Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Kyle and Hannah @ But, First, Fiction

I love blogging duo’s, trio’s and more! As with most of us, the reason we started to blog was because we wanted to discuss the books we’ve read with someone. Well, Kyle and Hannah are the book blogging team behind But, First, Fiction. They have such a fun vibe on their blog. As soon as you search their Menu and see Monday Mumblings and Wednesday Wordlings you know you’re in for a treat! If you haven’t visited But, First, Fiction please click the link below. But, First, Read their answers to my 10 questions!

But, First, Fiction

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?

Kyle: We live in South Africa. People often ask us, “Where is South Africa?” to which we reply, “Northern Africa, as the name implies.”

What is the view outside your front door?

Kyle: The sprawling wilderness of Johannesburg is visible outside both of our respective front doors. Wild gazelle stroll across the vast plains of Africa.
Hannah: Kyle is a very serious person; I’m sure you can all tell 😉 Neither of our front-door views are anything to write home about, but the view from Kyle’s balcony is breathtaking!

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

Hannah: Well, I have a terrible book-hoarding problem. Kyle and I met each other in a bookshop last year…
Kyle: …and couldn’t seem to get rid of one another after that, so we figured if you can’t beat them, start a book blog together.
Hannah: Seriously though, so much of our relationship is predicated on the fact that we both love stories as well as the meanings we derive from those stories.
Kyle: We’d often find ourselves discussing into the wee hours of the morning how these meanings influenced our perspectives on life and one day we just thought, “Hey, we should probably write these thoughts down!”
Hannah: And so our blog came to be. We’re also coffee addicts and think to ourselves every morning, “We’ve got all these things we have to do – but first, coffee.” We apply that same principle when it comes to reading – we’ve got all these things we have to get through in life, but first: fiction. Kyle wrote the best poem for our homepage that perfectly encapsulates this idea.

Describe where you write your blog.

Hannah: We pretty much write all over the place. Most of the posts I contribute to the blog are written from my work computer when I’m in between projects.
Kyle: Exclusively nightclubs, disco raves and cemeteries. My ideal combo would be anywhere that contains police sirens, screaming babies and barking dogs. This really gets them book-blog juices flowing.

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?

Hannah: HA! I have over 100 books in my apartment that I haven’t read. (Remember that book-hoarding tendency I mentioned previously?) Here’s a photo of my bookshelves, for an idea of what I’m up against…

My soon-to-be-reads include the latter two books in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle (which is also the closest I come to cycling) and the final book of Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy: Always and Forever, Lara Jean.

Kyle: Making my way downtown… the Patrick Ness series Chaos Walking; I’m about to start the final book, Monsters of Men, so I guess you could say the Chaos is currently at a sprint.

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?

Kyle: My favourite genre is basically anything that has magic, time travel or knights.
Hannah: I’m definitely a fantasy girl, through and through.
Kyle: I’m also a fantasy girl.
Hannah: No wonder we work so well together! I love dragons, magic and romance, especially romantic dragon magic. If I pick up anything by Gail Carson Levine or Laini Taylor, I guarantee my mood will be improved in minutes.

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

Kyle: We’re actually professional ninjas, but according to my mom, I’m in healthcare.
Hannah: I’m a book cover designer in my dreams and a packaging designer in real life. I illustrated this cartoon of us for our blog:


Here’s what we look like in live action, though:

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

Hannah: My favourite post has actually just been published this week! I took part in the ABC Book Challenge and discussed books and book characters beginning with the letter V. I found it viciously vexing at first, but eventually was victorious! You can read it here: www.butfirstfiction.com/2019/03/18/a-very-vicious-venture.
Kyle: My favourite post is our homepage, because homepage is where the heart is. The link is plain and simple: www.butfirstfiction.com

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?

Hannah: Not a lot of authors come to South Africa – weird, I know! I went to a book-reading by Anthony Horowitz when I was in my tweens, but didn’t actually meet him. I’d probably thank him for all the plays on words he managed to work into characters’ names in the Alex Rider series – I’m a big believer in puns.

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?

Hannah: Can I have a tea party instead? I’m wildly indecisive! I’d host Rainbow Rowell, Amie Kaufman, Laini Taylor and Jane Austen (this is a fantasy, after all). We’d snack on lemon cheesecake, cherry turnovers, chocolate chip cookies and decadent mocha-chocolate cake. I wouldn’t even ask questions – just bask in the glory of the company! Somebody should probably reign me in.

Kyle: I think both Hannah and I would actually like to sit down with Patrick Ness. He can choose the cake provided he answers one simple question: “WHYYYYY?!” (For context, read the Chaos Walking series… or don’t, because the emotional trauma is real!) 

I LOVE Kyle and Hannah’s sense of humor and their writing is so clever. I haven’t read a few of the authors they’ve mentioned and am excited about their recommendations. Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking for sure. I need to know WHYYY??? LOL. Drama works apparently. 😉

If you have enjoyed reading Blogger to Blogger and would like to participate, please let me know!

Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!

Deb



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Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Charley @ BooksandBakes1

When I hop over to Charley’s blog I’m instantly transported. The beautiful stories about her travels, the pictures, and of course the books she reads and reviews are totally captivating. I’ll admit that I only found out how wonderful she was because of the name of her blog Books and Bakes. It turns out she and I share a love for CAKE! If you haven’t been to her blog, please click the link below, but come back and read her answers to my ten questions.

Books and Bakes1

Alright Charley, here we go!

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 United Kingdom but my time is split between two very contrasting places: Stratford upon Avon and Hull. Stratford is William Shakespeare’s home town so he is referenced everywhere – even in the pavements which feature famous quotes from the playwright himself as well as his plays. Hull is basking in the afterglow of City of Culture, where the city has changed so much over the past couple of years. I’m incredibly lucky to be a part of both of these places. 

What is the view outside your front door? 

This depends very much on where I am! However, when I open both doors I see lots of green which I love. I’m also quite excited today as it’s a really sunny day. It feels like Spring is in the air.   

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

My blog name came to me quite naturally because it includes two things I absolutely love: books and bakes. I love reading and I love cake and I’m particularly happy if the two are combined! I came into blogging after reading 60 Postcards by Rachael Chadwick. Then it turned into a little space for me to write about all the things I’ve loved and enjoyed.  

Describe where you write your blog.

I write my blog on my iPhone but this can be in a variety of places. Usually, it is on my sofa in the lounge. However, I have been known to write posts in my car as I’ve been travelling to and from different places. It really depends on when I feel the need to whip it out and start typing. Despite being ridiculously organized in my everyday life, I’ve never scheduled a blog post. 

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 dedicate a whole bookshelf to the books I want to read (so much for a stack!) However, I am currently on holiday so I do have a stack. I find myself reading more non-fiction which is quite strange for me. Nevertheless, my stack is looking quite eclectic which I’m rather pleased about.

<a href=”http://A Pinch of Magic“>A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison

Synopsis:

Three sisters trapped by an ancient curse.

Three magical objects with the power to change their fate.

Will they be enough to break the curse?

Or will they lead the sisters even deeper into danger? …

<a href=”http://The Familiars: A Novel“>The Familiars by Stacey Halls

Synopsis:

IN 1612 IN LANCASTER, ENGLAND, THE HUNT FOR WITCHES IS RAMPANT…

BUT IN A TIME OF SUSPICION AND ACCUSATION, TO BE A WOMAN IS THE GREATEST RISK OF ALL

1612 Pendle Hill

Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth is with child again. As the mistress of Gawthorpe Hall, she is anxious to provide her husband with an heir. But none of her previous pregnancies have come to term. Then she discovers a hidden letter from her physician that warns her husband that she will not survive another pregnancy.

Distraught over the frightening revelation, Fleetwood wanders the woods of Pendle Hill, where she meets a young local woman named Alice Gray. A midwife, Alice promises Fleetwood she can help her deliver a healthy baby. But soon Alice is drawn into the frenzied accusations of witchcraft sweeping the countryside. Even the woodland creatures, the “familiars,” are suspected of practicing the dark arts. Can Fleetwood trust that Alice is really who she says she is?

As the two women’s lives become intertwined, Fleetwood must risk everything to prove Alice’s innocence in order to save her own unborn child. The hunt for witches reaches fever pitch. Time is running out. The trials are about to begin. Both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Set against the Pendle Witch Trials of 1612, this rich and compelling novel draws its characters from historical figures as it explores the lives and rights of seventeenth-century women, ultimately raising the question: Is witch-hunting really just women-hunting?

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 tend to pick up the book I am reading at the time. I’ll always deviate to Harry Potter though. Their just so magical to me still, I absolutely love them. 

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

Being an English teacher takes up 98% of my time so I’m usually at school quite late each day. When there are moments of free time I try and read or visit the theatre. I am also quite happy in the garden or talking long walks in the countryside. I’m a member of the National Trust too so I like to take advantage of that and go exploring. 

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written? Please include the link!

My favourite blog post is coincidentally my most popular post which was all about my visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London.

Find the link here: https://booksandbakes1.wordpress.com/2018/02/04/harry-potter-studio-tour/

I really love my post on my favourite book of 2018 too: The Toy Makers. Cheeky to have two, but why not! https://booksandbakes1.wordpress.com/2018/03/01/the-toy-makers-robert-dinsdale/ 

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?

One of the first authors I ever remember reading was Jacqueline Wilson. I was a young girl, I really loved her stories and felt like I was friends with each and every character. I especially loved The Lottie Project, but was desperately sad that she wasn’t called Charley like me! I did meet her when I was about 6 or 7 years old. She was so so lovely and she even signed two books for me. I’ve kept them to this very day. Also, she is still the only author I’ve ever met. 

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’d love to meet J K Rowling. What a remarkable woman she is! I’d thank her immensely for not only my life, but every life who has been touched by Harry Potter in some way or another. We’d have hot chocolates, scones, cream and jam. Then we would follow with chocolate cake. The more cake the better in my opinion!

Wow, Charley, if I had that view outside either my front or back door I think I’d stare in a stupor out the door all the time. Gorgeous! I think you would have to stand in a queue to get a chance to sit down with JK Rowling. I’d be standing in it right along side you! She is so iconic, and I agree, the more cake the better! Thanks for participating in my series!

If you’re interested in being featured in Blogger to Blogger, please reach out! I’d love to hear your answers.

Deb

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Rachel @ Rae Reads

Rachel and I have quite a few things in common. We both love to read an eclectic mix of genre’s including romance, mysteries, and thrillers. I’ll admit my not so hidden pleasure is reading historical romances and now I know I can go over to Rae’s Reads to find my next book. If you haven’t checked out Rachel’s blog, please click the link below but come back! You need to hear how she answers my 10 questions.

Rachel @ Rae’s Reads

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 South Yorkshire in the UK, quite close to Sheffield.

What is the view outside your front door? 

I live in a flat so it isn’t the nicest view from the front but I have included a picture from the side of our building which is much nicer.

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

Well my name is Rachel although people call me Rae for short and I thought that Rae Reads sounded ideal for a book blog. It’s not the most exciting name but I guess it works! The reason I started blogging was by chance, I had been leaving my reviews on Goodreads for a while and I had seen a few reviewers mention their blogs and one day I decided to have a look at one of the links. It just felt like a really fun way to share my own reviews. To be honest I didn’t expect anyone to read them, it was just something to keep me occupied. 

Describe where you write your blog.

I usually write my blog sat in the living room with my laptop, a cuppa and maybe some biscuits 😉

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 have so many books to read! I have taken a picture of a couple of books that I would like to read in the next few months hopefully!

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 read quite a wide variety of genres but my go to genre would have to be Historical Romance as it is just such a wonderful escape from everyday life. Although I have also lost count of the amount of times I have read Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella, it always manages to cheer me up!

Synopsis:

Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets:

Secrets from her boyfriend: I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.

Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur.

Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is.

Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger. . . .

But come Monday morning, Emma’s office is abuzz about the arrival of Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO.  Suddenly Emma is face-to-face with the stranger from the plane, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her. Things couldn’t possibly get worse. Or could they?

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

 I have two children who keep me very busy and I also work part time. If I’m not reading I really enjoy knitting although I wouldn’t say I’m very good at it! 

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

I always enjoy choosing my book picks for the year. It’s lovely to go back and look at all the different books I have read, although not so easy narrowing the list down! This is a link to my book picks for 2018 – https://raereadsbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/30/book-picks-of-2018/

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 haven’t as yet although there are so many that I would love to meet. I have decided that this year I will make more of an effort to get to some author events although I’m pretty quiet so I may just end up sitting in a corner somewhere!

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?  

Ooh now that is a tough one! I guess I would love to have a chat with the authors of my favourite historical romance books and tell them how much I enjoy reading them. Well I love cake but I don’t think I could choose just one so it would have to be a selection and maybe even some cheesecake too 😉

Thanks Rae! If you get a chance, I’d love to hear who are your favorite historical romance authors. I’m always on the lookout for a new favorite! I already know I’m going to pick up Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella, that look hilariously romantic!

If you are interested in being featured in Blogger to Blogger, please leave me a note in the comments section.

Thanks for reading!

Deb

Blogger to Blogger: An Interview with Fadwa @ Word Wonders

One of my favorite ways to find a new blogger is through comments they make on other people’s blogs. Fadwa has commented on diversity, triggers, and marginalized voices, all subjects that are meaningful yet are sometimes spoken without thought. Word Wonders is a blog where Fadwa’s voice is true and her words are meaningful and NEVER without thought. She’s also a YA book lover and gives great recommendations! Get lost in her blog if you haven’t sampled her voice, but come back and read her answers to my ten questions!

Fadwa@ Word Wonders

  • 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 Morocco!

  • What is the view outside your front door? 

I cheated a little, this is the view outside my window, but it’s basically the same thing. I live in an apartment complex so those are the gardens that connect the different buildings.

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

I feel quite boring haha because I don’t have a fascinating or inspirational reason for starting a blog. I had been following and lovingall kinds of bookish platforms for a few years and realized that I had a lot ofopinions and nowhere to put them so I thought starting a blog could be a goodidea, I was still extremely hesitant but it was something I couldn’t get out ofmy head. The name though is something that randomly came to me while I was in the shower, and that’s when I made up my mind and started working on what’s now Word Wonders, right after I got out of that shower on a January day, three years ago.

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

I blog in my bed, it’s a twin size but super comfy and cozy. I am currently cuddled up in it so I can’t really take a picture of it how it is now, but here’s a recent one from my Instagram feed.

  • 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 actually do not have one! I’m the kind of person who needs everything to be where it’s supposed to be so if I’m not actively reading a book, it’s in my bookshelf where it belongs. Plus, I’m a huge mood reader so having a stack like that would be useless because it’ll just sit there untouched *hides in shame*.

  • 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?

Light contemporary and romance are my two go-to when I’m feeling down. There’s one book I read recently that definitely made it into my “to reread when having a bad day” is Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills, it’s so cute and fluffy and made me feel genuinely happy.

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

I’m a med student so the majority of my time is spentstudying. Other than that, you can find me reading (obviously), taking picturesfor my bookstagram (which you can find HERE), and I recently joined my gym again after a two years long hiatus so you can find me there working out as well.

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

I don’t want to sound too full of myself haha but there are a lot of posts I wrote I’m quite proud of. They’re not perfect or anything but they’re important to me and I put a lot of time and energy into them. One of them, and that’s fairly recent is HowBooks Helped me Acknowledge my Trauma, it was somewhat cathartic to write.

  • 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 sadly live very, very, VERY far away from anywhere authors would consider doing events at, so I haven’t met any of my favorites.

  • 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?

It would be my favourite author, Anna-Marie Mclemore, chocolate cake and I’d probably ask what sparked the idea for every one of her books. They’re so magical and brilliantly crafted and I’m always wondering how she does it.

Fadwa is from Morocco! That’s a first on my blog, and really, really neat! I will second what Fadwa says about Foolish Hearts. Emma Mills has such a sweet, original voice and I really love her stories.

Thanks Fadwa for participating in my Blogger to Blogger series!

If any of you would like to be highlighted in this series, please let me know in the comments.

Thanks for Reading!

Deb

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

img_2593

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 Series: An Interview with Jo @ My Chestnut Reading Tree

I am drawn to Jo’s blog, My Chestnut Reading Tree because I too adore mysteries. I don’t review them too often because it’s so hard to not give away the ending when you’ve read a good one! However, if you are looking for a good recomendation Jo’s blog should be one of your firsts places to go to fill up your TBR! You can imagine how excited I was when Joe wanted to participate in my Blogger to Blogger Series. Here’s my chance to find out a little more inside information about the life and reading habits of the woman behind My Chestnut Reading Tree!

My Chestnut Reading Tree

Here are Jo’s answers to my 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 in a village in Cheshire in the U.K.

What is the view outside your front door? 

Pic of view from front door which is looking down the street towards a railway line at the end. Very boring view!!

Jo's View

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

My neighbours used to have a beautiful Chestnut tree in their garden which is why our street is called Chestnut Drive. I could see it from my spare bedroom where I used to read in the afternoon as the light was just perfect in there then. So I decided to name my blog after that tree. Unfortunately 6 months later we had new neighbours and the first thing they did was cut the tree down! One morning I walked home from taking my granddaughter to school and it had gone!!

Describe where you write your blog. 

I write my blog at my desk in my old dining room which is now an office although it also shares space with a large treadmill (that has been waiting to be fixed for over a year now!) I have all my bookshelves in that room too.

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 have a pile of blog tour reads and also other ARCs that I keep in my study. There are so many books that I’m desperate to read on these piles but I try to read in date order. Here’s a pic of a few awaiting my attention!

Jo's stack

Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary

On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.
DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.
As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.

And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott

Cleo knows she should be happy for her brother Mark. He’s managed to find someone new after the sudden death of his first wife – but something about Evie just doesn’t feel right…

When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.

Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As the accused stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder?

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 love a twisty psychological thriller and it is always these I tend to search out if I want to read away the stresses of the day. I also reread Lady of Hay or Kingdom of Shadows by Barbara Erskine if I need some comfort reading.

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

What don’t I do!? I have 2 jobs in my local primary school where I work everyday as a Welfare Assistant and Lunchtime Supervisor. I also look after my grandchildren before and after school and in the holidays. And I have a little eBay business selling preloved children’s clothing.

My favorite blog post banner

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

My most popular blog post is actually related to question 7 as it was my A Typical Day in the Life of a book blogger post! Here is the link-I only had one of my school jobs at the time so it’s slightly more manic during my day now!

A Typical Day in the Life of a Book Blogger

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’m really lucky in that I have met lots of my favourite authors mostly when I attend Theakstons Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate which I have done for the past 3 years. The one that is probably my favourite though, is when I met Linwood Barclay and had afternoon tea at Betty’s in Harrogate with him and my fellow blogger Sarah Hardy. We were both a bit shy but he put us at ease and we had a fabulous chat for over 2 hours about absolutely everything! And the cakes were pretty good too!

Jo and author

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?

As you can tell I already think authors and cakes go well together as per question 9! I’m really lucky that I’ve met most of my favourite authors but one that I’ve never met, and would love to, is Amanda Prowse. I would serve my favourite carrot cake or a lemon and blueberry cream sponge and I would ask her first how she manages to look so bloody gorgeous in her Instagram pics even first thing in the morning with no make up on!!! And then I would serve prosecco and ask how her ideas come to her for her novels and tell her that I’ve yet to read one of her books that hasn’t made me cry!

 

 

Jo, apparently you and I share a love for cake!  Lemon and Blueberry cream Sponge cake? YUM! If that cake doesn’t make Amanda Prowse spill all of her secrets to you then I don’t know what would! Thanks so much for participating, I really enjoyed all of your answers and found some new authors to read.

Does anyone else share a love of mysteries with Jo? Have you read any of the authors on her TBR? What’s your favorite?

Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!

Deb

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Trang and Lashaan with @Bookidote

I will admit that I wish I had a friend, sibling, co-worker, (husband?) who shared my love for books and would consider blogging with me. There are a few blogging partnerships that I’ve run across and have even featured a couple on my blog. The partnership on the blog Bookidote seems to be a little different and wonderful.  Trang and Lashaan definitely share a love for books but they don’t necessarily love the same genre’s. They each have their own platform, yet share the same space. I LOVE that!

I was lucky enough that both Trang and Lashaan had the time to answer my 10 questions. Let’s see what they’ve got to say!

Bookidote 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?

We both live in Canada, Montreal to be exact !

What is the view outside your front door?  

Trang: It’s a pretty basic view hahah not like the beach or anything.

Lashaan: I live in a residential neighbourhood with a bunch of apartment buildings next to one another. I can’t say it’s the prettiest view you could ever land upon! Or maybe I’m lying, and I just don’t want the world to know where my Batcave is at. :O

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

Lashaan: It was the day I had suggested to Trang the idea of reviewing books in French because of her love for literature, but also writing. Knowing she had quite an amazing writing skill, I believed the idea of writing reviews in French and sharing it on a blog would have been an amazing public journal for her. The world would have been in awe at what she was able to convey. She then however wanted me to tag along and start an English book reviewing blog. While my own reading speed was pretty questionable compared to hers, I still found the idea exciting, especially since I looked at it as an opportunity to also review the little comic book collection I had started to build. That is how Bookidote came to life and grew to change our lives permanently! The idea behind the name is pretty simple. It combines “book” with “antidote”.

A definition for it was also once conceived and shared with everyone back in the day. Check it out:

Bookidote (\ˈboo-ki-ˌdōt\) : Lashaan and Trang’s creation. It is a commitment that holds countless ideas in one word. Three syllables. Nine letters. These two squandered souls firmly believe that books aren’t just a pastime for intellectuals or a mandatory purchase for your studies. Bookidote is so much more. It marries books with antidotes, knowledge with cure, imagination with elixir. It refers to the ability that books withhold in swallowing you into a boundless universe and encouraging you to live a unique and different adventure every time you crack open a book. Bookidote acknowledges the fact that books can help you explore ideas, stimulate your imagination and live innumerable lives.

Describe where you write your blog. 

Trang: I prefer writing my posts in my office or even in coffee shops. When I’m on a rush, I also do it in the subway hahah I always have the WordPress App to edit and finalize my drafts.

Lashaan: Fairly simple. I can’t write my reviews anywhere other than on my desktop computer. It’s just much easier there to get my mind to pour out all the thoughts I want to convey about anything. I currently operate on a dual monitor setup. I sometimes let myself believe that I’m a much more realistic version of Batman in his Batcave. 😀

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? 

Trang: A bunch of ARCs are waiting for me to get a new bookshelves to put them LOL

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(that’s quite a stack! Here’s the Synopsis for only one….)

Bloody RoseBloody Rose by Nicholas Eames

A band of fabled mercenaries, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, tour a wild fantasy landscape, battling monsters in arenas in front of thousands of adoring fans, but a secret and dangerous gig ushers them to the frozen north, and the band is never one to waste a shot at glory . . . even if it means almost certain death.
 

Live fast, die young.

Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.

When the biggest mercenary band of all, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, rolls into town, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.

It’s time to take a walk on the wyld side.

Lashaan: I actually have a shelf dedicated for the books I hope to read. They’re queued up and just waiting for me to find time for them!

(Another HUUUGGGEEE stack! Again, here’s one to sample!)

Neverwhere by Neil GaimanNeverwhere

Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he discovers a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her—an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed.

Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in the Neverwhere—a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. The Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Door, a noblewoman whose family has been murdered, is on a quest to find the agent that slaughtered her family and thwart the destruction of this underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life, he must join the journey to save Door’s world—and find a way to survive.

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?

Trang: My go to genre is Fantasy (in novels and graphic novels as well), I think when I’m sad I just want to escape the ordinary world for a bit. As long as I can find magical fairies, orcs, spells and some magicians, I’m happy. If I’m having a heavy day because a lot work had to be done, I like to entertain myself with some light Young Adult reads. It can go from contemporary or even science fiction.

Lashaan: I am not one to go back and re-read a favourite book even if I love the idea itself. Because of my reading speed and the little time that I have for reading, I tell myself that re-reading will be something I’d do after a huge number of years has passed since my last read (i.e. 5 years or more). But my go-to genre to remedy a bad day or to get a quick read in would easily be comic books.

With Batman as my favourite superhero, I’ve got plenty of stories with him that I can’t wait to check out. I also have plenty of other stories I could visit, some that aren’t about superheroes and some that aren’t comic book series, but just a graphic novel too. Comic books are just so easy to pick up, so fast to read, so easy to enjoy! They aren’t to be looked down upon! Some stories are so powerful, they’d blow you away! 😉

Batman

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

Trang: My typical day in the week goes as follows: I’m working full-time for the National Research Council as an artificial intelligence in neurosciences associate. What the hell does that mean? It’s a lot of things but mostly I manage different research project teams, whenever a new technology can be developed to help the brain or we need to evaluate the functions of the artificial intelligence included in that technology, it passes by me and my team. I also do a lot of conferences and public speaking in different institutions to update people on what’s going on.  Around 6pm I spend my time to go through all my social media platform and manage my blogs (food, book blog and my main Instagram page) and turn to some watercolour painting keep my mind sane. Eating supper with my family or go to the food sponsoring events and then go to gym around 8pm until 10pm. I’m becoming pretty serious in working out now, I recently partnered with my local gym for some branding opportunities as well.  I usually read on my way to work or really late at night.

On the weekend I head out to Ottawa to work at the governmental headquarters and come back to Montreal on Sunday evening. I think because I have a lot projects and networking, people tend to think that I’m always going out with my friends. However since my week is packed, unfortunately, I rarely have time to see them so I tend to invite them to special events and see them like one or twice every year LOL

Lashaan: I work at a police headquarters as a crime preventionist. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was a realistic version of Batman. He has guided me through life in ways that no one could possibly grasp! 😀 Alongside that job, I’m also a researcher heading into a doctorate in criminology this fall 2018. As a researcher, I’m contracted on research projects as well as a teacher assistant. It’s safe to say I keep myself pretty busy! Outside of everything work-related, I hit the gym and play basket-ball. Basket-ball is a pretty significant part of my life, although I don’t practice it competitively like some of my friends do. I play it for the fun of the game! I’m also a gamer who enjoys late-night sessions with friends whenever they can. Even though free time for gaming is not easy to come by, I love to stay up to date with the technology and everything that goes on in that world of entertainment! Since the question was about everything outside of blogging, I must sneak in reading! I know, I know. Reading is sort of part of blogging, but man, the amount of reading I put in is insane! It’s hard to go a day without reading. That’s just how life is for me now.

My favorite blog post banner

What is your favorite blog post you’ve written?

Trang: Why We Love Psychological Thrillers – I love the research I did for this post. I learned so many things along the way and I get to experience a new format as well.

https://bookidote.com/2018/07/15/why-we-love-psychological-thrillers/
Lashaan : One of my favourite posts would have to be the one about co-blogging: https://bookidote.com/2018/01/06/the-perks-of-co-blogging/

I sort of really enjoyed highlighting the pros and cons of this particular relationship we have at Bookidote and how well it worked for us.

Review-wise, there a couple of reviews that I really loved writing, but the list could go on forever. As someone who loves to put into words his thoughts about the books he reads, I find myself loving every piece I write (maybe 99% of them), even if there will always be a hater among the crowd. An example of a review I really loved writing is for The Black Prism by Brent Weeks: https://bookidote.com/2018/07/19/the-black-prism-by-brent-weeks/

The Black Prism

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?

Trang: I met Marie Lu and Leigh Bardugo back in YALLWEST 3 years ago. I asked Marie Lu to write her favourite song instead of signing my book hahah and she did both!

Lashan: Most of my favourite authors have already passed away a very long time ago. I did get to meet a couple  of authors and artists at conventions, and I guess my favourite of them all would have to be meeting the outstanding author of Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo! As someone who rarely reads Young Adult novels, Six of Crows really blew my mind, and only a couple of YA authors can impress me like that. Meeting her in person was definitely a huge highlight in my life!

I got to see her at YALLWEST in Santa Monica a couple of years ago and I made sure to let her know how much I appreciated her book. Told her that as a researcher in criminology, the amount of research she put into writing Six of Crows merits all the respect in the world. I honestly don’t think I would have changed anything I had said or have anything in particular I would have wanted to say. Maybe I would’ve begged her to turn the duology into a never-ending series. In fact, I haven’t even read Crooked Kingdom yet. I just don’t want that duology to end. I also have super high expectations. The struggle is real!

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?

Trang: I would like to sit down with Neil Gaiman while serving tiramisu and ask him what was going on his mind while writing American Gods.

American Gods

Lashaan:  I’d probably sit with Brandon Sanderson and serve him a molten chocolate cake infused with a significant amount of truth serum. Once he’d had savoured his cake, I’d have asked: “How do you write like that?”

Legion

My first thought when reading Trang and Lashaan’s answers to my 10 questions was WOW! Even after the explanation I’m still not sure what an Artificial Intelligence in Neuroscience Associate or Crime Preventionist is and maybe we need to clone these two! Their reading tastes are so diverse and interesting and after getting a peak into their lives I can kind of understand the influences that sway them towards those authors.

What surprised you all the most when reading Trang and Lashaan’s answers?

Have you read any of the books they have on their TBR’s? I’ll admit to having a couple of them on my own, but also and equal mix of never having heard of some of them. Thanks for putting these on my radar!

I really enjoyed their response to my questions. Thanks guys for participating!

If YOU are interested in being featured or know of a great blogger that I should feature, please give me a shout in the comments!

Until next Sunday!

Deb

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Amanda @Cover2Covermom

The first thing I noticed about the Cover2Covermom blog is that it has so much diversity! Amanda writes great reviews, discussions, book events and even has time to do a few tags! How a mom with two small(ish) children has time to read, write, and blog is beyond me. I don’t have kids and it’s tough to find the time and energy. Kudos Amanda!  If you haven’t checked out Amanda’s blog, please click the link below. You will find pages and pages of great content!

Amanda @Cover2Covermom

I was really excited that she could find the time to answer my 10 questions. Thanks Amanda! Here is how she answered them:

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 United States, more specifically in Ohio.  As far as states go, we are nothing special. I’ve lived here my entire life.

What is the view outside your front door?  

The view outside my door changed this past December!  We bought a new house August of 2017, and after 5 months of renovations we moved in.  The view outside my front door is a typical neighborhood in the suburbs of Ohio.

You can see our front yard, which still needs landscaped – we are starting landscaping this fall – and you can see my sweet “Mom-ride” in the driveway.

If you look closely on the far right, you can see my Little Free Library that sits in my front yard.   It is fondly called the “Book Barn.”  Yes, I am THAT lady.  Since the view outside my front door is nothing special, I’ll share a picture of my cute front door.

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

I started my blog back in February 2016.  I have always been a big reader, but unfortunately I didn’t have anyone in my life at that time to talk books with.  I thought a blog where I could share book reviews & talk about what I was reading would help me find more bookworms like myself.   I am also a stay-at-home parent, so I needed some type of creative outlet that would give me that sense of productivity. Maintaining my own blog has been a wonderful way to feel like I have achieved something on days where I don’t feel very accomplished.

I decided on the name Cover2CoverMom because I thought it would make it fairly obvious what the blog was about.  “Cover to cover” is referencing reading a book from start to finish. I added the “Mom” portion because I am a mother, but also because I wanted to have a portion of my blog dedicated to children’s book as well.

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

I have a beautiful desk in my home office, but I almost never work on my blog there.  Since my husband started working from home this year, I’ve been forced elsewhere. He spends a lot of time on the phone, which I find distracting, so it doesn’t work out well to share a space.  I typically work on my blog sitting at my kitchen peninsula or when the weather permits – in my 3 seasons room.

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 typically keep my library books & my upcoming TBR books on a stack next to my bed.  Currently those are…

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover *Contemporary/Romance

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate *Historical Fiction

The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) by N.K. Jemisin *Fantasy

The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco *YA Fantasy

A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir *YA Fantasy

The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicles #2) by Patrick Rothfuss *Fantasy

It Ends with Us Before We Were Yours are book club selections for August.  The remaining books I will be reading in September when I do a “Series September” and work on catching up with a few of the series I need to continue.

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?

When I am having a bad day, typically any reading will improve my mood.  My go-to genre used to be historical fiction, but lately I’ve been on a fantasy kick.  It switches back and forth. If I am feeling slump-ish, I’ll reach for a middle grade book every time.

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

When I am not blogging, I am a stay-at-home parent to two kids.  I have a 11-year-old son, and a 4-year-old daughter. Throughout the school year my daughter goes to preschool for 2 hours in the morning, but is my sidekick the rest of the day.  Basically my life consists of housework, school activities, sports practices, grocery shopping, cooking, homework, studying, volunteering, and chauffeuring kids around.  It really isn’t a bad gig. I’ve done the working Mom thing too, so I can say that working Moms definitely have the tougher job!

My favorite blog post banner

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written? Please include the link!

This one is always a tough question to answer.  I’m going to go with my blog post sharing tips on how to get kids reading:Kids’ Corner: How to Get Your Kids to Read More. Children’s’ literacy is a big time passion of mine.  It is so important to foster the love of reading in children, but unfortunately it is harder than ever with all the technology available to them now.

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 been very fortunate in being able to attend so many wonderful author events.  I’ve met authors like R.L Stine, Cinda Williams Chima, Mackenzi Lee, V.E. Schwab, Sabaa Tahir, Leigh Bardugo, Celeste Ng, Patrick Rothfuss, Mary Kubica, Lisa Jewell, Kristy Cambron, Mary Doria Russell, Edith Pattou, Maggie Stiefvater, Jenny Lawson, Mindy McGinnis, and Christina Baker Kline.  I’ve also seen Stephen King and Neil Gaiman speak, but did not technically meet them.

I’d probably say that hearing Neil Gaiman speak was my favorite author event I’ve attended, and meeting V.E. Schwab was my favorite experience meeting an author.  I didn’t really say anything profound to V.E. Schwab.  I awkwardly told her I loved her and handed her a banana… There is a backstory to the banana, I’m not a total weirdo.  She had posted on social media that she loved the food gifts that were given to her by fans while on tour, but wondered why it was always junk food?  Why not fruit every once in a while?  Hence the banana 🙂 At the time, I wanted to ask her about all the unanswered questions in A Conjuring of Light but I chickened out.  I now know that these might be cleared up in her spin off series set in the Shades of Magic world, Threads of Power.

AConjuring

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?

The easiest part of this question is the cake portion.  I would hands down serve my Mom’s famous carrot cake. Of course she would have had to make it because it never turns out like hers when I’ve tried to make it.  I have my doubts if she really shared the entire recipe or if she omitted something to sabotaging my attempts…

The author is the tough part to this question.  There are so many favorite authors I’d love to sit down and chat with.  I’m going to cheat and pick two authors: J.K Rowling and Nora Roberts.

J.K. Rowling is such a cliché answer I know, but I would love to sit down with her.  I’d ask her if she had ever considered in her wildest dreams that Harry Potter would have ever become the phenomenon it has been for the past 20+ years.   Knowing what she knows now, what would she have changed in the story in any way?  I would then proceed to thank her for creating something that has gotten children across the world so excited to read for the past 21 years.

Harry Potter

I have read a few Nora Roberts books and can say that I’ve never read one I haven’t enjoyed.  My favorite would probably be The Reef.  I am by no means a NR super fan, BUT I’d love to sit down with her and ask her how the hell she is able to write so many damn books?  And not just any books, books that are consistently good quality books across so many different genres. I couldn’t find an exact number, but the internet says she’s written over 225 published books… How is it possible?  Is she really human?

The Reef

There are so many things I want to comment about in this post! First, the Little Free Library. I have one too!  I love to promote reading and I’ll admit, it’s also a great way to pass along all of the books I get every year! I’m excited to share Librarian status with Amanda, even if it’s just our LFL’s. Second, I am totally jealous of your 3 season room. My room is one season and the view doesn’t really vary. LOL. Third, it is NOT cliche to pick J.K. Rowling. I think we all have a questions we’d like to ask her and my fourth comment is What??? You didn’t include the recipe for your mom’s carrot cake? That is one of my all time favorite cakes! Thanks Amanda, for participating!  I am again, amazed and thankful that you found the time.

Would YOU like to take part in my Blogger to Blogger series? Give me a shout!

OR would you like me to feature a blogger that you love? Let me know who and I’ll reach out to them.

Until Next Sunday,

Deb

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Mike of Mike Finn’s Fiction

Mike recently came to my attention with his reviews of Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews books in the fantasy genre. Both of these authors are among my favorites and of course, I HAD to see what Mike had to say! Isn’t that the reason why we blog about the books we love? We want to talk about them with SOMEONE! Mike very kindly responded to my comments and that was the beginning of our blogging friendship. Mike has some great insights that he shares about the books he’s reading and I would encourage all of you to look through his review list and strike up a conversation, he will not disappoint!

I was excited that Mike agreed to answer my 10 questions. Here are his answers!

Mike'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 live in a small Swiss village in the hills above Lake Geneva.

What is the view outside your front door? 

I live in an apartment so my front door is onto a landing by an elevator. I think of my balcony as the front of my house. It faces on the Swiss and French alps, the ones you see on the Evian bottles – they come from that side of the Lake. You get a glimpse of the lake beyond the village houses. Here’s a picture:

Swiss

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

When I started my blog, eleven years ago, I was an introvert in an extrovert’s job. As a consultant I was spending sixty hours a week working with clients and colleagues, most of it in meetings, presentations and workshops. I was also spending more that 150 nights a year in hotel rooms in various countries. Writing a blog gave me a quiet place to think aloud when I shut the hotel room door behind me. These days, I travel less and work less but blogging is now a habit I’m loathe to break. It’s become my way of getting more from the books I read.

Describe where you write your blog. 

Introvert that I am, I live in my head, especially when I’m writing. I don’t have a special place. All I need is somewhere to put my laptop, preferably with a strong wifi signal. Today I’m sitting on my balcony on in the sunshine (I know people think of Switzerland as a cold place but I live in a wine growing region so today’s 28C/82F is typical for July).

Swiss 2

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 book stacks are all virtual these days. Typically I have an audiobook and an ebook in progress at the same time. I use audiobooks for the ten hours or so that I spend travelling a week and ebooks for the times when it would be impolite to wear headphones or when my ears need a rest.

Here are the audiobooks downloaded to read next on my phone:

Mike's books

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a teenager with an all-consuming crush on her costar, Harrison Ford.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.

And here are the ebooks downloaded to read next on my iPad mini:

Mike's books 2

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for what’s to come in this heart-stopping novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar.

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in a never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim.  But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

 

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?

When I want my mood lifted, I reach for an audiobook with Marguritte Gavin reading Kate Shugak or Torin Kerr or Amy McFadden  reading  anything by Melissa F Olsen or Beth Lewis.

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

At home, I’m a fiction junkie. I read more than a hundred books a year and regularly go to the cinema (films here are often shown in English with French and German subtitles). I love to cook and of course, to eat. I’ve been a vegetarian for twenty-four years now, so my kitchen always has at least four kinds of chilli and lots of spices – a habit that, in iZombie, would identify me as a zombie.

When I’m working for a living I’m usually trying to help global companies take a people-centric design approach to the use of Artificial Intelligence and digital technologies. Well, someone has to do it.

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

I’ve picked my review of Jodi Taylor’s first St. Mary’s book “Just One Damned Thing After Another” back in 2014 because it was the first review where the author wrote to me and told me that they were pleased that I’d captured the spirit of the book.

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?

Introvert here. I meet authors in their text and sometimes in their tweets. I wouldn’t know what to do if I met them face to face. I mean, they’re probably introverts too so I doubt they enjoy the meet-the-fans part. Maybe we could just sit and read out favourite bits of favourite books.

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’d meet with J K Rowling, as she seems comfortable with the public side of her work. I’d serve lemon drizzle cake as it seems to be her favourite (I’m not a stalker. I just looked it up) and I’d ask her who she felt should be judged most harshly for the way they treated Harry Potter, Voldemort or Dumbledore? (my vote would be Dumbledore).

 

Ooohhhh I love his question to J. K. Rowling..and the fact that he looked up her favorite cake! You can tell from his answers that Mike has a dry wit and that really comes across in his writing. If you are a fan of mysteries, please click on his link because that book sounds really good and his review deserved an answer from the author. That is so great! I think we all aspire to have the author read our reviews (at least the books that we liked!).

Mike’s taste in books is definitely eclectic and I love that. Sometimes I feel like I stay too long in one genre and forget what it’s like to read a great mystery or historical fiction novel and I’m glad he reminded me that there are some other great books out there to be read.

Have you read any of the books on Mike’s TBR?

What did you think about his questions for J. K. Rowling? Would you have asked her a different questions?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!

Deborah