I’m a thirty-four-year-old currently living in Yorkshire with my wife and three rabbits.

I’m a freelancer, and I get my work through the internet, so it doesn’t matter really where exactly I am. You’ll run into me doing user support for Beeminder, Taskratchet and Postcrossing! I’m currently studying at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, doing my MSc in Infectious Diseases.

Books are my main hobby, though I’ve been known to dabble in cross-stitch and crochet, and I play a fair number of video games. You can find me in Final Fantasy XIV most evenings, on Cerberus, under the name of Eirian Evanna.

My family would probably say that books have always taken up most of my life. Anecdote: I couldn’t read until after most of the people in my class other than the dyslexic students, whereupon I went from Cat and Mouse books to The Hobbit in less than a year. I think my parents more or less gave up trying to get me to bed on time after that. They’d have had to confiscate every book in my room to stop me staying up way into the night. Sometimes they tried, but… it never stuck.

I’m still as prone to staying up all night with a book now, and even as a student much preferred that to a night of partying. Hence this blog!

I review many of the books I read here, including all the ARCs I receive… eventually. If you’d like me to review your book or a book you’re publicising, then please see this post. I’m not always open to reviewing, especially when I’ve already taken on many commitments, because I do take it seriously.

If you’re curious about what exactly I read and what you’re going to see me posting about, see also this post: What I read. In short: everything. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, classics, contemporary, sci-fi and fantasy, comics, crime… I’m a gigantic nerd.

Note: The content of this page changes as I change, so the comments may not seem relevant anymore! Last updated: 20/10/2023

39 responses to “About

  1. Hi! I just wanted to say I really really loved your blog 🙂 I just found it in my reader and I love your book reviews. I’m trying to start doing more book reviews and writing stuff, so I’m totally looking here for inspiration! Thank you

  2. Congratulations, I have nominated your website for the Liebster Award! I wanted to thank some of the writers I have talked with on WordPress.

    The Liebster Award is used to recognize writers, and allows each nominee to nominate additional website writers. The tradition is for each each nominee to: (1) list 11 facts about themselves; (2) answer the 11 questions asked by the writer who nominated them; (3) to ask 11 new questions; and (4) to nominate 11 additional websites/blogs, and inform them of this and the rules. This can be done as a Page on your website, or it could be completed in a comment box. To see the new questions I have asked, visit the Awards and FAQs Page on my website Eusociality Blog.

  3. erverona

    My name is Emily Ruth Verona and I am a fiction writer trying to put out my current collection of short stories through Inkshares, a publishing model based on the idea of reader-promoted content.

    I know you generally review, but I was wondering if this something you would be interested in covering on your site. It’s an interesting concept to publish based on reader interest alone.

    “Conversations: A Collection of Short Stories” is a contemporary work of fiction composed of conversations, each of which stands as a separate story. These conversations take many forms, and often lead to very different results, but all of them explore the distinguishing marks of human nature.

    If you are interested in taking a look:

    More on me:


  4. Greetings BrightSpark-

    I really enjoyed browsing your blog and reading some of your reviews. I was hoping you might be interested in reviewing my newly released novel. It is the second book in a series, so I can furnish the first book as well if you are interested.

    Author: Lars Teeney

    Title: The Apostates Book Two: Remnants
    Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
    After the fall of the ruling Regime of New Megiddo, the John W. Schrubb Administration, the remnants of the country are fought over by the Republic of China Army, the Societatum Pentagram, ‘Database’ cartels, and independent city-states. Greta Sanchez, a former Apostate resistance commander who had sought refuge in West Europa is haunted by the nuclear annihilation of the old capital, New Megiddo City. In order to atone for her complicity in the destruction, she resolves to return to America to stop a new war. Greta sets out to track down her old comrades to reform the Apostates to meet new threats.

    It features a diverse racial, gender and orientation cast of characters.

    200 Pages
    I have epub or .mobi I can send.

    Thank you,
    Lars Teeney

    • I have English Lit degrees, so it seemed like a logical thing to try. I literally just signed up to freelancing sites and started bidding on jobs, and eventually got some good ones.

  5. Hi,

    I’d greatly appreciate it if you would consider reading and reviewing Dead Down East, the first of three novels in a mystery/humor series. If you will have a quick “look inside” at: Amazon Listing, Dead Down East (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=dead+down+east), and read the short prologue, in a couple of minutes you will have a good idea of the humorous, tongue-in-cheek quality of the novel. But don’t let that fool you. The plot is carefully crafted and well executed. It’s a genuine page-turner.

    A Blurb has been provided at the bottom of this message.

    If you decide that you’d like to read the book, I’ll be happy to provide you with an eBook (.mobi, .pdf, or .doc file) or a paperback.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Kind regards,

    Carl Schmidt


    Dead Down East, a fictional murder mystery, is both detective noir and smart screwball comedy rolled into one. Jesse Thorpe, a young private investigator operating out of Augusta, Maine, receives a mysterious phone call from a former client, Cynthia Dumais. She begs to be rescued from an island south of Brunswick, within a mile of where William Lavoilette, the governor or Maine, was assassinated the night before. She insists that her life is in danger, but is unwilling to provide any further information. Reluctantly, Jesse goes to fetch her.

    Within a week, Jesse has three separate clients, each with his, or her, own desperate need to have the murder solved. He assembles a motley team of compadres, including rock band members, a tie-dye psychic and his rousing girlfriend, Angele Boucher, to help him with the case. While the FBI and the Maine State Police investigate political motives, Jesse looks for the woman—Cherchez la Femme—as the trail draws him through the lives, and DNA, of the governor’s former mistresses.

    Fresh, witty and loaded with eccentric characters, this first novel in the Jesse Thorpe Mystery Series is both clever and stylish. It’s an old-school private eye tale with inventive twists and local charm. If you enjoy a well-crafted and zesty narrative, lively banter, or take pleasure in the company of Mainers, you’ll love Dead Down East.

    • Thanks for getting in contact, but as it says on the post you commented on, I’m not accepting unsolicited review copies at the moment — I’m too busy to do them any justice.

  6. Hi Bright, I know what you mean about backlog! 🙂 I saw your blog listed in the Book Review Directory. I blog and write, and noticed that most reviewers work hard reading and writing reviews, but don’t get much traffic for all that work, including myself. Like Ryan Lanz, I’d like to feature your work on my site. Each week I feature a specific genre. If you have a book review for that genre post the link in the comment section. I will visit it and list all the links the next week and on my link page as well. You don’t have to read another book, but publicize a post you’ve already created. Yeah!!! I read that you review biographies. Here is a link for memoirs. http://wp.me/p7tP3I-eS.There is no catch. I’m retired, love to read and blog for fun. Marsha 🙂

  7. plantingoaks

    So, I stumbled across a very old review of yours where you mentioned writing a dissertation about different interpretations of Kay in Arthurian legend, and that sounded really interesting. Is that something that can be found and read somewhere? Because I’d actually really like to read about permutations of Kay

    • Ooh, now that’s a question. In theory it should be available in my university’s library, of course, but I’m not sure whether it actually is and whether they’ve made it available digitally. I’ll have a scout around and get back to you, and shoot you an email if I find it either on my hard-drive or through them — this link is just to make a reminder for me.

      If you want to do any searching for yourself, my MA was completed at Cardiff University in Wales, and the title was something like ‘Tall as the tallest tree in the forest’: The Long Shadow of the Celtic Cei in the Arthurian Tradition. (Might have varied in a word or two here and there.)

      For a book on the topic, my major critical source was Linda Gowans’ Cei and the Arthurian Legend. 😀

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