Sunday, 24 September 2017

Chuckles Cover Love #44

If there is one thing that makes a great book even better, it is when it has a cover that we love! The cover design is what catches the eye as we browse through a bookstore shelf or check out the Amazon or Goodreads recommendations. The right cover makes me look closer at a book, to read the blurb and maybe make a purchase. A poor cover might mean I never look at the blurb at all.

This Week! Amanda Hocking!

I love these snow fantasy covers though I wouldn't actually be reading the books.


Thursday, 21 September 2017

Chuckles Takes A Rest...

Those of you who read my Saturday post last weekend will know that I have been struggling a bit with a few health things so I figured I'd do an update post.

I went to the doctor on Thursday 14th and told that doctor that stepping up my inhalers was making no difference. I'm still exhausted all the time and getting breathless every time I do anything. Even walking to the kitchen or toilet leaves me panting for breath. So the same day I went to get some X-Rays done in case there is maybe fluid on the lungs or something. It'll be about two weeks until the results come back, maybe longer. On Tuesday 19th I went for blood tests. The results of those are back already. I've been on medication for an underactive thyroid for a few years, (a family thing!) and the tests show that my thyroid is really misbehaving and I need to up the medication. The doctor thinks this might be causing the problem and I hope that is the answer. I'm less worried about the X-Rays now and if they are clear and the added medication works, it should be problem solved soon. *cheers*

My dad and I have been working hard to get the kitchen deep cleaned, tidied and restructured which has been a big job that we kept putting off every year. The timing of doing that bad boy couldn't be worse! On the plus side, the kitchen looks clean and as functional as a small kitchen can be! I'm setting up the new toaster and kettle that we got a few months back, along with the recent gadgets I bought-deep fat frier, food processer and ice cream maker. I have real cooking gadgets ready to use! The down side is that it has left me beyond knackered so I've decided after being nagged by my dad, to take a complete break for about a week from the blog just to try and get a rest, maybe get some films watched and MAYBE a couple of books read! (A Storm of Swords is beside my bed as we spreak!)

I've scheduled my regular posts...Chuckles Cover Love, Around The Blogs with Chuckles, Top Ten Tuesday, Can't Wait Wednesday, Game of Thrones Gossip and Chuckles Chat. These will be going up all next week on their usual days, along with some book reviews I've already scheduled. I won't be answering the comments left on them until next Friday or Saturday but I will answer each comment as always. I won't be visiting blogs through next week but I do plan next weekend to visit all your blogs and check out the posts I've missed. So I will be visiting you but just a bit later than usual. I'll be back to business as usual after next weekend hopefully. 

No Weekend Roundup this week I'm afraid but it'll be back next Saturday as normal. Thanks to everyonewho comes by the blog to say hi and those regular commenters who have always been a great support when I'm moaning about stuff! I hope to be back refreshed and ready for Horror month and other nasties!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at to spotlight and discuss books we're excited about but haven't read, which may not even be released yet. 

NB: I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus, or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow them to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account. 

This Week...MONSTERS! 

Those monsters that kept you up at night as a child, the ones that made you pull the covers up to your chin while you stared into the dark corners and saw shadows move. Or pulled the blankets over your head and imagined creatures inching across your bedroom. Well, they’re real.

The Organization, as it’s called, is tasked with keeping the nightmares of myth and legend from invading the public eye. The group must be kept a secret along with the fact that the creatures exist. As civilization expands its boundaries, that undertaking becomes more difficult. A very few are selected to stand on the lines between humankind and the horrors lurking in the dark recesses of the world.

Follow Jack Walker and Red Team as they’re pulled into the shadows to combat creatures that once kept them awake at night.

Ooh, monster hunting teams! I do like the sound of this one! It was released on September 15th so I hope to grab it before the end of the month! Yea!

Chuckles Blog Statistics

I was browsing for fun through my blog and for the first time ever I clicked on blogger stats just to see what it showed and there was some really interesting stuff there. I figured I would share a few things I found out with you.

Which countries bloggers most visit my blog? 
I wasn't surprised to find that this week the US and Canada came top as a lot of my regular blog visitors are North American. Next as expected was the UK. I was delighted to see that Chuckles is actually quite continental with Ukraine, Russia and France featuring next! *waves*

Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States
United Kingdom

Now lets look at the blog stats for the month.
Chuckles Goes International! Welcome Australia and Japan! *waves*

Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States
United Kingdom

And lets look at all blog visitors!
Ok how cool is that! I never knew that Chuckles had reached Brunei! I have some beautiful postcards from there actually. *waves*

Pageviews by Countries

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States
United Kingdom

Do you regularly check out your blog stats? Which ones interest you? Have you looked at your pageviews by countries? Where are most of your followers and viewers from?

Game Of Thrones Gossip #34 The Lannisters

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Gossip, where all of us fanatics get the chance to discuss everything we love about this amazing TV series. I decided to do a whole series of these discussion posts that let us say everything we want and enjoy every second of it! The topics may talk about a death, an event, a character or be season reviews and so on. Please feel free to comment fully and without restriction!

I have to warn you that it is important that you have seen all six seasons before reading any of these posts because these posts and blogger comments will be oozing and exploding spoilers all over the place. If you haven't watched the series and plan to, be warned that it's a bad idea to be here right now! I take no responsibility if you read on and things are spoiled for you.

Now I'm going to look at the main characters introduced in season two, what our season one characters were doing in season two and looking at all the bests bits. Enjoy the season two posts! 

This week I'm taking a look at The Lannisters in season two, with the exception of Tyrion, who will get a post of his own.

Tywin has faced several battle defeats at the hands of Robb Stark and realises that winning this war is not going to be easy and his armies attack in the Riverlands. He sets his base at Harrenhal and arrives in time to save Gendry from being tortured to death, putting him and the other prisoners to work instead. He sees Arya and likes that she was clever enough to travel as a boy, making her his cupbearer. Tywin talks to Arya about his struggles to teach Jaime to read and deduces that she is from the north and pretending to be a peasant. I liked the scenes with the two of them and I wondered if Tywin knew exactly who his prisoner was, and intended to keep her safe from Joffrey after what happened to Ned. Certainly Littlefinger seems to recognise her, during a meeting to discuss an allience between the Lannisters and Tyrells.

Tywin believes that he was the intended target when Amory Lorch is killed By Jaqen H'ghar at Arya's instruction. Tywin believes one of his own men is responsible and orders torture to discover the truth. He views Robb as a greater current threat than Stannis setting sail and leads his men out of Harranhal, allowing Arya to arrange her escape with Gendry and Hot Pie. However we next see Tywin charging into King's Landing with Loras Tyrell and their armies, just in time to defeat Stannis and stop Cersei killing herself and Tommen.

Cersei assumes the role of Queen Regent but in reality, Joffrey is determined to rule his own way and will not let her interfere. The arrival of the letter from Stannis proclaiming her incest with Jaime and her children being bastards means she has something to fight against at home while the War of the Five Kings progresses. When Littlefinger presumes to dig at her about it, she comes close to having him killed just to prove that she still exerts power. She denies the rumours when Joffrey asks, being angry enough to strike him and Joffrey for the first time turns his venom to her and she is aware of what her son has become. Joffrey decides to stop any challenge to the Throne by murdering all of Robert's bastards with only Gendry escaping his wrath. Cersei shows a little warmth to Sansa after the girl's first period, trying to give her advice about taking comfort from her children, not her husband. When Sansa asks if she should not love Joffrey as well, Cersei cynically replies 'you can try'. She knows what Joffrey is like and fully remembers the misery of her marriage to Robert.

She also has conflict with Tyrion as her brother starts to wield power as Hand, replacing one of her loyal subjects Janos Slynt, arresting Pycelle and arranging to send Myrcella to Dorne to marry the son of the Prince. Cersei is devastated at losing her daughter and threatens to get Tyrion back for it. She refuses to assist the Night's Watch with extra men and rejects peace terms with Robb Stark. In fact the only thing that she agrees with Tyrion on is that they must find Arya if there is any hope of a trade to get Jaime back. Lonely without Jaime, she opens her bed to her cousin Lancel and is unaware that he has been forced to spy for Tyrion. She plots to unleash wildfire on Stannis when he arrives but refuses to work with Tyrion on a better plan, leaving Tyrion to sneak behind her back to try and find a way to save the city.

Tyrion makes his own threat to destroy her happiness after she has Ros tortured, mistaking her for Shae. As the battle of the Blackwater rages, Cersei gets drunk, telling the women gathered that if Stannis wins they will all be raped. She tells Sansa that Ilyn Payne is in the room with them to ensure they all die rather than be abused and killed by the attacking army, all of which alarms Sansa. She orders Lancel to bring Joffrey back to safety and attacks him when he challenges her about losing the morale of the troops. When it seems that all is lost, she takes Tommen to the Throne Room and is preparing to poison them both when Tywin arrives to tell her that Stannis is defeated. She happily persuades Joffrey to ditch Sansa and marry Margaery, something she will regret in later seasons.

In this series we see the complete love that Cersei has for her children and she is distraught at Myrcella being sent away from her, as she was sent to Robert who never loved her. Deep down she probably knows that her daughter is safer out of King's Landing but as Tyrion caused the seperation, it is easier for her to hate him for it. She reveals to Sansa that she knows how difficult it will be to marry Joffrey but kindly tells her that the children they have together will be her compensation. Cersei tearfully confides in Tyrion that she cannot control Joffrey and fears that he is her punishment for being with Jaime. In a rare moment of sympathy, Tyrion reminds her that her other children are wonderful. The fact that she comes so close to killing Tommen shows that she would not let her child be tortured by her enemies. At times in the series, I felt real sympathy for Cersei.

Jaime begins season two as the prisoner of Robb Stark, who is determined to take Jaime with him as a prisoner rather than leave him as a castle to be guarded, in case Tywin can bribe or threaten someone to release him. Robbtells Jaime that his secret is out, revealing the letter sent to all the main houses by Stannis to prove he is the heir, not Joffrey. Outwardly he is arrogant and rude to Robb but that soon changes when Grey Wind threatens him. He sees a chance at escape when Alton Lannister, a distant relative and current messenger is put into the same cage. After bonding over their experiences as squires for men they admired, Jaime kills Alton and the guard Torrhen Karstark. The escape attempt is shortlived but places Jaime in mortal danger.

With Robb out of camp it falls to Catelyn to persuade Roickard Karstark not to kill Jaime in revenge for his son's death. As the men grow drunker Brienne tells Catelyn that Jaime will not survive the night, never mind until Robb returns. Catelyn asks Brienne to take Jaime to King's Landing and asks Jaime to ensure that her daughters are freed in return. Jaime agrees to the terms but it is not clear at this stage whether or not he intends to live up to that bargain. He decides to entertain himself by goading Brienne about her looks and sex life but is impressed when he sees her fighting and killing Stark men who recognise Jaime . He asks why she killed them and she tells him that she serves Catelyn, not Robb.

Jaime continues to be obnoxious in this series, coldly telling his captors that he was trying to kill Bran when he threw him out of the window. His barbs at Catelyn and Robb make him the prisoner from hell and his escape attempts caused real friction between the Starks and Karstarks which will have far reaching consequences. He is truly despicable to Brienne about her looks and tries his best to make her life a misery on the journey. We do see one chink in his armour when he is talking to Catelyn. He says that he has only ever been with Cersei and never cheated on her unlike the man of honour Ned Stark. We of course know the truth of that but Jaime didn't at that stage. He says that all the vows he took conflicted with each other when he served The Mad King. Obeying the King and protecting the weak never went hand in hand so he has a point. I think we realise in his captivity that he is trying very hard to be evil and live up to an image but is that really him?

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Chuckles Chat #35 Genres We Won't Read And Why

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

NB: I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus, or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow them to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account.  

Last week I looked at the genres we love and why we love them so lets look now at the popular genres that just don't interest us and why we feel that way. This is about our own opinion and not saying we are right and those who read them are wrong!

Tastes change through time. It seems weird to me that I loved reading crime and romance as a kid but don't go near them now. Phases I had years back have come and gone and I mostly read in my favourite genres unless something really catches my eye. 

1) Romance
I try to avoid romance elements where possible as I feel that too many books put in an unconvincing romance which overpowers the actual story you wanted to read. If a romance is done well like the slow burner of Mercy and Adam by Patricia Briggs or the fun romance of Cat and Bones by Jeaniene Frost then I do sometimes like it. But show me insta-luv or have a good thriller plot overshadowed by dumb love triangles and I'm out of there! Love triangles are a deal breaker and I won't even pick up the books if I see it in the blurb. I never read gay romances either as it just doesn't interest me. I rarely comment on romance reviews or posts.

2) Erotica/Sex filled books
I avoid this like the plague as sex scenes pretty much bore me and I skip past them. I never read paranormal romance as there is too much sex and not enough plot for my tastes. I'll also avoid urban fantasy where the blurb mentions soulmates and hot men. I'd rather have an action packed plot than love angst all through it.

3) Crime
I'm not a fan of books that just investigate a crime even in the horror/UF genre. The endless questioning of multiple witnesses bores me. I've tried lots of crime authors and just been unable to get into them as I find them too slow for me and too repetitive. The exceptions were James Patterson's Alex Cross (though I've quit reading them now) and Jeffrey Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme which was just different from the rest of the genre.

4) Contemporary
I guess I don't really enjoy reading about people's live without an apocalypse or zombie or something in it! A lot of the books are slow and it is rare for me to see a blurb in the genre that grabs me. I guess I want to go into new worlds away from the humdrum of normal life, coming of age, illness and death, so I guess contemporary will never suit me. If I do see a blurb I like I might try the odd one.

5) Young Adult
I used to read paranormal and dystopian YA and did find some good books but then everything I picked up became a copy of Twilight with mysterious hot boys, love triangles, soulmates and so on. The tropes were so bad that it put me right off the whole genre. Now I only read the very odd one that doesn't sound full of cliches and tropes!

6) Epic Fantasy
Despite reading LOTR, I've never been into the elves and goblins like stuff so I never read a lot of that kind of fantasy. However I'm such a huge fan of Game of Thrones that I think I would like to try at least a few more fantasy books if I could find something similar. I'd be looking for modern writing without waffle or too much description, complex characters, limited romance, action and humour, not too slow to get into, with twists and shocks! If you have a rec let me know!

7) Sci-fi
I don't read much sci-fi at all except some falling more into dystopia! I never read space settings other than maybe going to planets and getting attacked by dinosaurs or sasquatches! I know there will be a lot of books out there to appeal to me but I've no time to look for the ones that might appeal. It's weird because I love sci-fi tv and films.

8) Steampunk
I just don't enjoy this genre at all especially the Victorian setting with girls and their society manners. I do find some of the inventions interesting though.

9) Graphic Novels/Manga/Comics/

I'm not a fan of Manga or comics...I just don't read them, never have. I prefer a so called 'proper' novel to a graphic novel and they are also expensive to buy.

10) Audiobook
I'd like to have audiobook cd of all my favourite reads but they are just too expensive for my budget! I only have the Harry Potter books by Stephen Fry and the first two Game of Thrones as they were on sale. I would read more if the price was cheaper.

11) Chicklit/Woman's fiction 
The books just don't really appeal to me.

12) Western
Whether it is a cowboy book or an apocalypse with a western feel, I'm not into these books. I never watch western films either.

13) Kids
I don't read books aimed at younger kids. There are too many other books in my favourite genres to read kids books other than the odd Berenstain Bears book!

What genres do you never or rarely go to? What is it about them that you don't like?  

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!   

NB: I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus, or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow them to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account.  

This week the topic is Top Ten Books on My Autumn TBR. My next two months of reading are going to be Apocalypse month in September (and November) plus Horror month in October so they are going to be my focus for autumn reads. Here are the books and authors  I really want to get to! NB I may already have read and reviewed a few of these as I wrote this list at the end of August!

1) Mike Kraus 
Having enjoyed his horror thriller Prip'Yat, I want to try his apocalypse series-Final Dawn, Final Dawn Arkhangelsk series, Surviving the Fall, and No Sanctuary. They all sound great and I'm excited to try them. I'll hopefully be trying them through September. Hopefully No Sanctuary will come down in price as I'm not paying over £3 for a 115p book!

2) Richard Laymon
Time for me to catch up with the few left that I haven't read yet! I've had these on my shelves for years and I'm not sure why I've waited this long to read them. I know I'm going to have some fun completing my Laymon collection.

3) Jon Athan 
I recently discovered this author existed and I love the sound of strange hitchhikers and cannibals in the woods! Creepy looking cover and it looks like a one night read in length so I look forward to curling up in my bed to read this one! I also have Camp Blaze by the same author that I might try to fit in.

4) Robert Boren 
I loved his Bug Out! series which followed retired RV users saving the US from terrorists so I can't wait to get started on the two spin off series, one in Texas, one in California and The Plan, a prequel to the whole war! I've been saving them up for an apocalypse blitz and this seems like the ideal time to read them!

5) Johnathan Davis-900 Miles 
This seems be a two part series at the moment so it would be easy to catch up with them and get some zombies into the mix! This journey from hell plot is exactly the kind of thing that I love to read and the covers are great too!

6) Matthew D Mark 
This is a two part series where I read and loved the first book so I definitely plan to get this second book read in September. I'm really looking forward to what comes next in this apocalypse tale.

7) Jack Kilborn 
I've loved the first two books I've read-Afraid and Trapped so I'm certainly going to read Endurance in October. I'm hoping to fit in a couple more if all goes well. I have a few others to read before the characters from each book all come together in Haunted House which sounds great! 

8) Eli Constant-Dead Trees 2 
The beasties are back! I loved the first horror tale of the beasties hunting the living and the way they developed new skills through the book so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next! There is also another series by the author called Z Children that I want to try!

9) Keith RA DeCandido-Resident Evil Extinction 
This author wrote great novels based on the first two films and returns to do this so I have high hopes of this being a good one too. He stays true to the film but adds depth to the story and characters.

10) Hunter Shea 
Another recent horror find, I enjoyed Swamp Monster Massacre, They Rise and Just Add Water. Not as keen on the Loch Ness Revenge one though. I still have a few to read and will definitely squeeze in a few in October!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Sky Is Falling September Update

Well, perhaps not literally! Anyone who spends time at my blog knows how much I love apocalypse and prepper fiction...and that is the theme for this month! EMPs, solar flares, zombies, flu pandemic, mutated monsters, terrorist attacks, natural disasters...I'm all over that stuff and I'll be reading lots of it this month! I'm selecting a pile of reads in different categories like series catchups (Franklin Horton, Matthew D Mark, JD McKenna), and new-to-me authors that have been on my shelf for a while. I expect to DNF a few as this genre can have some bad books so if that happens I might squeeze in a few more! Anyone else doing some apocalypse stuff?

Health issues are preventing me reading at the moment so I'm not having a great month I'm afraid. I read the first five parts of Surviving the Fall, and I'll wait for the complete omnibus to buy in paperback. I've bought the complete omnibus editions of Final Dawn and Archangel so I'll read them later. I'm disappointed because I really looked forward to apocalypse month and I've only got 11 done which includes 6 short stories and a DNF! Ugh. Need to fit a few more in before the month ends.

1) JD McKenna-The Dead Familiar (reread)
2) JD McKenna-Winterhaven #2 (read)
3) JD McKenna-Fractioned People #3
4) Robert Boren-The Plan
5) Nicholas Erik-Paradise
6) Bob Howard-Alive For Now
7) Kody Boye-First Light
8) KW Callahan-Downfall (read)
9) WR Benton-Premonition of Death
10) EE Isherwood-Officer Down (read)
11) Wilson Harp-EMP (read)
12) CT Horner-Bug Out
13) Ralph V Gregorio-Live Free or Die Fighting
14) Ben Reeder-Exodus
15) Ben Reeder-Inferno
16) Ben Reeder-Odyssey
17) Nevil Shute-On The Beach (DNF)
18) Mike Kraus-Final Dawn
19) Mike Kraus-Archangel Rising
20) Mike Kraus-Surviving the Fall 1-5 (read)
21) Franklin Horton-Ashes of the Unspeakable #2
22) Franklin Horton-Legion of Despair #3
23) Franklin Horton-No Time for Mourning #4
24) Franklin Horton-Valley of Vengeance #5
25) Matthew D Mark-Dark Days Troubled Times 
26) Murray McDonald-Trial

Around The Blogs With Chuckles

We all enjoy snooping and lurking on other people's blogs right? Why not share those entertaining things you found with other readers and bloggers too! Welcome to Around the Blogs with Chuckles, where I take time out to show you some of my favourite blog posts from the previous seven days and link you up so you can check them out.

This Week!

1) Book Review: Black Bird Of The Gallows by Meg Kassel 
Barb takes a look at a darker YA tale. 

2) Book Review: A Bargain In Silver by Josie Jaffrey
Kristen takes a look at controlling love interests, love triangles and vampires. 

3) Preparedness Week Two
Preparedness month continues with part two of surviving a disaster. 

4) When Should You Keep Your Opinion To Yourself?
AJ ponders when bloggers should keep their opinion to themselves. 

5) How To Prep For Sheltering In Place
Ready Nutrition tells you how to prepare for staying home if you can't evacuate. 

6) Book Review: The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn
Bark is not impressed! 

7) Book Review: The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford
Mogsy looks at some paranormal horror. 

The Great British Bake Off Book Tag

This tag was created by Zaheerah and I saw the tag at

Link back to Zaheerah's post
Tag people or don't tag
Ready, Get Set, TAG!

1) Amateur Baker: A book that is self published
Jeez, a lot of what I read is self published so I'll have to pick a few favourites! These are favourite authors within that genre of indie/self published. Darrell Maloney write brilliant apocalypse books about characters you care about, Nicholas Sansbury Smith writes a horror tale of deadly infectious mutated humans and Michael Stephen Fuchs co-wrote with Glynn James the best zombie series I've ever read.

2) Soggy Bottom: A book that had a great start but a disappointing ending
I was loving this Stephen King one but it went all weird at the end.

3) #Bingate: A book you grew frustrated with and had to DNF
Do you know how many I DNF in a year??? 

4) Junior Bake Off: A children's book 
This was my favourite childhood book and I still have that original copy!

5) A Hollywood Handshake: A book that impressed you
I was surprised to love these books as much as I did.

6) Signature Challenge: A book that you would recommend to your friends and family
These are books I recommended to my dad and he loved them. James R Tuck's brilliant Deacon Chalk urban fantasy series, Hunter Shea's monster books and Richard Laymon horror!

7) Technical Challenge: Books that you read without knowing much beforehand. Rank them from worst to best
I grabbed these six books because they contained paranormal creatures I like-shifters and vampires! I very much enjoyed them all.

8) Showstopper Challenge: A book/series that is your all time favourite
OK, here are three that deserve a big mention! These would be my desert island book and series as I could never get bored reading them.

9) The Finalists: A favourite trilogy
You can't just pick one! Here are three that I loved. The Hunger Games was the best YA series I've read. Plague of the Dead was my introduction to fast paced zombiefests and I love it. The Testing was similar to the Hunger Games-I've only read book one but I loved it!

10) An Extra Slice: A favourite companion book 
The World of Ice and Fire. This history of Westeros is gorgeous with all the graphics and stories about dragons and rebellions!