#TMST Tell Me Something Tuesday – Anticipated Reads

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Jen @That’s What I’m Talking About, where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments here or over on the host blog. If you want to do your own post, grab the questions from Jen’s blog and answer it on your own.

What books are you looking forward to reading in Fall 2021? (September-November)

I don’t particularly keep up with upcoming releases, the latest hot author and the must read book, so this list is a mix of older books and arc books on my schedule. The first two are new books the second two I’ve owned for a while and am determined to clear from my TBR list.

Fireborn by Jessa Graythorn
Halley Ashwood is well on her way to achieving her dream of being a doctor. Focused and independent with a mother she never knew and a father who never loved her, the only constant Halley has ever had in her life is her brother, Flynn. Where Halley is logical and grounded, Flynn has always had an interest in conspiracy, but they’ve always been able to trust each other above anyone else. And Halley and Flynn don’t believe in making promises. That’s how Halley knows something is wrong when her brother leaves her a message the day before her scheduled trip to visit him in Amsterdam, asking her to promise him she won’t come.

When she arrives in Amsterdam, her brother is missing, leaving only his ominous words in his wake. Halley sets out to find out what happened to him and discover something she never expected. Turns out Flynn’s conspiracy theories maybe weren’t so farfetched after all. Demons are real, they’re living among us, and they may hold the answer as to what happened to Flynn.

Determined to find out the truth about her brother’s fate, Halley begins a dark journey that will force her to question everything she thinks she knows about the nature of the world, the forces within it, and even herself.

A Spell of Rowans by Bird Nash
Magic and troubles come in threes.

The Rowan family: Victoria, whose empathic talent reads hidden feelings. Phillipa, with a glamour that bewitches. Liam, who can touch an object to reveal its past. We all had our magic twisted by our mother’s games. After her death, I thought it was safe to come back. But the police haul in my autistic brother for questioning about a murder, while my sister knows what Mother was really doing. Hint: nothing good.

And that hometown boy I dumped? He’s now with the FBI and thinks he knows the truth about me

An emotional page-turner about healing from a haunted past. Perfect for fans of Practical MagicGarden Spells, and The Witches of New York.

NOTE: Trigger warnings for discussion of child abuse and trauma, with one assault scene, and some cursing.

In The Beginning by London Miller
Twenty-year-old Lauren Thompson left her small town in Michigan to begin a new life in the Big Apple where no one knows her name or the tragedy that had rocked her family fifteen years prior. With new friends and an intriguing new love interest, starting over is easier than she expected…but Mishca Volkov isn’t what he seems. As the son of a Russian Mob boss, he thrives in a world of chaos and fear, earning the title of Bratva Captain through blood and pain.

When the two cross paths, lines blur and passions ignite, bringing them closer than they could ever imagine. Until secrets from the past threaten to tear them apart. Can they fight past their demons…or were they doomed by fate before they ever met.

Deacon by Kit Rocha
Ana has trained most of her life to achieve one goal: to prove that anything men can do, she can do better. Now she’s Sector One’s first female Rider, and being the best is the only way to ensure she won’t be its last. Distractions aren’t allowed–especially not her painful attraction to the reserved but demanding leader whose stern, grumpy demeanor has already gotten into her head.

Deacon has spent the last twenty years trying to atone for his past, but the blood he spilled as a mercenary and assassin will never wash away entirely. If his riders knew the extent of his sins, he’d lose their trust and respect. It’s easier to keep them all at arm’s length, especially Ana. But his newest recruit’s stubbornness is starting to crack his defenses. And their sparring matches are driving him wild.

The passion sparking between them can’t be denied, but neither can the vengeance barreling toward Deacon. When his old squad comes back to punish him for his betrayal, Ana and the Riders are squarely in the line of fire. The only way to save his people may be to make the ultimate sacrifice.

But first, he has to convince Ana not to follow him straight into hell.

Book Review · SFR

#BookReview #SpaceOpera #SFR // Andromeda’s Pirate by Debra Jess

Andromeda’s Pirate
Heroes of Andromeda #2
by Debra Jess

Thank you to Netgalley and Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op for providing an arc copy of this book.

Whilst I like romance in the books I read, first and foremost I want an engaging and action filled story, which I definitely got with Andromeda’s Pirate. The author’s characterisation was excellent with two well rounded complex individuals in Kelra and Darvik, along with a wide ranging and varied cast of supporting characters. The world building was also very pleasing, sufficiently complex and neatly woven into the story so as to avoid the dreaded info-dump. I loved the idea of how the “puppets” were utilised in this story and though that term often felt derogatory to my mind it clearly wasn’t within the universe setting.

Cleverly used foreshadowing allowed for a variety of possible outcomes, so whilst you know that the story will have a positive outcome and HEA the specific journey taken to get you there felt neither predictable or trite. This is a world that I would gladly read more of, I will definitely be exploring the Debra Jess’ previous work. Connecting with Kelra and Darvik was incredibly easy, they were immensely likeable individuals with motivations that made relating to them absolutely effortless.

The emotional aspects of the book would have benefited from being shown rather than told. I need to see how feelings are developing through the emotional, psychological AND physiological impact that results. Descriptions of stomach fluttering, heart pounding, blood rushing moments were sadly absent, which left me having to accept Kelra and Darvik’s feelings for one another as a fact, as opposed to being utterly convinced that they were meant to be. However, for me, this book is still far superior to so many SFR’s where the “alien/space” element could be removed and the story still work. This was very much a space opera story with a side or romance, and if that is your preference too then I highly recommend this book to you.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Science Fiction Romance

Contains some brief sex scene


Darvik Hart is Andromeda Galaxy’s most notorious pirate. Kelra Shade’s reputation for capturing pirates is nonpareil. So why would Kelra offer Darvik a treasure beyond imagination to bring her on board his ship?

After a lifetime of dedicated service to Mantic Corporation’s private navy, Kelra believes she’s earned the right to hunt for the alien that killed her parents. Manitac’s refusal, however, forces Kelra to turn to the only pirate who’s eluded her because his strategic skills are a perfect match with her own.

Darvik refuses to risk his crew’s freedom with another head-to-head battle with the sexy pirate hunter who’s haunted his dreams. Yet he cannot turn down Kelra’s challenge, or the treasure she offers, to help her get revenge on the creature who killed her family.

As they plunge headlong together on a reckless crusade, the lines between hunter and prey become blurred, and a passion ignites between the two of them that threatens to derail their mission as they set the nebula on fire.

If you like Lindsay Buroker, Michael Anderle, or Glynn Stewart, you’ll walk comfortably inside the pages of this galactic sci-fi romance meets space opera adventure.

Meme · Monthly Round Up

The Sunday Salon – August Round Up Post

Monthly Round-Up

As a teacher in the UK September always heralds the end of the summer and the start of a new school year. It’s such a bittersweet time since the holiday you have looked forward to for so long is over but a new start is full of potential and holds so many great opportunities.

Whilst there are still two more days of August left, it seems the right time to look back at what August held in both bookish and real life terms.

Sunday Salon meme hosted by the wonderful Deb @Readerbuzz, it’s a place to link up and share what we have been doing during the week, to visit other blogs and join in some great bookish chat.

The Non-Bookish Stuff

I started the month on the last day of a short city break to Portsmouth. This was followed by a visit to a theme park and then another city break in Cardiff, Wales before a visit to the hairdressers for a new colour.

After an exciting and busy start to the month the second half was much quieter, though we still fitted in a visit to an automobile show and a trip to Hucknall’s first Food & Drink Festival.

Weekly Round-Up – The Bookish Stuff

Read This Month

This was DEFINITELY another slow reading month – 3 of these were DNF’s! Four Psychos was a TBR read and Reaper was a re-read I’d wanted to do, there was also some Beta reading and we went away (twice) so not too bad a result all told.

Currently Reading

I am going to give this another try, followed by another Netgalley book.

Bookish Happenings & Life in General

It’s a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK – the last one before Christmas. (I know, I know, too early to mention that now.) The weather, in true BH style is grey, cloudy and cool in the East Midlands but with luck it will remain dry. We plan to have a luxury lunch with a range of cheeses, cooked meats, pate and other treats on Monday, just as a little end of holiday treat. Hopefully on Tuesday our new freezer will be delivered. Whilst the old one still works, the drawers are all broken and the seal is coming away. We’ve had it for over 10 years, so it felt like time to upgrade to a model that consumes less energy.

August Highlights On The Blog

5th August – Book Review – YA Fantasy – These Hollow Vows ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

7th August – Let’s Talk Bookish – “What is your posting type?”

9th August – Book Review – MM Urban Fantasy – Twisted Pretty Things ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐+

13th August – Friday Book Blogger Hop – “Signed Books

25th August – Book ReviewWave Rider ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Books read in 2021 – 113 (109) including Phantom & Wraith and Restraining Reeba (x2) beta reads
Re-reads in 2021 –  7(6)
Owned books from TBR list read – 18 (18)
5 Star reads – 27 (26)
DNF’s – 13 (12)


Let’s Talk Bookish – Blogger Identity Crisis

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, that is hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  and Dani @Literary Lion. It’s a chance to discuss certain topics, share opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Posts are written on Fridays, and you can suggest topics using the form that you will find on Rukky’s Contact page.



Prompts: Have you ever had a blogger identity crisis? What triggered it? How did you get over it? Has an identity crisis ever led you to significantly change the direction for your blog? Do you think having an identity crisis every once in a while can help you become a better blogger, or is it just a sign of insecurity?

For me the answer is theoretical since I haven’t had such a crisis, but I would say it all depends on what exactly triggers the identity crisis, along with how severe it is. It’s good to regularly reflect on blogging, to avoid feeling stale, getting bored, losing focus etc. However if you are constantly comparing your own blog in a negative way to other blogs, then that speaks of problems that are probably bigger than just blogging. There is a difference between working hard/wanting to be as good as you can and never feeling as though you are good enough. A huge difference.

I do this for fun. I’m sure if I did it to earn income and gain a huge following I would be much more self critical but over analysing, when blogging for pleasure, seems counterproductive. That said I do look for ideas of how to improve both my content and how I present it, though only in a fairly limited way. I like to visit other blogs and read what they say on meme posts such as this, but as a rule I don’t spend a lot of time trawling through book blogs looking for inspiration, ideas or ways to build a following. What can I say, I’m lazy and just not that driven by/interested in social media. And yes it very probably IS an age thing. Growing up (in 80’s Britain) not every house had a landline phone!

My original blog was originally focused on scrapbooking, where I connected with a few others via memes such as Me On Monday, but as I grew bored of the hobby I gradually transitioned to blogging book reviews. For a long time I blogged a lot of promotion material, with very little personalised content, exactly the type of blog that I avoided reading! Lockdown gave me the time to focus on my blog and find a few idea’s that I hoped would make it more interesting, so self-reflection can certainly help you improve and become a better blogger.

Have you had a blogging identity crisis? If so, how did it change your blog?


Friday Book Blogger Hop ~~~ Aug 27th – Sept. 2nd

Friday Book Blogger Hop

 The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books. It is now hosted by Billy @Coffee Addicted Writings. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 

How young do you think children should be when they start reading?

submitted by Julie @ JadeSky

This feels like it could be a hot potato of a topic, to which my TL:DR answer is – “when they are ready”.

There are so many “expert” views on these types of questions and after working in the education sector for over 30 years I am firmly of the view that parents are the experts on their own child and they are who we should be listening too. I appreciate that some parents feel the need for a little more help and support whilst raising their children, whilst others need that guidance imposing on them, but we are disempowering many parents by constantly telling them how to do their job.

Each child is unique and will develop at their own pace, and whilst there are certain developmental milestones that we hope they will reach on time, not every child will hit those targets. The line between encouragement and pressure is fine, but crossing it can leave a child feeling like a failure.

I would always encourage parents to share books with their child, read to/with them on a daily basis (if possible) from birth and to discover what types of book/story their child engages with. I’ve known parents who would brag how their child could read and write by the age of three. At that age my twin boys were busy playing games outside, digging fortifications and canals in my flowerbed before flooding them with water from the hose. They built complex layouts with their wooden railway track, crafted, crayoned and painted – occasionally on the wall rather than paper – and just enjoyed a period of childhood that they would never experience again. I will never regret giving them those memories.