2019 Book Bingo 2.0

Due to such a great response to my Book Bingo Post, I thought I would share the love and post a blank Bingo Card for people to use.

To use this card, all you need to do is click the image, ‘Save image as,’ and then go to town filling in the blanks. There are many different ways you can edit this image, if you have the software you can use the Adobe Creative Suite, use Canva which is free and in browser, or simply pop it into paint and add text to your hearts content.

If you do use the below blank card, be sure to let me know! I’d love to see what you’re challenging yourself with this year!

As always, Happy Reading!

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My Goodreads Year in Books – 2018

 

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I did it! I finished my challenge!

Initially I had only challenged myself to 40 books but each time I hit that number I increased the number. So here we are at a total of 81 books out of 70. I am pretty sure I’m going to extra super duper challenge myself in 2019, and try and hit 100 books.

The last couple of years I haven’t really been using Goodreads as much, nor updating all of the books I have read, so it was great fun making sure that I maintained my record for the whole year.

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Looking over those books, I feel like I had an enjoyable years reading 🙂 I don’t tend to add books that I did not finish so all the books are ones that I finished and looking at them I enjoyed so many of them!

If you’re interested in any of the five star rated ones, check out my Favourite Books of 2018 which may go into detail about some of those books.


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QP: Favourite Books of 2018

QUICK Picks

2018 has been a great year for reading. I have enjoyed a lot of books but of them there have been a few that have really stood out. The majority of the books selected are ones that I haven’t been able to get out of my head, my mind has been drawn back to the stories or characters of the books.

Check out the below ‘quick picks’ of some of my favourite books from 2018.

darkest part of the forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest

by Holly Black

Goodreads ||  Author

While I didn’t rate the book five stars, I did enjoy it a lot. Throughout the year I have kept returning to it and thinking about the storytelling. The Darkest Part of the Forest has renewed my interest in not only Holly Black but stories that feature Fae.

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • The Story: The idea of the boy in the coffin that has been there for years and the town that is on the borders of the supernatural was just great. I keep thinking about how effortlessly I was pulled into this story.
  • The characters: I really enjoyed the characters and the siblings in this book. The way in which the story ends with the protector, the lover, and the prince, was so great. Also loving the QUILTBAG representation.

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Rough Trade

by Sidney Bell

Goodreads ||  Review || Author

I stayed up until 4am finishing this book. I got so little sleep that I said screw it and chucked a sickie.

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • The Story: The story has so hard hitting, it was not only interesting, engaging, and action packed, but it was incredibly emotional. I’d call the novel a character study except its so much more, what with all the action, suspense, and romance.
  • Ghost: My goodness. I was rooting for Ghost – for him to find peace and happiness. I hadn’t read (still haven’t) the first two books in the story so I didn’t get to see what he had previously been through but the story none the less made me feel for him, his pain, and self doubt.

 


Adultolescence-Gabbie-Hanna-free-ebook

Adultolescence

by Gabbie Hanna

Goodreads ||  Review || Author

For me, this book of poetry came out of nowhere. I was and still am, unaware of everything else Gabbie Hanna has done – although I do know she has a YouTube channel. Initially seeing this book in one of the libraries I work at and read for my poetry month feature, this book surprised and delighted me.

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • The Poems: They are just so enjoyable. I remember smiling, laughing, and being moved. Some people have been dismissive of Hanna’s style but to be fair so many people are dismissive of poetry completely. So pretty much, I enjoyed her poems so that is good enough for me.

It was nice reading poetry written by someone close to my own age, experiencing issues similar to mine. The fact that so many of them were funny made this a book that I keep going back to – well I want to but two lovely people from the libraries have borrowed the copies and haven’t bought them back for over six months 😦


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Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector

by Nicole Kimberling

Goodreads ||  Review || Author

Grilled Cheese and Goblins was such a surprise! Reading the blurb didn’t prepare me for how much I enjoyed the stories and characters. Once again, I still think about this book and will probably be giving it a reread later in 2019. Needless to say I am keeping an eye on the author!

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • The concept: The title says it, the ‘Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector.’ Once you start the book you suddenly release all of the avenues that this opens up! Human meat, magical food, and even Apocalypse ending blintzes.

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Nine Star Press

Goodreads ||  Review Tag || Publisher Site

Okay so I know Nine Star Press isn’t a book, but they are a publisher I was unaware of before this year. So my stumbling upon them was an amazing development for 2018. I have been lucky enough to be approved to read and review some Advance Reader Copies of their novels and I have enjoyed all of them.

Just in case you haven’t jumped on the Nine Star train, here is the official bio of who they are and what they publish.

NineStar Press is an LGBTQA publisher owned and managed by LGBTQA people. We adore romance and erotic romance, but we also have an enormous interest in showcasing amazing literary works about characters less represented in fiction: ace, aro, trans*, nonbinary, genderfluid, bi, pan, etc. We also like genre-bending fiction, fusion genre, and stories that don’t quite fit into a particular category.

Quick reasons why I love the publisher:

  • The content: So I have pretty much loved very book of this publishers that I have read. My only complaint is that I don’t have enough time to read every new release 😦 or every book in their back catalouge 😥
  • The Covers: Do yourself a favour and have a quick look at all of the amazing covers on all of the books available from Nine Star Press. They are so fabulous and beautiful!

Notable Mentions: 
  • Finding Aurora by Rebecca Langham – I have only just finished this book and would have included this in the list if I hadn’t have written this a month ago 😛 Finding Aurora was just such a great read, I enjoyed it immensely and I have a two books (one book and one anthology) from the author that I have been meaning to read for six months. I swear I will get to them!
  • Baking Lessons by Katie Allen – this was such a fun romance read. I really enjoyed the characters and absolutely devoured the book. It would have gotten a mention above but aside from reading and loving it, it didn’t have the same impact as the chosen books. Also on a sneaky aside, I have’t published the review post about it yet 😛 But spoiler I loved it and you’ll probably see the post in January or February!
  • Research and Desire Series by Katie Allen (again) – If you haven’t been paying attention, I finished the Research and Desire series and loved them all. I have been going on a Katie Allen marathon and making my way through her back catalouge. I was a fan when she was publishing with Ellora’s Cave and only just found out she continued to write after they went defunct. So I have been devouring everything – keep an eye on this space because I have four posts lined up in the new year from her ❤

 


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Finding Aurora by Rebecca Langham

FindingAurora-coverFinding Aurora

by Rebecca Langham.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.

||  Amazon  ||  Kobo ||


Blurb: Aurora Rose slumbers in the city of Oldpass, a cursed kingdom once allied with Grimvein. The victim of a malicious spell, she is powerless to control her own fate. At least, that’s how the story goes.

Now, as Grimvein faces attack, Prince Amir has been tasked with the life-threatening rescue of Aurora, his parents hopeful he will marry the princess and secure safety for their kingdom. Talia, the strongest spellcaster in the known lands, protects and guides the prince in his quest to save a woman that threatens to change their lives forever.

In finding Aurora, the pair will realise the truth about themselves and each other, coming to understand just what—and who—they really want in life.


Release Date: 24th Decemeber, 2018.
Length: 70 pages.
Series: N/A.
Genre: Fantasy. QUILTBAG. Romance. F/F.
Read as an: eBook.
Sourced: NetGalley.

My Thoughts: Finding Aurora is a beautiful and inclusive retelling of Sleeping Beauty. From Australian author, Rebecca Langham, this novelette is not only a great read but it packs a powerful punch!

Continue reading “Finding Aurora by Rebecca Langham”

The CEO’s Christmas Manny by Angela McCallister

cover155136-medium.pngThe CEO’s Christmas Manny

by Angela McCallister.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.

|| Book Depository ||  Amazon  ||  Booktopia  ||  Kobo


Blurb: Anything but business as usual.

Billionaire CEO Nic Price lives for his job. With sales down and grumbling from the board of directors—including Nic’s permanently dissatisfied father—the last thing Nic needs is distraction from the new manny, whose freewheeling approach to childcare is outlandish… and who makes Nic feel things he’s never allowed himself to feel.

Ex-teacher Sasha Lindsey is all about fun—that’s the reason people love him, so he has to be. After a bad break-up leaves him jobless and homeless, the live-in manny job with Mr. Price seems like a windfall. But his chemistry with Nic is off the charts, and he can’t afford another workplace romance disaster.

Can Nic leave his dominance in the bedroom and open his heart to the best thing that’s ever happened to him? Or will Sasha’s leap of faith backfire and ruin his chances at the family happily ever after he’s always dreamed of?


Release Date: 18th December, 2018.
Length: 222 pages.
Series: Beyond the Boardroom #1
Genre: Romance. M/M. QUILTBAG.
Read as an: eBook.
Sourced: NetGalley.

My Thoughts: The CEO’s Christmas Manny is a quick and emotional Christmas read. The characters of the novel shine through and the story is an engaging and entertaining one. Tipping the babysitter/governess trope on its head, The CEO’s Christmas Manny is a such a great Christmas read.

Continue reading “The CEO’s Christmas Manny by Angela McCallister”

Quick Picks: Xmas Presents!

QUICK Picks

Prepare yourself for an incredibly self indulgent post about all the things I want for Xmas!

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Candy Mountain Yule Log

by Lush

Quick  run down: Every year I try and buy a few of these limited release bubble bars. The bars smell amazing and are so easy to use. You simply crumble them under a running tap and bam – you have a bubble bath.

It appears that this year instead of being little pyramids, Lush has made them into a bit more manageable shape. I usually try and grab as many as I can in the online boxing day sales but I never turn them down as a present!

Quick reasons why I love it:

  • The Smell: They are amazing – a soft and sweet vanilla.
  • The Luxury: Bubble baths are a large part of my self care routine and these beauties make them all the more luxurious.

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Tropico 6

by Kalypso

Quick run down: I have sunk so many hours into the Tropico games. Tropico 6 is a simulation game where you play as El Presidente, a ‘legally’ elected leader of a Caribbean/Cubanesque island.

Pretty much this is Sims City but on a island with a catchy soundtrack.

Quick reasons why I love it:

  • The Soundtrack: the Latin jazz sounds that play throughout each of the Tropico games.
  • The Humour: the humour of the game is really tongue in check. The reoccurring characters of the game are also really fun.

Lunar Chronicles

The Lunar Chronicles Box-set

by Melissa Meyer

Quick run down: Okay so stay with me on this one, I own Cinder and Winter. However, I do not have the other books. I also love box sets so…

If you don’t know the series, I would really recommend you check out it out! The books are retellings of classic fairy tale and they are all interconnected and amazing. I tend to recommend the series to young adults at the library and I haven’t had any complaints yet.

Quick reasons why I love the series:

  • The larger story: The five books all interconnect to tell a larger story. I’m just going to let you in on a secret, the ‘Winter‘ book is about ‘Snow White’ and the other characters from the book all join together and there are ‘seven’ of them… Yep details like that make me so happy!
  • The covers: I know a lot of people give Cinder a tough time about the cover – what with the whole weird looking foot in a shoe but I love it and I love them all!.

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Currently Consuming: Monty Python’s Flying Circus

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About: Put simply Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a sketch comedy show from the 60s. However when you look a little bit closer you see that the show was a revolution for absurdist humour, launched a number of careers, and had a lasting affect on humour which reaches into shows and movies of today.

Why: While I devoured the show during my childhood, my partner has only ever seen The Life of Brain and The Holy Grail. I feel like this is a huge oversight on his part and since Netflix has made the show available (in such a better quality than the VHS I watched the show on) we have been making our way through the 45 episodes.

Continue reading “Currently Consuming: Monty Python’s Flying Circus”

Cooking Corner: The Geeky Chef Drinks by Cassandra Reeder

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geekychefdrinksThe Geeky Chef: Unofficial Drink and Cocktail Recipes from Game of Thrones, Legend of Zelda, Star Trek, and More

by Cassandra Reeder.

Format: eBook.

Goodreads: link.

Book Depository ||  Amazon  ||  Booktopia  || Kobo  ||


Blurb: Featuring nerdy recipes for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, The Geeky Chef Drinks is your chance to sip your way through your favorite sci-fi and fantasy worlds—Game of ThronesLegend of ZeldaStar Trek, and more.

Whether you’re into comics, video games, books, or movies, you’ll be able to make the drinks you’ve always wanted to taste from realms like The Lord of the RingsHarry PotterThe Legend of ZeldaFireflyMinecraftFinal Fantasy, and many more.

In The Geeky Chef Drinks, author Cassandra Reeder has imagined into being the delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages from these varied sci-fi worlds. If you’ve found yourself craving Shimmerwine from Firefly, Flander’s Planters Punch from The Simpsons, or Pumpkin Juice from Harry Potter, your thirst will be quenched.

Easy, step-by-step instructions and fun theme photos make these creative recipes perfect for your next party, season premier get-together, or your standing reservation for a party of one.

With The Geeky Chef Drinks, prepare to be transported to galaxies far, far way.

My Thoughts: The Geeky Chef Drinks is such a fun cook book! I have previously read one of Reeder’s other recipe books and fell in love with her style. I am all for celebrating geekdom by surprising people with food representations of our favourite fandoms. It’s even better that I can now pair these food recipes with fancy cocktails!

Continue reading “Cooking Corner: The Geeky Chef Drinks by Cassandra Reeder”