This Chick Read: The Mortal Word (The Invisible Library #5) by Genevieve Cogman

Called in to solve the murder of a high level dragon at the secret Dragon- Fae Peace conference, Irene, and her friend Inspector Vale are in a race against time. Not only does Irene have a personal stake, as her parents are being held hostage by one of the groups, but she and Vale must solve this murder before one or both sides decide that peace isn’t worth the effort to overcome their prejudices against each other.

I enjoy this series of historical fantastical mysteries. Irene is an intrepid heroine who may internally second guess her decisions but outwardly looks like she knows exactly what she’s doing when racing to solve a case. For me, the interesting character in this novel was Vale. Taken out of his own time and thrown into an alternate universe, we initially see a more hesitant Vale. He is insecure in his knowledge of how this place functions and is afraid that he’ll make the wrong judgement call. It’s only when he goes with his gut instincts that he overcomes those more human emotions. I liked the human side of Vale that we don’t usually get to see.

Irene’s investigations always prove spyworthy and in The Mortal Word, she overcomes all obstacles in somewhat superhero fashion. I almost expected her to have gained a super power or two, but she remains just as “normal” at the end of the book as she did at the beginning. I can’t decide if I’m a little disappointed by that fact. Kai didn’t play a huge roll in this story, although their relationship does advance forward and I’m eager to read the next installment in this series to see how their romance plays out. 

I enjoyed the Mortal Word a lot, but except for a couple of key plot points it plays out as a kind of filler novel. The Lost Plot was soooo good, that in my eyes it would be hard to have as good a follow up. However, The Mortal Word did set the stage for some interesting scenarios in future novels. So I do have hope that we haven’t seen the best out of this series yet. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere!

“As of this writing I am around 15% into this book but every single aspect has grabbed my attention. We have a romantic interest that the story has been hinting at for FOUR BOOKS! Finally, it feels like something might come of it. We have murder under mysterious circumstances and a staged crime scene and…and…oh it is just great!” Literary Weaponry

“I loved this new installment. I loved the new depth to Irene’s relationship with Kai (total OTP) but also getting to see Vale again, and meet some important players on each side of the conflict. What I love about these books is not only how much I relate to Irene – I feel like she was written just for me – but how much the characters grow from book to book, making them all so realistic and deep.” Readcommendations

Click this link to purchase!*

The Mortal Word (The Invisible Library Novel)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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This Chick Read: Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacy 3.5) by Ilona Andrews

This short novella is a fix for all of us Ilona Andrews junkies. We get just a taste of Nevada and Baylor, as the story revolves around the planning of their wedding, but it centers around her sister Catalina. Nevada goes through a few wedding planners so her sisters Catalina and Arabella decide to step in and take over. No worries about Nevada turning into Bridezilla, she doesn’t, but some of her tastes are a little questionable and there are a few wedding guests who’d rather not see her walk down the aisle. When a Rogan family heirloom goes missing, Catalina is hired to track it down before Nevada’s big day.

I have always wanted to see a little bit more of Catalina. As a Prime Siren, she has the power to enthrall and make anyone love her to the point of obsession. As Catalina investigates she has to go outside her comfort zone and use her skills as a Siren to get people to answer her questions. It was fascinating to see another side to Catalina as she explores her powers. She is obviously afraid but her love for her family makes her step up and solve this mystery. You could tell the author(s) had a lot of fun with this short story!

I LOVED the big reveal at the end of the story. As Catalina runs down the list of who did what, Nevada is described as leaning back in her chair and giving her sister a big thumbs up and a grin. You could just feel the pride and love. Yes, the Hidden Legacy series revolves around Rogan and Nevada, but the underlining theme is family, and the Baylor’s are the definition of that word. Of course, as this was a short story, you are left wanting more, more, more! I believe the next novel, also centering around Catalina, will be out sometime in 2019. As with all of the others, it will be well worth the wait! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“You can always count on Ilona Andrews for a story that will not only thrill and excite, but also wrap you up in the complex personal relationships of their characters. Diamond Fire was a terrific addition to the series and sets the stage nicely for Catalina to lead the way in upcoming books.”Harlequin Junkie

“I feel like this book accomplished what it set out to do – make me anticipate Catalina’s story. But it also suffered from its short length and didn’t have the usual brilliant plotting and storytelling that we know the author can bring to the table.” Rayas Reads

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Click this link to purchase!* Diamond Fire: A Hidden Legacy Novella

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with The Captain @ Captain’s Quarters

I love visiting the Captain’s site for her avast ye matey sang froid and to increase my own repertoire of pirate phrases. Even more interesting is the Captain’s insightful reviews and commentary. How does the Captain find time to read while sailing the seven seas looking for pirate’s booty? Well, I’m sure all Captain’s require an evening off occasionally to read a good book! If you’ve never visited the site Captain’s Quarters then ye should walk the plank, or just click the link below to check it out. Come back though, I don’t think you want to miss the Captain’s answers to my 10 questions!

Click HERE to visit the Captain’s Quarters!

Captain's logo

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 originally hail from the port of Baltimore in Maryland in the U.S.  I have “officially” lived in over 10 American states and in the jolly ol’ Port of London.  I currently be sailing the seven seas in search of adventure, treasure, and fun!

What is the view outside your front door?

Me glorious view be of nothing but winds, waves, and the wonders of the sea, matey!

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

The Story Behind the Captain’s Quarters…

What’s in a name? I am a pirate captain.  Me ship’s logbook is stored in me captain’s quarters.

Why did I start blogging? I started me blog on January 4, 2016 and have been happily continuing ever since.  It started as an online log for me to keep track of what I read and what me thoughts were on the various ports I visit.  I had no real expectations of getting followers but I have been pleasantly surprised that ye scalawags think me (b)log is of interest.

Describe where you write your blog. 

I write me log posts on me laptop in me cabin.  I’ll not be including a picture to protect me secrets.  Arrr!

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? 

Aye, matey.  I do have plenty of unread books on me ship.  In me cabin there be 117 books waiting for perusal.  There be 1180 un-owned books currently on me ports for plunder list.  I also have unknown numbers of books on library lists, me kindle, and in the hold.  I keep meaning to tally them.  But I get distracted . . .

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?

Me go to genres be fantasy and sci-fi.  They be the focus of the Captain’s Quarters.

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

Well matey, the theme of me life be:

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I have a ship to sail, ports to plunder, loot to be counted, and scoundrels to be run through with me cutlass.  Arrr!  Me formal schooling days be over but I be a lifelong self-educator about whatever subject happens to capture me fancy.  Besides sailing the world, I do enjoy occasionally relaxing on a hammock on a deserted island somewhere.  Of course reading is one o’ me main pursuits.  Occasionally I catch a show when I be in port.  I do hope to see every Shakespeare play performed live at some point.  The tally currently be 18/38 (the histories be hard to find).

My favorite blog post banner

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

Well matey, me most fun post was when I wrote about readin’ the wrong book!  That book is currently holding the place for best book of the year despite it not being sci-fi or fantasy. (Click links to read)

Curiosities of the Deep – the seven husbands of evelyn hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

The Seven Husbands

The “correct” book review was also fun to write.

On the Horizon – the 7 1/2 deaths of evelyn hardcastle (Stuart Turton) – wherein I finally read the correct book!

Seven Deaths

But the post I be most proud of involved standing up against the use of rape as a plot point.  It burned bridges with a publisher for “author provocation” but me review be honest and heartfelt.  The fallout was nasty. I stand me ground.

Abandoned Ship On the Horizon – hidden sun (Jaine Fenn) – rant that contains spoilers

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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?

Well matey, I be unusual in this regard.  I have quite a few favourite authors but I don’t care to meet any of them.  I don’t want their personal details, usually politics or history of abuse, to make me unable to enjoy their work.

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?

Cake.  Yum.  I love Key Lime Pie and Classic Yellow Cake with chocolate icing.  Derby Pie.  Strawberry Shortcake with biscuits.  Pound Cake.  Smith Island Cake.  But not Fruitcake or Cheesecake.  Those Walk the Plank!  I would commandeer all the cake from the any author and flee to savour the goodness.  I suppose I could share with me crew.  Depends on how much treasure they have discovered since the last tally.  Arrrrr!

 

Oh my! After that list of cakes and pie’s I just had to include a couple of images, yum!

I love that the Captain included three of their posts for us to read. I, too was confused by the Seven 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo! I read the first and not the second. I did hear that the publisher inserted the 1/2 into the first title to try to differentiate it from the other. I think they both came out at about the same time?

As far as her third link, bravo! I am so bothered about how some authors use mistreatment of women in the wrong way. If it is needed to move the plot forward and the character learns, grows, and gets over it, great. However, it is not ok to use rape or other types of abuse and abusive relationships in the way the Captain mentions in their post. The one rant post I wrote was about a man who essentially stalked a woman from childhood, controlled her future, then married her and it was considered a romantic book! I was pretty horrified and said so in that post. (Everything for Her by Alexa Riley)

Even though the Captain was a little cagey in letting us see the vista out of their ships porthole, I do think I know them a little bit better and am thankful they wanted to take part in my Blogger to Blogger series.

Have you ever read a book that you didn’t agree with how a woman or women were treated? What was your response?

Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!

Deb

Friday YA: Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black

Valentine grew up in a small New England town where her legacy as the daughter of a woman who murdered the beloved son of one of the founding families and was hanged for it. Years later when more people are murdered in their town people start pointing fingers at Valentine and she has to investigate to prove her own innocence.

Girl at the Grave is labeled as a Gothic Mystery and definitely gives off that dark historical vibe. Told from Valentine’s POV we see the townspeople change from her childhood views to a new adult perspective. The mystery intertwines through so many layers of not only Valentine’s life but those of the people around her as well. It was worth the time it took for the author to take us on the road to discover who was behind these crimes. I was truly surprised and did not figure this one out. I must’ve changed my mind every time that road twisted.

There were two love interests for Valentine. Sam, the boy she grew up with. He was comfortable, solid, and sweet. There was also Rowan who was the son of the man that her mother killed. Handsome, rich, smart and always on the peripheral of her mind. Someone she admired, living a life she wanted to be a part of. I loved the intricacies of the mystery so much that I thought this love triangle actually detracted a little bit from the story. It did not ruin it though.

Girl at the Grave is a very refreshing historical mystery. Technically it’s a YA novel but most of the time I forgot the age, and unlike other YA novels the adults had a presence and were actually a HUGE part of this story and Valentine held her own. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Girl At The Girl is a stand-alone YA debut novel by Teri Bailey Black. Well, this book has a great potential but sadly it falls short of perfection. To be honest, I enjoyed the story-line, but it was disappointing that the plot focused more on the romance and less on the murder mystery.” Dreamy Addictions

“This novel kept me guessing.  At certain points, I rolled my eyes, certain I knew which direction the plot was headed, and how similar this book was to so many others I’d read.  And I was very pleasantly proven wrong.” Books and Such

YA Gothic Mystery

Click this link to purchase!* Girl at the Grave

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Wild Like the Wind (Chaos #6) by Kristen Ashley

MC romance novels are not my typical fare, but when a novel comes out by Kristen Ashley I always pre-order. This one didn’t sit too long on my virtual shelf because Tack, the leader of the Chaos motorcycle club is one of my favorite characters, he and Tyra’s story, Motorcycle Man is my go to Alpha male/sassy chick read. I did get a little of Tack and Tyra in Wild Like the Wind, but the couple this book focus’s on is Hound and Keely. Now, Hound is a pretty familiar character. He’s been involved in quite a few of our other Chaos novels, but Keely has not entered this realm. Or so I thought! Keely is actually the widow of Black, the Chaos member who died years ago and who all of the members have tattooed in memorandum somewhere on their body. As an ex-Chaos members wife, Keely should be off limits to another brother, but Hound has been in love with her since he set eyes on her. For that reason their story was pretty tenderhearted. (Key the sound of cars crashing and tires squealing. Yes! It was tenderhearted, in an Alpha biker kind of way!)

The story of Hound and Keely’s love blooming is sweet and gentle, but those sex scenes. Wow! I was a little, ummm, uncomfortable with some of these details? Yes, we are talking biker babe and grunting not very emotive biker guy. I assume they have hard core sex, but somehow my vision of their love story and Ms. Ashley’s didn’t travel the same path. I was a little disappointed! Look, I am a huge fan and I know what you get when you read a KA novel, but I don’t know. I had a problem with the sex scenes getting in the way of the story in this novel. So, I skimmed through most of them, which was about 200 pages of this novel. The actual love story was really sweet though, and I loved their story!

Soooo, if you took out those 200 pages of miscellaneous sex scenes and stick to the story of how Hound and Keely overcame their Chaos brothers objections, fell in love and got their HEA, it was pretty damned good. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Wild Like the Wind

Click this link to purchase!* Wild Like the Wind (Chaos Series) (Volume 6)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: I’ve read THE book, now what?

What do you do when you read a book that everyone else has done flips over, but you just can’t see what all the fuss is about? Do you cave to pressure and rate the book high, be truthful, or take a pass and not follow through on the review? I’ve read quite a few discussion posts lately on this topic and I thought I’d take a moment to weigh in.

I was that reader that didn’t know what a big deal it was to an author to have a review left on a bookseller site. It wasn’t until I entered this book blogging world that I learned how those rankings helped the algorithm (that I still don’t even understand) show their book to more buyers, think “if you loved this romance author, then you should read this one who is very similar”. Who knew? I loved the thought that my review helped show off their book! But, what happens if I don’t like it? What do I do? Especially if it is THE book that everyone else likes?

Reading THE book for Pleasure– If I haven’t been asked by the author, or committed myself in some way to have read and reviewed a book by a certain date and am just reading the book for pleasure, then the answer is easy. I just move on! Unless I feel like I really have something to say because something in the book struck a chord that I needed to talk about I don’t review the book on my blog. I do definitely rank it on Goodreads, more because it’s kind of a journal for myself on what I’ve read and liked/didn’t like. I won’t put a ranking on Amazon or B&N. I just don’t spend the time on it. I read the book for fun, and if it wasn’t fun, oh well!

THE book is an ARC- I made a commitment. Ugh. Not that I’m commitment shy but sometimes if I have to read a book it might affect how I feel about it. Picking out a book is like picking what you’re going to eat for dinner. If you aren’t in the mood for Mexican then you shouldn’t make that burrito because you just aren’t going to enjoy it! If I’m in the mood for a light and fluffy romance and I have to pick up a mystery because the book comes out on Tuesday and it’s Sunday night and I’ve been procrastinating? Well…. it might behoove your book for me to set this one aside and wait until I’m in the mood for that burrito. BUT, sometimes I surprise myself! I might’ve thought I didn’t want a burrito but when I got down to eating it, it was surprisingly satisfying! You just never know. I will confess, there have been a few times where I just couldn’t get into a book and I sent a note to the author/publisher that I wasn’t going to read and review it. Sorry not sorry! I probably will give an opinion on how I felt about the book on one of my fellow bloggers posts though. I like to throw an opinion out there and see what kind of response I’ll get.

I am reading THE book with a group, club, or friend- This is probably my favorite way to read a book that has gotten so much hype. Let’s say you pick three friends and none of you have read THE book yet. You decide you’re all going to read it at the same time and then discuss. I know my opinion and have written my review but not hit post or scheduled it yet before we talk. After our discussion you all might have changed my mind, maybe, I’m not sure. Aargh! Do I place my review? Sit on it? Some bloggers sit on their reviews to let their thoughts settle. I have one of those minds that checks off that read book and moves on. I MUST post! Have I ever written a retraction or changed my review? No, but maybe I should.. There are probably quite a few where my opinion has changed as time has gone on.

What do you do if you don’t agree with what everyone else has been saying about THE book?

Does it matter if it’s an ARC or if you’re reading it on your own time for pleasure or in a book club?

Thanks for reading! Until next Sunday,

Deb

Friday YA: Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

I bought this novel in the summer of 2017 to read on my trip to Italy. I thought it would be so much fun to read a novel that takes place in the country I was visiting. Needless to say, I never got around to reading it. I was eating too much gelato and enjoying the vistas, not reading. Last weekend I was in the mood for a lighthearted YA and took a look at my kindle and had that aha! moment. So, I started Love and Gelato, a year later, but it was worth the wait.

Love and Gelato sounds like a lighthearted Italian romance but this novel had a lot of hidden depth and emotional trauma. Our heroine, Lina, deals with her mother dying of cancer and finding out who her father is within the same few months. Her mother’s dying wish was for her to go to Italy and see the country she fell in love with and give her father a chance to get to know her. When she arrives, she is given her mother’s journal to read and starts to understand her love of Italy through her mother’s young eyes, visiting her favorite places with her new friend Ren. Some of the surprises that are in store for her are life changing and heart warming.

I love Jenna Evans Welch’s easy going style. Her novels are totally PG and are usually more about friendship and family than romance and this novel is no different. Ren, as the love interest, is totally charming and adorable but their’s is a love story that grows through a strong friendship and of course, lots of gelato. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Love and Gelato

Click this link to purchase!* Love & Gelato

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

The Women in the Castle tells the story of three widowed women in post World War II, Germany. Even though each woman comes from a different level of society their history ties them together. All three are widowed wives of resisters, men who had hoped to assassinate Hitler and stop the war. When their plot failed, these women were left behind; Marianne to carry on in her husbands name to save the wives and families of other resisters, tragically Benita was left in the hands of the conquering army, and Ania and her two boys were left as refugees in a war camp. They come together and live in Marianne’s husband’s castle in Bavaria, each of them moving on in different ways.

Marianne was kind of the leader of this troop of women and children. It was her castle they resided in, so she did have the authority to make commands, but also because she had the strongest personality of the three. Her view of the world was very black and white. What their husbands fought for was good and pretty much everything else was evil. It was interesting to see her character grow and learn that there are many shades of grey in the world that don’t represent evil.

Benita was the widow of Marianne’s closest friend. She was stunningly beautiful and where beauty usually makes your life easier during a war it brings a ton of unwanted attention. Her story was the hardest to read as she endured some absolute horrors following her husbands death. As we viewed Benita mostly through Marianne’s eyes, she seemed so fragile against the strength of character that was Marianne’s backbone.

Ania was a mystery through most of this novel. She was sturdy, strong, and seemed to have a back breaking work ethic. Every time something needed to be done Ania had the strength and knowledge to complete the task. She and Marianne became best friends and partners, I think mostly because she buckled down and got the job done without complaint.

Reading a novel about World War II is so difficult because of all of the atrocities of this particular war. What set this novel apart from others I’ve read was that we see the war through these German women’s eyes. Their feelings about what Hitler and the Nazi’s did and the reaction of the people around them- or lack of reaction in a lot of cases. I think this might be the first novel where I read about the German people’s apathy. That most Germans had buried their head in the sand when it came to Hitler’s propaganda and escalating spewing of hatred towards Jews or embraced his theology.  This book came out in the beginning of 2017 and now reading it a year and a half later I was stunned by the comparisons I could make to politics in the US right now. I don’t want to get political in my review, but those similarities are pretty scary.

I listened to the audio book of this novel. It is narrated by Cassandra Campbell who does an excellent job of reading  and emoting while speaking in German, Polish, Russian and American accents. She was truly amazing. She read at a pace that fit the mood of the story and delivered each woman’s dialog with the deft skills of one of the best actors. Bravo, Cassandra! If you have 13+ hours to spare, I’d recommend listening to this book! Regardless if you are reading or listening, this book was truly excellent.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Women in the Castle

Click this link to purchase!* The Women in the Castle: A Novel

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: October Wrap Up!

Pumpkins and witches and little kids in costumes OH MY! I saw the funniest little guy in a dinosaur costume that I just have to share. Yes, I was filming and driving, but I was very careful! This is just too adorable.

Halloween is over, but I’m still eating Halloween candy! Picture me noshing on a Milky Way as I’m writing this recap of October on The Reading Chick.

October’s Favorite Reads on The Reading Chick- I did review more than these books, but these were my favorites for the month.

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

Love, Life and the List

I enjoyed experiencing life through Abby’s character and loved how quickly this plot moved. If you are looking for a one hanky lighthearted romance, I think this is the story for you!

Look The Part by Jewel E. Ann

Look the Part

I was immersed in this novel and incredibly patient with these characters letting the story build up in what felt like a natural ending with all the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed. Look the Part is an apt title because not only did Flint look the part of Elle’s man and Harrison’s father, but this novel Looked the Part of a rock solid romance.

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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I enjoyed this novel a lot. It was an easy read with a lot of humor. This families antics actually reminded me a bit of my own family and I wonder if everyone who reads it won’t see a bit of themselves in one of these characters.

BLOGGER TO BLOGGER SERIES

I was excited to have two members of our Book Blogger community agree to participate in my blogger interview series.  Click these link’s to check out these fun and entertaining bloggers. Make sure you follow them too so you can check in on their blogs occassionally.

Jo @My Chestnut Reading Tree

Megan and Lauren @ YA Bookers

This Chicks Sunday Commentary!

My Sunday commentary is kind of a mixed bag of posts. It may be a tag or editorial, but I hope it’s always interesting! Here are October’s posts. Please feel free to click on the link if you missed them the first time around.

September Wrap Up!

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blogging

The Fall Reading Book Tag

Have you read any of the books I really liked? What did you think?

My Most Anticipated Read for November:

I don’t want to end this post without taking a quick glance forward into November. I am currently listening to the audiobooks for Ilona Andrews Hidden Legacy series in anticipation of a novella that’s being released on November, 6. I am so excited!

Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews

If you’re looking for a fun tag, The Fall Reading Book Tag was fun and pretty quick to put together. Help yourself! If you do the tag, please let me know so I can read your answers.

Until next Sunday!

Deb

Blogger to Blogger: An Interview with Claire @ A Knight’s Reads

A jump into Claire’s blog A Knight’s Reads is like a walk in a dark park at night by yourself where you’re being hunted… Just kidding! It’s actually the other way around! You are the hunter searching for the next crime thriller or mystery. Although it will be hard to choose as Claire’s reviews make them all sound good! If you haven’t checked out her blog, please click the link below, but come back and read this interview so you can get a little behind the scenes info on this blogger that you will soon grow to love.

A Knight’s Reads

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Let’s see how she answers these 10 questions!

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 just outside of Leeds, Yorkshire in the UK

What is the view outside your front door?

This is the view from my front door. We live on a small housing estate close to the city of Leeds but far enough out so I can see green fields yards from my doorstep and our garden backs onto some woodland.

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

Initially I started guest reviewing for Noelle Holten and Crimebookjunkie.co.uk. I started there late 2015 and stayed for over 2 years. I always knew I wanted my own blog but with two energetic young boys, I didn’t have the time alongside the reading. But in January this year, my youngest started at preschool so I knew the time had come to fly the nest and go solo!  I admit that its not exactly a fun story…

Describe where you write your blog. 

I vary where I blog. I do a bit at work, bit in our home office, a bit on my phone but at the moment, I’m most comfortable sat on the sofa in front of the TV (currently binge watching the fabulous Suits).

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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? 

At the end of every month, I plan what I’m reading for the following month – these are my October reads.  When I get a physical of an advanced copy of a book I pop a little sticker on the spine to plan when I’m going to read it. If it’s an electronic copy, I’ll note in my blogging diary (I’d be lost without it) as to when publication day is and when I’m planning to read it.

Claire 3

Claire 4

The Lingering by SJI Holliday

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there, and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history. When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution. The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalizingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

Lisa is living a lie and everyone is about to find out.

Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job and her best friend Marilyn.

But when a handsome client shows an interest in her, Lisa starts daydreaming about sharing her life with him, too. Maybe she’s ready now. Maybe she can trust again. Maybe it’s time to let her terrifying secret past go.

But when her daughter rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see, Lisa’s world explodes.

As she finds everything she has built threatened, and not knowing who she can trust, it’s up to Lisa to face her past in order to save what she holds dear.

But someone has been pulling all their strings. And that someone is determined that both Lisa and Ava must suffer.

Because long ago Lisa broke a promise. And some promises aren’t meant to be broken.

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?

My go-to genre is crime fiction, I love the escapism of solving crimes or having an author mess with my head to make me forget the day.

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

As I mentioned in question 3, I’m a mum of two gorgeous boys (I’m biased yes) so they’re a big part of my life along with my husband. I also work four days a week for a third party pensions company. When I get chance, I do like a bit of TV watching.  I’m gradually working my way through US legal drama Suits and some of the excellent BBC dramas we’ve been gifted with.  I also love a good cookery show like Masterchef and the fabulous Marvel series that Netflix are putting out.

My favorite blog post banner

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

I’ve got two favourites. The first is my very first blog post that I prepared for A Knight’s Reads – it’s my review for Graham Smith’s Past Echoes, the third in his Jake Boulder series which I love. It was the most petrifying moment of my blogging time as it’s all me, not hiding behind the fabulous name of CrimeBookJunkie. Mr Smith very kindly offered to take part in a short Q&A as well to help launch me into the blogisphere!

#Blogblitz Past Echoes by Graham Smith

The second is a guest post that C.S. Duffy wrote for me.  She gave me a number of different titles to pick from and I chose “The Intimate Thriller”.  When I received it, I was amazed. I was inspired by the post!

Dark of Night by C.S. Duffy

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 met quite a few of my favourite authors. To start with I was a tad nervous to say anything as I’m not the most confident and out-going.  But at my first time at Harrogate Crime Writing Festival, a wise author said to me that authors are just normal people like me and all they want know is that you liked their book. So I tentatively wandered up to Sarah Hilary and told her that I loved her books.  Since then I’ve met a number of authors whose books I’ve loved and I’ve told them that – got to say I love their reactions, big smiles!! 

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 would love to have cake with the late great Agatha Christie. I’d serve her a scone cream tea and I’d quiz her about her disappearance in 1926.

The penultimate mystery for a crime buff like yourself, for sure! Thanks Claire, so much for letting us look into your life. I found some new authors and am going to google Agatha Christie’s disappearance. Don’t hate me, but I didn’t know she had!

What did you all think of Claire’s answers? Did you find any new books to add to your own TBR?

Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!

Deb