#HoHoHoRAT | A 10-day #readathon which is the Christmassy chase-up into my #blogmas #ChristmasReads for 2019!

Posted Friday, 8 November, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 6 Comments

#HoHoHoRAT badge created by Jorie in Canva.

DETAILS: Read or Listen Between Midnight 8th November and ending at 11:59 pm 17th November read or listen to holiday and Wintry novels and novellas. So grab your holiday reads, your winter books, your yuletide murder-mysteries, your naughty & nice romances and even your holiday horror and get ready for some fun! Share your progress on Twitter or Instagram using #HoHoHoRAT

Hosted by: Caffeinated Book Reviewer | @kimbacaffeinate

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My Reading List for #HoHoHoRat [2019]:

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman

Sleigh Bells Ring (anthology)

Christmas Kisses by Alison May (anthology)

Christmas at Pemberly by Regina Jeffers

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby by Cathy McDavid

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

→ (*as well as my purchase requests at the library*) →

A Family by Christmas by Viv Royce

Christmas Once Again by Jina Bacarr

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

→ and a few extras for good measure via audiobook →

Yuletide: A Jane Austen Inspired Collection of Stories by the Quill Collective focusing on “Pride & Prejudice” narrated by Harry Frost

One Magical Christmas by Berni Stevens, narrated by Willow Nash

Mr Dickens & His Carol by Samathan Silva, narrated by Euan Morton

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The one novel I am unsure if I will have enough time to read during the duration of the readathon itself is: “Home for Christmas” by Catherine Lanigan. See my reading schedule for Lanigan’s series via #WWWeds! Whilst in the early morning hours of the first day of #HoHoHoRat I read & finished “Her Christmas Pregnancy Surprise” by Jennifer Faye (see also Review).

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

If you love reading #ChristmasReads and/or #HolidayReads – which befit the following genres of interest – kindly leave me notes on this post – Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction or INSPY Lit.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

Her Christmas Pregnancy Surprise by Jennifer Faye (my first selection & read)

“Faye tucks you into the plausible way in which two contemporary career-driven individuals can find each other quite randomly (or was it?) in their ordinary lives and find a strength of connection . . . . Faye charms you with the quirky way in which she allowed Daisy, Simon and Pepper [to] develop into a family – giving you pause for thought about the intricate ways in which our lives can be affected by each other whilst renewing your joy of a romance set during the Christmas season where anything is truly possible when it comes to love, romance and the hopefulness of second chances!”
Whilst noting some Christmas blog tours arriving via Prism Book Tours – this was one of the first tours which became available to read for in time for #HoHoHoRAT; although, in truth, I was originally meant to read it *prior!* the readathon began but due to health afflictions throughout October, my reading time-line shifted forward and my readings coincided with the readathon instead at the last minute.
I’ve been reading the stories of Jennifer Faye for a few years now – however, this is one of my first stand-alone novels by her if not the first. What I appreciated by reading it was seeing how she handled setting the back-story and developed a series of characters outside of a concurrent limited serial (as this is what I am used to reading from her) whilst giving me a firm rooting of a story within the Christmas season of focus. It was a lovely ‘first’ read for #HoHoHoRAT in many regards as you get to observe descriptions of holiday deserts and bakery delights – who doesn’t want to breathe in those kinds of aromas whilst their reading a holiday romance?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

One Magical Christmas (short story) by Berni Stevens, narrated by Willow Nash

My path has crossed with Berni Stevens whilst I was a reviewer with ChocLitUK – however, as I am no longer a reviewer with the publisher, seeking out the stories they are publishing are due to my interest in continuing to read the stories by the authors I either previously read as a reviewer and/or b) decided to seek out a few newer authors since I stopped reviewing or c) never had the chance to read and review if they published a novel whilst I was reviewing for ChocLit. Ms Stevens falls into the first category as she wrote a very addictively compelling #vampireromance which became my first foray into that niched genre of #PNR | #ParanormalRomance!

One Magical Christmas released last October, 2018 – it was on my radar to read, however, I was awaiting either a print and/or audiobook release. As ChocLit is a Digital First publisher, as a reviewer I would read their backlist titles whilst awaiting frontlist titles to go into print. Thankfully, in the past few years they have a new audiobook publisher allowing more of their titles to move into audio formats a bit faster than print. I knew they were available to purchase via Audible, however, I didn’t have my Audible account for over a year until I was surprised with a gift subscription for Halloween 2019. Earlier in the opening months of Autumn and late Summer, I learnt most of the audiobooks released by ChocLit via Soundings are now available to stream via Scribd. Being that I used to be a subscriber to Scribd but had to suspend my subscription from May 2019 to October 2019 due to my chronic migraines, I was happy to find the additions! It is due to these stories being added to Scribd’s catalogue I was able to listen to One Magical Christmas during #HoHoHoRAT however, I was already going to listen to this lovely holiday romance due to having Ms Stevens as a featured guest author this November via my chat @SatBookChat at the end of the month (on the 30th of November).

It is a shorter read (4 hours) and I knew it was perfect for the readathon as although some of the audiobooks I slated to dive into during the readathon will be happily listened too – not all of them will be completed due to their length but I hope to finish them as I move into my #blogmas showcases throughout December. This one happily will be heard and savoured well ahead of hosting the chat which will celebrate its release.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A Light in the Window (prequel to Daughters of Boston trilogy) by Julie Lessman

My path originally crossed with Julie Lessman a year before I started my blog Jorie Loves A Story, as I was a frequent blog follower, reader and commenter [in 2012] wherein, Ms Lessman was one of the INSPY novelists I would happily interact with via book bloggers, group author blogs and the like! It took me a bit of time to acquire all the novels in the Daughters of Boston series (even if technically this is spilt into 3x separate trilogies of different names) including this prequel which tells the story of Marcy and Patrick; the parents at the centre of the series itself.

When I first learnt of the series, I had two local libraries consider purchasing the series and most of the first trilogy (ie. Daughters of Boston) are in their card catalogues to this day. I still remember the day I brought the series home due to a few coupons and book bundled deals running at the time which helped me afford all 10x novels of the series! It has always been my intention to begin reading the series start to finish round the holidays – the last three years specifically, I attempted this during Christmas week, however, unfortunately for me those were the years I had too many distractions and we’re not even going to talk about Christmas 2016! (ie. the year of my father’s stroke)

This #HoHoHoRAT I decided to ‘back-up’ my plans of when I begin reading this lovely – I do not mind if I do not get through the whole novella as I’d rather take my time with the story and enjoy my journey back into the folds of how Marcy and Patrick developed their relationship, began their courtship and finally realised they were each other’s soulmates. This is a beloved author of mine – a series which stitched itself into my heart and soul years and years ago and a saga of a family who journeys through time whilst anchouring you through their family’s inter-generations of descendants. I fully plan to finish A Light in the Window before Christmas Week 2019 in order to feature my takeaways from reading it as I shift into a re-reading of the first novel of Daughters of Boston which is A Passion Most Pure – the story of Faith and Colin.

I’ve previously read A Passion Most Pure the most times of all the novels which is either three or four times as I’ve tried to re-start reading this series more times than I’d rather admit possible! I have a good feeling about 2020 – not just being the start of my seventh year as a book blogger but overall, I feel there is a change in the wind in regards to the stories I’ll be reading and how I feature what I am reading on Jorie Loves A Story. Re-aligning into this series is a personal triumph and a bookish joy I cannot wait to share!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

→ Sleigh Bells Ring (anthology) of Christmas/Holiday Inspy Stories
by Sandra D. Bricker, Lynette Sowell, Barbara J. Scott & Lenora Worth

I almost grabbed some Christmassy #LoveINSPIRED Suspense novels and/or Christmas #LoveInspired Romances to tuck into my #HoHoHoRAT reads- however, I did technically already slate some of those to binge over during my #blogmas postings in December whilst I was hoping to find a Christmas/Holiday Mystery readathon to see what others are reading which fit those niches of interest as well. For #HoHoHoRAT I decided to focus on some of the holiday reads I’ve been pushing forward each year without the ability to focus on – especially due to the reasons I’ve already disclosed whilst talking about why I love reading Julie Lessman!

Thereby, this was a bookaway I won several years ago now and I simply never had the pleasure of joy to dive inside it! Of the list of authors, I know Lenora Worth quite well as I’ve become reading one of her Love Inspired Suspense series and I love her style! You might have caught me blogging about those reactions for a previous INSPY readathon in 2018!

I am eager to see where these stories take me as I love reading anthologies for the ability to soak into #newtomeauthors, sort out whose style appeals to me as a reader and to continue to seek out their backlist and frontlist releases. This is why I have featured Speculative Fiction anthologies on Jorie Loves A Story (ie. the World Weaver Press ones especially!) and why I personally love purchasing or asking for gifted copies of INSPY Romance novella anthologies from my family. They are a cuppa of bookish joy and I never tire of them!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Christmas Kisses (anthology) of Christmas Contemporary Romances by Alison May

Uniquely enough, this was one of my final requests as a ChocLit reviewer but a request which was never fulfilled. When I re-enquired about it a year after I first requested it as I had featured this on my blog at time of release – I learnt I had missed the chance to review it. I never quite understood how that happened but as soon as I saw a chance to bring a print copy home to add to my personal library, I took it! I haven’t had this very long and I *knew!* rather immediately I’d be reading it for #HoHoHoRAT!!

When it comes to Christmas Romances – I have a long history of reading anthologies for Christmas Roms set during the Victorian and/or Regency eras of British History. However, when it comes to Contemporary Christmas Romances? I admit, I am severely under-read! When I first learnt of this collection I knew it might be one of the exceptions to my rule about the kind of Roms I am gravitating towards reading for Christmas. It also would mark my first foray into reading the novels by Alison May as she was one of the ChocLit novelists I had interacted with via my chat @SatBookChat but of whom I never had the proper chance to read.

Thus, this is slated to be read very early into #HoHoHoRAT!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Christmas at Pemberly by Regina Jeffers

For those who regularly visit with me on Jorie Loves A Story and/or catch my bookish tweeting – you will know I have this *serious!* attachment to Pride and Prejudice! So much so, I needed to sort out a way to read more Austen this Winter and am developing a readathon to host whilst cross-promoting it through #TheClassicsClub (FYI: if you follow me and are keen on that to develop, leave me a comment!) – my plans also include two RALs, one for Mansfield Park and one for Northanger Abbey. Having said that – several years back, there was a bookaway attached to the Austen Author’s blog. I’ve been trying to read their blog off/on ever since I first discovered it, however, the most time I spent on their blog was the year I won this lovely book!

Most of the issues I’ve had in consistency of blog reading and commenting over the years are my chronic migraines. They can cluster and they can sneak up on me – keeping my blog surfacing is top priority but I don’t always have the luxury to visit with others I am keen on reading content by and therefore, my visitations are a bit, er, uniquely spaced! I had meant to tuck this into one of my early #ChristmasReads as I try to start those early to mid-November and run through Twelfth Night in January.

Given the past years series of stressful holiday seasons, this was another #nextread of mine which was put-off til now. The joy of it really is the fact I am also listening to Yuletide which is a new audiobook anthology of stories set in and round the world of Pride and Prejudice – so you see, it is a match rather made in the stars for me this #HoHoHoRAT! Laughs. What can I say? I think I explained myself quite well during #AustenInAugustRBR a few years back about my love and affection for Mr Darcy and all things Jane Austen! (click-over to read my essay!)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby by Cathy McDavid

This has definitely been the year of reading Harlequin Heartwarming! I happily spoke about my love of reading these stories and specifically the novels by Carol Ross during my 6th Blogoversary in March whilst I revisited this topic during #TopTenTuesday recently as well where I focused on ALL the Heartwarming novelists I have truly felt blessed to have discovered!

Ms McDavid is one of those authors I’ve had the pleasure of reading through Prism Book Tours (as they were the touring company who first introduced me to the imprint!) – I sort of have this ‘thing’ for #CowboyFiction as attested by my penchant for seeking out Contemporary Cowboy, Rancher and Western Romances! Most recently ALL of those are routed through Heartwarming, too, if you consider my fond affection for Karen Rock’s #RockyMountainCowboys, the serial #BlackwellBrothers (which has a sequel series in 2020) and this lovely series by McDavid! You can happily back-read my reviews if you pop one of those names / series into my search box or kindly visit my Story Vault to spy them out!

When it comes to Cowboys, Christmas and unexpected blessings – you could say, I hunger after those stories and this one is set in a series I love to read. What could be a better #ChristmasRomance to be reading during #HoHoHoRAT!? I simply cannot think of one! lol

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Yuletide: A Jane Austen Inspired Collection of Stories by the Quill Collective focusing on “Pride & Prejudice” narrated by Harry Frost

I first came to know of the Jane Austen Inspired Stories by the Quill Collective when I first hosted one of their audiobooks via the Audiobookworm Promotions touring company earlier in September. This beautiful graphic with a quote from my review was shared on Twitter and I thankful was given permission to use it myself – both on my blog and in my Twitter feeds as well. I loved the words they pulled from my review as I felt it eclipsed my fuller thoughts on Rational Creatures – which is a beautiful anthology of stories set in different stories by Jane Austen. I moved through them and picked out the ones I felt resonated with me the most and blogged my thoughts on those directly.

Quote banner from jorielovesastory.com review for "Rational Creatures" provided by Christina Boyd.
Quote banner from jorielovesastory.com review for “Rational Creatures” provided by Christina Boyd. Used with permission.

I heard from Ms Boyd in recent weeks who asked me if I wanted to participate in the Yuletide promotional celebrations and I couldn’t resist! As you see, this new collection of stories not only shifts from a female to male narrator but it is a WHOLE collection of stories focused on Pride and Prejudice! Now, how can a girl whose claimed Mr Darcy is her original book boyfriend refuse such a request!? Surely, not I! Laughs.

I am going to begin listening to this collection during #HoHoHoRAT and I will either finish hearing it during the readathon and/or well on my way towards that end before November concludes! I am so thankful I found the Audiobookworm because through hosting those audiobook tours, I’ve not just discovered new authors to appreciate gathering new stories to read next but I am discovering the narrators who are giving me hours of wicked sweet readerly joy to listen to narrate the stories themselves!

I do not oft get to listen to a male narrator – Jake Urry being the exception, and this I am hoping might turn the tides to finding a second male narrator I can start to follow and listen to more often.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The following are co-dependent on their availability:
ie. library borrows and/or via Scribd

  • A Family by Christmas by Viv Royce
  • Christmas Once Again by Jina Bacarr

These two lovelies were purchase requests at my local library and for whichever reason, they’ve been locked in a holding pattern at Materials Acquisitions?! They are ‘here’ but they are not ‘here’ so to speak in the borrowing sense of the arrival status. As soon as they come to be available I am going to begin reading them as I’ve been dearly curious about what I shall find inside them!

→ [via audiobook]

  • Carols and Chaos by Cindy Anstey, narrated by Fiona Hardingham
  • A Hanukkah with Mazel (short story) by Joel Edward Stein, narrated by Book Buddy Digital Media
  • An Affair Before Christmas by Eloise James, narrated by Susan Duerden 
  • Twelve Doctors of Christmas (Doctor Who) by Rachael Stirling (also narrator) & Colin Brake, also featuring narrators: Chris Addison, Sophie Aldred and Adjoa Andoh
  • Christmas at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown, narrated by Josie Arden
  • The Parisian Christmas Bake-Off by Jenny Oliver, narrated by Jessica Ball
  • A Gift from the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson, narrated by Charlotte Worthing
  • Once Upon A Dicken’s Christmas by Michelle Griep, narrated by Nan McNamara

I had a bit of a look-see at what was available via OverDrive (via my libraries) and what was available to listen to via Scribd. This became my #shortlist of #ChristmasReads and thankfully I am hopeful I can listen to more than a few of them during #HoHoHoRAT – finishing them either during the readathon (as some are shorter than others) and if not, continue until I do leading into my #blogmas showcases in December.

You might have spied out a particular trend… #JorieReads a heap of British stories! Either by setting, by novelist or if you look at Doctor Who – by pop iconic status of admiration! Laughs. The Doctor Who selection is a cross-interest for both #HoHoHoRAT and my participation in #SciFiMonth!

Whereas when it came round to finding Cindy Anstey’s story up for grabs, it was an easy choice as I previously hosted an interview featuring one of her novels! Whilst the novel The Hummingbird Dagger became an accepted purchase request at my local library. I decided to take a chance on the audiobook for #HoHoHoRAT and to begin reading the stories I’ve been attempting to read ever since I first interviewed Ms Anstey. Coincidentally, it also marks the chance to listen to Ms Hardingham whose a narrator I’ve been eagerly awaiting to listen too!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The #HoHoHoRAT challenges I’m participating in:

Spread Some Holiday Cheer via Fiction State of Mind

The Crossword Challenge via Maureen’s Books
*especially as I love Hallmark’s #CrosswordMysteries!

#HoHoHoRAT’s Book Bingo Challenge via Simply Angela

I’ll be updating as I work on completing each of these lovelies!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Whose joining me this year?

And, what are your #mustreads for #HoHoHoRAT?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{Sources: Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Quote banner from jorielovesastory.com review for “Rational Creatures” provided by Christina Boyd. Used with permission. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #HoHoHoRAT 2019 and the comment box banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2019.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life:

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #HoHoHoRAT 2019

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)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Friday, 8 November, 2019 by jorielov in Blogosphere Events & Happenings, RALs | Thons via Blogs

All posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary!
I try to visit your blog in return as I believe in ‘Bloggers Commenting Back
(which originated as a community via Readers Wonderland).

Comments are moderated. Once your comment is approved for the first time, your comments thereafter will be recognised and automatically approved. All comments are reviewed and continue to be moderated after automated approval. By using the comment form you are consenting with the storage and handling of your personal data by this website.

Once you use the comment form, if your comment receives a reply (this only applies to those who leave comments by email), there is a courtesy notification set to send you a reply ticket. It is at your discretion if you want to return to re-respond and/or to continue the conversation established. This is a courtesy for commenters to know when their comments have been replied by either the blog's owner or a visitor to the blog who wanted to add to the conversation. Your email address is hidden and never shared. Read my Privacy Policy.

6 responses to “#HoHoHoRAT | A 10-day #readathon which is the Christmassy chase-up into my #blogmas #ChristmasReads for 2019!

  1. I’ll have to check out The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby. I’ve been on a Cowboy and Christmas kick recently. I read A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe by Jessica Clare recently and loved it so much.

    I’ll have to check out Julie Lessman. I’ve heard of her books before but never read her.

    Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Hallo, Hallo Angie Elle,

      I am going to be reading The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby this week – I know what you mean about cowboys! I have so much love and appreciation for Karen Rock, Cathy McDavid and the women behind the Blackwell Brothers series – they are giving me a lot of contemporary heroes to appreciate and that’s wicked fantastic as I used to read mostly Historical Cowboy Westerns!

      You’ve tipped my interest – I’ll have to see if I can find the Clare novel. Lessman’s novels are great if you love family sagas and where you can knit inside installments where each sibling gets their own story-line and generationally you can move forward with the family overall. She writes realistic INSPY and adds a lot of lovely romantic overtures which is what left me smitten with her style in the first place. I hope they will be a good fit if you seek them out. If you read A Light in the Window first you have a special treat as I read A Passion Most Pure before this one was published.. be sure to have some hankies if you start with that one though – it gets a bit emotionally gutting when it shifts to the war scenes.

      Thank you for swinging by and sharing your thoughts! I truly appreciate it. Happy discovering!

    • Hallo, Hallo Kimberly!

      Thank you! :) I wanted to play with the colours I was using on the graphic itself and it just hit me that we get the JOY of having those 10x days to just pull together the holiday reads we most desire to be reading ahead of Thanksgiving! You’re readathons are helping me with my reading queues this year and they are such fun events, I can honestly say, I’ll be a ready participant throughout the New Year whenever your hosting them! Thanks too, for enjoying the selections I’ve made! I admit, I can’t wait to start listening to the short story on audiobook tonight by Ms Stevens! Blessings to you for encouraging our love of books!

    • I, do, don’t I? I admit I was trying to keep this list paired down quite a bit as I knew I had a full stack of lovelies I was reading through with #SciFiMonth as much as I had carry over reads from #Mythothon and #SpooktasticReads as well as #FraterfestRAT – still, these stories on the list kept murmuring to me and I decided I need to keep approaching readathons the way I did during #FraterfestRAT: its not always about how many stories we finish, its about how many we start, how many we enjoy being enveloped inside and the randomness of giving us free reign to simply READ without the guilt of what kept us away from them.

      The next one I’m going to dive inside is the audiobook short by Berni Stevens,… may you have a happily bookish weekend, too!

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)