#FraterfestRAT | A 5-day #readathon which is the spookiest way to lead-in to #SpooktasticReads!

Posted Thursday, 10 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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DETAILS: Read or Listen Between Midnight 10th October and ending at 11:59 pm 15th October read or listen to thrillers, mysteries, paranormal, horror, supernatural, witchy, ghostly, fantasy, or serial killer novels and novellas. (to clarify..these can be cozies and include romance. No need to sleep with the lights on if you don’t fancy a good scare!) Share your progress on Twitter or Instagram using #FraterfestRAT

Hosted by: Caffeinated Book Reviewer | @kimbacaffeinate

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My Reading List for #FraterfestRat [2019]:

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Death on the River by Clare Chase
(Contemporary Thriller)(audiobook)

A Nest of Vipers by Richard Storry
(Historical Fantasy Thriller)(audiobook)

Kill Shot by Susan Sleeman (Contemporary Thriller)

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica (Contemporary Thriller)

Forget My Name by J.S. Monroe (Contemporary Thriller)

As the Light Fades by Catherine West → blog tour review forthcoming!
(Contemporary Women’s Fiction & Suspense)

The Witch of Little Italy by Suzanne Palmieri
(Contemporary Witchy Romance)(audiobook)

& if I can get through most of these lovelies, I’ll consider myself blessed!

Even if a book by Rachel Amphlett
(ie. #TeamKayHunter) has a new book available to be read at my local library: ”
The Friend Who Lied”,..

A last minute *extra!* addition: An Abiding Fire by M.J. Logue
as this is my 12th October @SatBookChat featured guest author!
I previously hosted an author interview about this novel & the series it kicked-off!

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Finished “An Abiding Fire” by M.J. Logue – (first)
Finished “Forget My Name” by J.S. Monore – (second)
Finished TBA

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I love #SpookyReads alongside the next person – give me ghosts and romance OR ghosts on a mission – I’m quite the happy reader! I love Gothic settings & ambiance – whilst I happen to love reading certain kinds of Thrillers! In this particular instance, I’ve been wanting to *jump-start!* my #SpooktasticReads wherein I’ll be disclosing which kinds of fantastical reads I’ll be digging inside for @WyrdAndWonder‘s second year of hosting a mini-event the fortnight leading into Halloween! For now, I want to focus on the stories on this particular reading list which have been languishing a bit too long on my bookshelves – most of which are also on my backlogue of reviews!

If anyone has any suggestions for Paranormal Romances, Suspense & Thrillers of the paranormal variety (even without a romance element!) or other stories which are either: Southern Gothic, Victorian Gothic or might constitute being labelled “Cosy Horror” – as it owns to the origins of Psychological Suspense without being overtly graphic and horrific – kindly leave me notes on this post!

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Let us take a closer look at why I’ve pulled these stories to be read:

→ Death on the River is the sequel to Murder on the Marshes which happily was the debut story in Clare Chase’s new Contemporary [Police Procedural] Thriller series featuring Tara Thrope! The best way I can explain why I felt close to this series and how hard it has been not to become re-attached inside it until now is by sharing an excerpt from my review for Murder on the Marshes:

When you first start to listen to Murder on the Marshes, you don’t have too much time to consider what is being disclosed to you – the somberness is there, along with the tension of discovery – but to better understand the scene and what is happening – those moments are placed on hold. You are only giving a short glimpse of what is there – a flickering of an image if this were a film reel before it fades out and the impression of that moment, of that incomplete scene lingers as you enter the next chapter. This was a unique POV to be placed inside right before moving straight into present day – I love a good flashback sequence like the next person but this one felt honestly unique by how Chase gave only “just enough” to keep us curious before moving forward with a keenly taut & tight delivery of current events in Tara and Blake’s timelines.

As we shifted into present day, we arrive inside Tara Thrope’s life where the nightmares of her past are never far outside the shadows lingering outside her residence. Though those shadows were more ominous now – as someone could very well be lying in wait to return and to cause her duress. It was this uncertainty – of sensing something she couldn’t chase down herself which pinned her on edge and gave her the unease of realising she was as vulnerable now as she had been previously; she could not control all situations nor of someone who felt they could harass her into a panic. Part of this was due to how she arrived home but the other half of it stemmed from receiving a parcel in the post – a parcel which held such a curiously normal object but which was sent with malice and not a kindness of heart.

I thoroughly enjoyed observing DI Blake on scene – where Professor Seabrook is first discovered and where his investigation begins – ahead of meeting Tara where he is pulled into investigating how what happened to Tara might or might not interconnect with the Seabrook case. During this scene, there was a lovely piece of juxtaposition where Art History and crime investigation merged into a beautiful symmetry of insight – as Blake started to talk about Millais’s Ophelia. This was also a small gesture of introducing us into the reserved and private DI Blake – a bloke who did not readily disclose bits about himself unless he was in company he trusted.

Chase had a segue of interest outside of the main threads of interests wherein we tuck into the personal life of Tara Thrope – where we get to become better acquainted with her mother, an actress and of how Tara’s relationship with her Mum is sometimes a bit rockier than most daughters would prefer. Still, her family might have their quirks and their troubles but they were still approachable which I enjoyed seeing as it meant that they still cared about each other and were still an important part of Tara’s life. I felt from the very beginning her personal life with her family might be strained or close to it due to what originally occurred – referencing here how Kemp entered her life and why. Yet, the curious bit is how her Mum helped her pin down quite a few clues she couldn’t have sorted without her help. I had to smile there – as despite everything, Tara’s Mum held answers she couldn’t have found elsewhere!

One observation I was making was how this is like one giant chess board – where the players you’re not expecting to be the most evasive are in Academia & the ones who surprise you are outside of it; everyone moving towards each other & then away – great drama that! I would imagine it is hard to juggle the backstory against the current day cases whilst giving each equal measure of importance; plus having the believability of solid continuity about the setting (Cambridge) and the protocols associated with both police work and journalism. Nothing was sacrificed to convince you of the other things taking place – uniting you in a lovely puzzle of a crime drama where even the pieces you might feel you should overlook could prove to be the one piece you need to pull the whole picture together!

This is now a four-book series – as the following installments were released well after I I received Death on the River for review consideration by the publisher. In fact, I almost felt they were releasing them a bit too quickly as we didn’t get the proper chance to soak into the sequel before the next installments were already ready to be heard! I know sometimes we have to longer times to wait for future installments but goodness! This series truly was released back to back without too many time intervals between each of the stories in sequence. Which of course is a *good thing!* too,…

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→ A Nest of Vipers is the sequel to A Looming of Vultures which was my second Richard Storry audiobook I listened to narrated by Jake Urry, of whom is on the top of my shortlist of *favourite!* audiobook narrators! Similar to why I loved reading Ms Chase’s series the best way to explain what draws me back into this one is to treat you to an excerpt from my review of A Looming of Vultures:

It is the level of deception Storry has threaded through this story which makes it a delightful one to be caught inside – once Storry chose to highlight the plotter of derisive exploits, he gives us a fanciful journey towards seeking out the reasons behind this person’s mannerisms. For he has given us such a great folly in understanding how this character’s mind thinks – Storry gives us a wonderful close-up viewing of the nemesis in the story, of how he wanted us to see the workings of a criminal mind but also, to understand the motivations behind the crimes being committed. Almost as if we, the readers, are the overseers of how this person set the stage for each of the crimes meant to be carried out; for the thief made one cardinal mistake: they took someone into their confidence, someone who would know of their actions prior to acting on them.

You start to empathise with the one who was in servitude for the thief – they were caught up in a web of this person’s deceit but they were not of the same mind. This person had a moral code and a finite sense of ethics which did not bode well with the thief, as only their desires were the only factors needed to keep important in their mind. In the background of all of this – despite the issues with Jermania, there was a scientific competition to spotlight inventors and their innovative ideas. It was almost laughable how science had re-taken an important part of the story-line – as it was the science behind electric light which saw the Chancellor’s wife in distraught disbelief after the thief used this information to cause a distraction. Now, it is science once again which would parlay into the thief’s hand for pulling the wool over the victim’s eyes except in a rather in-direct way! As it wasn’t ‘science’ which was needed this time round but rather, how science would open the door towards a reason for a certain person to be present.

There are a lot of layers to this story – as you peer into each of them, you start to see things differently than what you first hear the first time round. However, having said this – one of the joys is observing the thief – the gull this person has at keeping their promises to carry out their plans, but also, how passionate they are in being able to carry off whatever they deem is worthy of their time. One of my favourite scenes was actually a moment where the thief was nearly found out – because it showed the other side of thieving – of how close one can become to being caught! Mind you, this person is so blinded by their pursuit of what they want – they can’t process any other observation on their actions!

I truly loved how Storry makes this an immersive experience for the reader – you get to feel guided a bit by how he’s setting everything up to be followed in direct pursuit of his characters, but there are moments where even the characters themselves are not as certain about where they are going – as they have to move through their setting as if visiting it for the first time, to navigate themselves out of it. There is a particular moment where you felt most intrigued for how little elements are knitted into the background each step of the way, as there are remnants of the historical era of this story here and there; little touches of grounding you in a time-line which makes sense for the general awareness of ‘when’ we’ve been transported.

Ontop of which, as we shift forward through the scenes and sequences which affect the characters, especially the thief (for this character has some of the more interesting scenes!) – we start to notice how complex this world was built! It isn’t as easy to move around without others taking notice nor is it easy to conceal a deceitful intention to steal what is not yours – the convicting bit is how it all unfolds. Especially as you sort out how Storry pulls the pieces together, giving you an engaging story to re-assemble piece by piece. For this is what draws me to his stories – for this experience of feeling as if I’ve travelled through his vision for these stories of Suspense without fully solving the mysteries until the very last chapters are revealled. Even then, you have to re-think about what you thought you understood as you heard the story and see everything once more from a different perspective.

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Kill Shot is the sequel to Fatal Mistake which I must admit, was my first attempt at reading a Susan Sleeman novel and ironically or not, due to that reading I decided that perhaps this isn’t the right fit for me as a reader in regards to Sleeman’s signature Thriller styling of narrative! I was on such pins reading Fatal Mistake, I could barely breathe in places as she writes such creepy & shockingly thrilling stories! Now, counter to my reactions to this particular series by Sleeman, Mum *adores!* her stories which are published under the imprint Love Inspired: Suspense (as we share a passion for that imprint overall!) – however, when I tried to shift back into those installments by Sleeman, I simply couldn’t get my heart to connect. Here’s an excerpt of why this first novel left me wishing I had left a light on after I read it:

What I immediately loved about Ms Sleeman’s style is how clean she writes a Thriller – I regularly read both mainstream and INSPY literature – across genres – but I also have a ready preference for ‘less is more’ or to be frank, ‘none’ is even better when it comes to strong language choices! As this was an INSPY Thriller I knew going into reading it would be clean but it is how Ms Sleeman chose to highlight the height of emotions, the onslaught of fear and the percolating anxieties of her characters which I found to be most enjoyable! Everything felt terrifyingly real and honest – a feat I give her credit for as writing in taut tension and emotional angst is one of the hardest things to convey in a story like this one. She takes you straight into the psychological angle of her characters – of seeing how they can deal with the situations at hand and if anything can break them as the story progresses forward. Blessedly this could have become far more intense and graphic on the level of mainstream Thrillers but Sleeman pulls back the lens and re-aligns you back into the psychological and emotional journey of her characters rather than the horror of what is happening to them.

I appreciated the close-knit family Sleeman constructed for the White Knights – the team members were more than just colleagues they were family by every since of the word. You truly gain insight into how teams like the Knights pull together, soundboard off each other for clues they aren’t suspecting to unearth and how they work together in such a way by honouring each member of the team as they move forward with their investigations. They know each other so well as to respect each others’ feelings and reactions – something which becomes quite pivotal in this story.

If your looking for a roller coaster of emotional drama knitted inside a tautly envisioned Romantic Suspense, look no further than reading a novel by Susan Sleeman! She pushes you outside your comfort zones, stitches sequences of suspenseful twists you never see coming into her novels and provides you with a heroine and hero who are struggling to find their balance in a world which seeks to keep them weighed down by remorse, grief and the guilt which stems from living through traumatic events.


What makes it a wicked good Thriller is how you simply do not know if you can trust if this will have a positive outcome – between the near-misses and the heart-pounding action sequences, Ms Sleeman shows how easily it is for this to turn a corner your not expecting even if the foundation of a potential chemistry and romantic overtures between her characters exists – the dramatic anxiety of having a person in jeopardy and living on the run precludes those intentions from being realised.

Although, having re-read over my notes on my review for Fatal Mistake – I can’t deny I didn’t enjoy the story once I moved past the bits which bothered me [trying dearly not to reveal spoilers!] – but I just meant… once the book was finished, I kept questioning how many more I could read thereafter without feeling that Sleeman is just a step outside the style I can return back to with a comfort of joy to read. I am sure I’m not the only reader whose felt ‘on the fence’ about where their thoughts lie with a series!?

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Pretty Baby is one of the stories I received in [2015] from the #SRC2015 readathon hosted by BookSparks that Summer. I had meant to re-pick up this novel numerous times over the past few years – however, if you block out 2017-9 for health afflictions (on behalf of my father & myself) it doesn’t feel like too much time has passed since it first arrived! I’ve also been a bit on the fence if I could handle the story within this novel – which is why I decided to borrow the audiobook from my library to help inspire me to move forward with my readings! I have the rare pleasure of joy now being able to read & listen to the narrator with a book in hand! That’s tops in my book!

Forget My Name was a blog tour I missed this past Summer when our flat flooded 2x during an EPIC plumbing disaster! Half the flat was under water and #dontask how hard it was to stay sane as you watched your book boxes & other belongings nearly get consumed by *water!* which isn’t exactly the clean variety! I managed to get into the early chapters once life settled down a bit but then,.. oy. More life happened and I just never had the chance to finish it! I will admit though – part of me questioned “Can I handle where this is leading me to go?” (see also tweets: One, Two & Three!)

As The Light Fades is a recent blog tour wherein I completely FORGOT my own tour stop due to trying to re-align back into reading post-migraine (it was one of those supernova varieties?) – this story is shaping up to be one part Contemporary Suspense/Thriller and one part emotional Women’s Fiction – I am unsure which way it will swing overall but I have good hopes for this one! I am trying to finish it before the blog tour concludes on the 19th, too!

The Witch of Little Italy is the first novel ahead of The Witch of Bourbon Street – also part of the backlogue leftover from #SRC2015 – although this one has a bit of history! I’ve been trying to ILL the stories (specifically this one and the sequel The Witch on Belladonna Bay before moving into Bourbon Street – however, for whichever reason these are the hardest books to source via inter-library loan! Tonight, I decided to take the reins of that insanity and I put in a purchase request for Belladonna Bay (via audiobook) as I happily discovered one of my libraries owns Little Italy on audiobook! Top cheers for Jorie!

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Each of these stories in their own way has a reason to be read this October – I always feel like sorting through Cosy Mysteries [wait til I reveal the EPIC Cosy #libraryhaul I did with my Mum recently!], Gothic stories of Suspense and Thrilling Contemporaries or Historical Mysteries during the Autumnal months of the year. I think I am partially inspired by the PROMISE of cooler weather even if we never actually see it sustained until much, much lateron into the early bits of Winter,…

There is just something to be said for these kinds of Autumnal delights of literature – you can feel the seasonal shifts and then seek out the stories which make all the joys of Autumn feel hugged close to your soul. Whilst at the same time – what will make these reads #SpookyReads for Jorie is how heart-stopping their going to make her nights as she moves through this readathon!!

Whose joining me this year?

And, what are your #mustreads for the readathon?

Are you joining us for #SpooktasticReads?

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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 Thursday, 10 October, 2019 by jorielov in Blogosphere Events & Happenings, RALs | Thons via Blogs

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