Book Reviews, Books and Me

Favourite Read of 2018

As always on Writerly Bookish Stuff, I like to boast my favourite read of the year. This year, I read mostly novellas, but the novels I have read have been fantastic. It was hard to choose.

I chose the following book because it covered all the bases that appeal to me as a reader and writer: a group of characters you can root for, fantastic world building, and engrossing narrative.

So, without further ado…

When Stars Burn Out

by Anna Vera

You can find my full review here.

Download your copy here.


What has been your favourite read of 2018?


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Blogmas

Blogmas 13

Free Christmas Cookbooks

I downloaded 5 free, Christmas cookbooks from Amazon last month. I have read through them all and will give you my honest review. I am an amateur in regards to all things cooking, so I will base my reviews on the quality of the instructions and simplicity etc. I will include links for you to get your copies if you wish.

Holiday Cooking Made Easy by Les Ilagan

My Review:

I give this book 4/5. This cookbook is crammed full of recipes, some new to me, and some that are twists on old classics. A lot of effort has gone into compiling this, and the recipes are laid out well.

Christmas Recipes by Cheryl Leonard

My Review:

I give this book 3/5. This is not quite my cup of tea, but thats not to say it won’t be yours. Some recipes require expense such as crab meat.

There are no pictures in this book, so I can’t visualise the meals, but it is laid out well, and a vast array of dips, sauces, butters, and spreads are included.

Christmas Drink Recipes by Kelly Michaels

My Review:

I give this book 3/5. I never knew there were so many Christmas drinks! The various hot chocolate recipes are right up my street, but as I’m not a fan of coffee or peppermint, that rules out quite a few.

There are no pictures in this book either, but the recipes are simple and concise.

Favourite Christmas Cookies by Various Authors

My Review:

I give this book 3/5. This book is based on the favourite recipes of the characters in the authors book- Ten Christmas Brides. It’s a cute idea.

There is an introduction to the recipe in regards to the characters which was unique, but the recipes themselves didnt excite me. I wouldnt say they were all that Christmassy either.

Easy Recipes for Christmas Cooking by Various Authors

My Review:

I rate this book 4/5. This book is crammed with content. There are pictures with each recipe and the recipes are Christmassy.

There’s even a planner, so you get the timings of all aspects of your Christmas dinner spot on.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Book Review: My Zombie Christmas by T. Strange

My Zombie Christmas by T. Strange 2/5


In this excerpt from My Zombie Boyfriend, necromancer Edward Grey and Undead Canadian Kit Ward spend their first Christmas together. Exchanging gifts ranging from odd to adorable and having dinner with Edward’s parents, they learn about life, love and the naming of cats.

Review:

I know this short story/ excerpt is to entice you to read the main book, but there is zero context, backstory, or character development. What kind of zombie virus? What are the effects?

I’m a lover of the zombie sub-genre, but this was bizarre. Is it a cosy romance, is it a horror? I was left baffled by the narrative and that cover.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Book Review: It’s Christmas, Carol! by Sara-Lisa Anderson

It’s Christmas, Carol! by Sara-Lisa Anderson 3.5/5


Carol hates Christmas! As far as she is concerned, it is just another Thursday, just another day at work. But during her workday, between 4 PM and midnight on Christmas Day, she is haunted by the kindness of strangers and painful memories as she ponders the true meaning of Christmas – past, present and future.

Who is that man with the big white beard and the jolly laugh? And why does he care if Carol has a nice Christmas or not?

Review:

A Christmas tale with a strong moral about what the true meaning of Christmas is. There is an element of Christmas magic and finding Christmas spirit.

Carol has struggled with Christmas ever since her brother’s death as a child and her parent’s divorce the year after.

During her shift at work on Christmas day, she has a magical experience that encourages her to remember the good Christmases with her brother, and to see that christmas is what you make it with people you love.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Book Review: Captured by a Blade by Brianna West

Captured by a Blade by Brianna West 5/5


Tee knew she wasn’t your average high school girl. She had fangs and super human strength, with an affinity for wearing all black.
Until that fateful night, Tee thought she was the only one of her kind–a mix-breed supernatural with a mean punch.
Until she met Blade.
Then everything Tee ever knew about herself changed in one single night–a night that a simple misunderstanding would lead to Tee discovering the vast underground of the Promiscus Guardians.

Review:

I read this short story ages ago, but for some reason I didn’t post my review *naughty K.J.* I wanted to have a re-read before posting this review to refresh my memory.

West’s promiscus guardians universe is extensive and so well rounded that it’s incredibly easy to slip back in. This short is an extension of that world, although, I would say this story is perhaps a little more new adult genre which opens up the books to a slightly different demographic.

Tee and Blade are from the same world, but are worlds apart. They make a great duo, and the back and forth between them gave shades of light and humour to the narrative.

I shall watch this space to see what West has in store for these two.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Review: Our Frozen Wings by Becky Wicks

Our Frozen Wings by Becky Wicks 3.5/5

“It wasn’t like regular butterflies, Ella thought, watching Oscar turn from distant shapes into the boy she loved as he walked towards her in the snow. Regular butterflies were the sign of a sudden realization, a sudden flash in time that marked the start of all your words and emotions and actions being said and done for someone else. With Ella, there had been no such moment.

Ella’s love for Oscar was advanced, she liked to think. It was more like a fleet of caterpillars moving slowly but surely through her world. Each little caterpillar carried on its back a secret, traveling back and forth between her and Oscar; strong, silent and consistent until one day, the caterpillars simply grew wings.”

Review:

This short was pleasantly surprising. Wicks handled the narrative well and fed the conclusion to the reader in tidbits. However I did guess the ending pretty early on in the story, hence my rating.

This short was free on Amazon, and I am glad that this isnt just another ‘come and pay to read my other books to get the conclusion’ short story. This book can standalone, and has a full conclusion. If the reader wants to pay to reads Wicks’ other books it is based on writing skill alone. So, thumbs up for that.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Book Review: What the Dead Fear by Lea Ryan

What the Dead Fear by Lea Ryan 3.5/5

Juniper Townsend died of carbon monoxide poisoning at the ripe, old age of 22.
However, death isn’t the end. In Limbo, she finds a foggy wasteland and strange creatures. She also discovers that during night hours, she can walk among the living. But there are rules. Never influence destiny. Never interfere, because the consequences are dire.
Will she sacrifice eternal freedom to save the innocent?

Review:

An interesting take on the afterlife, or at least a part of the afterlife. Ryan adds characters with interesting dynamics in their personalities. Good and bad are blurred in some respects.

This short story is followed up by a sequel. Some intriguing narrative points are laid in place that should result in a sequel with potential. I just wished this book was a little longer to establish the relationships between the characters a little more fully.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review