This Chick Read: Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

Unmarriageable puts the familiar story of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in an unfamiliar (to me) setting of Pakistan. This mixture of a familiar story in an unfamiliar culture was both fascinating and frustrating. I loved that through reading Alys and Jena Binat’s story I was learning a new culture, but also frustrating because that culture, even in modern times, doesn’t treat women well. In some cases, worse than the Bennett ladies in 1797 England. My emotions fluctuated from fascination to outrage as each scene was revealed yet kept me reading at the same time- pushing for the finish line because I couldn’t wait for the novel to be finished with the happy ending I fully expected.

As with the Bennett family, the Binat family has fallen on hard times and due to their lack of money their social standing in Pakistan society has fallen. The two elder daughters, Alys and Jena, have an honorable position as teachers in an all girls school, but at the same time are dishonored for having to work and bring in an income for their family. Alys our main protagonist is a modern woman. Outspoken, educated and honest she has visions of living her life without being forced to marry. Her mother, however, just wants to see all of her daughters settled, both for their own good but also to help raise their families social standing. Mrs. Binat was a termagant raised in an era where the quality of your marriage defined your life, she harangued, nagged, and spoke down to her daughters so much that it was hard to see the love behind her words and actions.

Unmarriageble mirrored Pride and Prejudice so much that it took away some of the pleasure of reading the novel. The only good distraction was the setting of Pakistan. An area of the world that I am completely unfamiliar with except in news stories or rare visits to a local restaurant or international grocery store. I really enjoyed reading about the clothing, food, and culture of courtship and marriage, even if I disagreed with the ages of the bride and groom in some instances. Knowing arranged marriages still take place in some cultures is one thing, but this novel made that so much more real.

As far as the actual story, I could obviously identify with the more modern Alys and rooted for her love story with Darsee. I would have liked a little more creative license taken with the storyline but Pride and Prejudice is popular for a reason. Alys does finally see Darsee for the grumpy ‘prince’ that he is and falls in love regardless of her misinterpretations of everything he does throughout the novel. The shenanigans of the rest of the Binat girls added more color, but also gave a great sense of the struggles women in Pakistani culture have balancing the modern with tradition.

The setting, food, and colorful scenery balanced out my frustrations with those original plot similarities leaving me with only a slight sense of dissatisfaction. Did I love the novel? Not really. I enjoyed reading about a different culture and I was left with empathy for the struggles women are going through but in the end it was that lack of adding a newness to an already re-told (a million times) plot that left me in that gray area of it wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. For this reason, I am giving Unmarriageable a 3.5 rating. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

I was given a free ARC of this novel through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Unmarriageable: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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If We Could Ask J.K. Rowling One Question…

If you are a book blogger chances are you’ve read Harry Potter or if you aren’t a fan of YA Fantasy, maybe you are a fan of her pseudonym Robert Galbraith and his Cormoran Strike series. I have not read The Casual Vacancy but I know there have been many discussions on the strength of that novel and where it fits on her catalog of books.

We all have an opinion! Is Harry Potter the greatest thing since sliced bread? What house would you be in if you were enrolled in Hogwarts? Will Cormoran and Robin EVER get together? Those are all natural questions as fans of her fiction and there are no greater fans than book bloggers, right?

With your permission, let’s imagine that we have an exclusive interview with J.K. Rowling….What would you ask??

In the comments below list ONE question that you have always been dying to ask J.K Rowling. Come on, I know you have ONE?

Here’s mine: Ms. Rowling, as you conquer each genre you choose to write in, how do you come up with your next challenge?

Who’s next? I want to hear it?

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Zoe @ Zooloo’s Book Diary

Zoe’s blog Zooloo’s Book Diary does not just focus on one genre. Zoe reads mysteries, thrillers, romances, chick lit, YA, horror, you name it and she reads it! Her reviews have both insight and humorous and I’ve enjoyed getting to know her through reading her blog. If Zooloo’s Book Diary is a new name for you please go to the following link and check her out, but come back and read her answers to my 10 questions. You won’t want to miss it!

Zoe @ Zooloo’s Book Diary

Let’s see what Zoe has to say!

Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?

United Kingdom

What is the view outside your front door? 

Now that I live in Dover, I have the most amazing views but unfortunately the view I have is boring, so I will show the view when I have my lunchbreak at work where I read. (which is just a bit further from my house)

Most blogs have a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name and/or why you started blogging.

I originally started blogging February 2018, under the name of Zooloo Book Blog. I had just read Ruth Ware’s “The woman in cabin 10” and I decided to put it out there on twitter. Someone replied saying I should read AJ Finn’s “The woman in the window”, next thing I knew both Ruth Ware and AJ Finn had replied to my tweet! I was gob smacked, mentioned it to my two closest friends and they started telling to do something on Instagram, and eventually my blog. It was an eye opener! However, due to issues and viruses I had to stop Zooloo Book Blog and in September Zooloo’s Book Diary was born.  Zooloo is my nickname as my proper first name is Zoé- Lee but someone mis-read it and thought I was called Zoo-Lee, so it stuck. 

Describe where you write your blog.

At home, at my desk it looks like I am in a space machine with the two screens.

Most of us have a stack of books sitting next to our couch or bed waiting to be read. What books are in your stack?

My stack is in my little lady’s bedroom, I have double backed my books on one shelf and piled the rest up high. The other half is away so I may have to buy a new bookshelf to fit them on and let her have her shelf. I try to keep my next blog tour books by me and the order of books I must read them in. 

If you have had a bad day and want to spend an hour reading a book, what is your go to genre or favorite book that will lift your mood?

If the current book I am reading is good, I will go to that. Otherwise the book/author that gets me out of reading slump is Rich Amooi, his book five minutes late is one I recommend completely!

Five Minutes Late Synopsis:

Can an always-tardy garlic mogul and a punctual Silicon Valley librarian fall in love?

The world needs garlic and somebody’s got to sell that garlic. Cedric Johnson is that man. But even though he’s got just about everything he can wish for, Cedric is still missing one thing in his life: someone special. Fate may be on his side, but he encounters a few distractions along the way—like almost being killed by a UPS truck. Oh, and a little case of blackmail.

Ellie Fontaine is a walking Wikipedia with clear professional goals, but when it comes to landing Mr. Right, she doesn’t know jack squat. She gives online dating a shot, but ends up with an unappetizing buffet of unibrows and losers. What’s a girl to do?

After Ellie saves Cedric’s life, serendipity takes over as they continue to run into each other. Their connection grows stronger with each meeting, even though he embodies her number one pet peeve: he’s always late. But even if they can get past their issues and misunderstandings, Ellie’s ex-boyfriend, an unscrupulous cop, will do anything to keep them apart.

FIVE MINUTES LATE is a hilarious fast-paced romantic comedy, full of snappy dialogue and fun, quirky characters, guaranteed to warm your heart.

When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?

Well I work full-time in an art charity in the finance department and I am a full-time mum. So, do not always get the time for me, a lot of late night writing!

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?

I generally only write reviews, but the one non book review post that has got the most views ever is my Top 21 books for 2018. After that was my book review of The Lion Tamer who lost by Louise Beech. http://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/top21readsof2018

Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? If so, what did you say to them? Looking back, what do you wish you had said instead?

I have not met any yet! There a couple I would love to meet and hopefully this year I will make it happen! 

If you could sit down with an author for a slice of cake and a question, who is the author, what kind of cake would you serve, and what is the first question you’d ask?

Easy bit is I would serve Lemon Drizzle cake as it’s my favourite. Wow who! There are a few I would love to…. erm Gina Kirkham, Jonathan Janz, Miranda Grant and of course Rich Amooi. I could go on and on and on. I would probably ask way too many questions out of pure excitement! 

Thanks so much Zoe! Just glancing at those covers above shows how eclectic and varied your taste is in genre’s to read. I need to peruse your reviews for my next find!

Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger and if you are interested in being featured, please let me know in the comments!

Deb

Friday YA: Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan

For those of you who love swashbuckling action, you’ll LOVE Ignite the Stars! Ia Cocha is the scourge of the stars. Fighting against the Olympus Commonwealth, Ia is part terrorist, part Robin Hood. When the story starts she is trapped on a Tawny ship and is being taken captive. When it is found out that she is just a 17 year old girl and not an adult man, it’s determined that it would be better to bury her in an Academy of students in an unknown location than to put her on trial and kill her. That would look bad, I guess? When she gets to the Academy she is a prisoner of sorts, but able to roam free. She is kept from flying but her mind is always looking for an escape.

Brinn, Ia’s roommate, has a secret. One that she is desperate to keep, but Ia figures her out pretty quickly and blackmails her into doing something for her. Through the sharing of this secret Ia and Brinn develop a friendship of sorts. Brinn, who is kind of prickly because she doesn’t let herself get close to anyone, can let Ia close because she knows her secret. It is this friendship that drives the book. We learn that no one is who we think they are. Ia the terrorist actually has empathy and fights for the underdogs and Brinn the loner comes face to face with her heritage and embraces it. When it finally happens, these two are a powerful team.

There are a whole other cast of characters in this novel. Heroic figures and villainous ones fill the classrooms. Flight Master Knives, just out of school himself, is Ia’s jailer and love interest. Not as gruesome as that sounds, I swear! He has his own issues with the Olympus Commonwealth, most notably his father who is an Admiral and a not so nice character. This love connection between he and Ia is PG rated, but it does allow both of their characters to show another side. 

I love a fast moving plot and Ignite the Stars was quick, emotional, and fun. It’s hard to believe this was Maura Milan’s debut novel. It seemed like every character had their own hidden battle they were fighting. I’ll admit that Brinn was probably my favorite character, but Ia was a close second. They were both underdogs, and I do like to root for the underdog. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I’ve been looking for a book to appease by craving for more sci-fi adventure after I finished Obsidio, and let me tell you that Ignite the Stars did the trick! You’re dropped right into the action, and it doesn’t stop until the very end. I fell absolutely in love with our cast of characters and adored how each had their own unique story that eventually intertwined.” A Myriad of Books

“For all its shortcomings, Ignite the Stars was a decent, easy read. Knives and Brinn are strong deuteragonists, and Maura Milan has a good deal of fun with the supporting cast. As socially conscious YA, the story integrates a timely if heavy-handed political message on the refugee crisis. As a space opera…eh.” Serendipitous Reads

Click this link to purchase!* Ignite the Stars

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Demon’s Mercy (Dark Protector’s #9) by Rebecca Zanetti

The Fae have decided to come out of hiding and save the world from being destroyed when the Seven form and dimensions collide. Mercy O’Malley is supposed to take out Logan Kyllwood, the last man set to join the Seven, but when she gets near him her blood sizzles and her heartbeat quickens. When she decides to kidnap him instead Logan goes along with it trying to figure out this new danger. Needless to say, neither one of them fights against the pull they have for each other even though they are fated to be on opposite sides of this war.

Logan was born a warrior and even though he is the youngest Kyllwood brother he has taken on a significant task of saving their world by joining the mysterious Seven. As with all of the other alpha heroes in this series, Logan is dark and broody but he has an element of fun that is brought out when he meets Mercy. Part of that is that she is Fae, a species he didn’t know was real. He jokingly calls her a fairy through the whole book, a title she begrudgingly accepts. It’s that humor that humanizes the story and makes she and Logan interesting.

I like that a new species has been introduced to this Dark Protector world. The discovery of what is “fae” makes this story interesting and I hope the author delves into that lineage more in future novels. Logan and Mercy were a fun pairing and I enjoyed their story and look forward to getting a glimpse into their future in the next Dark Protector story. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given an ARC of this novel through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!*Demon’s Mercy (Dark Protectors Book 9)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

An Interview with Author Teri Bailey Black!

Hi Teri, congratulations on the release of your debut novel Girl at the Grave. It is being released as a Gothic YA Mystery. Would you please  give a little bit of insight over what inspired you to write Valentine’s story?

I’m a very visual person (I grew up in a family of artists), so for me a story usually starts as an image in my mind. This story started as the image of a little girl in the 1800’s, with wild curls and dirty feet, looking through a schoolhouse window. The teacher tries to draw her inside, but she runs away. I wondered why that little girl feels like an outcast and decided her mother was hanged for murdering a prominent man. And suddenly I was writing a murder mystery, which excited me because I love mysteries.

My first draft of GIRL AT THE GRAVE was quite different than the final printed story. The first quarter of the book was Valentine’s childhood (seeing her mother hanged, then learning to fend for herself), then the story jumped to her teen years, with some romance and new murders in town. I sent out queries to agents, and one asked for a revision and resubmit, with a suggestion to make it either a full children’s story or a full YA story. Which seemed so obvious, suddenly. I spent about six months completely rewriting it as YA, cutting the childhood chapters and changing the teen story quite a bit. The story continued changing as I went through revisions with my editor. But, at its core, it remains the story of that little girl and how she overcomes the shame of having a mother who murdered someone and facing her own mistakes.

There were a ton of mysterious elements in Girl at the Grave, but one that stood out to me was the house she lived in. It was an old partially burned down estate yet you imbued the rooms with a rather gloomy life so that it almost  became another character. Did you have a real life setting that you based this house on? Or as some authors do did you create a picture board of houses for inspiration?

When I write, I always have a clear picture of the setting in my head and have fun putting it into words. But I don’t want the descriptions longwinded. My goal is to create a rich atmosphere in as few words as possible, mingling descriptions with action and dialogue. Honestly, creating a setting is the fun, easy part of writing for me. I have other challenges, but thinking up settings and characters brings me joy. 

I didn’t base the Barron estate on anything except my own imagination—no picture boards or anything. In the first draft, the main house was fully burned and uninhabitable, and Valentine and her father lived in a small carriage house on the property. But I had to keep inventing reasons for her to wander out to the burned ruins—and then it came to me—she should be living in that creepy house! So much more fun.

When I read Girl at the Grave I was surprised that adults played such a large role in the novel. Did you ever discuss tweaking the novel so that it became more YA than General Fiction? It could so easily have been labeled a Gothic Mystery novel with a young woman in her early 20’s

I love YA—both reading it and writing it, even watching it in movies. It’s such a pivotal point in life, where everything seems more intense and hopeful and scary, when choices are made and life turns one direction or another. My initial idea for GIRL AT THE GRAVE included much of Valentine’s childhood, from age 5 through her grammar school years, then jumped to her teen years. So, for me, it was always a coming-of-age story. I eventually cut the childhood chapters and focused on the teen years, making it purely YA, but I never saw it as an adult story.

Let’s discuss the love triangle. YA readers either love them or hate them. As you wrote the novel, how many times did you change your mind about who Valentine would choose, Sam or Rowan? Is there anything you wish you had done differently with those relationships?

Ha! (I’m going to try to answer this without spoilers.) This was the biggest surprise for me after the book was published—that people see it as a love triangle. I honestly didn’t see it that way as I wrote. For me, it was very clear from Chapter 1 which boy she wants—which boy will be The One—and the story is how she gets from point A to point B. She doesn’t feel worthy of him because of social standing and a past mistake, so she thinks she has to settle for a more reasonable choice. But I thought it was pretty clear that she doesn’t really want that other choice. Valentine redeems herself and then DOES feel worthy of the boy she loves—and makes a surprising choice. So, yeah, two boys in her life, but for me it was more of a line with a little swerve as the story hits a crisis point, not a triangle. But—oh my! People have strong feelings about love triangles. Hopefully, as one reviewer wrote: “This is one love triangle that actually doesn’t suck.” I’ll take it!

As Valentine unraveled the mystery there were so many twists and turns my mind changed frequently over the outcome and I was completely surprised in the end. What is your process for keeping it all straight?

The quick answer to your question is—I keep it straight in my head. I do make feeble attempts to outline, but I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer by nature, making it up as I go. For me, the joy is being creative, wandering one direction, then another, exploring the possibilities. As soon as I map out exactly what should happen, I change it. Since GIRL AT THE GRAVE was written without a book deal or deadline, it evolved slowly. I remember making a few noble attempts to map out every detail, but I never followed those notes.

However, that said, with my current manuscript I DO have an agent, editor, book deal, and deadline, so I did outline ahead of time so I can write faster. I tried Post-it notes and didn’t like it; moving one note led to unsticking and re-sticking a dozen more. Then I tried index cards, which are easier to slide around on the rug, but I didn’t love that method either. What IS working for me is writing rambling thoughts in a notebook that I never read again. That loose, sloppy handwriting helps my brain think through the story. THEN I type up a pretty outline. THEN I write ten chapters, allowing myself to wander in unexpected directions. When the story has detoured (and I know the detour is the right choice), I stop typing and go back to the sloppy notebook so I can think through the details—then I type a new, organized outline—then I go back to writing the manuscript. Rinse and repeat. It has been a nice mix of outlining and exploring.

Did you always know who the murderer was or did you change your mind as you wrote the novel?

I knew who the murderer was from the beginning. Hm, this question makes me realize for the first time that most of the mystery never changed at all—not the reasons for the murders or the way they were done. What DID change were the characters. Valentine’s personality changed quite a bit. And in the first draft, which included a lot of her childhood, Sam was a mean bully, not a friend. I added more characters, like Birdy, and reduced others who didn’t add to the story. But the murder mystery remained as first imagined.

Teri, thanks again for answering my questions! My last question is about your next project. Are you working on your next novel and if so, can you tell us anything about it? Genre? Release date?

Whelp, I keep missing deadlines, haha, but the plan is to send this manuscript to my editor at the end of January 2019, and it will be published in 2020. It’s a Young Adult murder mystery, but quite different from GIRL AT THE GRAVE. Lots of atmosphere, because I love that, but a different era, different place, different tone. It’s actually been a delight to write. I adore the characters and setting and can’t wait to share it with the world. More details coming soon—title, synopsis, cover. People can follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or sign up for my newsletter on my website to get the announcements as they’re made (user name TeriBaileyBlack).

Thanks!!

About the Author:
Bio:
Teri Bailey Black grew up near the beach in Southern California in a large, quirky family with no television or junk food but an abundance of books and art supplies. She’s happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or digging in the garden. She and her husband have four children and live in Orange County, California.

Friday YA: Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Caroline Oresteia’s life changes drastically when she and her father arrive on their boat to a town where all the boats have been burned in the harbor. Caro’s father is taken prisoner and Caro is blackmailed into signing papers to ferry a crate by herself to a faraway town. She is not to open this crate, but of course she does. What she finds changes her path away from the river she’s always known into a world filled with politics and danger.

Caro was an easy character to understand and like. Her family has always let the river God guide them but Caro has never heard his voice. Desperate to “find” herself she leaps into accepting this challenge, only in part because they are holding her father hostage. She is really relishing the chance to prove herself and this trip while scary also pushes her outside of her comfort zone allowing her to grow.

Caro’s love interest started off an enemy but soon became a reliable friend and then more. I liked how that relationship developed and that Caro wasn’t the only character to show growth through the story. Song of the Current was also an action adventure tale along the lines of a Robin Hood or a swashbuckling tale. As Caro’s confidence builds her character becomes more pirate like and even heroic. It was a lot of fun to read and the story flew by very quickly.

I love YA action novels and Song of the Current hit the right note for me. It did start off a little slow but that was to be expected as the characters and world building needed explanation. As soon as she pushed off down the river and opened that crate the story took off and the adventure began. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

Song of the Current is an interesting book. There were two things that I had predicted, and they came true, BUT! I’m not even upset about that. The Song of the Current is that good.” Adele is Reading

“This is one of the few reads this year that has been a solid, true five stars, and I’m so eager to get my hands on Whisper of the Tide. It’s got a pretty cover, for starters, and I’m READY to see what Caro and Markos have gotten themselves into next. I’m invested and delighted and well and truly in love with this book in a way I’m not sure I have been with any particular series for a long time. If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend that you hop to it, because it was well worth the time!” The Words Gremlin

Song of the Current

Click this link to purchase!* Song of the Current

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Hot Winter Nights (Heartbreaker Bay #6) by Jill Shalvis

Molly Malone works for Hunter Investigations but not in the capacity she’d like. We learned a little of Molly’s back story in her brother Joe’s story About that Kiss. Molly’s brother is uber protective because of an episode in their childhood where Molly got hurt and having Molly take on a more active role at work goes against those protector instincts. Lucas Knight, another investigator in the company, has always had a soft spot for Molly. When one of her neighbors asks for her help with a situation at work Lucas is “assigned” to keep watch and make sure Molly stays out of trouble.

The Heartbreaker Bay series is about a group of friends that all work in this small community of buildings. I love how we meet future couples in previous novels so that when their story arrives, you already know something about them and you don’t need half the novel as set up. Hot Winter Nights jumps right in. We know Lucas as an attractive guy who doesn’t like more than one night stands, and Molly as the younger sister of Joe who has a bum leg from a past run in with a gang. A few sentences in and the back story comes immediately to mind and I can easily immerse myself into their story.

I’ll admit the mystery was a little hokey with a Christmas theme with some geriatric elves and a mob like Santa. Even though the mystery was a little silly it did allow for some great scenes between Molly and Lucas that added heat to the themed story. The best thing about Jill Shalvis’ books are the fact that the characters are easy to like and have a lot of heart. I also love that it’s a group of friends who stay connected through love for each other, literally and figuratively. I wish I had a group of friends like this myself and anyone who reads these novels thinks the same thing. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

Heartbreaker Bay is a really fun series, and I especially love the Christmas stories, which encompasses about half the books in this series. This one also has a bit of suspense thrown in, which really helps to keep the pages turning.” Stacey Alesi’s Bookbitch.com

“Hot Winter Nights is a fun and entertaining read with just the right amount of steam, romance, action and suspense. It’s a great book to spend your day getting swept up in and will definitely put you in the holiday spirit.” Once Upon A Book Blog

Hot Winter Nights

Click this link to purchase!* Hot Winter Nights: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chicks Confession- 2019

I CONFESS– I struggled to reach my Goodreads goal for 2018. I set it for 200 and was 7 away with one week ago. I read a bunch of novellas, included two audio re-reads, and ended the year at exactly 200 on 12/31/18. I feel guilty, should I?


So, I only set my 2019 challenge for 170 books this year. Although I’ll have to say, I’m off to a very quick start!

I CONFESS– I stopped accepting review requests on my blog midway through 2018. I do still request ARC’s through NetGalley though…

Well….I will accept reviews from authors I’ve previously read and enjoyed though…so not totally!

I CONFESS– I frequently run out of ideas for posts on my blog. It’s frustrating! I really admire those of you who post with brand new content all the time. How do you do it??? Advice is welcome!

I CONFESS– Sometimes I just want to read a fluffy feel good book! I don’t want to read a book just because it deals with a subject that I’m supposed to want to read because it’s popular. I want romance! I want escapism! I want to quit my job! wait, what??!! LOL

I CONFESS– I got tired and stopped blog hopping. I KNOW! What a lazy bum, right? My husband got me this really cool little laptop for Christmas and makes blog hopping so easy and fun! I’m going to say that dreaded word, but my GOAL (ugh!) is to amp up my hopping activity. I love checking out everyone’s blogs. I just got tired. Then the holidays, and well, I got sick. A couple times. So then, anyway… I will!

That’s me. Bunny, um yeah, blog hopping. LOL

So now that I’m done confessing… I’m just going to get back to it.

I hope 2019 brings you joy, happiness, romance, good luck and GREAT books!

Deb

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Julie @ A Little Book Problem

Julie’s blog A Little Book Problem is about more than just book reviews. She talks about life, writing, travel, and yes, she also talks about the books she’s read. Aesthetically her blog is beautiful and her voice is crystal clear. If you haven’t been to A Little Book Problem please click the link below, but come back and read the answers to the 10 questions Julie answered!

Julie @ A Little Book Problem

Let’s get to those 10 questions shall we?

Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?

I live in the UK, in a tiny hamlet seven miles north of Doncaster in South Yorkshire. Our village has only 120 residents, a pub and a post box!

What is the view outside your front door? 

Mostly just fields and a few other houses. A bucolic fantasy for some, and others’ worst nightmare, I guess. 

Most blogs have a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name and/or why you started blogging.

At the end of 2016, I started to panic about the size of my TBR and my fear that i’d die before I got to the bottom of it, so I made a resolution that I would buy no new books in 2017 and only read ones I already owned. I started my blog in January 2017 to keep track of my resolution. I chose the name to reflect my addiction. Once I discovered the book blogging community, my blog morphed from what it started out as to more of a review blog, and sadly my TBR is now bigger than when i started, due to all the fabulous recommendations from my fellow bloggers!

Describe where you write your blog. Include a picture if you’d like!

I usually write at my desk with a gorgeous view through the French windows over my back garden and the fields beyond. 

Most of us have a stack of books sitting next to our couch or bed waiting to be read. What books are in your stack?

I used to have a stack next to my bed. my daughter even christened it Mt Bookarus as it was so big. Eventually, it got so tall that it was higher than my mattress and I started banging my face on it in the night so i gave in and bought a bookcase for the bedroom to house it. it has now overflowed into an additional one downstairs in the office too. I really do have a serious book problem! 

If you have had a bad day and want to spend an hour reading a book, what is your go to genre or favorite book that will lift your mood?

I pretty much read anything and what i choose will depend on my mood but I do like a good romantic fiction read to lift my mood. It is a much-maligned, but massively popular genre that I am nor ashamed to say I enjoy and there a lot of great romance writers out there. if it has an overseas setting to indulge my love of travel, even better.

When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?

I recently closed down my travel business to focus on a new career, so I am currently training for that. i am also working on my own novel (gulp!) as a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme, plus being a mum to two daughters, step-mum to another three part of the time, looking after three ponies and walking my cocker spaniel, Lola.

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?

The ones I have most response to tend to be personal ones but the one i had most fun writing was this review of Battlestar Suburbia by Chris McCrudden. i think it is still my favourite post. https://alittlebookproblem.co.uk/2018/09/21/battlestar-suburbia-by-chris-mccrudden-bookreview-cmccrudden-farragobooks-netgalley-battlestarsuburbia-netgalley/ 

Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? If so, what did you say to them? Looking back, what do you wish you had said instead?

Since I joined the RNA, I’ve been lucky enough to meet lots of my favourite authors including Jill Mansell, Milly johnson, Rowan Coleman, Julie Cohen, Cathy Bramley, Heidi Swain, Miranda Dickinson and Katie Fforde. I was also lucky enough to spend 4 days staying with Veronica Henry on a writing retreat, which was marvellous. They are all surprisingly normal and have given me great writing advice. When i met Katie Fforde I did say, ‘OMG, Katie Fforde!’ which was slightly idiotic, but she didn’t seem to mind!

If you could sit down with an author for a slice of cake and a question,  who is the author, what kind of cake would you serve, and what is the first question you’d ask?

I really wish I could have met Maeve Binchy before she died. I’d have taken her to Betty’s in York for a cup of their Blue Ceylon tea and a Fat Rascal and asked her how she managed to capture the true nature of ordinary people so perfectly. In her absence, i’ll take Marian Keyes and ask her the same question. My in-laws live quite close to her in Dublin and I keep hoping I’ll ‘accidentally’ bump in to her one day in Dundrum shopping centre!

I’ll admit that I had to look up a Fat Rascal because that name was too precocious to not know what kind of dessert it represented. I do love a good scone and I think that’s what a Fat Rascal is? One of my favorite past times when visiting England is tea and scones. Yum! I can’t imagine a better treat while talking with a favorite author. Thanks Julie for taking part in my series, I loved the peek into your life and through your window!

Thanks to all of you for reading Blogger to Blogger and if you’d like to take part, please give me a shout and I’ll send you the questions.

thanks!

Deb