Friday 23 December 2022

Reindeer Readathon - Update The Second

This might be one of my last posts of 2022 as going to go on a short book blogger break and binge read without worrying about blogging my thoughts/reaction for a while. 

But I wanted to touch base with you all to explain what I have audiobooked/read since I last blog. So, I read two ebooks and DNFed an audiobook. (The DNF doesn't count, but I gave it good shot. 50%). 

So, the first ebook - ok, let's say short novella so I don't feel like I cheated (it's a short story. At least, I would consider it a short story, but I want the points) fits under the prompt Rudolph, which is a start a new series. Now, I have seven I could go towards, but what I read was A Loch of Grace and Greed by A.P. Beswick. A prequel short story/novella, this dark fantasy (tempted to say grimdark, but we shall see with the series) is inspired by Loch Ness and (maybe) the Lady of the Lake (with the first instalment a dark reimagining of Robin Hood so, I'm in!), and I flew through this. I needed something I could read quick and enjoyed self with. Plus, it gave me a taste for the world and the writing, and I am intrigued... 

The audiobook I DNFed was The Cat Who Caught A Killer by L.T. Shearer. I thought that this might fit Rudolph or Cupid (a book with a favourite troupe in - talking cats), but I got halfway through and, while I liked the start, I found it repetitive and I began to lose interest with it. There wasn't anything wrong with the book, but it wasn't hitting that sweet spot of cosy crime. But I will try this author again.

The book I did read for the prompt Dasher (Finish a series or a book you picked up but put down. If neither are an option, a short story/novella). And I've just realised I could have used A Loch of Grace and Greed on this. Instead, I finished (or, at least, am up-to-date) A Cast of Falcons by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett. This is the second book in the Nell Ward Mysteries (Oh, I got an eProof of this from the UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review - but when have I ever lied to you, dear reader?). Now, I was surprised how much I liked the first instalment so, of course, I wanted to read the second instalment. 

While I did like it, I didn't warm to the story as a whole, if I am being completely honest with self. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because it took me nearly the whole month to read it. I did enjoy this - mainly because of the characters and I did like the mystery, up to a point. But something kept holding me back and I can't figure out what it was. 

But I do love a good murder mystery this time of year so, of course, I have very high expectations. I going to change reading tack and read some Christmas queer romances and then going hard with murder mysteries (mainly collections of spooky short stories... Can't wait!)

Saturday 10 December 2022

Reindeer Readathon - Update The First

I haven't done reviews for my Reindeer Readathon on here (or the one that I finished a few days into December, but I didn't think it would be fair to include that into this readathon as I audiobooked a good chunk of it in November). 

I have reviewed that on Goodreads, so you can go there and have a look, but am telling myself that it's ok to not review EVERYTHING I read/audiobook on here. But I like doing little write-ups on Goodreads and I do link them in my Review Listings tab so you can go snooping there (though I must state that I have been running this as a book blog since 2010 so be warned. Maybe I should do another tab to show reviews in Year Order. Thoughts?)

So, let me give you an update of where I am at this present moment of time in this readathon:

I have audiobooked two prompts: Donner and Vixen. Donner's prompt is "A Book You Want To Read But You Are Not A Fan Of The Cover" and Vixen's "A Book You Want To Read But Think It Might Be Overhyped"

Now, I had very different books in mind for both these prompts (For Vixen, I was going towards The House In The Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klume [an author I know am going to love, but everyone RAVES about this book and that worries me] or Scythe by Neal Shusterman (again, a book I think I am going to devour!). For Donner, there are a few on my TBR that I could lean towards...

But instead, I audiobooked two novellas. For Vixen, I audiobooked Killing The Dead by Marcus Sedgwick. This was a World Book Day novella and the "fifth" story in connection to his previous novel, The Ghosts of Heaven (I haven't read this and in two minds if I will... it doesn't grab me compared to his other novels which I'm going to try and read next year). The audiobook is only 2 hours long and yet, I listened to it in one sitting - I DEVOURED this and I loved it. I now "get" the cover, but I am still not a fan of it. 

For Donner, I audiobooked The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. It's, also, read by the author with music by Max Richter and Isobel Waller-Bridge. This was everywhere during the Covid Lockdowns in the UK, and it's turned into a Chritmas feature for BBC One's Christmas Day viewing. It's surprisingly a very gentle, calming read. A bit philosophic at times and that might rub some readers up the wrong way, but I got why the hype was there and I really liked it. 

Oh, and the book I read that I said doesn't count as a Reindeer Readathon read? A Taste of Poison by Neil Bradbury. A fascinating insight into poisons, but after a while, I felt it got bogged down with the science rather than the crime where the poisons were used. Plus, the crimes used were very USA and UK based, and I was hoping for more global used of crimes. 

So, that's where I am at the moment. I am a slow reader so will update when I have a few more reads under my belt. 

Monday 5 December 2022

I Am not Raymond Wallace Extract

I have an extract for you guys! It's a little grown up, but I think you will like it!

I Am not Raymond Wallace by Samuel Kenyon (Inkandescent) follows Raymond Wallace in Manhattan, 1963, a few weeks before the shocking events of President Kennedy's assassination. Raymond joins the New York Times newsroom on a three month bursary from Cambridge University. But it's not easy because, soon, he finds out that his boss is being blackmail by his estranged wife and he finds himself getting involved in the straight-laced Dotty's assignment about the "explosion of overt homosexuality" in the city. 

While on an undercover assignment, Raymond discovers a world where he feels like he can be himself and stop pretending to be someone else. This is where he meets Joey. But both men are in a time where the choice facing them is conformity or courage, and Reymond's decision will have far reaching consequences for decades to come until, in 2003 Paris, Joey meets a young man named Joe whose life is deeply connected to Raymond's... 

I am thrilled to be involved in this online blog tour and I am honoured that Justin from Inkandescent asked if I wanted to be involved and share an extract. It's a tiny extract from Chapter Six where Raymond meets Joey for the first time. 

Now, before I share the extract with you, I want to thank Justin for asking me to be involved and if you want to say hi to Sam, you can via his website - - or popping him a quick tweet (although the way Twitter is going the past few weeks, tweet while you can) at @ogleforth. If you want more info about I Am not Raymond Wallace, you can check out Inkandescent's website -


Thursday 1 December 2022

December 2022's Reading Plan

HAPPY DECEMBER TO YOU ALL! We are so close to Christmas and I am panicking. Of course I am! But I wanted to chat about my reading plans for the last month of 2022 and what my blogging is going to be like because this is going to be an odd month so brace yourselves. 

I have signed up to do Reindeer Readathon. I did this a few years back (2020?) and I wanted to do this again. I didn't last year due to work/anxiety/reading slump. You know, the normal reasons. But this year, I feel in a mildly ok headspace to attempt this. I am on Team Candy Cane (I feel like I should apologise now as I will be taking December reading quite easy so am not going to go too hard) and, as you guessed, all the prompts are linked to Santa's reindeer! 

Finish a series or pick up a book that you started and put down. If neither of these are options, a short story/novella. 
A book with a cursive/flowy/elegant font on the cover. 
A book with your favorite season on the cover or the book cover has colors from your favorite season on it. 
A book you want to read but think it might be overhyped. 
A book with an astronomical word in the title (sun, moon, star, sky etc.) 
A book with a favorite trope in it. 
A book that you want to read but are not a fan of the cover. 
Use a random number generator to find a number between 0 and 9 and find a book that ends in that page number. 
Start a new series.

Christmas Star (25 pts): A book over 500 pages. 
Christmas Lights (15pts): An ebook. 
Christmas Carols (20pts): An audiobook.
Sleighing It (50 pts): 
If you have completed all of your prompts and the Christmas Star, Christmas Lights and Christmas Carols bonus prompts, you can redo one prompt of your choice for extra points.

Like I said, this is going to be easy month for my reading and it's going to be the same with my blogging. I will be taking an Christmas/New Year break. Not sure when I will take it, but I want my reading for the next few weeks to be fun, merry and bright!