Category Archives: Feature


April 30, 2016

It’s been a long time since I did a TBR pile to share with you all, but I feel now is a good time to create and share another with you all. I’ve been on a bit of a fantasy binge of late, and I have no plans in stopping it any time soon, so I figured I’d share the next fantasy books sitting on my TBR pile.

fantasy tbr pile

Yes there are two Throne of Glass novels on there, because I don’t plan on reading a single thing else until I am caught up with the series and then join everyone else for the wait for Empire of Storms.

Snow Like Ashes has been on my radar for a long while, but for some reason I still haven’t gotten round to picking it up for a read! The synopsis sounds fab, so with any luck the book will deliver. The same with Red Queen, I’ve heard it’s a great read, so hopefully I’ll agree.

And I’m super excited for Passenger, so when I saw it on Netgalley I couldn’t resist requesting it, not expecting to be approved for it.

So that’s what’s on my TBR pile, what’s on yours?


From Idea to Page|Nick Bryan Guest Post

December 2, 2015

I’m thrilled to be sharing a guest post Nick Bryan has kindly written for me. I hosted Nick Bryan on a Hobson & Choi book tour, and even though I haven’t gotten round to starting the series yet,but I love the premise for The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf (Goodreads Link) and I cannot wait to delve into the series, which seems like it will be witty and full of dark humour. (Hello me in book form…)from idea to page florian klauer

How To Write A Hobson & Choi Book In 50 Easy Steps

I’ve now written three separate books in the Hobson & Choi series, focusing on mismatched detectives John Hobson and Angelina Choi and their attempts to solve crimes for a living in a post-modern satirical-yet-grim London where some kind of corruption can be found literally everywhere.

After three full run-throughs and a decent start at a fourth, I’ve got some kind of a routine on writing these books, so if anyone wants to know how to write their very own H&C novel (or ‘fanfiction’ to give it the technically correct term), here is a easy-to-follow list, which could also double as some kind of Choose Your Own Adventure if you like that sort of thing…

  1. Leave house, go about your business. Try to go about your business in an area of London where you haven’t yet set a book, but don’t worry, you can always just lie and say it happened in a new place.
  2. Keep going until something annoys you. This could be a huge crowd at a shopping centre, an angry dog or, best of all, an annoying phone call/email from a recruitment agency, thus meaning you didn’t really even have to leave the house.
  3. Go and have a drink.
  4. Repeat #3.
  5. Imagine how the observation from #2 could be part of a massive conspiracy that somehow makes money or produces some other benefit. (If you struggle to get into this mindset, there are YouTube channels that might help.)
  6. Repeat #3.
  7. Write a plan or enormous diagram attempting to make your criminal enterprise seem at least vaguely plausible.
  8. Leave it for a few days, wait until sober.
  9. Rewrite your plan so it looks kinda-slightly-plausible.
  10. Try to imagine how someone involved in this plan might actually feel. Repeat #3 if necessary.
  11. If you can’t manage #10, your idea was too OTT. Start again from #1.
  12. Work out the angle at which the person from #10 might come in contact with Hobson and Choi and how investigating it might affect them.
  13. Go and check the last novel to remember where the ongoing character subplots were and what you intended to do next.
  14. Combine #12 and #13 until the two strands intersect coherently with each other. Use a hammer if you have to.
  15. Repeat #14 and #3 until you have the start of an outline.
  16. Find a way to end the book that resolves #12 and makes #13 much worse for everyone. (Or will make it much worse for them in a future book.)
  17. Sit down to start writing the book.
  18. Expect #16 to change several times during the course of the first draft. Repeat #3 when this happens.
  19. #12 and #13 will probably change at least a couple of times too. Repeat #15 if necessary.
  20. Finish first draft. Repeat #3 for a month or so and then return to it.
  21. Book cover designer.
  22. Read all the way through, noting where it stops making sense.
  23. Rewrite all scenes, adding jokes and consistency.
  24. Add Markus the dog back into all the scenes where you forgot he existed.
  25. Read the whole thing out-loud to make the phrasing less clunky. Repeat #3 whenever the boredom starts to physically hurt.
  26. Send to your editor.
  27. Spend a month repeating #1, #2 and #3 for next Hobson & Choi book or working on something else.
  28. Brief cover designer by answering many questions about the book and your preferences. Worry that you have to make up the answer to many of these on the spot.
  29. Get book back from editor. Read notes. Feel sad. Repeat #3.
  30. Re-read notes, write lists of necessary changes, up to and including rewriting the entire ending.
  31. Repeat #23 and #24.
  32. Repeat #22, #23, #24 and #25.
  33. Shake self awake.
  34. Send to proofreader.
  35. Repeat #27.
  36. Get book back. Make suggested changes, which hopefully won’t be too awful.
  37. Receive cover proofs from designer. Give feedback.
  38. Repeat #37 until cover perfect.
  39. Become excited, post pictures on internet, repeat #3.
  40. Convert book into HTML for ebook formats. This isn’t as bad as it sounds.
  41. Put book into print layout, including elimination of all possible widows and orphans. This is far worse than it sounds. Repeat #3 as needed.
  42. Order proof of print book.
  43. Read over ebook for annoying HTML formatting errors.
  44. Get print proof back.
  45. Repeat #39.
  46. Repeat #22, with added joy and attention because this is hopefully the last time. Focus on print formatting problems and final niggling typos.
  47. Repeat #36, with annoying extra stage of needing to make changes in several different files.
  48. Submit final text to various online stores.
  49. Promote on internet.
  50. Repeat #3.

Next on my TBR Pile|A bit of a mish-mash

July 18, 2015

Somehow, I’ve managed to read all the books I mentioned on my first TBR pile a few weeks ago, so I thought I’d put together another mini TBR pile to see if this reading mood continues.

As I’m writing this, I’m 81% of the way through Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which I started earlier this morning, and I am absolutely LOVING it. I allowed myself to get swept away by the hype for this book and I’m so thrilled that it’s as good as I was hoping it would be.

TBR pile 1372015


I’m not entirely sure which book I’ll be picking up first, Open Road Summer and My Life Next Door have definitely caught my eye as they’re perfect summertime reads, and it’s hard to resist the lure of Jandy Nelson’s new release, especially as I’ll Give You the Sun has such a beautiful, bright yellow cover. A Thousand Nights isn’t released for a while yet, but it’s sitting on my Kindle and staring at me every time I turn it on! And Skating to Antarctica was recommended to me by my friend Ruth, so I am definitely excited to pick it up myself!

Have you read any of these books? Which one should I go with first?


Next on my TBR Pile|A Netgalley Round-Up + 1 Extra!

June 25, 2015

I’m absolutely shocking at posting book hauls, so I thought I’d combine a mini e-review book haul with a little overview of what’s coming up next on my TBR pile.

I’m currently reading Hidden Huntress and really enjoying it – I adored Stolen Songbird, and so far, Hidden Huntress is delivering just as well! I’m close to 30% of the way through so far, and I’m hopeful that I might get it finished by the end of the week (if at all possible, I’m writing this post on Sunday so there is hope…!). I’ve planned out what books I’m planning on picking up straight after, and I’m really looking forward to every single one of them!

Next on my tbr pile


Obviously I’m hideously excited to read all of these, but the one I KNOW I’m starting after Hidden Huntress has to be Savage Light by Janeal Falor – I LOVE her Mine series and cannot wait to pick up this one! There’s a nice variety of books, some contemporary, some fantasy, some paranormal, so I should be able to find something to suit my current mood pretty easily.

As always, thanks to the publishers and authors for giving me the opportunity to read and review these books!

Books in the above image: (All links to Goodreads)

Savage Light
Because You’ll Never Meet Me
The Heartbreakers
Extraordinary Means
13 Days of Midnight

What books do you have next on your TBR pile? Or are you a mood reader who chooses their next read right before they start it?

Hobson & Choi Blog Tour: Internet in Fiction Guest Post

January 21, 2015

hobson and choi banner4


I’m thrilled to be taking part in the Blog Tour for Nick Bryan’s Hobson & Choi series, books which I haven’t read yet, but sound absolutely fantastic. I’m going to be sharing with you a guest post by Nick Bryan, and if you stick around until the end of the post, there’s also a giveaway waiting for you to enter as well!

Anyway, enough of me rambling on – here’s Nick Bryan’s fantastic post for you all:

Cyber/Crime Divisions – Internet In Dramatic Fiction

Remember the good old days? When it was so much easier to explain people just wandering off into the woods on their own, no way to contact their friends and family, without having to include the token moment where their mobile phone was smashed/dropped/missing/low on signal?

And then came the internet – not only can we call for help at any time, we also have the bulk of human knowledge at our fingertips. All those messages about the importance of manual research via old books in Buffy The Vampire Slayer are only slightly undermined by knowing, nowadays, Giles would surely put all his occult volumes in a searchable database, saving them all that tedious reading before saving the world.

Yes, they would accidentally unleash about seventy demons during the scanning procedure, but that’s the price you pay for progress. At least they wouldn’t have to worry about breathing in all that dust.

I haven’t even mentioned Twitter yet – not only can we text our Mum to tell her we’re being chased through the undergrowth by a gigantic half-man half-squirrel trying to cheekpouch us like a pile of nuts, we can let all our friends and an army of strangers know at the same time.

If we’re talking crime novels, there’s a raft of tech in that particular area that makes it harder to get away with murder – forensics, DNA tests, constant CCTV. I hear rumours that’s one reason period-set crime novels took off, neatly sidestepping the whole problem.

Personally, I haven’t reached for the meta-time-machine yet. After all, I live in the twenty-first century, I have access to news websites, I’m well aware that there is still badness in the world, meaning there’s still potential for crime stories.

But more to the point – if the internet has achieved anything, it’s reduced the degrees of separation between us and many previously-far-off situations. Yes, it can make us a lot easier to get characters out of stuff, but it also makes it a whole load simpler to get them into it. A simple man in London might end up fighting a giant ant-eater on the streets of Warsaw, just because he saw something strange when googling “help my kitchen has ants and also enormous rats”.

And then before you know it, he’s up to his neck in snout, and then you kill the poor bastard’s 3G connectivity. I live in a major capital city, yet can barely manage decent mobile internet at the café table where I do the bulk of my writing, so it’s not even unrealistic.

It’s fine, guys. We can do it. Focus not on what technology can do for you, but what it can do to you.

Hobson & Choi Series by Nick Bryan
wpid-wp-1417027201089.jpeg The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf (Hobson & Choi #1)
“If we get 400 followers, John Hobson will solve that nasty wolf-murder case for free! Fight the thing himself if he has to! #HobsonVsWolf!”Angelina Choi was only trying to drum up some Twitter followers and make a good impression on her first day interning at John Hobson’s one-man detective agency.

But the campaign went viral and now they have a murder to solve, no money coming in, and an unwilling Hobson faced with battling some enormous beast.

With both follower and body counts rising, can they crack the case without offending everyone or being eaten by a huge dog?

The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf is the first case starring Hobson & Choi, a bickering, mismatched detective duo for 21st century London. This book collects the debut storyline of the hit darkly comic crime web serial, extensively rewritten and improved for this definitive edition.

Goodreads. Amazon.

23568658 Rush Jobs (Hobson & Choi #2)

“Sometimes #crime feels like the Matrix. Or the #patriarchy or #porn. It’s everywhere, even in people you trusted, and there’s so MUCH of it.”

Angelina Choi returns for her second and final week of work experience at John Hobson’s detective agency, ready for anything after their first successful murder solve.

After all that online buzz, they’re in phenomenal demand. Can Hobson & Choi solve a kidnapping, play chicken with corporate crime, beat back gentrification, save a dog from drug dealers and head off violent backlash from their last case?

Or will grim revelations about Hobson’s past leave them floundering in the chaos?

Rush Jobs collects the second major storyline in the Hobson & Choi saga, #1 on Jukepop Serials and #2 in Dark Comedy on Amazon, adding brand new chapters and scenes to the case.

Goodreads. Amazon

About the Author

me-squared Nick Bryan is a London-based writer of genre fiction, usually with some blackly comic twist. As well as the detective saga Hobson & Choi, he is also working on a novel about the real implications of deals with the devil and has stories in several anthologies.

More details on his other work and news on future Hobson & Choi releases can be found on his blog at or on Twitter as @NickMB. Both are updated with perfect and reasonable regularity.

Subscribe to his mailing list using the form in the sidebar of to get news first and an all-new free Hobson & Choi short story immediately!

When not reading or writing books, Nick Bryan enjoys racquet sports, comics and a nice white beer.

Website. Twitter. Mailing List.

Tour Schedule


Monday 19th January
Rain On A Summer’s Afternoon

Tuesday 20th January
Claire Rousseau

Wednesday 21st January
Music, Books and Tea

Thursday 22nd January
Ya Yeah Yeah

Friday 23rd January
A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Saturday 24th January
Tales of Yesterday

Sunday 25th January

Monday 26th January
Nimbus Space

Tuesday 27th January
The Online Novel

Wednesday 28th January
Nyx Book Reviews

Thursday 29th January
Winged Reviews

Friday 30th January

Saturday 31st January
The Book Moo

Sunday 1st February
Bookish Outsider

Monday 2nd February
Pewter Wolf

There is a tour-wide giveaway throughout the tour as well.

The Prizes
One Signed Paperback Set of the Hobson & Choi Series
Three E-Book Sets of the Hobson & Choi Series

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2014 End of Year Book Survey

December 27, 2014



It’s that time of the year again! Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner has created the 5th annual End of Year Book Survey. I can’t quite believe we’re filling in another one of these surveys! Admittedly I didn’t read too much this year, but I still can’t miss out on taking part in this survey. It’s almost tradition now! This year I’m only doing the first two categories of the survey, purely down to time constraints and the fact that I haven’t been all that active in the blogging world this year.

2014 Reading Stats 

Number Of Books You Read: 35 (at the time of writing this post)
Number of Re-Reads: 0 (possibly 1 by the end of the year)
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary (I think!)

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2014? 
Probably Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. After much deliberation, this was the book that made me the happiest whilst reading it.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
These Gentle Wounds by Helene Dunar. I thought it was going to be so much more than what it was.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 
Probably Code Name Verity. I knew I was going to love it. I didn’t think I was going to love it as much as I did.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
Stolen Songbird all the way.

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
Starter: Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery. Fool’s Gold #1
Sequel: Mine to Spell by Janeal Falor. Mine #2
Ender: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. Anna #3

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
James Dawson. Technically I didn’t discover him in 2014, but I read my first book by him in 2014. It was awesome.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I don’t typically read historical YA, and this was such a delight to read myself.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
You Are Mine by Janeal Falor. So much stuff going on all the time. I couldn’t stop reading, literally unputdownable. 

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Probably Easy by Tammara Webber, so I’m fully prepared for Breakable. 

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?
I don’t actually have a favourite. Bad I know.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?
Cricket Bell from Lola and the Boy Next Door. Sweet Cricket.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Oh lordy. Possibly the short stories in My True Love Gave to Me. I don’t know!

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
I can’t say I read anything particularly thought-provoking, but my current re-read of The Raven Boys is making me think far harder this time round! 

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 
Toss up between Rainshadow Road and Lola and the Boy Next Door. Both excellent reads, and I’m so annoyed it took me so long to get round to them!

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
Can I just say all of Code Name Verity and have done with it? Thanks.

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?
Shortest: Cupcakes & Chardonnay by Julia Gabriel – 134 pages
Longest: Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Chilling Revelation – 636 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most
Cruel Summer by James Dawson. Full of twists and turns and just purely excellent writing.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Josh and Isla, of course.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Maddie and Julie from Code Name Verity.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
The Fearless by Emma Pass. I loved ACID in 2013, and The Fearless did not disappoint either! UKYA at its best.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Code Name Verity, Easy, Cruel Summer. Cannot narrow it down any further. All highly recommended by the blogosphere.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Josh from Isla and the Happily Ever After. Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door. Lukas from Mine to Spell.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?
Stolen Songbird by Danielle Jensen. One of my favourite books of the year!

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Chardonia from the Mine series. How I’d hate to live there but I loved reading about it!

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Probably My True Love Gave to Me, purely because it was just full of cute Christmas stories that I fell in love with.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
Code Name Verity. I know, my answers are getting boring and repetitive but THIS BOOK YOU GUYS. THIS BOOK.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
You Are Mine by Janeal Falor. I want more people to read this book! Such an underrated series.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
CODE NAME VERITY. Not only did it crush my soul, it ripped my heart into tiny shreds and stomped all over the pieces. Dammit.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
The Traveller or Bald New World. Uniqueness isn’t always a good thing though, sometimes it works and sometimes it just makes my head hurt.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Rainshadow Road purely because of Alice and Kevin. Talk about douche-y characters.

The Christmas Tag

December 6, 2014

I love the run-up to Christmas, so when I stumbled upon this tag on Makeup Savvy, I knew I’d have to fill it in myself! I’m tagging anyone who fancies doing the tag, just let me know in the comments and I’ll come and visit your post!

What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
Hands down, Home Alone. I flipping love that film! Close runners up are Love Actually and The Holiday for some feel-good Christmas cheer.

Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Neither, we open ours after Christmas lunch. It makes the day last longer, plus we’re either too busy/too tired to open them in the morning!

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
Walking into the living room after helping mum wash up after Christmas lunch and finding my brother, dad and grandad all snoozing in various chairs, snoring in perfect sync with one another. Definitely wasn’t planned!

Favourite festive food?
Pigs in Blankets. Or the cold stuffing roll I always have for breakfast on Boxing Day. Or my mum’s homemade sausage rolls. And the chocolates…I just really like food. ALL OF THE CHRISTMAS FOOD.

Favourite Christmas gift?
The white-gold necklace my brother bought me. I put it on immediately and have rarely taken it off since.

Favourite Christmas scent?
The smell of Christmas lunch cooking. Or the smell of wrapping paper, which is odd, but it’s so distinct, every time I smell it, it reminds me of Christmas!

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Not really, bar having an evening meal of cold meats and picky, buffet type food with my family whilst watching the Christmas Dad’s Army re-run. We’ve also trekked down to the pub the past couple of Christmas Eves, and returned slightly merry singing Christmas songs at the top of our voices, waking up some of the neighbours. Whoops.

What tops your tree?
It used to be an angel, but she’s seriously creepy looking, so I bought a gold, glittery star that takes pride of place now, in all its sparkly glory. I much prefer stars to angels, they just look really pretty amid all the twinkly lights!

As a kid, what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
I always asked for one of those Mr Frosty ice machine things but never got one, probably because my mum knew it would be a lot more hassle than it was worth! I never really asked for anything over the top at Christmas though, I was just happy to receive a present, it didn’t really matter what it was.

What’s the best part about Christmas for you?
It’s got to be the run-up to Christmas, watching people getting more and more excited about the festive period, seeing people frantically rushing around buying last minute presents, going out for umpteen Christmas meals with my friends. It’s just a lovely time of the year, and I love it.

New Additions|Book Haul #2

September 13, 2014

My book buying has been a little reduced as of late, but these four goodies somehow found their way onto my bookshelf and I couldn’t resist sharing my recent picks with you.

2014-09-11 18.27.26 HDRIsla was a knee-jerk reaction as soon as I finished reading Lola. Since You’ve Been Gone was an obvious choice considering I love Morgan Matson. Half Bad and Secret Society Girl are books I’ve had recommended to me, so I’m hoping I’ll love them just as much as the people who recommended them to me do!


New Additions|Book Haul

June 16, 2014

My book hauls are becoming a bit few and far between, and seeing as I haven’t been around lately, I thought I might as well show you what books I’ve recently acquired. I was on a strict book buying ban until recently…then I went to the Waterstones in The Trafford Centre and lost all willpower. So many books. So many offers…

2014-06-01 12.02.33 HDRA lot of these purchases kind of speak for themselves. I mean, City of Heavenly Fire was always going to be a given – I just need to finish Clockwork Princess before starting it! More Than This and Amy & Matthew come highly recommended, and I picked up On Dublin Street on a slight whim. I’m hoping it’s as good as I want it to be.

Anyone read Why We Took the Car? I picked it up purely for the road trip in it, and can’t remember seeing any reviews for it anywhere. I’m hoping it’ll be a nice, quick read if nothing else!


Dipping My Toes Into: The Classics

May 12, 2014

DMTI Classics

Dipping My Toes Into is a new feature I’m starting on Music, Books and Tea sharing books from genres I don’t read very often but want to get into more.

For the very first post, I figured why not start with the big guns and delve into the Classics. I’ve admitted several times that I am not into the Classics. I haven’t read very many of them, and, to be honest, I haven’t got this great burning desire to read a lot of them. There are a few though, that I wouldn’t mind picking up once I’ve stopped being so intimidated by them.

I don’t understand why I’m so intimidated by Classics though. I think it’s got something to do with this niggling worry that I won’t understand the language used, although I know that the language isn’t that difficult to interpret. There’s also the worry of simply not enjoying it. I hate reading a book that so many people around me love and I end up hating it, or just not getting what exactly is so wonderful about it. Silly worries, I know, but they do have some influence on what I pick up to read.

So, even though I have this whole Classics Intimidation thing going on, I have read a few Classics, and, for the most part, really enjoyed them. My favourite one so far has to be Wuthering Heights, purely for its setting and the language. I struggled through The Picture of Dorian Gray because I despised the main character far too much to take anything else away from the novel.

So, I’ve sat down and compiled a list of Classics that I’m pretty sure I’ll like, or at least like enough to be able to finish reading. I’ve chosen:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Because it’s like, the ultimate romance story. I love the film and BBC adaptations, so I’d like to experience the book. I’m nervous though because I know a ton of people absolutely adore this book, and what if I don’t?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – I’ve heard interesting things about Jane Eyre. I’m intrigued by Mr Rochester. Plus it seems to be very gothic-esque, which I loved about Wuthering Heights so maybe I’ll like this one too?

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald – To me, this is the most iconic American Classic, and I’m quite surprised that I’ve not already read it.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – Again, I know a lot of people love this one.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess – I’ve heard it’s a total mind**** to read, which instantly makes me want to pick it up.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – I’ve owned this book for so long! And again, it’s got that whole gothic vibe going on, so I should enjoy it.

I’m curious to know, what’s your favourite Classic book? Which one do you think I should start off with?