Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Ashley @Ashes Books & Bobs

OK, this is going to make me sound weird, but when I hop over to Ashes Books & Bobs I just love the organization and general feel of her home page. I can scroll through blog posts, just like on a newspaper website and pick and choose based on the headline. Also, the pictures feel so literary and make me feel like I’m on bookstagram instead of a website. I can get caught up in surfing the pictures as much as the content. Ashley and I love some of the same authors so believe me, I do get lost in that content too. If you haven’t jumped over to check out Ashes Books & Bobs please click the link below, but come back and take a look at her answers!

Ashes Books & Bobs

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 USA. Texas to be more specific.

What is the view outside your front door?  

My neighbors’ houses. I think the view from my backyard is much better. 🙂

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


Ashes Books & Bobs is a play on the British saying “bits and bobs”. I was looking for a way to incorporate my love of British things into my name. I started blogging over 2 years ago with a good friend and decided to branch out on my own in October of last year. This name fits who I am and the theme I wanted to stick with.

Describe where you write your blog.


I write anywhere I can find a quiet place. Usually on my couch, at the kitchen table, or in bed.

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 huge stack this year because I’m trying to catch up on all of the unread books I own with the Beat the Backlist Challenge. I’ve already read some of these this year, but I still have to cross of The Shining, The River Widow, The Proposal, and more.

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?


R.S. Grey’s books are a great way to lift my spirits. She’s the queen of ROM-COM!


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


I’m a stay-at-home mom and homeschool my children, so I’m usually spending my time with them. I also enjoy working out or occasionally watching tv shows or movies with my husband.


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


It may be slightly controversial to discuss but I was really proud of my post discussing politics in fiction: https://ashesbooksandbobs.com/2018/11/08/modern-books-and-political-agendas/.

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?


Yes! I met Tarryn Fisher almost exactly a year ago. I wrote her a letter telling her about the impact her books made on me because I knew I’d be too nervous to say anything in person. I’m glad I did because she messaged me on Facebook later that day telling me my letter made her cry, which in turn made me cry.


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 have a nice chocolate cake with Amy Harmon! She’s one of my very favorite authors and I’d love to discuss how she’s easily able to transition from one genre to the next with each book release.

I’d like to thank Ashley for her answers and some great book recommendations. Tarryn Fisher’s books might scare me a little but the synopsis look fascinating. I am also a fan of Amy Harmon, she’s a great writer!

If you’d like to be featured on Blogger to Blogger, please reach out and let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!

Deborah

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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 Series: An Interview with Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog

I always know when Jill releases a post because in my mind her pink graphic (see pink stripes below) is synonymous with her posts. She alternates between reviews from many genre’s, weekly wrap ups, and commentary. Her voice is articulate, genuine, and exudes a niceness that is emphasized by her pink stripes. It would just be wrong to love pink and write naughty reviews, wouldn’t it? If you haven’t checked out her blog, then please click the link below, but COME BACK! You won’t want to miss her answers to my 10 questions.

Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog

Let’s get to those answers, shall we?

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

I live in Canada.

What is the view outside your front door? 

The view outside my front door is of the houses across the street. My grandparents have always lived right across from my house. My parents bought the house across from my mom’s parents before I was born, so I’ve always been very close to my grandparents.

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

I started blogging because I love books! I was reading so many books that I thought I should keep track of them and write about them. I gave myself the challenge of writing a book review every day, and I’ve kept up with that for almost two years. 

Describe where you write your blog.

I am constantly working on my blog. I read a lot of ebooks and digital ARCs, so I always have them with me on my phone or tablet. I also always have my blog at my fingertips with the WordPress app. I use any spare minute to write blog posts. 

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 stacks of books all over my house. The stack beside me right now is of books that I purchased recently and the one I’m currently reading. They are: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton, The Kingfisher Secret by Anonymous, and An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena.

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 Fantasy. I find I can really escape into fantasy worlds because they are so different from our real world. 

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

When I’m not blogging, I spend my time reading and writing my own manuscript. I’m currently working on a contemporary young adult retelling of Wuthering Heights. I work as a personal support worker for a 46-year-old developmentally delayed woman and her mother, as well as a part-time nanny for an 11-year-old girl. 

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

My favourite blog post to write was my blogging goals for 2019. I made this list and posted it so that I would be accountable for my goals for the year. It’s one thing to say you are going to do something, but when it’s in writing, I feel like I really have to do it. Here’s the link: https://jilljemmett.com/2019/01/03/book-blogging-goals-for-2019/

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

Since I live in Toronto, I’ve had the chance to meet many authors who come to the city. I met one of my favourite authors last year at BookCon in New York City, Leigh Bardugo. She asked me about where I was from, and I told her that we pronounce “Toronto” without saying the second “T” so it sounds like “Toronno.” It was a memorable moment!

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 meet J.K. Rowling. She’s been such an inspiration to me. I would love to ask her about how she built the Wizarding World in her books because I would love to write a fantasy series in the future. I would serve Strawberry Shortcake because it’s my favourite!

I think you have something in common with every book blogger out there. We’d all LOVE to sit down with J.K. Rowling. That is a post all in itself, isn’t it? Thanks so much for participating in my Blogger to Blogger series!

If any of you would like to participate, please leave me a comment below, thanks!

Deb

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who’s next? I want to hear it?

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with 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:

Pirate motto.PNG

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

Hidden Sun.jpg

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

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: 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

Knights logo

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.

Claire 1

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).

Claire 2.jpg

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.

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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

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Annie @themisstery

My first impression of The Misstery blog is that the feel of her site is very film noir-ish. The picture (I’m assuming it’s Annie!) of the young woman reading on her back in bed is in black and white. Not to be gruesome, but I could very easily see that picture as a crime photo in my mind! Very cool and definitely sets the mood for her blog that is mostly reviews of mystery novels. Annie does veer away occasionally with wrap up posts, discussions and a few reviews in other genre’s but for the most part she stays true to her name. If you haven’t checked out Annie’s blog, please check it out!

Annie @themisstery

Here are Annie’s answers to my 10 questions! Annie was having trouble with her phone and couldn’t send me any photo’s, but her descriptions are vivid and I don’t have any trouble imaging what she’s describing!

Misstery 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 Barcelona, Spain. Most of the bloggers I interact with are from the UK or US, though. I also have blogger friends from Kenya, France, Belgium, etc.

What is the view outside your front door?  

I actually have a library in front of my flat! I never go there, though. I prefer to buy books and I usually read in English and mostly of the library books are only in Spanish. Also, I have an Italian restaurant on my right and a Bolivian restaurant on the left.

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

As everyone, I started blogging because I wanted to share my love for books with others who share my same passion. I actually started blogging in Spanish but quickly realized that I was reading different books than my fellow Spanish bloggers. So I decided to go International and it was the best decision ever!

My blog name is still one of my favorite things. Misstery. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory given how much I love mysteries!

Describe where you write your blog.

I usually write my posts while sitting on the armchair. It’s so comfortable that I could spend my whole day there.

Misstery armchair

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 plenty of books to read, but I keep them all on the shelves. There are like +50 that I still haven’t read!

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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 books are police procedurals. I know I will always get hooked. They’re also my happy place, which I know sounds weird for some.

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

I work 8-5 so that’s a big part of my day, although I’d rather be at home, for sure. Maybe someday…

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

My blogger routine post! Although that has changed over this year!

My Book Blogger Routine

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! I met Dennis Lehane last year, and also Don Winslow. 5 years ago, I met Kate Morton, too.

I told them I loved their books.

To Dennis, I told him that Patrick Kenzie was one of my favorite characters ever. He’s so serious, but it was a conference and I loved what he said.

 

Don Winslow was super nice and I loved his vision. Kate Morton was super sweet too, and she signed all the books I brought.

 


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 think Agatha Christie, even though she’s dead. Cheesecake and I would ask her what’s the best way to come up with such twisty stories!

 

 

I occassionally love a good mystery and would have loved to know the first three books Annie is going to read next! It’s a little voyeuristic to view your TBR isn’t it? LOL.

I think Annie is the first blogger I’ve met from Spain and find it really interesting that she found that she wasn’t reading the same books as other Spanish bloggers. I know I am thankful she went international so I could enjoy her blog!

Thanks Annie for participating in my Blogger to Blogger series!

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.

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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