Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Blitz: One For The Road by Katia Rose

Available now!
Katia Rose's beautiful friends-to-lovers tale is available now and I loved it!!
Recommend times a thousand!

Better late than never.

It’s the phrase on the tip of everyone’s tongues. For three years, every staff member and regular at Taverne Toulouse has watched Zach and DeeDee edge their way closer to the grand finale of a ‘will they, won’t they’ dance that feels like it’s lasted for decades.

Bets have been placed. Wagers have been drawn. The whole of Montreal’s most famous dive bar is holding its breath. Will the small town boy with a heart of gold finally make a move on the wild, pink-haired bartender he’s been in love with for years, or will the moment pass them by and leave Zach and DeeDee insisting they’re ‘just friends’ yet again?

A rowdy night at the bar gets served with a twist that sends DeeDee spinning—not into Zach’s arms, but straight into his living room. With his dream girl crashing on his couch for a few weeks and brightening his days with spontaneous dance parties and eventful forays into the art of hair dyeing, Zach’s feelings only get stronger, and DeeDee’s follow right behind.

He calms her storms, and she streaks his skies with lightning. They fill each other’s gaps with a symmetry neither of them can ignore, but every step closer only raises the stakes of losing it all.

Late or never. A choice three years in the making. Their final shot to get it right.

One for the Road is part of the Barflies series, a set of standalone romantic comedies that chronicle the lives and loves of the staff at a Montreal dive bar.

Available via Amazon / Kindle Unlimited!

Katia Rose is not much of a Pina Colada person, but she does like getting caught in the rain. She prefers her romance served steamy with a side of smart and is a sucker for quirky characters. A habit of jetting off to distant countries means she's rarely in one place for very long, but she calls the frigid northland that is Canada home.

Connect with Katia!

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Read A Series in A Month Challenge 2020!

Michelle and Berls are hosting their Read A Series In A Month challenge again, it begins May 1st.

The rules are simple:
  • Pick 1 series. Yes, just 1. Announce which series you’ve picked on your sign up post.
  • Read EVERY book in the series. You don’t have to read novellas or short stories, just the core books.
  • Read them all between 12am (your time) May 1st and 11:59pm (your time) May 31st. They MUST be marked (on Goodreads) as started and finished in the month of June to count.
  • Enjoy bragging to everyone about how you’re all caught up on whatever series you read (AKA – have fun)!

Since I read an entire six book series in a week recently, I'm feeling optimistic about this challenge this time around!
This will be my third time taking part with a 50/50 success rate so far... Last May, I completed the challenge with Kalayna Price's Grave Witch Series. Last November, I epically failed to read a single book in my chosen series (book 7-13 of Chicagoland Vampires) as my mood-reading self decided to go on strike. 

This time around, I'm reading the Gemini series by Hailey Edwards!

There are only three books but I fear pressure at the moment as getting my reading mojo back after the lockdown induced reading slump has been a challenge.
 I don't want the pressure to risk breaking me, lol.

If I complete this series quickly I'm going to move onto another one!
And no, it doesn't break rule one as the "inevitable questions" section of the sign up states: 
"I know we have some reading over-achievers out there who want to do more. Go ahead, we’ll cheer you on, but there’s no bonus points or higher levels for reading more than 1."

So, if my brain gets with the programme and lets me blast through these three, my second series will be the Court of Sea Fae series by CN Crawford.


Anyone else taking part in the challenge? If so, what series are you reading?

Monday, 27 April 2020

The #StayAtHome Diaries Tag!

Since we're still locked down here in the UK, I thought I'd jump in and post this fun book tag created by Karen at For What It's Worth.

It's a nice and simple one answering ten questions and everyone can join in so if you want to post, consider yourself tagged!

Last Thing You Googled?
How to make french toast. The kid wanted to try it!

Last Book You Read?
How To Survive an Undead Honeymoon by Hailey Edwards.

Last Movie You Watched?
Alice Through The Looking Glass on Disney Plus. 

Last Thing You Did Before Socially Isolating?
I went to work! I was in office all day on Monday and that evening the government announced that lockdown would begin. That was my last day in the office for over a month now... How strange.

What Is Your Quarantine Personality? Couch Potato or Over-Achiever?
Couch Potato! Couch potato all the way.
There has been a lot of movies, a little TV and some reading since lockdown and not a lot of much else.

Average Number of Hours You Sleep At Night?
Between six and eight usually. 

Last Thing You Ordered Online?
Some shorts and pyjamas for my son. 

First Thing You'll Do When This Is Over?
I want to go to a shopping centre and browse and eat lunch at the food court. It's so mundane and everyday and I miss it... The little dude wants to go to a theme park and the professor has no clue.

If You Could Choose - Who Would Be Your Ideal Quarantine Companion?
I'm quarantined with him! Bit sappy but it's true. 

What Are You Most Grateful For?
I'm grateful that my family and friends are so far safe from the virus and I'm grateful that our jobs are secure. 

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Weekly Update #109

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!

I went to a supermarket for the first time in weeks! And it was fine. 😱
There was a small queue to get in so I got to stand and enjoy the sunshine, there were materials to disinfect the shopping trolley, the shelves were full and had everything I needed and checkout was far less stressful than it was before the plague. 
It's strange to admit but it actually soothed a part of me that had been tweaking since this all began. Being able to go to the store, buy everything I needed while seeing full shelves, it was calming and reassuring as was the feeling when I got home of putting it away and seeing the cupboards and fridge stocked again. It felt... normal. 

This week's cooking experiments were making scones using bread flour (it worked just fine, just add extra raising agent), French Toast and Clotted Cream Fudge. All yummy!
Truly, I'm not going to fit into any of my "work clothes"  when it's time to start going outside again but whatever keeps us sane, right? 
And I did feel sane this week so it's a win!

Kindle Unlimited

How To Kiss an Undead Bride and How to Survive An Undead Honeymoon are epilogue short-novels (~ 200 pages) in the Beginners Guide To Necromancy series and after binging the series last week, I just had to read the epilogues this week and they were lovely. I wish more authors did this when saying goodbye to a series but seeing how Honeymoon ended I have my fingers tightly crossed for one more!

Michelle and Berls are hosting their Read A Series In A Month challenge again, it begins May 1st and sign ups are open!

Sophie is talking about Why as a true bookworm she always buys more books without guilt!

We finished watching the documentary series on Tutankhamun, watched some weird documentary on finding Atlantis, some of the Big Hero 6 tv show and some more S3 Young Sheldon.

Alice Through The Looking Glass.

Discussion: Do Star Ratings Affect Your Book Buying?
Top Ten Tuesday: Book Titles That Would Make Good Band Names
Kiddie's Corner #7: How Big Is Your Brave, Plastic Soup, Pups on the Run and Alya and the Three Cats

Book Blogger Hop: Favourite Book Quotes
Blitz: One For The Road by Katia Rose
#StayAtHome Tag

Have a great week all!

Friday, 24 April 2020

Discussion: Do Star Ratings Affect Your Book Buying?

Ah, star ratings... Those wonderful marks out of five. 
We're asked to leave them as a form of quick glance reviews for everything nowadays, aren't we?

You do grocery shopping online? Rate your fresh carrots! (True story.)
Buying clothes? Rate them! 
Day out at a theme park or museum? Rate them!
Watching a movie? Employing a plumber? Eating at a restaurant? Staying at a hotel?
Rate it!!!

Books are no exception to the star rating mania and that's what I'm talking about today. 
Do star ratings affect my book buying? For they will - and do - affect other areas of my life.
The very very short answer to this question is no. 
However, it's not quite as simple as that... Nothing ever is!

You see, if I want to hire someone to come and repair my boiler, or repair my roof, I'm going to be checking feedback from previous jobs, professional credentials and lots of other things before I hire them for the job because I want those things done properly with little room for error and the feedback is likely to be to the point and less subjective than for other things - for example: turned up on time, did job and did it well, tidied up after themselves, were polite/considerate etc. 

For a book?
There are no set criteria for marking. Everything is subjective.
What annoys me, may not annoy you, what I like you may hate, and vice versa. 
The number of stars a person gives it is a quick indication of what that person thought of the book but it is not an indication of how I'm going to feel about a book. 
I care more about what a person says about the book than the rating.
If someone lists all the things they think was so wonderful and I read those things and want to kill it with fire then I'm not going to read the book. 
If someone's hate-filled rant has me giggling because I would probably like all they disliked then I'm 1-clicking that sucker.

People like different things. 
There is no one size fits all when it comes to a book, nor when it comes to anything really...
Plus, people are really freaking strange.
I've seen reviews where people have 1-starred a book because they didn't like something the author did/said online but "it hurt them to do so because they loved the book." 
WTF now? That's a star rating for the author's humanity then, isn't it? Not the book. Controversial opinion, maybe, but how about you keep your personal opinion of the author out of it? 

I've also seen books 1-starred as soon as they're announced. I've seen books 5-starred as soon as they're announced. None of those people will have read the book yet but it doesn't stop them from giving an opinion on it and it has the potential to really skew opinion.

People deduct "stars" for poor editing when the book breathed passion and fire into their soul.
People give boring pieces of literary might all the stars because it was superbly written even though it was a thing of misery... People are weird but each to their own!
As I said, we like different things and that keeps life interesting but we need to account for that when taking things like star ratings into consideration.
No one died because they took a chance on a book with a low star rating. A high star rating is no guarantee you'll like it.
You need more information and you need to keep an open mind when hunting out your selections always remembering that star ratings are a highly subjective quick glance indicator of mood... Not a statement of fact.

When I give star ratings, I rate mostly on how a book made me feel.
It could be an absolute trash fire but if it made me feel all warm and fuzzy who is anyone to judge me and my five-star read?
Me... I'd totally judge me, especially if I re-read it years later and it had me questioning my life choices but that's not the point! 😜
The point is that ratings are too subjective to be trusted!
To me, they're snapshots of what I felt about something at that time. They're not necessarily enduring and that's why I don't let star ratings affect whether I'll buy a book.
What can/does affect my book buying is the opinion of people who I trust on the subject, book covers, blurb, price and past experience of the writer.
They're much more important, imo.

So I ask, what do you think? Are star ratings useful? Do they influence you?