Thursday, 1 September 2016

July & August 2016 Recap


You may have noticed that the blog was a bit quiet in August, I ended up taking a completely unplanned blogging break after having a run in with some wasps. The little buggers managed to sting me on my forehead and on my arm and I ended up having a really bad reaction. I was stung on a Thursday afternoon but it took until Saturday morning for the swelling to come out and then it just kept getting worse and worse throughout the day. I ended up having to go to A&E on the Sunday morning to get it checked out because I could hardly open my eye when I woke up. You can see from the pictures how much it changed in less than 24 hours - I looked like I'd been punched in the face by a boxer LOL.


I ended up being prescribed a week's course of antibiotics, told to take enough antihistamine tablets to make me rattle when I walked and having to use ice packs to help bring the swelling down. I felt rather sorry for myself for a while there! Reading went completely out of the window (it's hard to focus when you can only see out of one eye properly!) and I didn't even bother switching my laptop for a couple of weeks. The meds left me exhausted so even after the swelling went down it took absolutely ages for me to start feeling better. I'm now even more nervous about wasps than I was before and I think this sums up the evil little bastards perfectly:


So apart from the whole wasp incident this has actually been a pretty awesome summer what with a camping trip and various friends coming to stay. It's been a very long time since I last took a blogging break (in fact, I don't think I've ever gone this long without posting regularly in the six and a half years I've been writing this blog!) so it was quite nice to just put it all to one side and forget about it. I'm actually having a bit of trouble motivating myself to get started again but I'm hoping I'll get back into the routine soon because I do miss it really :o)

Books read in previous months but reviewed in July & August:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
  1. Allegiance of Honour - Nalini Singh (Read in April, reviewed in July)
  2. The Wrath and the Dawn - Renee Ahdieh (Read in June, review coming soon)
  3. Stripped Bear - Kate Baxter (Novella) (Read in June, review coming soon)
  4. Dead Witch Walking - Kim Harrison (Read in June, review coming soon)
  5. Blood Shadows - Lindsay J. Pryor (Read in June, review coming soon)
  6. Hard Ever After - Laura Kaye (Novella) (Read in June, reviewed in July)
  7. Glory In Death - J.D. Robb (Read in June, reviewed in July)
  8. Ride Hard - Laura Kaye (Read in June, reviewed in July)
  9. Seven Up - Janet Evanovich (Read in June, review coming soon)
    Books read in July:
    (Links will take you to my reviews)
    1. Hard to Serve - Laura Kaye (Novella)
    2. City of Shadows - Pippa DaCosta
    3. Oblivion - Jennifer L. Armentrout
    4. Magic Slays - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
    5. Animal Querkles: A puzzling colour-by-numbers book - Thomas Pavitte (Colouring Book)
    6. Hidden Blade - Pippa DaCosta
    7. Lured - Rebecca Chastain (Novella)
    8. Lord of Chaos - Robert Jordan
    9. Taking the Bait - Audrey Noire (Novella / Serialised Novel)
    10. 200 Cupcakes: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook - Joanna Farrow (Cookbook)
    11. Taking Sides - Audrey Noire (Novella / Serialised Novel)
    12. Desiring Red - Kristen Miller (Novella / Serialised Novel) (Review coming soon)
    13. Magic Tests - Ilona Andrews (Short Story) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
    14. Magic Gifts - Ilona Andrews (Novella) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
    15. Gunmetal Magic - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
    16. Retribution Clause - Ilona Andrews (Novella) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
    17. Magic Rises - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
    18. The Emperor's Arrow - Lauren D.M. Smith (Review coming soon)
    19. Immortal in Death - J.D. Robb (Review coming soon)
    20. Who's Afraid - Maria Lewis (Review coming soon)
    21. Monstress, Vol 1: Awakening - Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda (Graphic Novel) (Review coming soon)
    22. Nevernight - Jay Kristoff (Review coming soon)
    23. Magic Binds - Ilona Andrews (Review coming soon)
    Books read in August:
    (Links will take you to my reviews)
    1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne (Review coming soon)
    2. Angel Dares - Joss Stirling (Review coming soon)
    3. A Crown of Swords - Robert Jordan (Review coming soon)
    4. Haunted by the King of Death - Felicity Heaton (Review coming soon)
    5. False Hearts - Laura Lam (Review coming soon)
    6. Rock Wedding - Nalini Singh (Review coming soon)
    7. Magic Steals - Ilona Andrews (Novella) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
    8. Magic Breaks - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
    9. Archangel's Heart - Nalini Singh (Review coming soon)
    10. The Sight - Chloe Neill (Review coming soon)
    11. Magic Shifts - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
    12. Magic Stars - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
    13. Front Lines - Michael Grant (Review coming soon)
    14. Day Zero - Kresley Cole (Review coming soon)
    15. Witches' Bane - Pippa DaCosta (Review coming soon)
    16. Angels' Blood - Nalini Singh (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
    17. Barbarian Alien - Ruby Dixon (Review coming soon)
    (Choices are made from books reviewed this month and the links will take you to my reviews)

    My top YA reads in July & August:


    Oblivion by Jennifer L Armentrout (read my review here)
    Animal Querkles by Thomas Pavitte (read my review here) (Yes I do know that this is an adult colouring book but I love it so it totally counts LOL).

    My top NA read in July & August:


    City of Shadows by Pippa DaCosta (read my review here)

    My top adult reads in July & August:


    Allegiance of Honour by Nalini Singh (read my review here)
    Hidden Blade by Pippa DaCosta (read my review here)

    July & August Events:

    I've been pretty hopeless at writing up events recently so I've decided to start mentioning them in my monthly wrap up posts so they at least get a little attention!

    6th July - Chapter 5 Proof Party

    It seems like a long time ago now but back in July I was incredibly excited to be invited to the Chapter 5 Proof Party, especially when I found out that Jennifer L. Armentrout would be there as the special guest! I've been a fan of Jennifer's writing for years now so I was incredibly excited to meet her. She was absolutely lovely and signed a HUGE stack of books for me (a couple that may be being used for giveaways on this blog over the next few months so make sure you keep an eye out!).

    Meeting Jennifer L Armentrout & getting 
    my huge stack of books signed!

    Chapter 5 also treated us to some super exciting proofs for some of the novels they'll be releasing in the second half of 2016 (and even a couple from 2017!). I picked up copies of Frostblood by Elly Blake, Replica by Lauren Oliver (which both sound fantastic) along a book I'm INCREDIBLY excited about, Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Caraval was described as perfect for fans of The Night Circus and Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series so that has definitely caught my attention.

    Books, glorious books and delicious
    cupcakes inspired by Jennifer's books

    Thanks Chapter 5 for a brilliant evening and for the awesome books, I can't wait to read them all!

    11th August - Egmont Blogger Day

    In August I was invited to my first Egmont Blogger Day which was being held at Drink, Shop & Do, one of my favourite event locations in London. The Egmont team had pulled out all the stops and spoiled us with plenty of delicious nibbles and enough tea to sink a ship. Not to mention a selection of awesome authors and an amazing goodie bag!

    Sarah Driver, Michael Grant, Eugene Lambert & Kevin Brooks
    plus the fabulous goodie bag we came home with!

    We got to meet debut author Sarah Driver whose middle grade adventure story The Huntress: Sea will be released in 2017, this sounds like such a fun read - I just wish we didn't have to wait so long to get our hands on it. Then we listened to Michael Grant talking about his alternate history WWII novel Front Lines where he reimagines the war with one major difference - young girls were allowed to fight alongside the boys in the American army! I've actually already finished this book (I'll get my review posted ASAP) and it's brilliant so definitely one to grab if you enjoy historical fiction. Eugene Lambert was talking about his science fiction novel The Sign of One and he gave the aspiring writers in the room some interesting tips on how to write their own sci-fi story. Last but not least we heard from Kevin Brooks about his upcoming novel Born Scared which is about a young boy who is terrified of pretty much everything but who has to find a way to put his fears to one side when he's forced to leave his home in an emergency. This sounds like a story I'm going to find it very easy to relate to and it seems like Kevin has drawn on his own experiences to help him write it so I'm expecting it to feel very true to life.

    Thanks to Egmont and all of the authors for a brilliant day, I'm really excited about all of the books mentioned so I'll try and get them read and reviewed ASAP!

    House of Minalima

    After the event Kirsty and I decided to visit the House of Minalima's Harry Potter exhibition on our way home. Minalima are the design team behind a lot of the props for the Harry Potter movies (all the posters, the Hogwarts letters, Hogwarts school books, the Marauders Map, packaging for the sweets (like the Chocolate Frogs and Every Flavour Beans) and so much more. It's completely free to get in and you can see some of the real movie props on display and take photos until your hearts content so it's well worth a visit if you're in London. They have some of the posters and other items on sale in their shop too but I'll warn you now it's on the expensive side.

    House of Minalima & bumping into Laura Kaye

    The funniest thing was bumping into one of my favourite authors the lovely Laura Kaye while we were there! I was lucky enough to meet her a couple of years ago when she did a signing in London but this time she was just visiting with her family for a holiday so it was a complete coincidence that we happened to be at Minalima at the same time. I didn't want to keep her for long but we did manage to get a quick selfie before we both got back to our sightseeing & it was a lovely way to round off the afternoon.

    My Challenge Updates:

    These are the challenges I've signed up for in 2016:

    2 comments:

    1. Aww what a great post. Sorry to hear about your wasp sting. It looked agony, glad it's ok. I loved Angel Dares and it's been years since I've read any Kim Harrison, but she used to be one of my faves. Dead Witch Walking is a great book. Looking forward to reading your review of The Cursed Child xx

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      Replies
      1. Thanks Susan, it was a bit of a nightmare but at least it's over now lol. I read the first 4 or 5 Hollows books years ago but I decided I needed to reread them before continuing with the series since its been such a long time. I love that world though so it was nice to be back in it! Angel Dares was great, I'm planning on reading Summer Shadows soon, have you read that one yet? xx

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