#SpooktasticReads | a mini-event of #WyrdAndWonder named after an event Jorie conceived in [2017] but wished to expound upon her idea to reach a wider audience who could re-interpret the event for themselves with a #wyrdandwonder twist!

Posted Monday, 22 October, 2018 by jorielov , 2 Comments

#SpooktasticReads banner created by Imyril (@imyril) Photo Credit: Unsplash Photographer Mark Tegethoff. (Creative Commons Zero) Used with permission.

Last Autumn, you might remember I conceived of this idea to re-start my readings into the spooktacular worlds of chilling Thrillers, Suspense, Mysteries and the Paranormal (with just a dash of love for Cosy Horror!) – wherein I conceived of spending a fortnight reading such lovelies and enjoying a personal readathon leading into Halloween! I fell a bit short of my goals last year, though I took it as a success – as not only did I read some rather spookified tales which I’ll be re-promoting these last days of October but I found myself wholly intrigued by the stories I was selecting to read!

This year, I helped name our first mini-event for #WyrdAndWonder – wherein I was hoping to let this small idea I had last year take flight, reach a bigger audience and find readers who might find their own definition of #SpooktasticReads befitting their own readerly life! I was originally going to only slate myself to read two Dark Fantasy selections for our event this October, but then, I re-read over my post from last year and realised all the chilling stories I was reading for different events in the book blogosphere this year aptly cross-apply to the essence of what we’re reading for #SpooktasticReads as a Fantasy loving reading group! Some of the stories of course play the theme up quite a bit for the spookier side of the genres, some of which may or may not directly (or indirectly) relate to Fantasy per se but this is one of those readathons which is open to both interpretation and the joy of having free reign to enjoy the readathon in a way each reader wants to approach it!

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A Spooktastic reading binge for Psychological Suspense & Gothic Tales!

Autumn for me is a time in the year where I simply like to read a curated collection of stories which fall under different categories of mutual interest: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic or Paranormally inclined and Cosy Horror.

This year [2018] as I co-host my own mini-event celebrating the 13 days leading into Halloween with #SpooktasticReads, I am also happily reading a Cosy Mystery about a witch for my first ever #CozyMysteryBookClub selection via audiobook whilst finding the joy of participating in both #SCAREtober and #HorrorOctober as those reading (and blogging!) challenges compliment my readings for #SpooktasticReads whilst the few stories I have slated for #Victober also work well with the context of what I’m focusing on this year! I decided to ‘let go’ of the idea of reading individual stories for each theme of challenge and get into the randomness of finding the stories which not just cross-relate but I can talk to the readers of all the challenges who are seeking the same stories I am!

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If other book bloggers or readers want to join us, please link to your blog, Twitter, Riffle List, LibraryThing List or other ‘space’ online where you are updating about what your reading – such as Instagram or Vlog (YouTube) in the Comments section below!

Use the tag: #SpooktasticReads & link back to this post – as I will happily be sharing what your doing for this lovely #WyrdAndWonder mini-event! Plus, I love hearing what others are reading in case something they discover would be a good fit for me as well!

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I’ve never quite been able to complete the squares or even a row or column on this lovely BINGO card Stormy @ Book Blog Bake created a handful of Autumnal moons ago to celebrate #HorrorOctober – I am hoping perhaps this year might be my YEAR?

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Horror October Bingo Card created by Stormy @ Book.Blog.Bake found via Oh! the Books via #OTBHorrorOctober

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Squares I’m hoping to ‘knock’ off the card this year:

IF you see a title before the square is crossed off it is because
I am projecting that particular story will count for the square its marked against!

  • A book which takes place in the woods Shifty
  • A book with super powers
  • A book with siblings
  • A book with Gothic elements
  • A book that’s a thriller Fatal Mistake
  • A Horror book on your TBR Dracula
  • A book that takes place in a small town
  • A book about witches A Portion to Die For
  • A book with a female MC
  • A book with a murder premise Murder on the Marshes
  • A book that scares you
  • A book with a (blueish) grey cover
  • A book that defies genre
  • A debut Horror book

We shall see how well I do, eh?

IF you want to use this Bingo Card, please contact @stormydawnc direct. She gave this out a few years ago for bloggers who wanted to have a card to use as they read stories of Horror and/or Psychological Suspense. I’ve been trying to read my way through the card ever since!

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The following stories were the ones I was attempting to read last year and fell a bit short towards my goal of getting into their pages. I have felt re-inspired this October to resume where I left off and finally discover what has been awaiting my eyes and readerly heart within the stories of this list. I decided to keep my thoughts about why I wanted to read these stories speak for what has implored me back inside them as first revealled last Autumn.

There are a few stories left-over from last year I am choosing to read for #Victober – despite getting a late start this October as I had two migraines and an eye injury – the latter of which delayed me the longest as I struggled to heal and be able to see either the printed text of a novel or to see the screen in order to either blog or listen to an audiobook. It made for a unique start during my favourite month which kicks-off Autumn and the holiday season(s).

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Jane Eyre | talk about the one story I have been most vexed to finish reading ever since I first stepped into the reading challenge of #SeptembEyre all those years ago! I have picked up this story off/on ever since – soaking into a handful of chapters each ‘new’ visit. Here is a snippet of my last reading:

Rochester is too quick in his renunciations on behalf of Jane’s independence and personal process of original thought; he only sees her as she appears, peppered a bit through short conversation but without the balsam of seeing her as she has yet to reveal herself with anyone other than her own soul’s mirror. Judiciously he feels in the right with his assessment of Jane, but Eyre has her own convincing confidence about her I believe will disconcert a bit of his pre-judgments whilst having to re-align how he perceives those of whom he become acquainted.

Jane is her worst critic, taking to heart the felicity of her own mind (where she might consider herself to fancy Rochester or rather, he might take a keen liking of her) prompting her to self-criticise herself in such a harsh way as to marginalise her own beauty for that of another; someone she felt would be of better benefit to marry Rochester than she herself. It is a pursuit of self-sabotage to feel so harshly towards one’s own merits of goodness and try to talk oneself out of being of equal worth – however, true to the nature of Jane, this self-reproachment is natural for her to do, given her upbringing.

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The Visitors | when I first received this for review, I struggled to get settled into the heart of the story and even last year, when I re-attempted to read it yet again, I found myself wandering outside the pages of the novel. I think it is because this is quite the spooky read to settle into and perhaps my heart/mind were not in balance with each other to take the journey inward to see where the story and characters would take me. I am still questioning if I can get through the book and after this year, if I still cannot read it, I will simply talk about what prevented me from enjoying it as much as I hoped I would have when I first received it. I marked myself to read this during #Victober.

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All Hallows Eve at Eyre Hall | An after canon sequel based on ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ respectively – this is a trilogy I’ve been waiting to read for quite a long time now! Whenever I grew closer to finishing ‘Jane Eyre’ and attempting to read the other novel it held roots of inspiration – I found myself unable to attach my heart and mind to the story-lines. I have found ‘Jane Eyre’ to be a story I need to be in a certain mindset to read – which I would think might ring true of most Classical works of Lit. However, due to my unease in proceeding to read this particular after canon without reading the former stories, it has such been awaiting my eyes to finish the origin stories! This year, I am most determined to read *four!* Eyre stories and finally feel as though I have transitioned past what blocked me from finishing them! Likewise, Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall continues from whence this one leaves off!

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The following stories are still leftover from [2017] but they are not strictly focused on #Victober and they run the full gambit of genres I outlined I love to be reading this time of the year!

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As Death Draws Near | Oh, dear my! The fifth Lady Darby novel – the novel I didn’t have the heart to read when it first arrived by Post and over the past twelvemonth of thought of little else – except for the itch to devour this novel! I simply couldn’t attach my focus on reading it til now. Reading this past year has had it’s fair share of ups and downs for me – I’ve tried to read as much as I could, but for the most part, I found myself ‘drifting’ out of focus with the stories I was attempting to read. The ones I managed to read and blog about are the ones which held me centred and glued into their narratives. After my September hiatus – I’ve felt re-inspired and have better clarity now to continue from whence I’ve left off – not just with Lady Darby but with all the stories residing on my shelf!

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Paranormal Texas (see also Review) | One of two works of Non-Fiction by an author I first crossed paths with in the twitterverse chat #StoryDam. It’s a place where writers can come to interact in a light-hearted convo on a weekly basis. I used to claim this as one of my favourite hang-outs on Twitter. Until, I reached the point in the frequency of my migraines (a few years ago) chatting with such regularity (as I would be involved in at least five to six chats a week!) was going against my best interests. I pulled back and finally had to withdraw from chatting altogether except for #ChocLitSaturday. These two lovely books talk about the blissfully ‘unexpected’ portions of Texas you might not be as daring to visit IRL as you might be courageous to in book form! I will be reading this in parallel with Unexpected Texas!

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The Shadows of the Past series by Christina Courtenay | I first started reading this series when I received ‘The Silent Touch of Shadows’. Last year, I was able to read ‘The Secret Kiss of Darkness’ (see also Review) whilst this year I will be listening to the audiobook of ‘The Soft Whispers of Dreams’ and reading the print edition of ‘The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight’. I love how she slips you so easily through time – anchouring her setting in the present to a viable part of the historic past and fittingly gives you such a well-rounded read, you nearly forget which ‘century’ you entered the story because both halves have been expertly conceived and executed! I truly love ducking into her narratives – these two are going to be such a delight to finally read during my #ChocLitWeek this month! Read what I loved most within the pages of ‘The Silent Touch of Shadows’:

I can assure you dear hearts, you get so attached to the 15th Century, between walking the vast estate and being caught up in the particulars of that century’s sociopolitical drama that by the time you ‘pull yourself’ forward back into the Manor to see how the research Melissa is doing into the ancestral records for her family & Jake’s family lineage, you nearly do not know which era you’d prefer to stay in a bit longer! I especially loved one scene where Melissa is being given the access to an ancient copy of the original will penned on behalf of Sibell; as she starts to read the words in Latin, her mind takes her physically back to Sibell’s time. She can sense and feel everything happening to Sibell at the time the will is being written. The visceral imagery and sensory connectedness was conveyed in such a convincing way that you could ascertain exactly what was happening in that ‘one single second’ of Sibell’s young life.

The heart of the story is etched inside the beguiling truths which separated lost loves through such a violent ending of their lives. In some ways, parts of Sibell & Roger’s story reminded me of Romeo & Juliet, fated in such a way as to not find happiness within their own lifetime; at least not one that would be forever lasting. An element of the backdrop is quite close to my own heart, is the pursuit of genealogical research! I loved watching Melissa find the tethering ties out of the records of the archivists and how the pursuit of research truly started to reveal much more than she could ever have hoped to find! The manner in which Sibell and Roger insert themselves into her reality is a bittersweet haunting any reader of psychological suspense will enjoy! Especially considering the way in which things end and resolve!

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Shifty (see also Review) | I first had a sampling of this world when I read the anthology ‘Gifts of the Magi’ earlier this year. At the time, the author offered me to receive this anthology of stories set within the same world I was already reading as a way to re-step back into her portal of stories I had developed a fondness for reading. If things had been different back then, I would have immediately read ‘Shifty’ soon after I put down Magi. It is hard to imagine how ten months later, it still feels like only ‘yesterday’ I had read my first story by this author! I cannot even tell you how gratifying it will be to resume where I left off! Here is the main takeaway I had at the start of the year:

What was quite stirring about this short, is how wicked interesting the world was where Ms Allen set her tale! To have food magically appearing in cookpots and having a hen produce eggs which whip up the delights of your foodie senses upon cracking them? Or rather, upon first crack of an egg – what you truly need might not even be food? It could be something dearly necessary (i.e. clothes) by which somehow your thoughts of willing an object or item to be ‘hatched’ is stirred inside the egg and thus, the egg produces what is needed. Who wouldn’t want to live there!? It would be a foodie’s dream or a baker’s delight – imagine if you could cull the magic to help you bake everything ‘right’ the first time you attempted a new recipe!? How fetching the aromas would be in that kitchen! Not to even mention how all the rudimentary necessary items would no longer be a worry because you’d always have exactly what you need!? I am sure there is more to this kind of magic, but on the onset of learning about it, how lovely it would be to know by cracking an egg, at least one immediate worry is dissolved?

There are two rather eccentric characters at the heart of this story – an elder man of unknown years and his equally elder grandmother; she is a bit more interesting because she’s attending the scene peripherally rather than centre-focused. You gather this man wouldn’t be housed in this particular part of his realm if circumstances hadn’t exiled him. From his grandmother, you sense he should be thankful for what he has now and not bitter about what he has lost in the past. They have an interesting duality to them.

The beauty of the tale is one of finding the moral ground to walk in a life of duty and honour, where the fine line between what is right or wrong might not be as clearly visible. It’s a good story to read at the holidays because of the truthfulness in being humble and forgiving; to err your wrongs and to find ways to affect other people’s lives for the good. You get so caught up in this short piece of literature, the ending comes far too soon!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comThe Dream Keeper’s Daughter |  This was a hand-picked selection by a publicist who loves reading my blog and has such an affirmed understanding of the stories I read, she was quite brilliant in accessing this particular story would hold my interest! I only started to read the opening chapter before I had to await a period of time with less lightning storms – this goes back to how ill-fated August was to my reading life! This novel along with ‘Betrayal at Iga’ were stories I wanted to discuss with the Lampshade Reader who was able to finish them ahead of me, too! It’s a wholly unique novel and one I felt fit the ‘style’ of stories I wanted to be reading this October.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comBeyond | This Young Adult novel has it’s own niche – not quite a ghost story, not quite outside the ‘ghost story’ variant of the Gothic and Paranormal genre either. It has a special appeal about it because it’s dealing with hard topics and explores the ethereal veils between Heaven & Earth whilst delving into personal beliefs about the concept of what happens ‘after death’ or the state of being ‘in-between’ life and death. I was personally invested in the story simply due to the synopsis and I cannot wait to finally see the journey these characters are going to take me on!

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This list are the stories I’ve added this year to read alongside the ones I selected from last year – including the two purchase requests I made at my library for two selections of #DarkFantasy which I felt worked well with combining the essence of #SpooktasticReads with a decidedly #WyrdANdWonder flair of JOY.

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Fatal Mistake (see also Review) & Kill Shot | These are INSPY Suspense novels by Susan Sleeman – when I first requested them for review, I thought they were closer in style to the INSPY Suspense authors I have read previously such as Dee Henderson and Deeanne Gist – instead, what I found whilst reading the chilling first installment of this series during #SpooktasticReads is they are a step-up in caliber and chillingly felt outside my zone of comfort for what I would consider a Thrilling read! Sleeman writes heart-pounding fiction and she kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time I read ‘Fatal Mistake’ – however, there were aspects of the story itself I didn’t discuss which were difficult to process and work through due the overall premise. I was was honestly thankful to have ‘survived’ reading the story! I wasn’t sure what to expect in the sequel and hoped I could brace myself for another jarring read before Halloween! It should be noted I began ‘Fatal Mistake’ during #FraterfestRAT but concluded it during #SpooktasticReads.

A Reckoning in the Backcountry | is the latest installment of #SamuelCraddock and I have been postponing reading this one since the Spring months where I read a handful of the series slightly out of order as I was attempting to get a feel for Samuel Craddock as a character whilst understanding the continuity of the series. The main reason I held off reading this one was due to my health issues first and foremost – as I wanted to be in the right frame of mind to read this one but also, because there was a secondary focus I wasn’t sure I was ready to process and handle. I am hoping as I read it this October I can finally see if my anxieties were well placed or if my worries were unnecessary.

See Also Proof | I have been so very eager to dive back into this novel I can’t even properly explain my happiness in being able to read it now!! I have a fierce passion and appreciation for the #MarjorieTrumaine Mysteries – as this series simply stole my bookish heart with the first novel ‘See Also Murder’!! Each new story Mr Sweazy conceives leaves me feeling full of emotion, grateful for spending more time with Mrs Trumaine and happily celebrating the continuity he maintains in this dramatic crime drama!

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A Nest of Vipers | this is an audiobook narrated by Jake Urry and definitely qualifies for both the Fantasy love we celebrate during #WyrdAndWonder whilst fits within the context of #SpooktasticReads as this is a Historical Fantasy Suspense novel which brokers more into the realms of Thriller at times as you simply do not know who is causing the strife for these characters you’ve come to know! The first installment was rather chillingly exciting to listen to and this one is owning up to being equally delightful as a sequel!

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The Tesla Gate | the second audiobook narrated by Jake Urry I am listening to during #SpooktasticReads as there is a question mark about what is honestly happening to the characters within this story – are they ghosts or are they something more spiritually inclined? It wasn’t until I started watching the tv series #Manifest did I start to pull together similarities in premise to ‘The Telsa Gate’ on par with what really is going on and what does that mean for the people involved?

If you want a #SpooktasticReads tv serial option, I highly recommend you start watching Manifest and seeing where your imagination leads you to believe is the real reason behind why the plane disappeared for five and a half years!

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The Butterfly Conspiracy | this was an author I met via Twitter who, like me, hosts a regular Twitter chat – except instead of focusing on Romance & Women’s Fiction she talks about everything to do with Historical Fiction via #HistFicChat!! I love ducking into this chat whenever I am available to attend as I simply adore this niche of literature and travel a heap through the lens of Mystery, Suspense & Thrillers as well. This particular Cosy Mystery was first read during #FraterfestRAT earlier in October but re-read to write down notes and conclude reading during #SpooktasticReads! It has a rather sinister plotting surrounding how someone could accuse an innocent butterfly of deception and murder!

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A Potion to Die For | this was a last minute selection as I stumbled across the #CozyMysteryBookClub via Twitter and decided to take a chance if this audiobook was available through #Scribd as I recently switched my membership to Scribd from Audible. Thankfully it was available and I will be celebrating having heard this story as soon as the book club posts their interactive vlog talking about the components of the story via YouTube which should be on the 24th of October!

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Dracula | a Classical Horror story I was inspired to read after Berni Stevens suggested it as a #nextread after I read her debut #VampireRomance ‘Dance Until Dawn’. My parents surprised me earlier in the year with a beautiful copy of this classical work of literature and I am determined to at least begin if not finish reading this before or by Halloween!


In lieu of Dracula, I finished listening to Murder on the Marshes (see also Review) | as I found out my Mum would love to do a RAL with me as originally I was going to pair up with a fellow book blogger to read Dracula. The blogger decided to shift her focus off Dracula (which I understood) and since I still wanted to read it – I wasn’t sure when to start it – then, Mum said, ‘Why don’t we read it together?’ and thus, I happily started focusing on Murder on the Marshes! Though in truth, I was originally going to post my review for this audiobook on the 17th of October, the day the sequel ‘Death on the River’ was being released into ebook; due to life & other bits coming along I had not foreseen I wasn’t able to share my review until late Saturday night, the 27th of October, the same day I hosted a lovely chat discussing the components of the story & the evolving #TaraThrope series!

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And, the two selections of #DarkFantasy I had the library purchase for me:

#SpooktasticReads banner created in Canva by Jorie. Photo Credit jorielovesastory.com

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Which stories do you like to reside inside during those hours of the year when you want something with a bit of bite to it in your Fiction? Do you find yourself moving into Mysteries, Suspenseful Thrillers, Paranormal & Gothic stylised stories when the weather turns a bit cooler outside and Summer melts closer into Winter? What do you love most about chilling reads and atmospherically appeasing tales which give you a bit of edgy unease? When it comes to #DarkFantasy – which authors excite you!?

Of the list of stories I’m progressing through myself – what interests you?

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Revised w/ links to Reviews: Halloween week

{SOURCES: Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Horror October Bingo Card given to bloggers by Stormy who wanted to have a Bingo Card to read select stories of Horror and/or Psychological Suspense; used with permission. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #SpooktasticReads featuring book photography © jorielovesastory.com and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Monday, 22 October, 2018 by jorielov in Bookish Discussions, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Parapsychological Gifts, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense

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2 responses to “#SpooktasticReads | a mini-event of #WyrdAndWonder named after an event Jorie conceived in [2017] but wished to expound upon her idea to reach a wider audience who could re-interpret the event for themselves with a #wyrdandwonder twist!

  1. I love reading Bingo Cards…but I never succeed with them! I always change my mind. My library has the audiobook of A Potion to DIe For, so I put a hold request in. You talked up on the narrator so much today, I have to check it out for myself!

    • Hallo, Hallo Deanna,

      Goodness!! I’ve fallen dearly behind on replies — for that, I apologise! I know we interact on bookish Twitter, but evenso, I’ve missed writing replies to those who are blessing me with their notes & commentary! I decided to spend New Year’s Eve this year conversing with everyone I could – either on Twitter, on my blog or on their blogs!! It is laying down the next chapter of our bookish lives as we watch the clock draw closer to 2019! I finally feel like I can remain active in visiting with bloggers as that is something I’ve missed for quite a long while now. I wanted to thank you for gracing my blog with your notes this year and for giving me little unexpected joys as you let me know when you were here. I oft wonder who drops by,…

      I love Bingo cards too – but clearly, a few of the reading challenges and marathons I attempted this past year became a few #epicfail moments!! This one included which I felt guilty over as it was one that I helped create and host!! (oy)

      I still haven’t heard “A Poison to Die For” as I don’t have Scribd right now and when I had it I couldn’t find the hours to get through the audiobook.. did you get round to it? I wanted to know what you thought about it… it is still on my list of #nextreads, so one of these days, surely!

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