Ramblings from my pages… #14

Welcome to the fourteenth instalment of Ramblings from my pages… I clearly cannot master this weekly rambling thing, so let’s just forget it was ever meant to be weekly, and look upon it as an ‘as and when’ feature.

This post was inspired by It’s Book Talk’s “5 on Friday: Things I’m Loving Lately” – it differs slightly, similar in that it will feature bookish and non-bookish topics, but different in that I will ramble about things I’m loving, hating, wishing for, links I’ve enjoyed, life updates – you name it, I may just ramble about it. The only staple feature of this post will be concluding it with a cool link I found around the web.

Today’s ramblings topics: Chirp Books, Orenda Books: Book Launch, Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine, and a rambling within a rambling. Whether you read the entire post or jump to the section(s) you’re interested in, I hope you enjoy my ramblings. 


The search continues for the perfect audiobook platform, and I think I may have found it – well, Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads and Reviews found it, and shared it in her Instagram Story. The point is, it exists – the devastating news, it’s only available in the US 😭.

“No subscription or membership fees. Get access to great deals without the hassle or cost of a membership.”- Chirp Books. That is exactly what I’ve been looking for! It’s like Audible, but without the £7.99 a month membership, and it’s ‘deal of the day’ on loads of audiobooks, not just one! Audiobooks from $1.99, which is a fantastic price! You just download the app, register, and you’re ready to go. As I don’t live in the US, I haven’t tried it, but I wish I could! I remain hopeful that something like this exists in the UK, the search continues…


On Monday, me and my homegirl Beth @ Bibliobeth attended the joint book launch for Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb & Changeling by Matt Wesolowski. It’s always awesome to catch up with Beth, and we always have so much fun when we attend book events together.

This launch was hosted at Tottenham Court Road Waterstones, I can’t believe I haven’t been to that Waterstones before, I had no idea they had an events space on the lower ground floor.

As well as mingling with fellow booklovers, Karen, founder of Orenda Books, introduced her authors, we watched trailers for both books, heard the authors speak and read from their books, and I got signed copies of both books! After talking to Karen online for a few years now, it was great to finally meet her in person. There were cakes and cocktails themed to both books. I had a Wentshire Bramble, the cocktail for Changeling, and it was heavenly. And Matt is the sweetest guy, and he wrote the best inscription in my book! The Lori Anderson series by Steph Broadribb is one of my favourite crime series, I already had a signed proof, but it was fantastic to get a signed finished copy.

I now have the complete collection [so far] for both series, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve read all the books in the Lori Anderson series, and five starred them all, it’s a fantastic crime thriller series, featuring a badass female protagonist, and I highly recommend giving them a read, if you haven’t already. Book 1: Deep Down Dead. Book 2: Deep Blue Trouble. Book 3: Deep Dirty Truth. I’ve read the first two books in the Six Stories series and loved them both, who knew such a sweet guy could write such a chilling series – I love that these books are told in a series of podcasts. Book 1: Six Stories. Book 2: Hydra. That just leaves me with book 3: Changeling to read.


While were talking about book 3 in series, I thought I’d mention my pre-order of book 3 in the Stillhouse Lake series by Rachel Caine. Wolfhunter River is schedule for publication on April 23rd, and I’m excited for it! This series follows Gwen Proctor, after finding out her husband is a serial killer, she runs, determined to keep herself and her children safe, but danger is never far away. This is also my recommendation to you: if you haven’t started this series yet, I highly recommend it. Bonus points for the matching covers.

Book 1: Stillhouse Lake. Book 2: Killman Creek. Book 3: Wolfhunter River.


Let me be clear, I do not like this month, it’s been stressful and just not very nice to me. I’m pretty sure February is trying to kill me, only yesterday I shut my little finger in the door, it hurt like a b*tch, and was the final confirmation that this month hates me. And, someone gifted me out-of-date chocolate, I mean how evil can one month be! There are evil forces at work this month, I’m telling you, stay safe!

Who saw my blog post on Friday? I took part in a blog tour for the first time in ages! I know, I know, I said I wasn’t doing them, but The Glass Woman was one of my 2019 anticipated books, and when the email came through, I couldn’t resist, I’m weak! Anyway, I have another two blog tours coming up in March, and I feel highly stressed out about it, those looming deadlines and the pressure to read those books now! One of those blog tours I’m annoyed about because the publisher asked if I would like to read the book, and join the blog tour if I enjoy the book, (sidenote: I know it’s not practical but I think this is the best way to recruit for a tour); well, before I read the book, I was sent the banner, and it appears I’m a part of this blog tour! The other one I signed up to because I enjoyed the authors previous book.

The point is I’m weak, but I will be stronger, haha, because I can’t take this pressure. I feel like I live my whole book life behind, and I’ve lost what ever balance I did have. I’ve got two 3000 word essays I’d like to complete in the next 4 weeks, before I start my 3 month ‘sign off’ placement. For those new to my blog, I’m training to be a mental health nurse. It’s a tough final year before qualification so that needs to be a priority. This is also my advance apologies if I’m late to reply to comments, or unable to spend as much time in the blogosphere reading, sharing and commenting.

I watched the Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix, man that was a chilling docuseries. And, I’m appalled at the level of ‘white male privilege’ the CJS (and others) afforded Bundy! Next up, I plan to watch The Innocent Man.

O, I’ve also decided to scrap my monthly book haul posts, they’re so time consuming because I haul so many books, and you know the rule, if it’s not fun, scrap it! I’m not sure how I’ll go about it but I’d still like to showcase the books I’m excited for, so maybe rather than an extensive list, I’ll choose the 5, or 10, new books I’m most excited for and talk about them. I’m not sure yet, but I’ll figure it out!


I’m sure everyone, and their friend has read, or is at least familiar with, the article in The New Yorker about author, AJ Finn. It’s a long read but definitely worth it – there is also the audio option just before the main body of the article, if you would rather listen to the article.

A Suspense Novelists Trail of Deceptions by Ian Parker

If you’ve read the article, what did you think? I saw a further article that his publisher, in the US, released a statement saying that they do not comment on the personal lives of their author and will still publish his next book, scheduled for release in 2020.


I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it, and you’ll join me next Sunday for some more ramblings.

If you missed my last rambling you can find it here – topics: Amazon Prime Reading, WordPress Troubleshooting, Bitly, and January Wrap Up

49 thoughts on “Ramblings from my pages… #14

  1. Great post. “read the book, and join the blog tour if I enjoy the book, (sidenote: I know it’s not practical but I think this is the best way to recruit for a tour)” I wish this idea was possible, it would make organisers jobs easier too but the stress it would cause is crazy. Plus some people wait until the day before their stop to read 😱 I couldn’t do that -the pressure! 🤣 And like you said, just not practical for publishers / organisers who freelance work out to designers etc. Everyone needs to do what is best for them, I guess and for some bloggers, they don’t want to be a part of tours. I think I’d rather not take part and read/review the book in my own time than have the stress and pressure of pulling out and letting people down.
    I have cut back on tours too, because even with my insomnia, there is just not enough time in the day! Good luck with your studies. ☘️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know how people can wait until a day or two before their stop either, I remember once, for reasons beyond my control, I was finishing a blog tour book the day before, I finished it at 2am and then wrote my review immediately after, one of the most stressful experiences of my life 🙈😂. Bloody good job I liked the book otherwise I’d have been screwed 🤣!

      I bet it can be stressful to organise blog tours, especially with people pulling out, if I don’t like a book, I’d ask for content (Extract, Q&A, guest post), worst case scenario I’d just do a spotlight post, but I wouldn’t just pull out.

      You’re an author now (which is very cool!), so you need to cut back on tours, you’ve got books to write 😜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😂 I don’t “feel” like an author at all, perhaps when the 1 star reviews start rolling in, it will feel real! 😂

        I think it can be stressful from both sides, as a blogger you feel pressure to read to a deadline and as an organiser you are hoping that everyone enjoys the book and doesn’t pull out the night before.

        I have cut back massively on tours myself, but definitely need to be more strict – I have book deadlines now and they are scary! If I don’t get offered another contract, at least I can go back to blogging! 😂😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You should feel like an author, such a bloody achievement, you should be so proud!!! Blog tour pressure is bad enough, I can only imagine how book deadlines are 😱. You write ‘em, I’ll read ‘em sounds like the best plan to me!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I hear you re blog tours. I’m definitely taking a step back. Need to catch up on the backlog waiting for reviews and hopefully read some of my own books which are piling up at an alarming rate!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Nicki! Yess, that audio service sounds so good right, no membership fees is heaven!

      I was so shocked by that Dan Mallory article, the white male privilege of it is disgusting! I wonder how well (or not well) his next novel will sell…


  3. Hope your month starts looking up Janel! I thought William Morrow’s response to AJ Flinn article was a total copout. I think they knew all about him and didn’t care because the book made so much money. I hope his next one is a complete flop, would serve him and them right…off my soapbox now😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can confirm, my month did not look up, February is still trying to kill me, I was really unwell on Monday, feeling better now though, thankfully! Can it just be March already 😂!

      And I completely agree, such a disappointing response from the publisher! They’ll probably make so much money from his next book too because we have a better knowledge of what goes on in the book world than the general public so millions won’t be aware of this and may buy his next book. Especially in the U.K., where that paper isn’t widely read. I was impressed with the level of investigative journalism from the author of the article though!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all, what kind of monster gifts old chocolate?! If this wasn’t a well-meaning grandma type, I would be very suspicious.

    The white male privilege of the Bundy tapes was unbelievable…what was up with that judge who acted like he wanted to be friends with him? So gross. I think the Zac Efron movie is going to be worse, though.

    I couldn’t have been more entranced with the Dan Mallory article. I haven’t read his book but while reading reviews of it on the blogs, all I could think was how much it sounded like a Rear Window ripoff, but apparently he dared to rip off a Sigourney Weaver movie too? In all seriousness, it was disgusting…talk about white male privilege, publishing is notoriously white in the US and skews toward women, but of course one con artist type guy can just sail to the top in a glass elevator with no one fact checking him. I love how his way of excusing things was like “Yes, I did technically steal by using a company credit card, but: cancer.” What the actual hell? Every bit of that story had my jaw dropping more and more. I know there has to be some separation of an artist or writer personally and their work, but his behavior indicates some serious issues and I think he’s only getting a pass from his publisher because he’s a cash cow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I know it was forgotten chocolate from the back of the cupboard, so disappointing 🙈🤣 .

      I’ve seen such debate about Efron on Twitter. People saying that he’s perfect for the role because some serial killers are charming etc etc. Which is a fair point but I really think they’ll romanticise him, and with all the young girls fangirling over him as an actor, it may not be the smartest move 🙈.

      Funny that you mention Rear Window because i received a promotional box from the publisher for The Woman in the Window, and it had a poster for Rear Window, I had no idea prior that it “influenced” his book! Im so bloody mad because I actually liked the book, and feel like I was tricked as a reader, separate the art from the artist within reason, this was not within reason at all.

      You said it best, white male privilege doing what it does best. And to use cancer and MH is just disgusting. I like that there was the comment from the professional about bipolar, sayings that if he was well enough to write the book, get it published, and promote it, he was well enough for his actions not be a result of his MH.

      It’ll be interesting to see how much money the publisher put into promoting his next book, I still think they put a lot in because so many people won’t be aware of the article, or what he’s done. There’s so many underrepresented authors that they could support instead of him!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It does feel very tricksy, and it’s one thing to be influenced, what artist isn’t, but the stories sounded VERY similar, then to think there’s even another similar story he was ripping off for the rest of it? Get out of here!

        And that’s such a dangerous element here, of blaming mental health…I also was glad that was sensitively dealt with in the article, because it’s easy for people unfamiliar with it to attribute his behavior to bipolar and heap even more stigma onto it. I just can’t get over that he could lie so casually about cancer and brain tumors and suicide when people are affected so horribly by those things, how does that feel to them, actually going through it, and he’s using it as dramatic plot points for the soap opera of his life he directs in his head?

        I didn’t even think of your point of Zac Efron being the object of fangirling and the weird effect that might have, that’s so true. Or I think it will just overshadow any purpose the story could serve. It looks completely romanticized from the trailer, the kind of love story angle of it…and I heard it was based on his ex’s memoir, but looks all about him…like I said, it was almost like a 70s rockstar vibe. We must wait and see, I guess, but I don’t think it’s going to be particularly meaningful, ultimately.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Eh not cool you got outdated chocolate.. I’d still eat it though 😉
    The book launch sounds so amazing, I hope I can attend one at least once in my life. I’m not the patient type though (even grocery shopping with 2 carts in front of me gets on my nerves) so I don’t know. Maybe it’s a totally different feeling if it’s one of your fav authors though, right?
    Anyway I hope you have a great week. I don’t want to put you under extra pressure but I do love your book hauls. I wish I got so many books it became too time consuming to post :-)! Focus on your studies though, they’re the most important! Have a great week Janel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, it’s a little too out of date for me, so sadly I’ve gotta chuck it!

      Do they not have any events at all in Belgium? Maybe you can schedule a holiday to sync up with an event, if visiting London is on your holiday destination list. At the Orenda launch, I didn’t have to queue up, everyone was mingling and talking and I just asked them both to sign my books. But some events you have to line up, I guess if it’s an author you love, you would queue, at least I would!

      I enjoy my book hauls too once they’re finish, but they’re way too time consuming, I’d have to split this month’s one over two posts and the month isn’t even finished yet 🙈 I clearly buy too many books 🤣.

      Thank you, I’m hope you’re having a great week too, filled with many wonderful books!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They have one big book fair here where several authors come and sign but that’s mainly it (apart from an ocassional tour of Karin Slaughter). It’s not near me and sooo crowded, I don’t really like it. I’d love to go to Harrogate but not alone and I’m a bit afraid of travelling alone too. I’m still waiting for Eva to go so we can go together 😉

        I do wonder how you fit all these new books in your library… it was so beautifully reorganised, but already quite full 😉 You can never have too many books Janel 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I didn’t know about Chirp! I use http://www.estories.com more than audible. I pay a monthly but that includes a credit, and it’s cheaper than Audible? Even the regular prices are cheaper than Audible. It does not have every audiobook though. You can buy extra credits, and even subscribe for a year, and it’s only $9.99 a month for a year. I don’t blame you on the haul posts. I loved reading them, but I can’t fathom how long you spent working on them. Good luck with your essays! You’ve got this! (Totally need to take your advice on blog tours and cut back. I’m weak, too!). ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just had a quick browse of estories, and it seems very similar to audible, and basically the same price for me. Interesting that they’re different prices for you, maybe that’s to do with currency conversion. I definitely want something without membership fees.

      Yeah, those book hauls posts are crazy time consuming, especially when I have to split them over two posts!

      I’m struggling through these essays, I have zero motivation for them but they need to be done 😅.

      Put it in your happiness planner, commit to less blog tours! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahhhh I’m sorry you’ve had a stressful time! Here’s to March being happier and more chilled. Just think, we’ve got the Sue Black talk to look forward to, how exciting!! Also, fascinated by the article on A J Finn. Really not sure about how I feel about reading his books now – I really enjoyed The Woman In The Window. 🤔 Is it possible to separate an author from their real life personality? 🤷🏼‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m very excited for Sue Black!! I almost double booked because Angie Thomas is at the Southbank Centre on the same date, but she’s touring Waterstones too, so I’ll try and catch her London date there!

      I enjoyed The Woman in the Window too but feel a sense of betrayal. I think you can separate the art for the artist within reason, but in this case, I don’t think its within reason, so I won’t promote his book anymore. And the success he has had despite his appalling actions just shows how the publishing industry favours the privileged white man, and I just can’t support that! Maybe he’ll think up a different pseudonym for his next book 🙈😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s what I’m thinking re: AJ Finn. I don’t really want to support a person like that. 😕 I bet more people will read his book purely because of this promotion though 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I keep meaning to watch the Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix; I’ve always thought it was crazy how women threw themselves at him and that judge who sentenced him complimented him on how smart he was and would be a fine lawyer and said what a waste it was he was going to jail…I mean wth, he killed and raped how many women? I guess his looks and charm swayed the judge. Insane.

    That whole A.J. Finn thing really made me mad. It’s just unethical and I’m not reading his next book even though I admittedly enjoyed The Woman in the Window.

    I can’t believe someone gave you out of date chocolates…that sucks. I hope March is a better month! I am jealous you got to see Beth and go to the book event. I really think I should move to England…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yess, the treatment of Ted Bundy is the perfect example of white male privilege. A less charming, working class person would never have been afforded the privileges he was, no wonder he was confident in his ability to escape.

      I enjoyed The Woman in the Window too (recommended it to many people too 🙈), I think many of us did, which is why we’re all even more outraged! And what a cop out the publishers statement was in response to it, although I expected nothing less!

      I need it to be March already, I really am so over February 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m still super jealous of you attending the launch! Why can’t I live in the UK??? Ugh..

    I snagged Wolfhunter from the read now section on NetGalley, but not that you mention pre-order, how could I not? I own all of the others! I’ve been really into pre-ordering lately…snagged the new King, as well as the illustrated version for The Colorado Kid. I’m just assuming I need them now even though they aren’t on our schedule yet! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t even think to check Netgalley for it, I have the first two in print so I just preordered it! If it’s an unread King, you need it, because it’ll come up at some point! We’ll just prioritise the ones we already own! I was going to preorder The Institute but I preordered the new edition of The Shining when it came out, I paid £10, and then a few days after release it was on sale in all supermarkets for £3.50 – I was fuming lol, so I’m going to wait for release and see how the land lies 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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