Blog Tours · Spotlight

BLOG TOUR SPOTLIGHT!!! Irex by Carl Rackman

I’m delighted to be back on another blog tour for The Write Reads today and to be spotlighting Irex, a historical mystery set in the nineteenth century from author Carl Rackman.

The cover of Irex features the image of the masts and rigging of a sailing ship, caught against the backdrop of a stormy sky with lightning flashing around it.
Image Description: The cover of Irex features the image of the masts and rigging of a sailing ship, caught against the backdrop of a stormy sky with lightning flashing around it.

About the Book

In the harsh winter of December 1889, the sailing vessel Irex leaves Scotland bound for Rio de Janeiro. She carries three thousand tons of pig iron and just three passengers for what should be a routine voyage. But Captain Will Hutton discovers that one of his passengers hides a horrifying secret.

When the Irex is wrecked off the Isle of Wight six weeks later, it falls to the county coroner, Frederick Blake, to begin to unravel the events that overtook the doomed ship — but he soon finds that powerful forces within the British Establishment are working to thwart him. Locked in a race against time and the sinister agents sent to impede him, he gradually discovers that nothing aboard the Irex is what it first seemed…

About the Author

 Carl Rackman is a British former airline pilot turned author. He spent my working life travelling the world and this has given him a keen interest in other people and cultures. He’s drawn on his many experiences for his writing.

Carl writes suspense thrillers with a grounded science-fiction theme. He likes reading novels that feature atmospheric locales and enjoys complex, absorbing storylines combined with rich, believable characters, so that’s the sort of fiction he writes. He tries to create immersive worlds for the reader to explore, and characters who are more than just vehicles for the story.

Carl comes from a naval military background and has held a lifelong interest in military history and seafaring – so all his books usually contain some of these elements!

Irex was Carl’s debut novel but he has since written Voyager, Jonah, Incendiary, and Sentinel. He is currently working on Book Three in the ‘Voyager’ trilogy, which has the working title Dominion.

Find Out More!

You can find out more about Carl and his work on his website, or by following him on Twitter (@CarlRackman).

Irex by Carl Rackman is available now from Amazon in both paperback and ebook formats. The book is also available as an EPub ebook via Lulu and Smashwords, with purchase links available on the author’s website.

My thanks go to The Write Reads for organising and inviting me onto this blog tour! There are lots of other reviews and spotlights on the tour so follow the hashtags #Irex #TheWriteReads and #BlogTour.

Reviews and features on The Shelf are free, honest, and unbiased and I don’t use affiliate links on my posts. However if you enjoy the blog please consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi!

Books of the Year · Discussion Time · Reading Horizons

My Books of the Year 2022 and Reading Resolutions 2023…Sort Of.

As 2022 shuffles out of the back door and 2023 bounds in the front, it appears that it is once again time to think about rounding up one reading year and establishing some goals for another.

Except, I’m not going to do that.

I used to really enjoy writing my ‘Books of the Year’ post – and I love reading posts by others about their favourite books – but, as the blog has grown and my reading appetites have increased, it’s become increasingly hard to narrow down the books that I’ve enjoyed into an easily digestible list.

That’s not to say that every book I’ve read this year has been a stone cold classic. But I find placing numerical values on books really difficult. It’s why I prefer writing reviews to star ratings. Some books resonate far more than I anticipated when I originally read them, others were highly enjoyable at the time but haven’t really stayed with me. Both types of book are enjoyable but they’ve very different kinds of reading experience which makes deciding on how to formulate a ‘best’ list increasingly challenging.

I was pondering how to overcome this when I read this fantastic post by Clare over at Years of Reading Selfishly which not only encapsulated many of my thoughts on my reading life this past year but also gave me the confidence to do away with my traditional Best Books of the Year post and write this instead.

As Clare says in her post, different books give you different things at different times. Or, to put it another way, “for everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven”. My life – like many of yours I’m sure – goes through different seasons (and occasionally feels like it’s trying to take in several seasons all at once!) and my reading habits naturally change with them. So I don’t want to pick out books that reflect only my current ‘season’ when my year has been made up of wonderful variety, and the books that I’ve loved have each done their job as and when I’ve needed them too.

In the last couple of years, Goodreads informs me that I’ve read over 100 books per annum. And by ‘read’, I mean finished because I tend not to log DNFs. And if I’ve finished a book, then I’ve enjoyed it on some level because life’s too short to read books you’re not enjoying. All of which is a long way of saying that, if I’ve catalogued a book on my Goodreads or Storygraph pages, reviewed it here on the blog, or raved about it over on Twitter or Instagram, I’ve enjoyed it on some level and, if it sounds interesting to you too, you have my heartiest recommendation to go check it out.

So, if I’m not giving you a Best Books of 2022 list, I’m a least going to provide some Reading Resolutions for 2023 list, right?

Sorry, ‘fraid not.

Whilst I love reading about other people’s reading goals, and seeing the challenges that people are setting for themselves, I’ve come to the conclusion that establishing set reading resolutions or challenging myself to read specific books/genres just doesn’t work for me.

As a PhD student and academic, I do a lot of reading for ‘work’ (for those who don’t known my PhD is in, unsurprisingly, English Literature) and a finite amount of time – and energy – left to read for pleasure. So whilst I can force myself to read a text that is challenging, difficult, or not in my usual comfort zone, after a day of doing just that for work, I like to read as the mood takes me when I finally get to fun reading time. Indeed, for me, it’s pretty much the only way I can keep reading for pleasure when reading and analysing text is, essentially, my day job.

So, I’m afraid there’s going to be no reading goals from me either this year. Instead my goal is, as always, to keep reading and to keep sharing the book love by nattering away on here and on socials about the books and authors that I love.

And on that note, I want to say a big thank you to all those authors whose books I have read and shouted about this year. Whether you’ve written something that has transported me, entertained me, made me think, made me laugh, or made me cry, your books have kept me reading and kept me blogging and, on more than one occasion, probably kept me sane.

I also want to say a huge thank you to all of you who have taken the time out to read my blog, to share your own thoughts on the books that I’ve read, to interact with me on Twitter or Instagram, or to just chat books more generally. Book people really are the best people and the book community is a wonderful one to be part of.

So, to conclude, I would like to wish each and every one of you a very happy – and very bookish – New Year!

Amy x

Blog Tours · Extracts · Spotlight

BLOG TOUR SPOTLIGHT & EXTRACT!!! Death on a Winter Stroll: A Merry Folger Christmas Mystery by Francine Mathews

Today I’m delighted to be part of the Austenprose book tour for Death on a Winter Stroll, a Christmas entry into Francine Mathews’ Merry Folger mystery series, and to share a spotlight AND an extract from the book with you.

The cover of Death on a Winter Stroll features a wooded arbour covered in snow
Image Description: The cover of Death on a Winter Stroll features a wooded arbour covered in snow

About the Book

No-nonsense Nantucket detective Merry Folger grapples with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and two murders as the island is overtaken by Hollywood stars and DC suits.

Nantucket Police Chief Meredith Folger is acutely conscious of the stress COVID-19 has placed on the community she loves. Although the island has proved a refuge for many during the pandemic, the cost to Nantucket has been high. Merry hopes that the Christmas Stroll, one of Nantucket’s favourite traditions, in which Main Street is transformed into a winter wonderland, will lift the island’s spirits. But the arrival of a large-scale TV production, and the Secretary of State and her family, complicates matters significantly.
 
The TV shoot is plagued with problems from within, as a shady, power-hungry producer clashes with strong-willed actors. Across Nantucket, the Secretary’s troubled stepson keeps shaking off his security detail to visit a dilapidated house near conservation land, where an intriguing recluse guards secrets of her own. With all parties overly conscious of spending too much time in the public eye and secrets swirling around both camps, it is difficult to parse what behaviour is suspicious or not—until the bodies turn up.
 
Now, it’s up to Merry and Detective Howie Seitz to find a connection between two seemingly unconnected murders and catch the killer. But when everyone has a motive, and half of the suspects are politicians and actors, how can Merry and Howie tell fact from fiction?
 
This latest instalment in critically acclaimed author Francine Mathews’ Merry Folger series is an immersive escape to festive Nantucket, a poignant exploration of grief as a result of parental absence, and a delicious new mystery to keep you guessing.

Advance Praise for Death on a Winter Stroll

“This fast-moving mystery packs in a lot, but never too much, and will work for fans of coming-of-age stories, police procedurals, and romance.” —First Clue

“Fresh, well-wrought prose brings the setting of Nantucket to life. Mathews consistently entertains.” —Publishers Weekly

“Christmas and death come to Nantucket . . . Plenty of fascinating characters and myriad motives make for an exciting read.” —Kirkus Review

“Mathews consistently places relationships at the forefront of her mysteries, and Merry’s unique blend of tenacity and humanity makes her a heroine to root for.”—USA Today bestselling author Karen Odden, author of the Inspector Corravan mysteries

About the Author

Francine Mathews was born in Binghamton, New York, the last of six girls. She attended Princeton and Stanford Universities, where she studied history, before going on to work as an intelligence analyst at the CIA. She wrote her first book in 1992 and left the Agency a year later.

Since then, she has written thirty books, including six previous novels in the Merry Folger series (Death in the Off-SeasonDeath in Rough WaterDeath in a Mood IndigoDeath in a Cold Hard Light, Death on Nantucket, and Death on Tuckernuck) as well as the nationally bestselling Being a Jane Austen mystery series, which she writes under the pen name Stephanie Barron. She lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

Read an EXTRACT from Death on a Winter Stroll…

One of the perks of being police chief was the ringside seat Merry Folger commanded for certain critical moments. For instance, this Saturday morning—the first weekend in December, with the sun high in the sky and a brisk, cold wind driving whitecaps across the water as a Coast Guard cutter sailed toward Straight Wharf.

Her white SUV with the distinctive navy and gray police markings was parked where no cars were allowed, within the Christmas Market barricades that blocked the wharf’s access to town. She and Peter were lounging against the bumper in their most festive winter gear. Merry’s father, John, was inside the car staying warm. They were waiting for Santa Claus to dock.

Nearby was the Town Crier and some of the town’s Select- persons who would escort the Man in Red to his island sleigh, a vintage firetruck owned by the Nantucket Hotel. Santa would stand in the back, waving, while the Town Crier walked ahead, ringing his bell, announcing the glad tidings of great joy.

“Look at that guy,” Peter muttered in her ear as a man roughly their age walked by, natty in sunglasses, a suit, and a knotted Stroll scarf. Nothing abnormal about that, except that the suit had red and green stripes with white death’s-heads and fists stamped all over it.

“Kind of like North-Pole-meets-Venice-Beach-tattoo-parlor,” Merry suggested. “You prefer the blonde, I take it?”

The blonde wore a minidress covered in hot pink sequins and thigh-high boots made of fake mink. She had a jingle bell on each boob.

Every third person in the crowd—and there were about ten thousand people in town, jockeying for the best viewing spots— was dressed in ways bizarre or wonderful. The color and noise and exuberance were thrilling after the cheerless quarantine holidays, and Merry was grinning helplessly. She glanced over her shoulder and gave her dad a thumbs-up. John was drinking coffee laced with peppermint schnapps in his passenger seat. He saluted her with his mug.

The sight of him sitting alone jolted her suddenly, as it did whenever she looked for her grandfather, Ralph Waldo Folger, and remembered he’s gone now. The freshness of loss stunned her each time like a blow to the face.

Merry had known her eighty-nine-year-old grandfather was vulnerable in the pandemic. She and John had talked by phone daily about ways to keep Ralph safe. As a frontline worker exposed for the duration to a germ-laden public, Merry had stayed scrupulously away from her childhood home on Tattle Court throughout the first waves of sickness. Peter arranged for grocery deliveries twice a week and dropped supplies from Marine Home at John’s front door. And Ralph was healthy for nearly a year: social distancing on his daily walks, wearing a mask when he ventured into town. He contracted Covid nine days before he was scheduled for his first vaccine.

Nantucket Cottage Hospital had five ventilators; Ralph never made it to one of them. Sickening on a Friday, he was delirious by Sunday and medevacked to Boston in the wee hours of Monday. Intubated, he lingered in a medically induced coma for four days.

What dropped Merry to the floor when they got the news, sobbing and hugging her knees as though she’d been sucker punched, was the fact that her careful distance hadn’t mattered a darn. Ralph was alone when he died. And she hadn’t seen or touched him for a year before that. Of all the pandemic’s cruelties, this was the coldest.

Her father thrust open the car door and stepped out to the paving beside her. “Boat’s in,” he said.

She linked her arm through his as the cutter drew along- side. A couple of ensigns jumped off with sheets in their hands and moored the steel-gray vessel to the wharf’s stanchions. The Town Crier hailed the boat, Santa waved, horns blared, the drum corps drummed. Merry and Peter and John whooped along with everyone else. Despite the logistics and the responsibilities, she was nominally handling, despite her underlying grief, joy shot through Merry as she fell into step behind the Selectpersons and jauntered after Santa’s firetruck. For the length of Main Street at least, she was uncomplicatedly happy.

It felt like the whole island celebrated with her.

Find Out More!

You can find out more about Francine and her work on her website, and by following her on Twitter (@SBarronAuthor), Facebook, and Instagram (@stephaniebarronfrancinemathews).

Death on a Winter Stroll: A Merry Folger Christmas Mystery by Francine Mathews is published by Soho Crime and is available now from all good booksellers and online retailers including Amazon UK, Amazon US, Bookshop.org, Wordery, and Book Depository.

If you can, please support a local indie bookshop by ordering from them either in person or online! Some of my favourites include Booka Bookshop, The Big Green BookshopSam Read BooksellersBook-ishScarthin Books, and Berts Books

My thanks go to Austenprose PR for organising and inviting me onto this blog tour. The tour continues until 19 December 2022 so please do check out the other stops for more reviews and content!

Reviews on The Shelf are free, honest, and unbiased and I don’t use affiliate links on my posts. However, if you enjoy the blog, please consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi!

BBNYA · Blog Tours · Spotlight

BBNYA SPOTLIGHT!!! The Ones Who Could Do Anything by Nicholas J. Evans

This year, the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 55 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight for each title. For those of you who don’t know, BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to be part of the BBNTA team again in 2022 and I’m thrilled to be part of the spotlight tours to celebrate our fantastic semi-finalists! Today I’m starting things off by spotlighting The Ones Who Could Do Anything by Nicholas J Evans.

The cover of The Ones Who Could Do Anything features an image of a boy made up of shattered shards of glass. The boy is leaping into the air.
Image Description: The cover of The Ones Who Could Do Anything features an image of a boy made up of shattered shards of glass. The boy is leaping into the air.

About the Book

The first time Eric jumped he didn’t know he could fly.

His world closed in as he stood on that bridge, a stale cigarette between his lips and breath that burned sour notes of yesterday’s coffee. The rushing water below reminded him of the bustling halls of his school, and he let charred memories crumble to embers as his feet left the railing.

Eric had no idea that one leap would introduce him to Dr. Kovacs, and an entirely new world, an entirely new beginning. Now, Eric works with a team as worn and beaten as himself to solve the mystery of the Executioner who hunts them while picking up the pieces of his broken life.

When Eric jumped, he didn’t know he could fly, but he does now.

About the Author

Nicholas J. Evans is an author originally from New York who currently resides in Maine with his wife and four children. He was a co-founding member of the post-hardcore group, NoraStone, where he spent the years of 2011 – 2017 touring with them and he is featured on their first three albums. Following the birth of his first child, he ended his time with the band to focus on new career paths, and during this time he returned to writing short stories as he had in years prior.

He is best known for his sci-fi noir novel series, For Humans, For Demons, and his stand-alone urban fantasy, The Ones Who Could Do Anything, along with a short novella featured in the Beyond The Cogs anthology. When not writing, Nick enjoys spending time with his kids, gaming with his wife, and being a general nuisance.

Find Out More!

You can find out more about Nicholas and his work by following him on Twitter (@NickEvansWrites) and Instagram (@nickevanswrites).

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website https://www.bbnya.com/ or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official.

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

The Ones Who Could Do Anything by Nicholas J Evans is published by Black Rose Writing and is available from Amazon via their UK, US, and Canadian storefronts.

My thanks go to The Write Reads and BBNYA for organising and inviting me onto this blog tour! There are lots of other spotlights on the tour so follow the hashtag #BBNYA2022.

Reviews and features on The Shelf are free, honest, and unbiased and I don’t use affiliate links on my posts. However, if you enjoy the blog, please consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi!

BBNYA · Blog Tours · Spotlight

BBNYA SPOTLIGHT!!! Lineage by C. Vonzale Lewis

This year, the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 55 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight for each title. For those of you who don’t know, BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to be part of the BBNTA team again in 2022 and I’m thrilled to be part of the spotlight tours to celebrate our fantastic semi-finalists! Today I’m starting things off by spotlighting Lineage by C. Vonzale Lewis.

The cover of Lineage shows a cityscape at night with the moon in the background.
Image Description: The cover of Lineage shows a cityscape at night with the moon in the background.

About the Book

Smart-mouthed Nicole Fontane has a way of getting herself into trouble.

She’s been fired from every job she’s had but still refuses to work in her father’s apothecary shop because of his practice of Earth Magick.

On Tulare Island where Nicole grew up, Magick has always been a way of life—one she’s determined to avoid at all costs. With less than two hundred dollars in the bank and rent due, Nicole is forced to take a job at Tribec Insurance as a last resort. Little does she realize, the moment she sets foot inside the building, she becomes a pawn.

Tribec’s proprietors, the Stewart family, are curiously preoccupied with the Naqada, the mysterious pre-dynastic Egyptian society. It seems creepy but harmless at first, until the eerie atmosphere, disappearing Magick wards, and the smell of blood inside Tribec bring Nicole to a startling conclusion. The Stewarts are practicing Blood Magick—the deadliest of the Five Principles.

By the time Nicole uncovers the truth, people near and dear to her are going missing, and all signs point to the Stewarts and an archaic blood ritual to an Old One. To prevent catastrophe, Nicole must confront a hidden past and unlock the Magick buried within. But can she set aside her deep-rooted fears to work with a team of vigilante Mages? Or will the clock run out on Nicole and those she loves?

About the Author

My name is Carla Vonzale Lewis and I like my martinis shaken… never stirred.

Carla was born in Georgia, but please don’t mistake her for a Georgia peach. She’s more like a prickly pear. Speaking of being born, someone asked her recently if she remembered her birth. And she had to say, “Yes, I do remember that handsy doctor pulling me out into the cold. Right Bastard!!!”

Despite being born in the South, she grew up in California. Every once in a great while she gets to experience all four seasons. But mostly, it’s just heat.

When not writing, Carla enjoys reading, binge watching shows on Netflix, and trying to convince her husband that getting a dog is a wonderful idea.

And one day, she will discover how many licks it actually takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.

Find Out More!

You can find out more about Carla and her work on her website.

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website https://www.bbnya.com/ or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official.

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Lineage by C Vonzale Lewis is published by The Parliament House and is available from Amazon via their UK, US, and Canadian storefronts.

My thanks go to The Write Reads and BBNYA for organising and inviting me onto this blog tour! There are lots of other spotlights on the tour so follow the hashtag #BBNYA2022.

Reviews and features on The Shelf are free, honest, and unbiased and I don’t use affiliate links on my posts. However, if you enjoy the blog, please consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi!

BBNYA · Blog Tours · Spotlight

BBNYA SPOTLIGHT!!! Never Say Never by Justine Manzano

This year, the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 55 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight for each title. For those of you who don’t know, BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to be part of the BBNTA team again in 2022 and I’m thrilled to be part of the spotlight tours to celebrate our fantastic semi-finalists! Today I’m starting things off by spotlighting Never Say Never by Justine Manzano.

The cover of Never Say Never features two women and one man. One woman has short black hair and is holding an ice cream, the other has long blond hair with a seashell clasp, and the man has short brown hair and glasses.
Image Description: The cover of Never Say Never features two women and one man. One woman has short black hair and is holding an ice cream, the other has long blond hair with a seashell clasp, and the man has short brown hair and glasses.

About the Book

After she walks in on her mom doing the horizontal mambo with a man that’s decidedly not her dad, Brynn Stark swears off love. One of her friends–Val–is determined to change her mind, no matter the consequences. Prickly and cynical, Brynn tries to avoid Val’s attempts at setting her up, until Val reveals her true identity–Aphrodite, goddess of love, who promises to show Brynn why she shouldn’t lose faith.

Brynn’s job, school, and the various love connections Val tries to make keep her busy enough, but in her spare time, she struggles to navigate her own role in her parents’ divorce. With her other best friend recovering from a breakup of her own, and Val dead set on playing matchmaker, Brynn’s forced to rely on the fourth member of their friend group, Adam, for moral support. Adam, Val’s boyfriend.

Realizing she’s beginning to fall for Adam, Brynn throws herself full-force into dating Val’s picks, hoping one can lure her away from the bad situation she’s hurtling towards, but even when she finds one with a spark, she can’t stop thinking about Adam. Brynn’s forced to decide if she’ll choose her goddess-given fate, or risk it all for the wrong-but-right guy. One thing’s for sure. Love sucks. And it’s all about to blow up in their faces.

About the Author

Justine Manzano is the geeky author of the geeky YA series Keys & Guardians, and geeky YA novel Never Say Never. Her fiction is tough on the outside and sweet on the inside, like an M&M or a hard candy with a gooey center, delivered with sass and snark. A freelance editor, she also serves as an Editor-in-Residence at WriteHive.

She lives in Bronx, NY with her husband, son, and a cacophony of cats and can usually be found at her website, http://www.justinemanzano.com or all the usual social media haunts. If you’ve looked in all these places and can’t find her, she’s probably off reading fanfiction. She’ll be back soon.

Find Out More!

You can find out more about Justine and her work by visiting her website, and by following her on Instagram (@justine_manzano), Twitter (@justine_manzano), Facebook, and TikTok.

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website https://www.bbnya.com/ or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official.

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Never Say Never by Justine Manzano is published by Sword and Silk, LLC and is available from Amazon via their UK, US, and Canadian storefronts.

BBNYA · Blog Tours · Spotlight

BBNYA SPOTLIGHT!!! What Once Was Home by B.K. Bass

This year, the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 55 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight for each title. For those of you who don’t know, BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to be part of the BBNTA team again in 2022 and I’m thrilled to be part of the spotlight tours to celebrate our fantastic semi-finalists! Today I’m starting things off by spotlighting What Once Was Home by B K Bass.

The cover of What Once Was Home features a man dressed in military fatigues holding a gun.
Image Description: The cover of What Once Was Home features a man dressed in military fatigues holding a gun.

About the Book

When his world is suddenly torn apart, one man must learn to survive in What Once Was Home.

Jace Cox’s life is changed when an overwhelming alien force invades the Earth with no warning or provocation. In the years that follow, he must not only fight to survive, but also learn what it means to be a man and a leader. As the situation grows more dire and the weight of loss bears down on Jace, he realizes his greatest challenge isn’t the alien invaders or even his fellow man.

It is holding onto his own humanity despite living in a world gone mad.

About the Author

B.K. Bass is the author of over a dozen works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror inspired by the pulp fiction magazines of the early 20th century and classic speculative fiction. He is also a freelance editor with experience both as a publisher and editor-in-chief of a literary journal. When B.K. isn’t dreaming up new worlds to explore, he spends his time as a lifelong student of history, bookworm, and film buff.

Find Out More!

You can find out more about B. K. and his work by visiting his website and following him on Twitter (@B_K_Bass).

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website https://www.bbnya.com/ or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official.

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

What Once Was Home by B K Bass is available on Amazon via their UK, US, and Canadian storefronts.

My thanks go to The Write Reads and BBNYA for organising and inviting me onto this blog tour! There are lots of other spotlights on the tour so follow the hashtag #BBNYA2022.

Reviews and features on The Shelf are free, honest, and unbiased and I don’t use affiliate links on my posts. However, if you enjoy the blog, please consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi!

BBNYA · Blog Tours · Spotlight

BBNYA SPOTLIGHT!!! The Blue Hour by MJ Greenwood

This year, the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 55 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight for each title. For those of you who don’t know, BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to be part of the BBNTA team again in 2022 and I’m thrilled to be part of the spotlight tours to celebrate our fantastic semi-finalists! Today I’m starting things off by spotlighting The Blue Hour by M J Greenwood.

The cover The Blue Hour features a white woman with dark blonde hair in a blue and white polka dot dress against a backdrop of blue sky.
Image Description: The cover The Blue Hour features a white woman with dark blonde hair in a blue and white polka dot dress against a backdrop of blue sky.

About the Book

The Blue Hour – two love affairs and two summers, 75 years apart

Damaged by a toxic relationship, Ava Westmorland flees the ruins of her life in London for a carer’s job in a Cornish village. She hopes a combination of countryside and coast will heal her shattered heart. But she has yet to face tyrannical Tilly Barwise; the 89-year-old she will be looking after. Sharp, cantankerous and with an acid tongue, Tilly is the polar opposite of a sweet old lady. She has lived a thrillingly full life of romance and intrigue – and is determined shy Ava will follow in her doddering footsteps.

Through Tilly’s outrageous antics and bittersweet reminiscences, she shows Ava what it is to embrace life. As the pair form an unlikely bond, Tilly reveals the details of a wartime love affair with an American that ended in tragedy – but not quite in the way Tilly always believed.

About the Author

MJ Greenwood is a journalist turned gardener, weary mother-of-four with true story she couldn’t let go of, no matter how hard she tried.

Find Out More!

You can find out more about MJ Greenwood and her work by visiting her website and following her on Twitter (@melanie79938746).

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website https://www.bbnya.com/ or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official.

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

The Blue Hour by MJ Greenwood is published by Bad Press Ink and is available from Amazon via their UK, US, and Canadian storefronts.

My thanks go to The Write Reads and BBNYA for organising and inviting me onto this blog tour! There are lots of other spotlights on the tour so follow the hashtag #BBNYA2022.

Reviews and features on The Shelf are free, honest, and unbiased and I don’t use affiliate links on my posts. However, if you enjoy the blog, please consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi!

BBNYA · Blog Tours · Spotlight

BBNYA SPOTLIGHT!!! Skate the Thief by Jeff Ayers

This year, the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 55 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight for each title. For those of you who don’t know, BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to be part of the BBNTA team again in 2022 and I’m thrilled to be part of the spotlight tours to celebrate our fantastic semi-finalists! Today I’m starting things off by spotlighting Skate the Thief by Jeff Ayers.

Image Description: The cover of Skate the Thief features a young woman with blond hair looking quizzically at a magical orb. She appears to be in a library, surrounded by magical books.

About the Book

Beware of Spilling Ink!

Skate is a thief, trained and owned by the local crime syndicate, the Ink. When she tries to burgle a shut-in’s home, she gets caught by the owner—a powerful undead wizard. He makes a deal with her: “borrow” books from other wizards in return for a place to stay.

Caught between her growing fondness for the wizard and her past with the crime syndicate, Skate doesn’t know where her loyalties lie. But she’d better figure it out, because there’s a new player in town, one whose magical hypnotism puts them all at risk.

About the Author

Jeff Ayers is an author and avid reader of fantasy and science fiction stories. He began playing with the idea of writing a book way back in middle school, and has been practicing ever since. He is an English teacher living in northwest Arkansas (Go, Razorbacks!) with his wife, two kids, and two dogs, whom he loves very dearly.

Find Out More!

You can find out more about Jeff and his work via his website, and by following him on Twitter (@TheCabbagetroll).

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website https://www.bbnya.com/ or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official.

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Skate the Thief by Jeff Ayres is published by Thinklings Books LLC and is available from Amazon via their UK, US, and Canadian storefronts.

My thanks go to The Write Reads and BBNYA for organising and inviting me onto this blog tour! There are lots of other spotlights on the tour so follow the hashtag #BBNYA2022.

Reviews and features on The Shelf are free, honest, and unbiased and I don’t use affiliate links on my posts. However, if you enjoy the blog, please consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi!

BBNYA · Blog Tours · Spotlight

BBNYA SPOTLIGHT!!! The Oracle Stone by Talli L. Morgan

This year, the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 55 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight for each title. For those of you who don’t know, BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to be part of the BBNTA team again in 2022 and I’m thrilled to be part of the spotlight tours to celebrate our fantastic semi-finalists! Today I’m starting things off by spotlighting The Oracle Stone by Talli L Morgan.

The cover of The Oracle Stone is covered in a swirling purple and metallic sheen.
Image Description: The cover of The Oracle Stone is covered in a swirling purple and metallic sheen.

About the Book

Jekku Aj’ere can see everything from the start of time to the end, and it’s an agonizing curse. His only chance to bargain for freedom is to find the Oracle Stone, a magic artifact that was split into four pieces and hidden centuries ago.

Lilya Noor wants to forget her past and be immortal, so she agrees to a blood oath that will grant her eternal life if she delivers the Oracle Stone to her Master of Magic. Failure is not an option, but what if the stone offers a better deal than simple immortality?

Vaeltaja Ievisin has one chance for redemption: the Second Savior. Presenting the Savior and the lost Oracle Stone to his gods will end his banishment, but the Savior isn’t at all what Taja expected, and neither is the stone. And how much is forgiveness worth, anyway, when the gods are never satisfied?

There are higher powers at play, and Jekku, Lilya, and Taja must pull themselves together or risk losing their magic and their lives to the vengeful spirits trapped in the stone. But it’s hard to prevent a magical catastrophe when you can’t trust anyone, including yourself, and certainly not the gods.

About the Author

Hailing from Upstate New York, Talli L. Morgan is the author of the Windermere Tales series. When they’re not buried in books — their own or someone else’s — Talli hangs out on Twitter and co-hosts a Q&A chat for writers. And if you can’t find them there, they’re probably hiding in the corner of a library.

Find Out More!

You can find out more about Talli and their work by following them on Twitter (@TLM_writes) and Instagram (tallimorgan.books).

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website https://www.bbnya.com/ or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official.

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

The Oracle Stone by Talli L Morgan is available from Amazon via their UK, US, and Canadian storefronts.

My thanks go to The Write Reads and BBNYA for organising and inviting me onto this blog tour! There are lots of other spotlights on the tour so follow the hashtag #BBNYA2022.

Reviews and features on The Shelf are free, honest, and unbiased and I don’t use affiliate links on my posts. However, if you enjoy the blog, please consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi!