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!

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers Review!

Hey Beautiful Booklovers!! As promised I am finally posting another review! I plan to catch up with my review posts as there are so many books I want to talk to you all about! So hopefully I should be able to get back to posting one a week or thereabouts.

You can find it here on Amazon!
  • Title: Grave Mercy
  • Author: Robin LaFevers
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Andersen Press (3 Jan. 2019)
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • ISBN-10: 1783448237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1783448234
  • My Rating: 4*

Synopsisfrom Amazon

Young, beautiful and deadly.

Trained as an assassin by the god of Death, Ismae is sent to the court of Brittany, where she finds herself underprepared – not only for the games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

A dangerous romance full of intrigue, poison and finding one’s path

My Review

This book had been sat on my shelf for a while…neglected, and I honestly can’t remember why I picked it up; I just felt drawn to it that day, but I’m so so glad I did!

First of all I did not expect some of the hard hitting issues that come into this book, and in fact the series. As a woman, these books make me feel empowered – despite the terrible things these female characters go through they manage to bring themselves back into a state of control. One where they don’t need to feel afraid anymore! It was really refreshing to read a story where the main character wasn’t this perfect girl devoid of any tragedy and having read the next book – I believe this is a theme of these books.

I loved the beautiful historical fiction feel this book gave me. It is definitely fantasy as there are gods and magic to get behind but there is this tragic tortured past of France that leaves us feeling this tale could entirely be true in the most wonderful sense (probably has something to do with the fact I’m a dreamer, but aren’t all book lovers?). I liked reading about the political games being played, the worry over a warring country, and the general intrigue.

I loved the characters, their flaws, and the relationships that developed – particularly the enemies to lovers trope that cropped it. It was a book I didn’t want to put down, and made me immediately want to jump into the next one (which I did).

I love how Robin LaFevers manages to capture the self-doubt of her characters, and then follow through with the release of that doubt. You truly get to journey with them from the very beginning to a transformation of self, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the story.

You may be wondering why I’m being so vague on plot etc, but as is my way…I honestly think you will benefit from knowing little when going into this story. If the synopsis sounds like something you’re interested in then by all means pick it up and see for yourself. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Have you read this book? The series? What were your thoughts? Or perhaps it’s on your tbr? Let me know in the comments below!

General Update!

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! Sorry I haven’t posted this week I have had a lot of uni work going on, so between that and baby, haven’t found time to get on here much. Normally Wednesday is my reading update post, but honestly I haven’t been able to read anything since I last updated you! I know…it’s killing me lol!

Anyway, I thought I’d come on and show my face as it were.

So, first off, what am I reading? A lot of uni books, but luckily I’ll be handing in my last assignment of this years study at the end of the month and then will have a good old break until October (in which I will be reading and writing as much as I’m able). Aside from that I was gifted an arc and have just started digging into it. It’s called The Gems of Elsana by Christian Sterling, so of course I will let you know how that goes once I have finished it.

Also if any of you are in the UK, I have some books for sale on my instagram…because I am unhauling to make more room on my shelves. A tough task let me assure you. Sorry to international booklovers, but I just can’t justify the price of postage.

What have I been doing aside from uni? Well, baby is almost a month old now, and I honestly don’t know where time has ran off to! It’s madness, but he is filling a lot of my day obviously, and rightly so as he is a perfect little bundle of joy. My other kids adore him, and are often trying to smother him with loving affection!

I have managed whilst being “mum of a newborn” again to keep up to date with Game of Thrones, and oh my goodness folks..I’m dying for this series! I loved the books, and this series is killing it too! I am literally a wreck after each episode at this point so if you want to chat about your theories or about how the episodes are going…I’m your girl! I mean it…I need to chat about this stuff!!

Tomorrow I’ll be coming at you with a review…I know it’s been so long you are probably wondering if I know what those are! I do, and the review will be on Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, so look out for that if you are interested in knowing my thoughts.