Thursday, 13 February 2020

Soul Inspirations: Grief, Friendships and Love


This may start out as sounding like a somber post, but I promise that is not what I am sharing with you today. 

Have you ever been in a space in your life where you sit there and wonder who would miss you if you died today or tomorrow. To be fair this has not actually been a question on my mind for a while as I have felt I have so much to live for, especially due to my pregnancy. 


The strangest thing happened to me last night that caught me quite by surprise and struck a deep emotional chord in my heart. I woke up from a dream at 01:01 am and I was crying. Tears were streaming down my face from the dream I had just had and all I could think to do was grab my husband's hand and hold on to it as tight as I could while I calmed my heart.

In my dream I died. Yet, I didn't know I was dead initially in the dream. I was so confused as to what was going on... Once I realised my state it was like the scene replayed with this realisation and I witnessed the grief of the people in my life. The ones I know love me the most and would really be affected if I were to die. 


The grief I witnessed of my husband, step-son, cousin and parents had me in a state as there was nothing that I could actually do about it or do to comfort them. We don't need many people in our loves to feel fulfilled and loved. I suppose two things could have triggered such a dream, firstly at the beginning of the month it was the anniversary of my biological fathers death, and secondly I have had some friends leave my life in the past few months. I have always taken this a bit hard as for some reason in this life most friendships have never been an easy sail for me. I have met some amazing friends along the way and not all of them have ended in a bad way. In some ways some friendships that have ended have had me trust in myself a little bit more.


We all go through growth phases in life and I guess this is me stepping into the next the next phase of my life. Trying to manage my time and spend it where it is worth while. Either on activities that have a better return, e.g. working on my writing skill versus blogging, or spending time with the people I love like my family. 

I have had to take a step back and re-evaluate what truly makes me happy, work towards that and let go of the things that don't without feeling guilty about it. 

It's not always about working towards being the person you want to be, but sometimes it is more about just being that person in the moment. I have had to practice this more often than not when it comes to being a step mom. Shaping a little human is hard work. It's easy to moan and shout when they do something 'wrong', it's harder to take a breath sometimes and approach the situation with love and encouragement to see the error and grow from it. 

Every day is an opportunity to start a new way and even every moment is an opportunity to let it go and try again. 

Love those that appreciate and love you. You will be missed if you were to go tomorrow, maybe not by the masses but definitely by the people who colour your world. 

Love
Chanzie 
xxx


Wednesday, 18 December 2019

~ Happy Holidays 2019 ~


Happy Holidays Friendies all over the world <3 


I know I haven't been around much but life has been quite crazy and I haven't touched ground with a few things like reading, writing or blogging. 

Because things have been so hectic I have decided to take a bit of a blogging break over the festive season. 

I have been contemplating a lot of things as well. Between where I am spending my time and what actually brings in an income. I might blog a bit less on the new year to try get a better ROI with my time, but I will still be around I promise. 

I love reading and sharing reviews too much to ever give it up again!! 

I hope you all have a wonderful festive season with your loved ones and we will catch up again in 2020!!

Lots of love and reading 

Chanzie 
xxx


Thursday, 12 December 2019

Book Review: Dark Heiress (Ema Marx #5) by JD Brown




Hello my Bookish Peeps 

Welcome back to my weekly book review and the final instalment of the Ema Marx series. 

Ah friendies.. I am so conflicted about the ending of this series. On a good note there will be a spin off though!! You all know by now how much I adore Ms Brown. I was quite lucky to finally be added to her review team and received this book as an ARC. I am highly grateful for the opportunity to review her book, this does not effect my opinion or review in any way.

If you missed my first reviews, check it out: 

Dark Heirloom #1  -  Dark Liason #2  -  Athena's Oracle #2.5  
Dark Becoming #3  -  Dark Ascension #4

FYI... if you buy the books directly from her website versus on amazon or another website... it's cheaper! #youarewelcome

Just to note that I received a copy of this book from JD Brown as I am part of her review team. This does not influence or affect my opinion or review in any way... PS did you get the part where I am a part of her review team??? *happy dance*

Let's get this party finale started!


Kindle version
Published: 21 October 2019
Publisher: NightMare Publishing
412 pages
* What it's about *


Hell Hath No Fury Like A Mother Scorned.

Ema will stop at nothing to keep her innocent unborn twins safe. But with one prophesied to be the Messiah and the other pure evil, she may as well paint a target on their backs. And time is running out.

With war looming on the horizon, Ema must abandon her family to attend Elite training. Spies lurk around every corner and no one is who they say. Least of all the man Ema loves most.

Lives will be lost in the final battle for the Neo-Draugrian crown as passions are sacrificed for the survival of the vampyre race.

Who will fall and who will rise?



* My thoughts *


Ooooh where to start. The positive penny dropped that I actually understand how all the titles tie in to the story. I do love it when it all makes sense! 

Ok so... It was a hell of a ride and story. Ms Brown definitely does throw in a few twists that I didn't expect and had my jaw hanging on the floor. Man... this is hard to write without any spoilers!!! 


Let's start with the simple things I loved:


- I loved how some of the story lines came to a conclusion or came together in this book. 
- I loved some of the character development and evolvement (is there such a word?) especially Jalmari. As much as I despised him in the previous books, he actually became my favourite character in this book - can you believe it??? I still love Jesu, but somehow Jalmari stole the show for me. 


What wasn't that great for me:


- I was so sad with who died in this book. Really... it made my heart ache! 
- I understand that this is end of Ema's story (sort of) but I kinda wanted it to go on a bit more. I wanted to see the epic battle that has been the theme and motivation of most of the story when it came to the twins. I bet the spin off is about this.. so maybe this is not such a bit negative but still. I wanted it now ha ha ha. 
- I wasn't a fan of Jesu's behaviours near the end. 

Ema really does step up tot he plate,  but I think in some regards she leaves a little too much on Jesu's call.. even though I can see it was to get him on board and for them to approach it as a team and not as conflicted partners. 

All in all JD wraps things up nicely with a pretty little bow, and enough room for more and a spin off later on. 


* Rating * 



Books in the series: 



Novellas:



Author Links and Bio: 
Website  l  Goodreads  l  Facebook  l  Twitter  l  Instagram



J.D. Brown knows that vampires exist because she’s dating one and no, he doesn’t sparkle. Unfortunately, he’s not immortal either (or maybe her standards are too low). A magnet for subcultures and weirdness, J.D. was that socially awkward girl with more fictional friends than real ones. As a child battling a hearing loss and a medical condition with no name, J.D. found comfort in books where strong women always saved the day and got the guy. An obsession with Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Buffy the Vampire Slayer led J.D. to believe that her mutated chromosome made her something more, not something less. Thus her stubborn flare to persevere was born. A lover of fine cuisine, coffee, and shoes, J.D. never understood why shoe stores don’t serve Starbucks and soufflĂ©. She resides in Wisconsin were she writes urban fantasy—aka vampires for adults—and has political debates with her dogs.


She loves to hear from fans and is active on http://Facebook.com/AuthorJDBrown


Happy Reading <3 

Love 

Chanzie 
xxx

Monday, 9 December 2019

Tackling the TBR #3 ~ December 2019




Hello Everyone!! 

Happy December... I am so excited the festive season and summer have finally arrived. November was a rough month (which is weird cause normally it is my favourite month of the year being my birthday month and all), but leaving it all behind.. let's hop in to the good stuff and silly season. I know I haven't been as on time with my posts and writing, but we have been moving which was a complication all on it's own and I was quite busy at work, in my lunch time I am have launching my side passive income project and well int he evenings packing, packing packing and now unpacking! I also have not had much time for reading as I have been exhausted with the move and pregnancy - growing a human is a bit more tiring than I thought!
***
It is time for my monthly features: Tackling the TBR! There’s nothing I love more than picking out which books to read next, and this slightly organised method of reading has really amped my enjoyment to the next level. 

This post is inspired by and connected to The Obsessive Bookseller... If you don't know her... check her out! I love her blog as often we enjoy the same type of books and she is fun to follow.

Tackling the TBR is all about making some progress on that never ending and growing wonderful pile of books on our bookshelves! 

Bring on the mantras!

Read the best books first Life is too short to read books you’re not enjoying.

However you put together your TBR for the next month, the goal is to reduce the amount of obligation in reading and increase the fun.

********************************************************************************************************


Here’s a look at how the system works:

1. Identify the titles that take top priority in your TBR.

2. Combine them all in your own Tackling the TBR post.

3. Throughout the month pick from that pile as the mood strikes you.

Currently reading:



Unearthed - I'm not very far into this book yet and feel I might need to restart it once I am settled into a better routine at home. Starting this and Octavia Hollows at the same time, both with strong female characters had me a bit confused. I am intrigued though and can't wait to get back into it!!

Octavia Hollows - So I have finished book 1 and need to start book 2 soon (since it is a 6 books in 1 audio). It is so short and quick... a bit of an adjustment from my side but I do love her pig Bacon <3

May Cause Miracles - This is my slow morning 2 minute read. The great part is realising how much I have actually grown on a personal level over the past few years of my life.

The Whole-Brain Child - no progress here what so ever with the hectic move and stuff on my plate! 

Finished Reading:


Here’s what my TBR looks like for December:

December TBR Tackle Shelf:

Priority Titles off my Bookshelf or Kindle Shelf



Netgalley



Audiobooks


New on the bookshelf


The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel by Rhiannon Frater (Audio)
Insight by Silvia Browne
Straight to Hell (Hell's Gate #1) by JA Hinchey
The Happiness Bible by Cheryl Rickman
How to win friends and influence people 
Red scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare + Wesley Chu

***
Just to be clear 4 of those books were gifted for my birthday! 3 from my Parentals and 1 from my Hubby.

I have not touched my writing again due to the move and chaos of not having a desk combined with growing my passive side hustle.. but it's OK! It's still on my mind which means it still bugs me. 

The move was chaos beyond.. if I had to share the challenges you would be just as relieved as me that it is over. Take a normal house move and times it by about 100... having to be out by the 30th + only getting new keys to new place on 2nd + a trip to the ER... add on top of that our 2 cats went missing for 3 days - but luckily returned before we needed to have a sad conversation with our 6 year year old son! 

I have mostly recovered from my Eye Iris infection but it crept back again so needed to get those special eye drops again and am back to glasses again for 2 weeks sigh.. I do miss wearing contact lenses!! 

Other than that.. just unpacking, settling in and counting down the days to December. 

What is on your reading list for December? Any exciting holiday plans?? 
Did anyone finish NaNoWriMo?? 

Drop me a comment below <3 
Lots of love 
Chanzie 
xxx

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Audio Book Review: Why You Were Taken (When Tomorrow Calls #1) by J.T Lawrence



Goooooood Morning Lovelies!! 


Welcome back to another Audio Book Review <3 thank you in advance for joining me as I share my 2 cents. 

I am sure by now you are not surprised that this book is once again is from my all time favourite South African Author, JT Lawrence. Her writing skills and ability to literally taking you on such a whirlwind adventure really is inspiring <3 JT is a genre hoping author which only makes me love her even more. She makes her own rules and she is am amazing person to chat to. 

J.T was kind enough to sponsor me a copy of her audio book series When Tomorrow Calls. Even though I love this author and she gifted me a copy of the book, this review is based on my honest views and opinion. 

If you missed my previous reviews, check out Grey Magic and Sigma Surrogate!! 

And if you haven't heard of her yet... check out her bio at the bottom of the post. 

***

Audiobook on Audible:
Narrator: Roshina Ratnam
Length: 8h 50 mins
Released: 08 July 2017

Paperback info:
Published: 23 February 2017
Publisher: Fire Finch Press
408 pages
Goodreads l Amazon 

* What it's about *

Jo’burg city is shimmering with a bitterbright tension, the perfect playground for a scarred, creative – and extremely efficient – assassin.

Kirsten is a roaming, restless synaesthete: an awarded photographer with bad habits and a fertility problem. Her life has been defined by what she calls her ‘Black Hole’: a painful hollow feeling where her heart should be.
Seth is a brilliant chemgineer and loyal member of Alba: an underground biopunk Truther organisation that exposes corporate bullies and black clinics. He has the hollow feeling too, but fills it with other things, like the drugs he designs, and women in ridiculous shoes.
Kirsten and Seth don’t know each other, but they seem to be connected; they feel echoes of one another.

At once familiar and bizarre, adorned by litter bunting and broken pavements, South Africa in 2021 is beset by a relentless drought and a fertility crisis. When Kirsten’s journo friend Keke uncovers some cryptic information, they team up to investigate, and discover that Kirsten’s parents were actually her abductors, and that she is one of a twin.
A strange, muttering woman with dog hair on her jersey approaches Kirsten with a warning, and is found dead shortly afterwards. The police attribute it to the Suicide Contagion.
The warning leads Kirsten and Keke to the Doomsday Vault and a hit list of seven people – and Kirsten’s barcode is on it. The twins are re-united – ironically – by the poisoned list, but as the bodies of the other victims begin surfacing they realize how real their jeopardy is.

* My thoughts *


This is the first book in this series, which follows on from the prequel Sigma surrogate. There is no need to read/listen to Sigma Surrogate first, but I would recommend it as you do get a little bit of background on a few of the characters before hand. 


Narration

The narrator Roshina Ratnam is amazing! I loved her in Grey Magic and once again loved her just as much in Why you were taken. She nails the South African accent and really did make me giggle and laugh at her interpretations of the content and 'South Africanisms.'



Performance wise she gets a solid 5/5!!




Story line


This story was mostly written from Kirsten and Seth's perspective. It doesn't exactly pick up where Sigma Surrogate ends, but you can connect the dots. 

JT has a wonderful way of telling a story and drawing you in. The world she builds is interesting and easy to navigate and the characters are diverse. I am not the biggest fan of Kirsten (this does stem from the prequel as well), but I am not against her. 

I missed Keke!! She is so colourful and exciting, which unfortunately makes Kirsten pale in comparison. Keke did feature but not as much as I would have liked. In the last third or so of the book, we got a little more of Keke as the book revolved around her circumstance a little bit more. 

I did get to understand Kirsten as the story unfolded and her story with her emotions are very easy to follow. 


Not to fear though..... JT introduced another character that I totally adored!! 


Seth stole the show for me. I loved him from the get-go. He is a little dark and paranoid, there was just something about his view of the world that I found interesting, including the work that he does. I guess there is just something about the dark and brooding males that always intrigue a reader. 

James... I didn't like much in Sigma Surrogate and I didn't like him that much more until the very end when you kind of see the light and reasoning for everything.  I did feel quite bad for him when you uncover his life a bit more, and kinda wished for a bit more for him. So good job at that JT. 

The story progression: 


Since I was listening to this on Audio, it was a little disorienting when the POV switched from Kirsten to Seth or visa versa in the same chapter, but overall it had good flow. You do literally wonder how can it get any worse and then it does, which had me cringing.  

Once again I loved how much of South Africa JT brought into the world building, including some of the phrases and words that we use. I admired the way JT addressed some very current and real - not only South Africa issues - but global issues that we are dealing with and could possibly be dealing with in the near future. Some of them were used for context of a problem and some where things we are really dealing with, in a tactful way. 

The ending does make for a good lead in to book 2. JT rounds up the story lines nicely. I can't say the Epilogue wasn't good. It was... Kirsten's final scene had me wanting to kick her a bit and say 'Go for it dammit' and Seth well I am just so happy he has ended up where he has. 

I am keen to see how the rest of this series unfolds and an definitely hoping for more Keke and Seth. 




* Overall Rating * 


Books In This Series




Author Links and Bio: 
Website  l  Goodreads  l  Facebook  l  Twitter  l  Instagram


JT Lawrence is a bestselling author (and playwright) based in Parkview, Johannesburg. She is the mother of two small boys and a baby girl, and lives in a house with a red front door.






Any thoughts?? Post a comment below <3 

Happy Reading Peeps! 

Love 
Chanzie 

xxx