So…I did a thing!

Hey beautiful booklovers! How have you all been? I’m getting my reading groove on this week and I’m hoping to smash my tbr this month…I mean we’ll see, but that’s the plan!

Anyway, todayis going to be a quick one. I’m posting a bit of news…I’ve joined booktube!! I can’t believe I took the leap, but I am now making videos of my bookish antics and posting it…because doesnt that sound fun? Lol!

I’ve just posted my booktube newbie tag on there and if any of you lovely people are interested I’ll link it below 😘!

You can watch my video here if you are interested.

I just wanted you all to know that I’m now over there too if you are interested at all. Other than that, I’ll have another review coming to you by the end of this week hopefully so stay tuned for that!

A Pack of Vows and Tears by Olivia Wildenstein arc Review

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! I am so excited to tell you all about this beautiful arc I received. This is the second book in The Boulder Wolves triology, and I had the privilege to get the arc of the first on netgalley a while back.

The second (and the book I am reviewing today) I recieved from the lovely Olivia Wildestien herself. Please note that although I recieved this arc for free all my opinions are, as always, my own, and I have not been paid at all for this review.

A Pack of Vows and Tears (The Boulder Wolves Book 2) by [Wildenstein, Olivia]
You can find your copy here!
  • Title: A Pack of Vows and Tears
  • Author: Olivia Wildestien
  • Paperback: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Twig Publishing (28 May 2019)
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy/ PNR
  • ISBN-10:  1948463172
  • ISBN-13:  978-1948463171
  • My Rating: 4*

SynopsisFrom Amazon

She thought the fight was over but it was only just beginning.

Ness Clark’s place amongst the Boulders and at Liam’s side is compromised. First, when her cousin claims Ness helped him elude his death sentence. And then, when August Watt, Ness’s childhood friend, comes home to Boulder.

Although August’s plan was to pledge himself and return to active duty, he finds himself incapable of leaving. This becomes problematic for Liam and Ness, because a mating link has clicked into place between Ness and the ex-marine. If not consumed, the link will fade, but that’ll take months. How long and hard can two people fight a physical attraction that renders their bodies unreceptive to anyone’s but their mates?

Ness is tired of fighting, tired of having to prove herself worthy of her pack’s trust and of her Alpha’s affection. But when an enemy pack arrives and threatens the Boulders, she has two choices: step aside and let the wolves who have pushed her away fend for themselves, or step up and help them fight the newcomers.

Ness has never stepped aside…not for anyone.

Why would she start now?

My Review

As this book is a sequel I kind of knew what to expect. Not in terms of plot of course but in terms of setting and characters etc. I had my fave characters, I had characters I was less keen on. That being said, Olivia Wildenstien has this ability to take me on a wild ride, and turn my emotions completely on their head!

There were twists I didn’t see coming, a few actually, and I read this book in record time. I’m a sucker for the romance in this story and can’t tell you how much I’m rooting for the ship. The annoying thing is how quickly Olivia can make you change your mind about someone you thought you liked! I went into this book thinking I liked a character, and it turns out I really don’t after reading this.

What I really appreciate about these books is that Ness, our main character, is strong, independent, and has known much heartache and personal tragedy. It’s one of the reasons we root for her so much in these books. She is strong yet vulnerable, and whilst she always bounces back we get to see the strife she endures.

It’s hard to review this book because all I want to do is scream about the spoilers. I just want to chat until the cows come home about what happened and how I feel! I really enjoy these books. They always get devoured within hours, and quite honestly I find it cruel I have to wait for the next one…not fair at all.

Immediately after reading this I messaged Olivia and told her about my angst and she just laughed, saying she had done her job.

These books are definitely worth a read if you like romance shifter stories. I should add that I normally never read shifter stories but for this series I make an exception.

If you are interested I suggest taking a look at book one – A Pack of Blood and Lies:

Find it Here!

Synopsis

The primal rule of winning: don’t fall in love with the contender. 

Three months shy of her eighteenth birthday, Ness is forced to return to Colorado. Even though it’s been six years, and the wolves of her all-male pack don’t recognize her, she recognizes them. People who shun others because of their gender are hard to forget.

Especially Liam Kolane–son of Heath, the crudest and cruelest Alpha to have ruled the Boulder Pack. Liam is as handsome as he is infuriating, as kind as he is punishing, and he makes Ness’s traitorous heart race, which isn’t good. After all, he’s a Kolane. Like father like son, right?

When Heath dies, Liam vies to become the new Alpha and no one dares challenge him. 

Except Ness. 

Thus begins a treacherous game. 

The rules: winner takes all…including loser’s life.

Have you read any of these books? If yes…we should chat! If not, then you really should give it a go if it sounds like your cup of tea. Let me know in the comments below!

June TBR

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! Today I’ll be sharing with you my June TBR, or my intended tbr anyway! Lately I’ve been mood reading and it’s a pain in my ass, but hey what can you do?

Here is my intended reads of June…don’t hold me to them!

1 – Legend by David Gemmell

I’m really in the mood for adult fantasy at the moment and so am hoping to dive into this beauty this month! Plus…I love me an axe!

2 – The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

Dragons – need I expand? I think it’s pretty obvious why this in here lol.

3 – Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

I read book one last year and have been saying I need to continue on, so I think it’s about time I did!!

4 – Eve of Man by Tom Fletcher and Giovanna Fletcher

Eve of Man (Eve of Man Trilogy)

Another book that has been sat on my shelf for way too long! I’m really excited by the concept, and can’t wait to see what I think of it.

5 – Graceling by Kristin Cashore

I’ve heard great things about this book and so have bumped it up on the tbr!

Have you read any of the above books? What does your tbr for June look like? Leave me a link so I can check it out, and as always let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

May Wrap Up!

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! I’m finally getting my shit together and getting back to posting on here. I have had so much going on and this platform has suffered for it, I apologise, but for now at least I have some time to organise myself and my posts for the coming weeks. Fingers crossed all goes to plan!

Anyway, today is my May Wrap Up and I am very disappointed with how little I read but like I said…I had a lot going on, and what I did read was actually very good which is a bonus!

Let’s get to it!

1 – Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik

My Rating: 4*

This is book 2 in the Temeraire series, and by now all who have visited my insta or blog before will know I am dragon mad! I really enjoyed continuing on with this story, and will definitely continue with the series

2 – Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations) by Michael J Sullivan

My Rating: 5*

Short of it is that I LOVED this book! I have found a new author to fangirl over and I now have 6 of his books! I will be doing a review of this trilogy soon because I need to tell you all how awesome this is, and how much I think you should read it too!

3 – Rise of Empire (The Riyria Revelations) By Michael J Sullivan

My Rating: 5*

Same as the above, I loved it…hence the reason I devoured the series in such short succession!

4 – Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations) By Michael J Sullivan

My Rating : 5*

These are not small books by any means but I read all three in under a week because I just couldn’t put them down at all!

So there you have it…my small wrap up for the month of May. I know previously my wrap ups have been a lot bigger but as I said…reading was a little non-existent this month. I did read books that I am truly happy I managed to read though, so I am not as disheartened as I would have been if I only managed 2* reads.

What did you read in the month of May? Have you read any of the above? Let me know in the comments below!

Reading Update #11

Okay so it’s been well over a week since I last updated you all. This isn’t for lack of wanting to update you all…it’s due to an unfortunate lack of reading [insert crying book steff here]!! It’s been tough to get in any reading other than uni work which is a little soul destroying to say the least.

Books I have read

Since my wrap up…none!! Literally none!!! I’ve literally got no books in my may reads list right now! It’s heartbreaking lol.

Currently reading

I’ve gotten 20% of the way through The Gems of Eslana, and I picked up mythago wood but haven’t continued with it yet 😭😭! So…obviously I’m feeling hella sorry for myself!

Books I plan to read next

Any…throw my a bone here! I need to read something other than uni related reading otherwise I’m going to loose the plot lol.

What books have you read in the last week? What book are you currently enjoying? Or perhaps you can comment letting me know you are having a tough reading time to make me feel better? No? Just me…okay.


Beta Readers??

Today I really wanted to chat to you all about being a Beta Reader. It is something I started a few years ago and it’s really been a lovely experience for me. I’m always keen to encourage others who are interested to try it out as it is most helpful to aspiring authors.

So, what is a beta reader?

Simply put, a Beta reader is an unpaid reader who has the opportunity to read through the unpublished and even unpolished manuscript of a writer/ aspiring author in order to give constructive feedback.

Beta readers are often brought on towards the final stages of the writing process, although that doesn’t always have to be the case. In most cases, when a writer has written, rewritten, and then edited the shit out of their book, they go in search of those willing to read it, and give their opinions. Beta readers act as a practice audience and give the writer an idea of how their book will be received. They may tell the writer that something didn’t add up on a particular scene or chapter, or that they didn’t feel connected to a particular character etc. This then means that the writer can go back in and make changes if needed.

It’s important to note that not all writers may take the beta readers opinions and advice into consideration and this may be because out of (let’s say) 15 beta readers only two disliked a certain scene. This tells the writer the majority understood the intent and were happy in general with that scene. You have to go with the majority in these cases.

The process

Normally it works like this…

  • Writer seeks beta readers
  • Beta readers apply
  • Writer picks a set amount
  • Writer and beta reader agree on method of communication (Facebook messenger or email etc,)
  • Writer sends over first 3 chapters
  • Beta reader reads chapters then lets writer know they have finished
  • Writer will ask set questions to guide the beta readers feedback (what were your overall thoughts? What are you predictions? How do you feel about character X? These are all commonly used qustions.)
  • If writer and beta are in agreement to continue then the next 3 chapters will be sent over
  • Repeat

How to become a beta reader?

Interested in helping writers make their books better, and working with them in their creative journey? There are plenty of opportunities to get involved. By simply googling the term beta reader things will come up, but personally I found that joining closed groups on Facebook and by interacting with people on Twitter I was able to get involved. I’ve met some awesome writers this way, and had the privilege to read their work.

Requirements?

As a rule there are no specific “requirements” as such, but some writers may ask for specifics on occasion. For example, they may wish to gather a group of 18 to 24 year olds to ensure they are getting feedback from their target audience. They may look for someone who is of a specific ethnic group or cultural background to ensure that the writer has represented that group well in their novel (this is sometimes referred to as a sensitivity reader).

Other writers may wish to have a beta reader who also writes themselves, or they may request that only readers apply. Really it all depends on the writer who is seeking beta readers. They will usually use a google form for beta readers to apply, or may even just put up a post describing their book, how long it is, and for anyone who is interested to leave a comment or dm them etc. It is all very straight forward if you are looking in the right places.

My experience

I’ve been very lucky in my experience as a beta reader, and have interacted with many amazing people because of it. There is truly something amazing about getting involved in this process and being able to read someone’s work before an agent/ publisher does. It is even better when you can work with one writer more than once, and see them take your comments on board.

It’s always important to be honest, even in your dislikes, because at the end of the day the writer is trying to straighten out kinks in the story. Be mindful when giving feedback, if you didn’t like a scene/ plot twist / character etc, try to explain why; be constructive with your comments. Always remember that this is the writers “baby” and it may be hard for them to hear your negative thoughts…so, please be respectful.

Well, there it is. I hope that some of you found this interesting, and maybe even motivated to try out beta reading for yourself.

Have you been a beta reader before? Are you interested or not? Let me know in the comments below!

My Rating System!

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! Today I thought I would let you all know how I rate my books as I know this can be such an individual thing, and for a lot of people they don’t really rely on a system they just go with a feeling…which I totally get because I have done exactly that before.

More accurately this post is so that you can share your methods too, or perhaps let me know what your thoughts are on mine – if you have any critiques and improvements etc.

So, lets get to it!

One star1* – Obviously, I hate giving this rating because inevitably it means I didn’t enjoy the story. Normally I give a 1* if I really didn’t connect with the characters and didn’t appreciate the plot! I may also give this rating if the writing is so poor it causes great distraction from the story line. I may also give this rating to books I end up DNFing, but generally speaking I tend to not rate those books at all.

Two star2* – I give this rating to books which I have managed to read but have found them very lacking. Normally it’s either lack of tension, lack of significant character intentions or goals, and generally speaking where I find that I could have been entirely happy to skip the book. These are books I, as a rule, do not recommend to others.

Three star3* – These are what I consider my “meh” reads. They’re okay, sometimes I even enjoy them quite a bit, but they don’t have enough to make me feel like I loved them. They are often reads I enjoyed, and can see others enjoying (so I do still recommend some). Essentially it comes down to a certain lack of wow factor for me. Good, but not wow.

Four star4* – Books I loved. I know you may be thinking “hey wait up aren’t 5* reviews for books you loved?” Yeah, they are but I still love a lot of my 4* reads, and quite honestly I can love a book and not consider it a 5* read. These books will normally be ones I loved but feel they don’t quite reach that 5* rating for some reason or another.

Five star5* – Reserved for my wow reads. The ones I rave about. The ones that give me book hangovers. The ones that I can’t stop talking/ fangirlling over! These are the books that I will revisit, and just can’t get enough of.

Do you have specific system you use for rating? Do you just wing it on a feeling? Or are you fa more structured than me? Let me know in the comments below! I’m truly curious to see what method you all use!