

The cost.

The most I pay for a kindle book is £6.99 (aka the price of a paperback) but the majority are significantly less. The average audiobook is £15-£25. Why would I pay so much more just to listen to someone with a dodgy accent read me a story?!

My opinion now I'm a listener:
Yes, audiobooks are expensive.
However, an Audible monthly subscription gives me 1 credit a month for only £7.99, plus I can buy cheaper top ups/bolt ons working out at £6 (or less) per book.
Also, If I own the kindle book, the audible is usually heavily discounted - like an extra £3-5 on top of the ebook so much more reasonable.

Attention span.

I can't follow a story unless I'm actively listening.
For me, this means sitting still, emptying my head and focusing 100% on the task. Sitting still staring into space and listening feels like it defeats the point of audiobooks. If I'm going to sit for hours on end to enjoy a book, then I might as well be actually reading it!

My opinion now I'm a listener:
I think listening to an audiobook is an acquired skill.
In the beginning, I couldn't do anything but sit still and listen so I started by listening in the car. In the car, I'm a captive audience and I've found that listening to an audiobook is no more difficult (after a few days) than listening to the radio or chatting to a passenger.
After a couple of books, I branched out and tried listening while cooking, listening while ironing, cleaning and colouring.
All successful.
This is time that would otherwise be 'wasted' - aka not reading - therefore introducing audiobooks has been awesome in maximizing reading time.

My preferred genre.

I'm a romance reader and I don't exactly listen to 'clean' romance. Listening to a random stranger read out a graphic sex scene while eating my cheerios or sitting at traffic lights is more than I can handle!

My opinion now I'm a listener:
Still true! But easily solved by not listening to contemporary romance or erotica on audiobook.
I've been listening to my son's audiobooks - Rick Riordan's back catalog to be precise - and there's no sex or smuttiness there! Just amazingly good and engrossing stories that I can't get enough of.

Things I hadn't considered before trying audiobooks

Relief of Eyestrain - PRO

I work on computers. I blog on computers. I even do my weekly food shop on a computer because I'm time poor (and maybe a little bit lazy 😆) therefore come the evening my poor eyes have often reached their limit and I don't want to read anymore, especially on a screen.
Listening to (a non-irritating) someone read me a story? It's a win!

 They take up no physical space - PRO

Digital book hoarding for the win!

You can't skip ahead - CON

I know, I know, aright! Skipping ahead to see what happens before working your way through the story is 'evil'.  I get it, BUT I like doing it and I'm unrepentant! If things are tense and causing me anxiety I like to flick ahead and see what happens. I like to know if everything works out ok or prepare myself if it doesn't.
Sue me.


Any additional pros or cons? Are you an audiobook reader?

Monday, 25 March 2019

Reasons To Watch The Musketeers

The BBC's The Musketeers was a show that ran from 2014 to 2016. 
It lasted three awesome seasons and I adored it. 
I've re-watched it so many times and I never get bored and even though it's 'an old one' now, I still think everyone should give it a try.

And here's why...

There's lots of sword swinging goodness and it's fun. 

Pretty, Pretty, Men.
Yes, colour me fickle but the Musketeers? They're gorgeous and make watching a visual pleasure.

The Camaraderie.
It wasn't just their dashing good looks that won me over, the banter and camaraderie between the four was just perfect. It made me laugh, made me smile and made me want to grab a sword and shout one for all!

Beautifully Portrayed Characters.
Whether it's the lonely queen, the fickle king, the feisty woman in need of love and adventure or the cold-hearted assassin, each character is beautifully acted. 
I particularly loved the villains... Man, they were characters you just loved to hate!
I doubt there's a snowball's chance in hell that they're historically accurate but they're very complimentary to the gorgeous men (and women) that model them.

The Romance.
If D'Artangon and Constance, Aramis and Anna, or Athos and M'lady don't set your heart aflutter then you're broken.

The Theme Song.
It'll get stuck in your head and it just screams swashbuckling adventure!

Have a listen! You know you want to!

It's Fun!
It's a show with substance but it doesn't take itself too seriously. It's full of heart, makes you smile, laugh, fall in love. Each episode is full of action and suspense and the romantic relationships that build throughout all three seasons are compelling and addictive!


Anyone else miss this show? Or is it just me?