blog

BookLikes

World's #1 Blog Platform designed for book bloggers, reviewers, writers - all Book Lovers. Your Reading Life. Redesigned. 

An Interview with Anne Leigh Parrish, Author of Women Within + Audiobook Giveaway

We're happy to introduce you Anne Leigh Parrish, a short story writer and a novelist.

 

Anne's debut novel, What Is Found, What Is Lost appeared in 2014. Women Within, her second novel, was published in September 2017 by Black Rose Writing. Another multi-generational story,  it weaves together three lives at the Lindell Retirement home, using themes of care-giving, women’s rights, and female identity. Her next novel, The Amendment, is scheduled to be released in June 2018.  

 

What inspired you to become a writer? Was it an easy path?

 

I always loved stories, made-up characters, and the musical quality of language. Lyrical prose is very important to me, both as a writer and as a reader. And no, becoming a writer was by no means easy. It takes years of trying a new approach, getting feedback, working with that feedback, and most of all, taking chances.

 

Your newest novel, Women Within, is a story of three women whose paths cross at the Lindell Retirement Home. Can you tell our readers more about the book and the main characters?

 

Constance Maynard, age 94, is a resident at Lindell. She is a retired professor of History who feels that women have always been unfairly treated and valued primarily for their reproductive capability. She adopts a child when a member of her own family cannot care for her properly, and declares that the child is hers, although she in unmarried. This is in the 1950’s, a time when social mores were harsh. She embraces the disdain she is shown, and rises above it all to prove that she is as worthy as any of her male colleagues.

 

Her two aides are the other two women in the book, the first of whom, 50’s-something Eunice Fitch, has her own female challenges. For one thing, her mother, a hard-drinking and unsympathetic person, was a poor role model. From an early obsession with silent screen star Lilian Gish, Eunice feels that the best thing to do is to be steadfast and uncomplaining. While these traits make her a great caregiver, it proves disastrous in her serial relationships with men.

 

Lastly, we have Sam (short for Samantha) Clark, in her twenties, overweight, whose mother is also difficult. She yearns to be pretty and petite, only to discover that her physical strength and endurance are in fact much more valuable.

 

AUDIOBOOK GIVEAWAY

Request NOW ->

REQUEST THE AUDIOBOOK ->

 

Your book focuses on the female issues and women relationships, you also give a solid  insight of the caregiving industry. Why did you choose to talk about these subjects in your novel?

 

To be honest, this is very personal territory for me, at least in terms of the relationships women have with other women, particularly family members. My mother was difficult. She was highly intelligent, well-education, successful in her career as a professor – and yes, she serves as the inspiration for Constance Maynard in the novel – but she was deeply dissatisfied with just about everything, my father most of all. Though she was unhappy in her marriage, she never accepted his decision to divorce her, and spent the rest of her life blaming him for a situation she in large part created. My only sibling is a sister (six years older than I), and she, too, was difficult. Her hatred of me, and her abuse of me when I was young had an enormously negative influence in my life.

 

As to caregiving, I once worked in a retirement home when I was younger, and then much later, spent time visiting my father in one as he declined. I am fascinated by the almost insular nature of that world, and the contrast between those who seldom leave it, and the people who come and go every day.

 

What are you working on right now? We know that your third novel is coming next year.

 

I’m working on a novel called Maggie’s Ruse. Like The Amendment, the novel appearing in June, it contains characters from my 2013 linked story collection, Our Love Could Light the World. It features a pair of identical twins, overly-privileged Millennials trying to find themselves as individuals by putting some distance between them.

 

What writers have an impact on your reading, and of course, writing? 

 

All “the greats,” but specifically Flannery O’Connor, Virginia Woolf, Eudora Welty, Alice Munro, and Louise Erdrich.

 

What are you reading right now, Anne?

 

Ann Beattie’s newest story collection, The Accomplished Guest.

 

What three titles would you take on a desert island?

 

Boy, that’s a tough one. Probably The Round House by Louise Erdrich, Mendocino Fire: Stories by Elizabeth Tallent, and Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.

 

The Round House - Louise ErdrichMendocino Fire: Stories - Elizabeth TallentOlive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout

 

Paper books or e-books?

When I have lots of time, and am staying in one place – that is, not on an airplane, or road trip, then paper books. Otherwise, the convenience of an e-book is just too great to ignore.

 

Anne, it’s shelfie time! Our readers would love to see your home library.

 


Anne Leigh Parrish's home library

 

Thank you Anne! 

 

Make sure to request the audiobook giveaway of Women Within!

 

AUDIOBOOK GIVEAWAY

Ends November 28, 2017

Request NOW ->

 

 

Anne Leigh Parrish Books: 

Women Within - Anne Leigh ParrishWhat Is Found, What Is Lost - Anne Leigh Parrish 

By the Wayside: Stories - Anne Leigh ParrishOur Love Could Light the World - Anne Leigh ParrishAll the Roads That Lead from Home - Anne Leigh Parrish

 

The Amendment: A Novel coming June 2018 from Unsolicited Press

Women Within: A Novel (Black Rose Writing, 2017), Best Fiction Winner, 2017 Maxy awards

By The Wayside: Stories (Unsolicited Press, 2017), Finalist in the Short Story category of the 2017 International Book Awards

What Is Found, What Is Lost: A Novel (She Writes Press, 2014), Finalist in the Literary Fiction category of the 2015 International Book Awards; Winner, Literary Fiction, 2015 Book of the Year Award

Our Love Could Light The World: Stories (She Writes Press, 2013), Finalist the short story category of the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; Finalist in both the 2013 International Book Awards and the 2013 Best Books Awards

All The Roads That Lead From Home: Stories (Press 53, 2011), 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Silver Medal Winner

 

Connect with Anne Leigh Parrish:

Website: anneleighparrish.com

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/AnneLParrish

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/AnneLeighParrish

BookLikes: booklikes.com/anne-leigh-parrish/author,2603718

 

Work in progress on weekend and Monday/Tuesday

Hey all book lovers.

During the weekend and on Monday/Tuesday some IT works will be done on BookLikes, there may be some hiccups and interruptions on the site. Sorry for any inconvenience.

It's Thursday on Friday! Catch up on BookLikes know-how / BookLikes under maintenance note

It's Friday but it feels like Thursday!

Due to technical difficulties our release post got delayed. Since it's possible to publish again, we wanted to let you know what's going on with the site.

 

As you may have noticed BookLikes was under maintenance for some time today and yesterday. Our team is still working on the site issues and some of the features are under review, therefore, you may experience some inconvenience while using them. We sincerely apologize for the temporary inconvenience. We're working on fixing all the problematic issues, including the Dashboard chronology.

 

In case of any questions or remarks, please mail Kate@booklikes.com and we'll be happy to help and support. 

 

In the meantime, please have a look at our previous posts where we shared the crucial tips for BookLikes bloggers. If you've missed out previous Thursday releases, here's your chance to catch up on some of them:

 

How to start a book blog

No matter whether you're a regular BookLikes visitor or a newbie, we hope you'll find these tips useful in your blogging adventure. Here's how to set up your book blog and make your first steps in the blogging community... read how to set up your book blog

 

 

6 ways to blog about books

Book blogging is awesome and it's even more fun if you can blog about books in different ways... read how BookLikes can help you blog about books in six different ways

 

 

7 tips how to write a book review

Book blogs are different but they do have one thing is common, they share book reviews. And this means you're letting us, the readers, enter into your heads. Which is great, we get to know your thoughts without the superpowers! Sometimes, though, some extra powers are needed to write a good book review.  We are curious what are your writing tips. Below we share several of ours plus several places on BookLikes to visit to add your reviews on BL... read how to write a book review on BookLikes

 

 

A-Z ways to arrange your bookshelf

Let's say it loud, a bookshelf in book lover's life isn't only a space to collect books. It's a space to show your reading personality, it's a place to praise your sweethearts. Your bookshelf is You. The way you arrange your bookshelf tells a lot about you. BookLikes bookshelf also offers a set of features which allows you to present your bookish personality with your book collection... read how to add books to your bookshelf on BookLikes

 

 

4 ways to give a shout out to a beloved title

If you're wondering how to praise a book and put it in the spotlight, the following BookLikes spots will come in handy... read how to highlight your favorite books on BookLikes

 

 

5 tips to show yourself as a professional reader, author, publisher

If you're a blogger, author or a publisher you can use your BookLikes book blog as an excellent companion to your other webpages and social media. Read five tips how to show off your brand with your BookLikes blog

 

 

How to add Facebook and Twitter widgets

No matter whether you are a writer, publisher or a book bloggers, it's important to present all possible information about your profession and links to your other webpages and other social platforms. Only then your readers will be able to look through your dossier and get to know you a little bit better. Recently we've shared some tips how to include all the professional information on your book blog and now we're moving to widgets, another great way of presenting your writings... read how to add social media widgets to your BookLikes webpage

 

 

BookLikes How-to: Advanced Shelving Options

If you still have any doubts how to +Shelf your books on BookLikes the following guest post should dispel all your doubts... read how to use +Shelf Advanced on BookLikes

 

 

Giveaways: win free books and give your titles away

If you have books to spare, want to promote and popularize you titles, give your books a second reading life, please do! With the giveaway program you can give the titles away as well as win ARCs and review copies right now... read how to add a giveaway and how to win review copies

 

 

BookLikes How-to: Housekeeping! or, Using the Mass Post Editor

If you’re a BookLikes veteran or new to BookLikes but with a huge import of data, you might, like me, look back at all of that history and think “I really need to clean some of those posts up” or “shoot, I wish I’d been using ‘x’ tag on all of those posts”, but then you imagine actually doing it, shudder to yourself, and find that sorting out your sock drawer suddenly sounds exciting.

 

OR, like I’ve been doing lately, you’ve gone to tag a post, see the mile long list of previously used tags and think to yourself “WHY do I have all those tags?... read how to do a clean up on your BookLikes blog 

 

BookLikes How to: book search tips

Searching books isn't always a piece of cake, especially with a never-ending virtual bookshelf and a catalog with multiple editions. Jenn, to the rescue with some handy tips for all BookLikers! ... read how to find a book on BookLikes

 

 

It's time for a reading challenge!

Some of you have already completed your 2017 reading challenge - big congratulations! This year is coming to an end but the reading challenge post will come in handy for your upcoming reading year. 

Remember that the next year is also about You and your books! Give yourself a me time with a new year reading resolution... read how to start a reading challenge

 

 

You can find more tutorial blog posts when you write tutorial in the search box and click Tags or simply click HERE

HBO’s Big Little Lies season 2 is coming soon! 7 books for Big Little Lies fans

 

Are you a TV series fan? We are! And when they are adapted from our favorite titles we always say count us in! And you know what, it looks that a second season of HBO’s Big Little Lies (adapted from Liane Moriarty‘s novel) is going to happen next year!

 

Have you ever wondered what kind of books Celeste, Madeline and Jane would read in their spare time? We've got some suggestions. 

 

If you're a fan of Big Little Lies (a book and a series) try these 7 books to get yourself into the spirit of the well plotted mysteries and intriguing family stories. You can also get the books insights from BookLikes bloggers reviews. 

 

 

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty 

 

Speak up and hurt the ones you love most or stay silent and hide a crime?

 

BOOK REVIEW: I hope I've learned my lesson: don't start a Moriarty book unless I have plenty of time to finish it, because I can not put it down to go to sleep. Knowing I have to get up and go to work the next morning is not nearly sufficient to stop me reading just one more chapter, again and again until it 's... read a full review

 

 

The Bird Tribunal by Rosie Hedger, Agnes Ravatn 

Haunting, consuming and powerful, The Bird Tribunal is a taut, exquisitely written psychological thriller that builds to a shocking, dramatic crescendo that will leave you breathless.

 

BOOK REVIEW: This is a short novel, less than 200 pages but it fits a lot into its small form. This is a tale of obsession, of madness and of the way the past has of coming back to haunt us. A challenging book but one I am pleased I read... read a full review 

 

 

 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins 

Every day the same, until that day. Has she really done more harm than good? 

 

BOOK REVIEW: This novel was quite some read that will have so many twist and turns where you will have to keep up to fully understand what in the world is going on. "The Girl On The Train" was one psychological thriller mystery suspenseful read that will keep your attention as you are turning the pages to get to the end to see who was this killer... read a full review

 

 

 

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica 

 

 

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems.

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: I really enjoyed the format that Kubica and it really helped tell the story of Mia and how she became Chloe. It also added to the suspense of trying to figure out when and how Mia was able to get away from Colin. Like I said Kubica was very very successful in using this format to her advantage. It was addicting at times as you want to figure out how Mia became Chloe, how she got away, Colin's motivations and what job he was originally hired to do... read a full review 

 

 

The Status of All Things by Lisa Steinke, Liz Fenton

The Status of All Things by Lisa Steinke, Liz Fenton 

 

 

What would you do if you could literally rewrite your fate—on Facebook? 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: With humor and insight, these clever gals will keep you engaged, and laughing out loud, from the first page to the last. From the stunning front cover to the honest insights, this dynamic duo captures the essence of today’s social media world where everyone has come to expect perfection from our lives, food, fashion, entertainment, families, relationships, image, and lifestyle; hiding behind a mirage of facades... read a full review

 

 

 

 

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult 

Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us. It is about opening your eyes.

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: This book was absolutely stunning--compelling, dramatic and interesting, and addressing the really important topic of racial relations in America today... read a full review

 

 

 

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware 

 

 

Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years. Not since the day Nora walked out of her old life and never looked back. And as secrets and lies unravel, out in the dark, dark wood the past will finally catch up with Nora.

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: In a Dark, Dark Wood is an interesting psychological thriller about a young woman, Nora, who wakes up in a hospital, injured, but with no memories of what happened to her. Now, she has to piece together everything that happened from the moment she got an email about a bachelorette party for Clares, a friend that she hasn't seen in ten years... read a full review

 

 

What titles would you add to the Big Little Lies reading list?

 

#16 Follow Friday with book bloggers: OBSESSION WITH WORDS

 
Meet Donna, a book lover from Alaska who warms herself up with reading and knitting. 
 
Visit Donna's blog and follow her book reviews on BookLikes: http://donnawannaread.booklikes.com/
 
1. When have you read your first book? Was it a book love at very first sight?
 
This is a tough question for me to answer and an emotional subject. I was raised in a very strict religious home. I was not allowed to have regular books. I had the bible, a dictionary, a set of encyclopedias and a set of bible stories. I was not allowed to go to the library either, ever, for my entire childhood. A few times when a friend gave me a book they thought I would like my parents took the books away before I could read them. I went to this same school until I was 18 when I refused to go anymore. I left home and got my diploma through correspondence. At that point, the first REAL book I read was a book a found in a waiting room. It was V by A.C. Crispin and I still have it. I wasn't allowed to watch much TV either and we certainly never had cable so this was totally new to me.  I devoured it.  When I met my husband he had the same book as well as many others and it was instant love. My husband and I both love to read.
 
 
2. What made you start writing about books/book blogging?
 
I met a friend through penpalling and this one friend, Brenna, (http://brennam.booklikes.com/) had a booklikes blog.  I fell in love with it right away and started my booklikes blog in May of this year.  
 
3. Did blogging have an impact on your reading life?
 
I´ve had blogs before but never posted regularly or had any real followers.  I never thought about blogging about books though.  Once I started and joined some of the games I started having a lot more fun reading. I really enjoy sharing the books I´ve read with other people that also love books.  I especially love reading other blogs and learning about new books.  My new years goal for this year was to cut down on books because I don´t have enough bookshelves to hold them all.  After joining Booklikes and chatting with other bloggers I realized that was a dumb goal.  Why should I cut down on something I love so much?  My husband is going to build some shelves for me so I don´t have to worry about it.
 
 
4. You like to craft. What’s you favorite technique? Do you read when knitting? 
 
I mostly crochet.  My sister taught me when I was 6 and it is pretty much second nature to me.  I also knit, although it is more of a challenge to me, but I really enjoy learning new techniques online and making blankets for charities like Project Linus or for the local homeless shelter and women´s shelter.  I love to listen to audiobooks while crocheting or knitting.  Audiobooks bring the characters to life while allowing me to look at what I´m doing.  I have also found a new craft recently called diamond painting and I also love to work on that while listening to audiobooks.
 
5. What are you reading right now?
 
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (recommended by one of my sons)
 
Inkheart - Cornelia Funke,Anthea Bell 
 
6. What’s you favorite genre? Why is it special? 
 
I love mysteries and crime novels. I especially like books that involve a mystery that happened in the part and they go back to talk to people from that time to try to figure out what happened. There is so much evil in the world and I like reading books about clever people who can figure out whodunit, catch them and lock them up.  I don´t like books where the evil is not stopped.
 
7. You live on Alaska. Can you recommend Alaskan writers?
 
Oh yes, Sue Henry!  I met her once here in Fairbanks, Alaska and chatted with her for a while.  She is a great person that loves what she does.  
 
8. A paper book or an e-book?
 
Paper.  I do have a kindle but there is just something special about the smell and feel of a real book.  I especially like older books.  Kindles just smell like plastic and never come with odd little mementos tucked inside like pressed 4 leaf clovers, old movie tickets or other interesting things that were used as bookmarks.
 
9. Three titles to warm oneself up in winter?
 
Well, I think exciting books are the ones that warm me up.  So here are 3 I liked.
 
Raven Black - Ann CleevesThe Looking-Glass Portrait - Linda Hilton
 
10. How did reading change your life?
 
Around 2009 I started having a lot of pain and fatigue and eventually had to quit my job as a CNA/Endoscopy tech.  After a long time and a lot of tests I was told I have Fibromyalgia and Psoriatic Arthritis.  I live with constant pain, especially in my joints.  At first I went into a long, deep depression because I missed my job and having a sense of purpose.  I felt like I´d lost my identity.  As I was trying to find something I could do to help get my mind off of the pain I was in I started to read.  At first I was having a really hard time focusing but one of the meds they put me on helped with that.  Once that happened I would get lost in a book and for that time I felt better.  Reading is my escape and my book friends I´ve made are my life savers.  
 
11. Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers this fall/winter season? 
 
I am currently really psyched about Ann Cleeves´ Shetland Island series. Some people have seen the TV series but I haven´t met anyone who has read the books. Her books make me want to go there myself.  I´ve also been liking a series by Paul Doiron (sound like Dworin).  I recently read Massacre Pond and really liked it.  This series in set in the wilderness of Maine and follows a game warden as he solves crimes.  Reading the descriptive scenes I am reminded of the Alaskan wilderness and I can just imagine being right there with him.
 
Massacre Pond - Paul Doiron 
 
12. What’s your favorite book related quote?
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
-- Groucho Marx
 
 
13. If you could meet one literary character, who would it be? 
 
Oh gosh, that is a really hard question.  I´ll say Lydia from Debbie Macomber´s Shop on Blossom Street.  I think we could be good friends.  We both have been through a lot with health problems and she is also a knitter.  
 
14. Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)
This is one of my shelves crammed into my entry way.  I have another shorter shelf in my living room and I also have stacked wooden crates on the shelf in the top of our coat closet and filled those with hard backs.  We also have shelves in the garage full of books and books in each bedroom.  
 
 
Thank you!
 

7 books you've recently looked up

 

It's pouring rain, it's cold and windy. But you know what. It really doesn't bother us. This is a perfect setting for a book and a grate excuse to stay home reading, right?!? Inspired by the Autumn we've looked through your shelves and picked 7 books for the rainy days

 

If you'd like to know what titles BookLikes readers are looking for this fall, visit the Book Catalog page and look through the Recently looked up sector. To read the book description and the reviews click the book cover.

 

 

The book page presents the book details, description and the book reviews. To add a book to your shelf, click +Shelf, and to read the reviews go to the community reviews section. If you enjoy the review, Follow the blog and you'll be up to date with the new blogger friend's bookshelf updates and the reviews on your Dashboard. 

 

 

The following list presents books from your shelves and blogs.

If you like the review Follow the blogger to be up to date with his/her bookshelf picks and posts. 

 

The Rooster Bar - John Grisham 

#1 New York Times bestselling author John Grisham’s newest legal thriller takes you inside a law firm that’s on shaky ground.

 

I finished this book in two sittings: on my lunch break and on my bed the moment I got home. I didn’t get up to eat dinner, use the bathroom, anything. The Rooster Bar is one of those books. Like almost every Grisham novel, this is a high-stakes crime thriller . . . but the stakes here feel so much higher than in his other books — at least the ones I’ve read, which I admit isn’t a large number. Three laws students mired in debt without any job prospective on the horizon decide to drop out of sight, change their identity . . . and become faux street lawyers... read a full review

 

 

The Wife Between Us - Greer Hendricks,Sarah Pekkanen 

Twisted and deliciously chilling, The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage - and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

The book certainly keeps you guessing all throughout the novel and it certainly keeps you on your toes and you realize this is probably how the ex wife (can’t name names, it would give the plot away) felt as you progress through the story. The twists and turns keep you blindsided and it keeps you guessing even until the final pages of the book. It was a great and thrilling. Every other chapter I heard myself going: “WHAT THE HECK DID I JUST READ?”...read a full review

 

 

One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns) - Kendare Blake  

The battle for the crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

I finished Three Dark Crowns at the beginning of the month and I really wanted to see what was going to happen next. So I picked up One Dark Throne and read it quite quickly. It was really good! Again, I really love the atmosphere of this book. All the characters are so interesting; I still really love Queen Katharine in spite of what happened to her. She is different from what she used to be and I was really curious about why... read a full review

 

 

The Rules of Magic: A Novel - Alice Hoffman  

Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is a story about the power of love reminding us that the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself.

Rewind to the 1960s and enjoy THE RULES OF MAGIC. A nostalgic coming-of-age love letter. Learning to embrace one’s true self.  

Rich in history, NYC, witches, curses, magic, and humor. Catch up with Franny and Jet. and meet little brother Vincent and cousin, April.
“There is no remedy for love but to love more.” — Henry David Thoreau 
Susanna Owens had fled Massachusetts, escaped to Paris and married and settled in New York City. She did not want her children to know of their heritage. However, it was clear from the start they were not ordinary children. She had to set down some hard rules. However, this was not an easy task...
read a full review

 

 

Enigma (An FBI Thriller) - Catherine Coulter  

Coulter's latest dual-plot thriller will keep you guessing as Savich, Sherlock, Abbott, and Wittier uncover surprise after surprise in this race against the clock until the shocking conclusions.

I sped through this gripping thriller that has two major plots and lots and lots of twists. One of those twists was jaw dropping for me. I did not see it coming. I stayed up WAY until the morning hours as I could not put this book down. And, it was worth it!  Excellent read for me... read a full review

 

 

Slip (The Slip Trilogy Book 1) - David Estes  

Someone must die before another can be born...

I hadn’t read anything by David Estes in quite a while, and when I saw this series on NetGalley, I thought, well, time to address this state of affairs. I shall also confess that nowadays, I do have a bit of a love-hate relationship with YA dystopias in general, for various reasons, and I was glad that this book, while it is a bit predictable and uses expected tropes, avoids what are the usual pitfalls of the genre for me.
The main characters in general were likeable...
read a full review

 

 

 

Carry On - Rainbow Rowell  

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen.

That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right.

It’s started to get interesting when Baz’s mom go back and find him, to tell Baz that find the one who kill her, but at that point Baz was missing, so Simon is the one that know everything about Baz’s mom, the powerful woman that own their school when she still alive. Baz knew he loved Simon for a very ling time, but he just want to do some awkward things that might hurt Simon, ans Simon thinks that Baz want to kill him, so they stayed enemies like forever until Baz mom appear in the story... read a full review

 

Happy reading!

Mollie Jo Joseph, a new romance writer, shares her story [Interview and Giveaway]

 

If you're a fan of romantic stories with some nice twist and turns, and emotional tension, meet Mollie Jo Joseph -  a new romance writer who made her dream come true with publishing her first novel Accepting the Unexpected. Mollie agreed to answer several questions about her writing path and her experiences as a self-published author. You can also win Mollie's romance, click here to enter the Accepting the Unexpected giveaway, we have 3 copies for You!

Enjoy!  

*

 

What are you reading right now, Mollie?

 

Jane Austin’s Emma, in research for my next book !!

 

I have to ask. Is Mollie Jo Joseph your real name or a pen name? If it’s the latter, why have you decided to use an alter ago name for your writing career?

 

No, Mollie Jo Joseph is my pen name. I chose it because I never thought my own name (Joanne Hull) has ever had much of a “ring” to it. So I choose Mollie who is my niece and Joseph is my granddad and unfortunately I never got chance to meet either of them so I believe it is a nice tribute to them, Jo is me!!

 

Your first romance book Accepting the Unexpected is out. Congratulations! Can you tell us more about your book and how the idea was born?

 

It took me to get the age of 26 to realize that the stories in my head are actually what I have created, and I chose to start with this one because it strangely started to reflect events that happened in my own life. So in short it took for my first love to leave me for another woman to start the journey.

 

The book is a mix of real life issues I have been through such as heartache and depression, and comic fiction. I wanted to deliver a funny romcom with the real life struggles that many of us have to face. I hope this is what makes my book special, as I can assure all future readers that this book is in no way depressing, it has all the twist and turns that chick lit should have.

 

E-book giveaway!

October 7 - October 29

 

 

It’s based around a hair and fashion magazine named “sleek” set in Cornwall England that than travels over to New York City. It has the classic love triangle with some unexpected twists and supporting characters that are still very important to the plot. I really hope people can relate to Leila my main character but be captivated by a handsome actor/model named Blake and the mysterious ex football star Richard, throw in the drama with the ex! and some funny but also sad moments along the way.

       

On your Twitter we’ve spotted the mind map for building new book characters. Can you tell more about your writing process?

 

Well book two is very different to Accepting the unexpected as half of the cast where based on real people so I didn’t have to think too deeply into the characters as I know them personally. But with book two (Still no title) its fiction based in a completely different era in time the start of the 20th century. So I decided to mind map my characters and how they are all linked in an old school well to help introduce them into the story. I’ve had to tackled this one very differently as I need to brush up on my history facts!

 

New book characters mind map 

 

 

You describe yourself as a New Indie Author. What does it mean to be an Indie Author for you?

 

I’m very new to this, my day job is a hairdresser. I knew very little on how to write and format a book. I am a complete amateur really, but I was lucky that I got introduced to some fellow “indie authors”, Independent authors along the way, that helped guide me on how to get my book into the world as I pretty much done the whole thing myself. I had no beta readers, proof readers, I roped a few friends in along the way but it wasn’t the right kind of help. I’ve learned a lot in this process that will help book two be even better.

 

Self-publishing is a real trend now, a lot of authors, readers and bloggers have decided to follow the self-pub path. How did your self-publishing process look like? Would you recommend it for other aspiring writers?

 

Of course, I hoped that I could somehow land a literary agent that could find me a publisher and have hard back published versions of my book (I still do) but lots of great writers are out there doing the same thing. I find it to be a tough market for shiny new authors such as myself. So the help I got was from writers who have self published so I took a shot in the dark really. But it’s been the quickest way to get my work out into the world.

 

Could you tell our readers which authors inspire you?

 

Candice Bushnell and Helen Fielding where massive inspirations for my book, I'd say Accepting the Unexpected is a mixture of Sex and the city and Bridget Jones diary. I loved the characters they created. E L James is another, not that my book is any type of Fifty shades. But she unleashed a market of readers who I feel would also enjoy my work so I commend her for that.

 

Sex and the City - Candace BushnellBridget Jones's Diary - Helen FieldingFifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James 

 

 

Jane Austin is my new favorite author. I’m really enjoying her work at the moment as I do like to be taken to another era in time. I love to escape so J.K Rowling is my hero! She is a freak of nature to have that world of Harry Potter in her imagination is just truly amazing. I would love nothing more than just even a tenth of her imagination. I also enjoy Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, again it’s another world and they are huge inspirations for book three!! As I have a fantasy adventure in my head that I have wrote some of but is not fully realized yet so watch this space!

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPréThe Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. TolkienThe Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

 

 

 

What are you reading when not writing? Could you please recommend some of your top reads?

 

Recently I’ve read a few of a fellow indie authors work Cassandra P Lewis she writes some great suspense romance and her most recent book “Home” is one I'd highly recommend. Also “The Law Of Attraction” by Roxie Copper is another, it’s her first novel about the world of getting into law with some really great twists and turns. I loved it! So please check out these authors they are talented ladies.

 

Home: A Country Romance - Cassandra P. LewisThe Law of Attraction: the perfect feel good read to curl up with for Autumn 2017 - Roxie Cooper

 

We’re really curious of writers’ writing habits :) Where do you write? Our readers would love to see some photos of your writing space.

 

Well, I wrote Accepting the Unexpected on an old net book that decided to crash so thank goodness for Google docs! But I do now have a computer set up in my living room, I need to have peace and quiet to write and a good few hours to spare which I wish I had more of that’s why it took my first book four years to write.

 

Mollie Jo Joseph's writing spot

 

From your point of view: is it easy to become a writer nowadays?

 

No I believe it’s extremely hard. There are just so many talented writers out there and we would all like our time in the spot light. But please don’t let that put off any new writer, if you want anything in life bad enough you can make it happen. I’m so proud of myself that though all the tough times I stuck at it and made it happen. Its truly liberating. But there is no greater reward than putting your story out into the world and have it so greatly received. It’s what makes it so worthwhile!

 

Thank you, Joanne. And good luck with your upcoming titles!

 

Don't miss the e-book giveaway (3 copies)!

October 7 - October 29

 

 

 

Connect with Mollie Jo Joseph:

 

 

#15 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Bookish thoughts!!!

BookLikes gathers book lovers from all around the world. We're happy to introduce Nicole, a blogger who reads and reviews in English and German. 

You can follow Nicole's blog on BookLikes here: http://hoffnungswolke.booklikes.com

 

 

When have you read your very first book? What was it?

 

I actually can't remember and it hurts my soul to admit that. I know that when I was in my last year of school, I started going to the local library with my friend and that's when I real got into reading and was at the library all the time. I didn't do reviews or anything and never really talked about it. The first book series that I read religiously were the CSI books and I couldn't shut up about them in a German CSI forum. Oh, the good old days.

 

What made you start writing about books/book blogging?

 

Reading slowly became more and more of a part of me. A huge part, the part that kept my brain quite when my anxiety got to much. Just an escape that I really needed. But I don't have anyone around me that is really into books and I couldn't just keep bottling all my book feelings up and because the internet has everything, I soon found Goodreads and that's when I found my people. I was super nervous writing reviews, so in the beginning I only did the star rating. Then when I found BookLikes, I actually started to write reviews and was comfortable enough to share my thoughts and opinions.

 

 

  1. Can you name three things that blogging changed in your life?

 

I got much more comfortable sharing my thoughts and my opinions. I just love talking about  books and connect with people that like the same books. I always feels super proud when I see some read the same book as me and also liked it, or hated it the same as me and I don't feel so alone lol

 

 

You live in Germany and read in two languages: English and German. Do you experience the book differently depending on the language you read it in?

 

Not all the time, but sometimes I really experience the book differently. Sometimes I feel like the translations don't really work. Some jokes fall flat and things like that. When reading a book in English, I feel like I actually get to experience the authors work and his words.

 

 

Do you prefer reading in English or German?

 

This is a tough question. I'm pretty comfortable with my English skills at this point, so it's not that much harder to read the English version instead of the German once, unless I'm reading in the middle of the night fighting sleep. Most of the time I prefer reading in English, simply because in German translation they like to change names of characters or places, so that when I write a review and I have read the book in German, I actually have to check and make sure that the names are right. 

 

We’ve read that you’re a TV show fan. Can you recommend a good one?

 

It changes all the time, to be completely honest. I'm currently re-watching Covert Affairs and it reminds me how much I loved this show and how much it helped me through a really difficult time. Other than that I loved Leverage (the most perfect show that I need everyone to watch). Shows that are actually currently airing: Brooklyn 99 and The Good Place are my absolute happy place, I don't do well with comedy shows but these two are perfect. See, I cheated, I can't just talk about one show.

 

 

What’s your book review drill? Do you review all the books you read?

 

I'm like 99,9% sure that since I started writing reviews, I have reviewed every book that I have read. Even the ones I didn't like, I either tried to focus on the good parts or I just left a little review.

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

I'm just gonna mention the covers of books I read this year

A Messy, Beautiful Life - Sara Jade AlanThe Castaways - Jessika FleckIch, Eleanor Oliphant: Roman - Gail Honeyman,Alexandra Kranefeld

The story is seriously amazing and really creative.

The writing is so great and really transported me in the middle of this world...

Read a full review of The Castaways ->

 

 

Any tips for beginning bloggers?

 

The most cliche tip I can think of is: Be yourself!!! And be honest. You don't have to pretend to like a book that everyone loves but you just don't get it. And also the other way around, don't feel like you can't enjoy a book that everyone hates. It's your blog and you do you. This is your space to talk about the things you love.

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

I made it my mission this year to recommend The Best We Could Do and Ich, Eleanor Oliphant Roman to everybody.

 

 

The Best We Could Do - Thi BuiIch, Eleanor Oliphant: Roman - Gail Honeyman,Alexandra Kranefeld 

HOLY MOTHER OF EVERYTHING. This graphic novel/comic,

whatever you wanna call it, is everything. Seriously...

Read a full review of The Best we could do ->

 

 

What’s your reading spot? 

 

My bed, it's the most comfortable place in my room.

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

Both. I never thought I would ever be a e-book person but I'm reading more and more e-books. Nothing can replace a paper book, the feel, the smell  and the weight of it in your hands. But I'm really enjoying e-books when I'm out and about. I also receive all the ARCs I read as a ebook, so I had to get used to it at some point. Downside to reading an ebook on my tablet or phone, I'm pretty lost if it has no power and I can't find the charger. Been there, donw that.

 

Three title for a spaceship travel?

 

I could only think of these three...I need to read more space books.

 

 

Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More - Kelly Sue DeConnick,David LópezThe 100 - Kass MorganJoyride Vol. 1 - Collin Kelly,Jackson Lanzing,Marcus To

 

Favorite quote?

 

I'm going to share one that even though I read the book three years ago, I still think about this quote a lot. It's really powerful.

“Wir sind imstande, Überschallflugzeuge und Raketen ins All zu schicken, einen Verbrecher anhand eines Haars oder eines winzigen Hautpartikels zu identifizieren, eine Tomate zu züchten, die im Kühlschrank drei Monate lang völlig faltenfrei bleibt, und Milliarden von Informationen auf einem Mikrochip zu speichern. Wir sind imstande, die Leute auf der Straße sterben zu lassen.”
― Delphine de Vigan, No and Me

 

I'm trying to translate it as best as I can.

"We are capable of sending supersonic aircraft and rockets into space, identifying a criminal based on hair and tiny skin particles, breeding a tomato that's gonna stay wrinkle-free for three months in the fridge, and saving billions of information on a microchip. We are capable of letting people die on the streets."
― Delphine de Vigan, No and Me

 

 

If you could meet one literary character, who would it be?

  1. A Messy, Beautiful Life - Sara Jade Alan

I have to go with a character that I actually read about this year, it's Ellie, the main character in the book A Messy, Beautiful Life. She was going through much and through everything she was so strong and just great. She was really inspiring to me and I would love to meet her. She is also one of those characters that I would love to check up on, you know, see how she is doing after the book ended.

 

  

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

I don't have the space that I would need to make my shelves look pretty and all that, so I just use all the space I have and put as many books there as I can, it's not pretty, but oh well...

 

 

 

Thank you :)

 

*

 

Missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:

 

 

You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Click here and leave the URL address in the comment section.

 

See you next Friday!

October books & congratulations to all Halloween Bingo participants!

Only 2 months left to finish your reading challenge!

How did you do in October? 

Halloween Bingo came to an end with a loud applause for all the participates and the game creators,  and Obsidian Blue! Bravo, guys! If you've missed the posts and reviews, you can follow the Bingo posts here and to view the participants blogs make sure to check out the Obsidian Blues' post: Halloween Bingo 2017: Bingo Calls! Don't Forget to Report Your Bingos!

 

 

 

Ten months checked. Check out book bloggers' October reading lists and add your  October reading wrap! 

Click the blog headers to go to the blog pages and read more from the fellow bloggers.

 

The Diamond Empire (A Diamonds Novel) - K'wanSing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel - Jesmyn WardBrazen - Katherine LongshoreThe Nightingale - Kristin Hannah

These are my quick early morning thoughts. The Nightingale is an unforgettable story written so well your able to completely immerse yourself in it. I never read the author notes or book club questions, but I read it all. This book took me some time to finish... continue reading

 

You: A Novel - Caroline KepnesThe Upside of Unrequited - Becky AlbertalliDumplin' - Julie MurphyHalloween with the Hunk: A Lumberjack Romance (Holiday Studs Book 1) - Jewel Killian

3 audio books

2 ebooks

1 4 star

2 5 stars

1 3 star

 

Favorite book the upside unrequited... continue reading

 

 

Before I knew it, October was coming to a close.  I feel like it was just a couple days ago that I started reading Bingo books, and posting my first few Halloween Bingo updates.  But September, and then October, seemed to just fly by pretty quickly, and now, here we are, moving into November... continue reading

 

Violated: Exposing Rape at Baylor University amid College Football's Sexual Assault Crisis - Paula Lavigne,Mark SchlabachMissoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town - Jon KrakauerA Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. MaasAnd Then There Were None - Agatha Christie  

I read 31 books for October... continue reading

 

If you've missed October wrap ups by other BookLikes bloggers, have a look at the following posts, and feel invited to read and join :) If we haven't included your post link, let us know in the comment section below.

 

 

BookLikes book bloggers' previous 2017 reading challenge posts:

Halloween Survival Kit

— feeling ghost

 

Well, hello Halloween. Are you ready to welcome all the spookiness and scariness? If not, here are several gadgets that will help you survive the upcoming night. 

 

 

1. Candles 

To bright your way on the spooky night. You can always add "K" at the end and use them all year long!

 

via

 

2. A sweet amulet.

 

via

 

If you expect a horde of scary kids, prepare a feast just like this mum. Or pretend you're not home and eat all by yourself -- it looks sooo yummy!

 

via

 

3. Socks

It's shivers time and it's getting really really cold - you definitely need some warm socks! And in case of an emergency runaway, make sure to have more than one to spare. 

 

via

 

 

4. Garlic perfumes will keep the vampires away!

 

via

 

5. Make up set

If you decide to join a party, you need to look good, here are some suggestions:

via

 

If you're not going anywhere, you can always use the paints to decorate your house. 

 

via

 

6. Pumpkins

You have all night long. Let your artistic soul speak for you - crave the pumpkins as you wish. 

via

 

7. Books

You have plenty of candles and glowing pumpkins. There's no better setting to read some spooky stories:

 

My American Nightmare: Women In Horror Anthology - Azzurra Nox,Nicky PeacockStrange Weather: Four Short Novels - Joe HillBurnt Offerings (Valancourt 20th Century Classics) - Robert Marasco,Stephen Graham JonesThe Lovecraft Squad: All Hallows Horror: A Novel (All Hallows Horror Trilogy) - John Llewellyn Probert,Stephen Jones

Blanky - Kealan Patrick BurkeLittle Star: A Novel - John Ajvide LindqvistBone White - Ronald MalfiHalloween Carnival Volume 2 - Glen Hirshberg,Lee Thomas,Holly Newstein,Del James,Brian James Freeman

 

Check out more horror recommendations from our bloggers ->

 

Happy Halloween!

 

via Hol

 

#14 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Char's Horror Corner [Nominated]

 

Halloween is coming near. The spooky time requires a special guest and we think that Charlene from Char’s Horror Corner is the perfect one for the Halloween Follow Friday interview. 

 

Check out what Charlene is reading and follow her blog Char’s Horror Corner on BookLikes http://charlene.booklikes.com

 *

 

How did your book love begin? 

 

It started early on! There weren’t a lot of other children around where I grew up, but there were a lot of elderly people. The bookmobile would come around so that those without transportation were able to get something to read, and in the summers I would stand in line with them. I loved to check out mysteries from Agatha Christie and other authors, and then I discovered Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the great Edgar Allan Poe.

 

You’ve reviewed over 800 books on your BL blog. What do you enjoy about book blogging the most? 

 

What I enjoy the most about blogging/reviewing is giving and getting book recommendations. I just love when someone tries a book I recommended and they like it. Conversely, I always feel bad when a person tries a book I recommended and they do NOT like it.

 

 

You’re a horror book lover. Why this genre is so special for you? What do you cherish the most about it? 

 

Horror is often about outsiders and being an outsider, that always appealed to me. I felt like an outsider during most of my time in junior high and in high school and I related to those kinds of stories. What I cherish the most about the horror genre is the community. I help moderate a group on Goodreads, (Horror Aficionados), and we now have nearly 13,500 members. They are the best bunch of people, authors and readers both, they’re supportive, smart and funny and they welcome everyone! What’s not to cherish about that?

 

If not horror, than what? Do you often switch to another genre or is horror your ultimate love?

 

I do like to switch things up at times. I love to read biographies and autobiographies, as well as classics, mysteries, thrillers and true crime. Horror is my ultimate love though, and I never stray away for too long.

 

 

There are many sub-genres of horror. Can you tell more about them to our readers? 

 

As you’ve stated, there are many! These days, my favorites lean more towards Quiet Horror. This is horror that generally does not feature a lot of blood and guts. No slashers or torturing or things like that. It’s heavier on atmosphere, building dread and those things caught out of the corner of your eye.

I also enjoy Cosmic Horror. Now this can include parts of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and the monsters he created, or it can be more generic and just reflect the cold, unfeeling universe and the lowly place of mankind within it. I also enjoy ghost stories, creature features, (fun books with imaginative monsters, and usually faced paced killing), and haunted house tales.

 

Name your Top 3 horror books.

 

Yeah, that’s too hard! Today, my answer is:

1. Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon  , which is not exactly horror, but coming-of-age dark fiction.

2. It or The Stand by Stephen King  .

3. 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King  

 

Boy's Life - Robert R. McCammonIt - Stephen KingThe Stand - Stephen King'Salem's Lot - Stephen King

 

Are there any particular titles you’re impatiently waiting for this fall/winter season?

  

Yes, I’ve been waiting for Joe Hill’s latest title, Strange Weather and I finally got it on Saturday at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival. Joe Hill appeared there and his fans were able to purchase copies prior to the book officially going on sale 10.24.17.

 

Read the relation from The Third Annual Merrimack Valley Book Festival!

 

 

We’ve noticed the horror audiobooks on your BookLikes bookshelf, recently you’ve also interviewed a horror story narrator -- do you prefer reading or listening to horror stories? Is there any difference in experiencing the novels? 

 

I prefer reading to listening, actually. In a very few cases though, a worthy narrator can elevate my reading experience. This has happened on a few occasions. The first was when I listened to Kate Mulgrew narrate Joe Hill’s NOS4A2. Her narration brought the story even more alive than Hill already had and that changed my original rating from when I read the book of 4/5 stars to ALL the stars.

NOS4A2: A Novel - Joe Hill,Kate Mulgrew Bravo to both Joe Hill and Kate Mulgrew for the hours of pleasure that is the audible book NOS4A2! Read a full review ->

 

Blackwater: The Complete Saga - Michael McDowell,Matt GodfreyThe second time this happened is actually still happening, with Matt Godfrey’s narration of Michael McDowell’s Blackwater. Since this saga is set in Alabama, and Matt is from Alabama, the accents and voices have really come alive for me, even more so than when I read the books a few years back. It’s amazing! (And HE’S amazing!)

 

The most wonderful horror author(s) is/are… 

 

Stephen King, Robert McCammon, and Joe Hill.

 

 

What are your three favorite book covers? 

1. Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon  (see link above, on Question 6)

2. The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two.

3. Last Train from Perdition by Robert R. McCammon 

 

 

Boy's Life - Robert R. McCammonThe Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two - Nevil Shute,Mary Elizabeth Braddon,Michael P. Kube-McDowellLast Train from Perdition (I Travel By Night) - Robert R. McCammon

 

How do you pick another book to read? 

 

Generally, my reading is booked far in advance. I have this crazy urge to haunt sites like NetGalley and Edelweiss for advance review copies of books. I generally try to read them by the publication dates, so that usually determines what I’m going to read next. I had challenged myself to read 40 books that I ALREADY OWN this year, and I’ve only read 7. That’s because I just can’t stop myself from browsing the books that are coming out soon and requesting them. I just want to read ALL the books.

 

A paper book or an e-book? 

Both!

 

Halloween is coming near. Can you suggest three titles to juice up a Halloween party? 

 

1.Haunted Nights, edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton. This is an excellent collection of short stories all connected by Halloween.

2. The Halloween Children by Brian James Freeman and Norman Prentiss. This is a fun little tale about what happens when you choose not to give out candy on Halloween, (among other things!).

3. The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories volume 1 or 2. Or better yet, both! These are excellent tales that have rarely or never been reprinted since their original release.

 

Featuring authors like Michael McDowell and Stephen Gregory, everyone should be able to find a pleasing story within.

 

Haunted Nights - Ellen Datlow,Lisa MortonThe Halloween Children - Brian James Freeman,Norman PrentissThe Valancourt Book of Horror Stories - Francis King,John Blackburn,Richard Marsh,Michael McDowell,Stephen GregoryThe Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two - Nevil Shute,Mary Elizabeth Braddon,Michael P. Kube-McDowell

 

What’s your reading spot? We’d love to see the photos :)

 

Anywhere, really, but my favorites are in my recliner, by the pool, or in what I optimistically call my library.

 

 

 

Your favorite quote?

We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God's sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they'd allowed to wither in themselves. - Robert McCammon, from Boy's Life

 

If you could meet one literary character, who would it be? 

 

I think I would like to sit down with Mary Love from Blackwater by Michael McDowell. I would love to hear her Alabama accent and ask her why she acted the way she did as the matriarch of her Southern family.

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

 

Thank you!

 

*

 

Missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:

 

 

You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Click here and leave the URL address in the comment section.

 

See you next Friday!

Blogging about books - additional blog post options

 

BookLikes lets you blog about books in several different ways. As you have noticed there are 5 main post types on BookLikes: Text, Quote, Photo, Video, and URL. The wooden bar with the writing options is always at hand at the top of your Dashboard. 

 

 

We won't focus on the post types today. If you've missed our post where we described different ways to write about books, please go check  6 ways to blog about books post. 


Read the article to know more about different
book blogging options ->

 

Today we'd like to focus on the side bar and the additional options in the right column.

 

 

When you click the Text, Quote, Photo, Video, URL on the wooden bar, you'll be moved to the text editor view with the additional options on the right. The right column stays the same so it doesn't really matter whether you choose to share a text post a video review - the side bar will always look the same.

 

Let's have a closer look at the options it presents.

 

 

Review

This box is a must tick, if you'd like to mark your post as a review. You can also add the rating stars (including the half stars!) but it's an optional. 

 

Important. Please remember that if you don't mark you post as a review it will not be visible on the book page in the community review section. Additionally, if you write a post with a book attached but won't mark it as a review, the book won't appear on your Reviewed shelf. 

 

 

Spoiler: 

Don't ruin the reading pleasure. If your post/review contains any spoilers, please select the spoiler box to warn your readers. The special marker will be added to your post in the Dashboard view and in your blog view.

 


The Dashboard view 

 

The blog view

 

 

Post date

This is your publishing calendar spot. You can select a post date of your choice. If you're publishing at the very same moment when you finish writing it will show "now":

 

 

If you'd like to schedule your post and publish it some other day, please select the date and time. In order to view a calendar click in the field where you see now, then select a day and a preferable publication time:

 

 

When you finish your blog post click the Post button and your piece will be published in accordance with your selected date: 

 

 

 

Source:

Let's be fair and give a proper credit to other readers, writers and bloggers. If you share a content from other webpage, make sure to add the source link. The source link will be added in the footnote of your blog post. 

 

 

 

Custom URL:

Each blog post receives a personal link, it usually contains the post title and it's compatible with the content.

 

 

If the post lacks the title, the URL address may look complex and harder to share on the web: 

 

 

In this situation you can add a custom URL for a specific post. In the following example the name you enter in the custom URL field would end up in the post's url address:

 

 

 

Tags:

Tags are keywords which describe your posts. Thanks to tags you can organize your blog content (make sure you use some unique tags e.g. your blog name reviews), or  find posts written by other bloggers with the same tag, e.g. 2017 Halloween Bingoreading challenge.

 

That's also a great tool to find other readers with the similar reading taste or taking part in the mutual reading games and challenges.  

 

 

Write a tag and then press Enter / Return or a comma to insert the tag in the field. You can use a-z, letter, numbers, space and a hyphen. No other special characters are allowed. 

 

Last Tags:

The spot presents recently used tags on your blog. To add those tags to your post, simply click a tag (it will go green when you hover over it) -- it will pop in the Tag field automatically. 

 

 

All tags:

It's a list of all tags used on your blog.

 

Send to:

This spot is for sharing your content to your other social channels and blogs. In order to make it active, first connect your social media in Settings and your other blogs in Settings/Blog.

To activate the given sharing option, click on it (make sure it goes green). 

 

 

Important: Facebook sharing is still inactive. To share your blog post to your Facebook profile, please follow the steps described in our post: How to share your BookLikes posts when Facebook connection fails

 

 

Happy blogging! 

Khaled Talib: How I became a thriller writer [A guest post + Giveaway]

We're delighted to introduce you a suspense thriller author Khaled Talib who agreed to share his story with the BookLikes readers. If you've ever wondered how one becomes a writer, here's your chance. Enjoy!

 

If you love thrillers, we bet you'll love Khaled Talib's suspense espionage Incognito - you can request an e-book copy HERE.

 

Follow Khaled Talib on BookLikes: http://kat65.booklikes.com/

 

-- A guest post by Khaled Talib

 

If you ask me to write a poem, chances are, I can— but I won’t do it with the same pleasure that I derive from writing a thriller.  It’s hard to explain why, but have you ever seen how artists paint with passion and how musicians perform with fervor? You can feel their energy like a thousand thunders and lightnings shaking and flashing the night sky during a wild storm.  Well, that’s me. I like writing stories… and that would explain how I became a thriller author.

 

Unfortunately, I didn’t know where or how to start. It took me a long time to discover the process of becoming a thriller author. But if there is one thing that has kept me pursuing my interest it’s stubbornness and tenacity, a good trait to have if you want to write. 

 

I showed an interest in writing when I attempted my first book, a detective mystery. I was around 14 or 15 when I wrote it on a school jotter, but I gave up halfway. Some idiot in class found the book and made fun of it. He didn’t understand what I was trying to do. However, it didn’t matter as the experience had set the foundation of what I wanted to do … tell thrilling tales that will play with your emotion in more ways than one.

 

I was reading all kinds of books. Similarly, I was also watching lots of television. But it was not until I saw one book that changed the course of my thinking. It belonged to my uncle, an odd shaped book, nothing like I have ever seen before, but with an attractive cover. I knew it was a thriller novel from the cover’s artwork. It was entitled, The Bourne Identity, by someone named Robert Ludlum. I was still a teenager then.

 

I read the book after my uncle had finished it. It was exciting, and the style of writing was unique. I found myself asking questions: how does one become a thriller writer like Ludlum? Do I have to live in the U.S. or London? Is there a school that teaches you how to write?

 

I never had the chance to pursue my dream for a long time, although from now and then a little voice would remind me to stay the course. But how? These things are not taught in school. Nobody talks about it. And back then, there was no internet to do any research.  For a long time, I felt marooned on a deserted island. I was lost, confused, and hoping someone would see the HELP sign that I made across the sand.

 

I ended up becoming a magazine writer. It may not have contributed directly to my interest in writing thrillers, but the field did teach me the ground work to do research and fact checking. Important ingredients to an author.

 

Interestingly, I found myself trying to write a story again when I was in my twenties. It was a financial thriller. But I gave it up after a few pages when I realized I didn’t have the professional skills to write a novel.

 

I didn’t understand the structure of story building, which included plot, themes and characterization. Imagine reading a book about flying and then sitting in a cockpit alone trying to take off on a runway. Think you can fly the plane? 

 

SMOKESCREEN - Khaled Talib Wasted years went by. And then it started again… the little voice reappeared and told me to start writing. This time, however, I managed to complete the manuscript. I called it Smokescreen, a story about a magazine journalist who becomes a scapegoat in a plot to assassinate the Israeli Prime Minister. But the writing wasn’t great. I didn’t know how bad it was because you can’t see the forest from the trees. However, it didn’t matter as it set me along the course about what I should do next.

 

My subconscious prompted me to visit the bookstore. Perhaps there’s a shelf on writing that might be able to educate me. I remember visiting Borders, and instead of getting books that taught me how to write better, I found a magazine called Writer’s Digest, where I also learned about literary agents. It was the first time I’ve ever heard about such people. I didn’t even know such a profession existed before that.  They can help you get your book published. Fascinating, I thought.

 

I started writing to everybody, expecting favorable responses. Those were the days when agents expected you to send your samples by mail. It was a slow procedure, but an investment that I was sure would be worthwhile. Imagine my shock when everyone rejected me.  Well, there were some nice praises and some encouraging notes, but the letters were still rejections. I almost gave up the idea of submitting until I learned that rejection was normal.

 

I started rewriting the manuscript and sent out samples of my work to other agents. I got lucky with one New York agent who saw something in the story. However, he advised me to get an editor to help me brush up my work before resubmitting.

 

I began reworking the manuscript with the help of an editor. I was excited, delirious. It was going to be sensational! When I resubmitted the novel to the agent, he rejected me again. He explained his reasons, but I didn’t understand a word what he was trying to say. It was too technical.

 

I tried sending the same manuscript to others, including some small press. Even they rejected me. I thought: my work must be so bad. But one small publisher told me to resend it once I fixed the problem. Yet, no one told me what the problem was.

 

Imagine sitting in a jail cell waiting to be executed. Sometime before dawn, you hear the footsteps coming for you. I felt my stomach churning, my heart racing and my mind in a freeze mode. I struggled to decipher where the fault lies in the story just before the hangman pulled the lever. I was breathing heavily as I feel the noose tightened around my neck. And then…

 

Honestly, I’m not sure if it was intelligence or pure luck, but I discovered where I went wrong with the story. I managed to fix the problem – it was such a minor problem that took me a couple of hours to fix. But the way everyone made it sound like I had committed blasphemy.

 

I resubmitted it to the small publisher. Guess what? I got an offer to publish the novel! Then came the tough part. The publisher wanted me to ask other authors to endorse the book. What? Who? Where? I live in Singapore—nobody writes here. There were some local authors, but I didn’t think they’d qualify. I didn’t want to be a small island author. I wanted to be an international thriller author.

 

So, I took a deep breath and wrote to a thriller author whose novel I had read. An interesting book about a former CIA agent with Alzheimer. That author was Keith Thomson, whose novel, Once a Spy, became a New York Times bestseller.

 

There I was… a small fry about to ask this New York Times bestselling author for a blurb. I must be crazy, I thought, to query him. But I did ask him. He sounded busy when he wrote back, though he agreed to read my work. In the mean time I was biting my fingernails, waiting, expecting a rejection. When you read books by others, you always feel that you’re not good enough. Your mind starts to play with you, prompting questions like, “Why can’t I write like that author?” and “Why didn’t I use that word in my manuscript?” and “That scene sounds better than how I would’ve described it.”  Simply put, I began to doubt myself— I had zero confidence. It’s only nature for you to be unsure of yourself, especially at the start. It teaches you humility. You’re going to get a rude shock if you expect things to go your way.

 

So, when Keith Thomson finally replied after more than a month, I braced myself for disaster. As his email waited to be opened, a dozen questions ran through my mind again. His response would make or break my future. It would decide whether I could be a thriller author or not. After all these years of trying to imagine myself as a thriller author, the answer behind the author’s email would decide if I’m qualified or not to be a thriller writer. Could I live with rejection? The book would still get published but if this New York Times bestselling author rejected me, does it mean I failed to make the grade?

 

Keith Thomson didn’t reject my work. In fact, he said he was “compelled” to give me a blurb! Imagine that. If you like to know what he wrote, you’ll find it on the sample pages of my book on Amazon.

 

My publisher insisted that I should query several more authors for endorsements. I wrote to others. It’s not easy to ask, especially highly acclaimed ones. But why did I do that? I wanted to aim high. To gauge my own standard.  Well, I succeeded to get a few more. They included Ruth Harris, New York Times bestselling author of Hooked and Brainwashed, Jon McGoran, author of Drift  and the new YA, Spliced.

 

And so that day, I became a thriller author. Guess what? I decided to end it there. One book, that’s it— no more. It was hell of a road trip, and I didn’t think I could ever write again. I was exhausted. Who was I kidding? Just like a marathon runner, a tennis player or a soccer player, you’re going to feel tired after a game. You’re going to rest, then come back— and that’s what I did.

 

Incognito - Khaled Talib  I went on to write a few more books. I wrote Incognito, a novel about the Pope’s disappearance and Gun Kiss, which is due to be released by Canada’s Imajin Books. It’s a story about the Deringer that shot Lincoln getting stolen and ties up to a Hollywood actress stalked by a drug lord. The novel received endorsements from Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of The Rising, Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassin, and K.J. Howe, author of the riveting thriller, The Freedom Broker.

 

Today, I’ve become an official member of the International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association. My novels have been reviewed worldwide by magazines and bloggers. I guess this is really what I want to do— writer thrillers. Share my stories with others. Why? Why do painters paint? Why do musicians play music? Whatever the answer, this is what I like to do… because it’s who I am.  Somehow, you’ll find your way.

 

GIVEAWAY!

Request your e-book copy of Incognito ->

 

To learn more about Khaled, please visit:

5 spooky books you're reading right now

Cuckoo Song - Frances Hardinge Deadline - Mira Grant Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: Twenty Chilling Tales from the Wilderness - Hal Johnson, Tom Mead What the Hell Did I Just Read - David Wong The Turn of the Screw - Henry James, Richard Armitage, Emma Thompson

9 days to Halloween. If you're wondering what to read to feel the spirit of the upcoming night, check out what BookLikes bloggers are reading right now.

 

A blogger at Darth Pony is reading Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge  

Cuckoo Song - Frances Hardinge

When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out.

Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest to find the truth she must travel into the terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family - before it's too late.

 

A blogger at isanythingopen is reading Deadline by Mira Grant 

Deadline - Mira Grant

Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn't seem as fun when you've lost as much as he has.
But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.
Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.

 

A blogger at Reading For The Heck Of It is reading Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: Twenty Chilling Tales from the Wilderness by Hal Johnson

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: Twenty Chilling Tales from the Wilderness - Hal Johnson,Tom Mead

Meet the snoligoster, who feeds on the shadows of its victims. The whirling whimpus, who once laid low an entire Boy Scout troop. And the hoop snake, who can chase prey at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and then, with one sting of its venomous tail, cause it to turn purple, swell up, and—alas—die.
These and 17 other fearsome creatures are among the most fantastical beasts in American folklore. Their stories, as narrated by one of the last surviving cryptozoologists, are best enjoyed while sitting around a campfire. If you dare.

 

A blogger at What I am reading is reading What the Hell Did I Just Read - David Wong

What the Hell Did I Just Read - David Wong

From the writer of the cult sensation John Dies at the End comes another terrifying and hilarious tale of almost Armageddon at the hands of two hopeless heroes.

It’s the story “They” don’t want you to read. Though, to be fair, “They” are probably right about this one. No, don’t put the book back on the shelf – it is now your duty to purchase it to prevent others from reading it. Yes, it works with ebooks, too; I don’t have time to explain how.

While investigating a fairly straightforward case of a shape-shifting interdimensional child predator, Dave, John, and Amy realized there might actually be something weird going on. Together, they navigate a diabolically convoluted maze of illusions, lies, and their own incompetence in an attempt to uncover a terrible truth that they - like you - would be better off not knowing. Your first impulse will be to think that a story this gruesome – and, to be frank, stupid – cannot possibly be true. That is precisely the reaction “They” are hoping for.

 

A blogger behind Ani's Book Abyss is reading The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Turn of the Screw - Henry James,Richard Armitage,Emma Thompson

Henry James's classic ghost story The Turn of the Screwhas been enthralling readers for over a century and shows no sign of losing popularity as new generations continue to discover this chilling masterpiece.
The novella's anonymous narrator is a young woman, a parson’s daughter, who is engaged as governess to two seemingly innocent children at a remote English country house. What initially seems a idyllic soon turns nightmarish, as she becomes convinced that the children are consorting with a pair of malevolent spirits. These are the ghosts of former employees at Bly: a valet and a previous governess. In life, scandalously, the two of them had been discharged as illicit lovers, and their spectral visitations with the children hint at Satanism and possible sexual abuse. The book amply fulfills its pledge, laid down in the first few pages, that nothing can touch it in terms of sheer “dreadful—dreadfulness.”

 

What are you reading? Share the titles below.

#13 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Obsidian Blue [Nominated]

[Nominated by BLoggers]

Please welcome a book lover and blogger - Obsidain Blue!

Follow Obsidian Blue on BookLikes: http://oblue.booklikes.com/

 

What was the very first book that made you a book lover?

 

Oh this is such a hard question for me to answer! According to family lore, I fell in love with Peter Pan (Disney version) and demanded that it be read to me every night before bed time. I loved the idea of going to a place called Neverland and being able to fly due to fairy dust. While growing up I used to have dreams about flying and Tinkerbell was always there to sprinkle fairy dust on me.

 

What made you start writing about books/book blogging?

 

I started blogging when I joined BookLikes. I initially moved all of my reviews from Amazon over to Goodreads. However, once Goodreads started what I like to call the “shelf wars” I decided to join BookLikes after I heard about this site from a couple of mutual friends and checked it out. I loved the whole site and got very excited about being able to not only post updates and reviews, but to also just share my thoughts about books and other topics. I also really love that we can upload pictures and gifs without getting angry and wanting to throttle our computers. Or maybe that’s just me that gets angry at trying to upload gifs anywhere else.

 

 

Did blogging have an impact on your (reading) life?

 

Yes. Due to blogging I found a lot of authors that I have never heard of before and fell in love with due to recommendations from fellow bloggers that I must stop what I am doing and read this book. I found myself also reading a lot of different genres due to seeing what fellow bloggers are reading and them making the book/author sound awesome.

 

What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?

 

I am going to say romance, mystery, and horror. I find all three genres special because in the right hands a book that is written well can sing to me. I tend to re-read a lot of old school romance titles, but thank goodness someone suggested Courtney Milan to me when I first joined BookLikes. I found myself falling in love with the genre all over again. Mystery books are fun since I am always trying to figure out who did it. Give me a locked room mystery book and I am thrilled. Horror books are special since I often think some of the best horror books become classics because it shows you how terrible sometimes other human beings can be to each other. “The Girl Next Door” made me cry after I finished it. Knowing that it was based on a real life case broke my heart.

 

 

On your BookLikes blog you’re regularly co-creating bookish and reading games, i.e. BookLikes-opoly and Halloween Bingo. Where the ideas come from? Are you planning a new game for BookLikers soon? ;)

 

Moonlight Reader and I love making up games for everyone on BookLikes to play. She and I will bounce ideas back and forth and decide what we think others will like. We did Halloween Bingo last year and we had a request to do another one this year so that was easy for us to do.

 

She was the brains behind BookLikes-opoly. We both wanted to play a board game, but she hit upon taking Monopoly and including Disneyland together.

 

Moonlight is definitely the artist in our dynamic duo though. Have you seen the bingo cards? They are beautiful. Maybe next year you guys can join in with us!

 

Yes we have another game coming this way and I am not going to tell you! Just watch our blogs to see!

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

I will keep this to my three favorite book covers for 2017!

A Crown of Wishes - Roshani ChokshiThrough the Woods - Emily CarrollOne Fell Sweep - Ilona Andrews

 

You’ve reviewed over 1K books on your BookLikes blog! Congratulations! Do you review all books your read? How does you review process look like?

 

Yes. I post reviews for every book I read. I will admit though that I re-read a lot during the course of the year, I just don’t post reviews for those books. My review process works with me trying to think of a high level summary for why I rated the book the way that I did. And then I provide a mini-synopsis to explain who the characters are and what their motivations are in the book. From there I go into character development, how I found the writing, the flow of the book, the setting, and the ending. I will sprinkle some gifs in there if I feel so inclined.

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders (Pushkin Vertigo) - Shika MacKenzie,Soji Shimada,Ross MacKenzieThe Changeling - Victor LaValle

 

What’s your reading spot? We’d love to see the photos :)

 

I love my bed. I have a lot of pillows and just snuggle up with a book, a throw, and a cup of tea. When winter comes, my next favorite spot comes into play. That is my couch right next to the fireplace.

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

Both. I still buy paper books. If I like a book enough, I like to buy it for my permanent book shelves. E-books are great for traveling. Since I am constantly on work travel and take several vacations during the course of a year, it just makes more sense to have a Kindle or other reading device so I can download a ton of books before I go. Before e-readers, when I traveled, I used to pack about 10 books to take with me.

 

Are you reading one book or several at a time?

 

I always read one at a time. That said, if a book I am reading is not working for me I skip to the next book on my list.

 

A book that changed your life?

 

I am going to go with The Babysitters Club series. When I started reading that series I had to have every book. I loved the special editions that included pictures of all of the girls (Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey, and Dawn). To this day I am so mad that my mom took my books and donated them because she thought I was done with them.  

 

Favorite quote?

 

 

If you could dine with one literary character, who would it be? And what would you order? ;)

 

Wow this is hard. Okay, I would think that if I could dine with anyone, it would be with Dumbledore. I think he would make a great dinner party companion and I would order butterbeer and cauldron cakes.

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

 

Thank you!

 

*

 

Missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:

 

 

You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Click here and leave the URL address in the comment section.

 

See you next Friday!

Exclusive excerpt and a book discount: Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender by Kenneth Harris

 

We're happy to introduce Ken Harris, a comic fan and a YA author whose recent book Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender intrigued us so much that we couldn't resit and invited Ken to share the book details. Read the exclusive excerpt below and immerse in this amazing story. Enjoy!

 

P.S. Ken prepared a surprise for BookLikes readers. Use the links below to find the book at the special reduced prices.

 

Happy Birthday, Ken!

 

 

-- An author guest post by Kenneth Harris

 

Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender - Kenneth Harris,Aaron Harris Hello! My name is Kenneth Harris. I am a children’s book author excited for the opportunity here on BookLikes to interact with readers like you. Please visit my blog at http://JETSETJEFF.BOOKLIKES.COM.

I am a fan of the history of old-school comic strips, comic book heroes, and their creators. I have started a FREE monthly newsletter dedicated to this art medium that emerged during the Great Depression and reached its peak during the 1980s. You can subscribe to my newsletter at http://kforpartnership.wixsite.com/educ.  

In my latest book, a 10-year-old boy secretly creates a malfunctioning Gadget suit to protect his first responder parents.

 

From October 19th to October 31st I am offering a discount for this Amazon chapter-book, Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender. Regular price for the paperback is $5.99 and the EBook is $3.99.  For the remainder of this month, the hardcopy has been reduced to $3.60 and the digital at $2.99. Click here. You and the children in your life will like this action-packed humorous story. You can learn more about me and my other titles here. Thank you!

 

EXCERPT

 

Chapter 1

 

 

     Residents in Springdale City were afraid of the rising crime problem. Police and firefighters were risking their lives to keep residents safe from thieves and burning buildings. Innocent people were afraid to walk the streets.

     A ten-year-old boy had an idea to ease his own anxiety. Inside his tree house up in a shady oak tree, his weird experiment was underway.

     Outside a corner guarded by drapes, Ike Jones let out a loud sigh. His round face was twisted with boredom. He was a short, pudgy kid. Ice cream preyed on his mind, like usual.

     “Jeff, how much longer is this going to take?” Ike pleaded. “I’m so hungry; I could swallow one hundred snow cones.”

     “Preparation requires patience,” said Jeff behind the curtains. “Soon, you will witness the greatest experiment in the world.”

     Suddenly, Jeff Morgan leaped out, smiling excitedly. He was thin and wore prism glasses over his small eyes. He had on a weird spandex suit with a utility belt. Thrusters, host to little rockets, were strapped to his back. As the machine hummed and crackled, its loose bolts pelted the floor.

     Ting! Ting! Ting!

     “Finally,” continued Jeff as he stood proudly on a chair. “My jetpack is perfected.”

 

 

     Unimpressed, Ike’s eyes narrowed to the size of toothpicks. “What is that junk on your back really? It looks like an air-conditioner.”

     Jeff brushed off his friend’s ridicule and pointed up. “The time has come at last to demonstrate the flight of my latest gadget.”

     “Did you go to the city landfill again to dig up worthless parts?”

     “If there’s nothing more to be said, I shall fly. Stand aside, if you please.”

     Jeff took off running to the open door. When he reached the edge, he leaped and cried out like Tarzan. In slow motion, he drifted about in the air, amazed at the scenery of the grassland stretching in all directions.

     Then, the realization of trouble burst upon his worried face. He wasn’t flying. He was falling like a shooting star. He nervously fumbled away at the dozens of buttons on his special utility belt.

     “Not good!” Jeff shouted.

     “Jeff!” cried Ike.

     Jeff hurtled downward at terrific speed. He landed face down on a pile of neatly stacked leaves.

     Thump!

     Ike climbed aboard an upright barrel. He grasped a rope above and pulled it. The barrel dropped to the surface like an elevator.

     Jeff, slightly dazed, got to his feet as Ike made his way over to him.

     “Don’t tell me you weren’t expecting to fall on your face,” Ike taunted.

     “This is no problem,” Jeff stammered. “I can rectify this malfunction.”

     The loud racket from his jetpack intensified. Surely, there was a big problem with his latest device. Jeff tapped a few switches on his belt in hopes of turning it off.  Despite his efforts, it continued to crackle and pop loudly.

     Ike kindly slapped Jeff on the shoulder. “Why don’t you find another hobby? Chasing after an ice cream truck is more fun-licious.”

     “After I repair my jetpack, no ice cream truck will outrun us,” Jeff snarled.

      “I commend your latest effort, but I have to be home for dessert.”

     Jeff gasped, “Ike, you said you already ate dessert. Don’t let sweets distract you from this secret mission. After all, you agreed to be my assistant.”

     “That was twenty experiments ago,” Ike said as he backed away to the surrounding bushes. “Nothing you build ever works right. I quit.”

     “But we’re so close.”

     “Sorry.”

    Ike ran off through a break in the bushes. He was unaware of his friend’s disappointment in his departure.

 

 

     Jeff took off his whirring jetpack. He studied it closely. He promised himself he wouldn’t give up on fixing it. In order to protect his mom and dad, he knew he had to succeed. They worked dangerous jobs that always made him nervous.

     He heard a twig snapped.  Somebody was coming. He quickly hid the jetpack behind a tree. He also removed his gadget suit and tossed it over his humming device.

     “Jeff!?” a woman’s frustrated voice hailed.

     Ms. Fisher emerged from the woods with his one-year-old brother Wade in her arms. The wrinkled-faced babysitter was angry. She disliked long walks from the house.

     Jeff couldn’t help but smile merrily at them. A pacifier dangled from Wade’s mouth.

     Luckily, the noise from the jet thruster lowered to a faint squawking. Jeff hoped Ms. Fisher wouldn’t hear it.

     “Yes, Ms. Fisher?”

     “Jeffrey Morgan! You know I’m not fond of straying from the house in the evening.”

     “Sorry, I forgot.”

     “Dinner will be ready in fifteen minutes. Be sure to wash your hands before you eat.”

     “I copy that radio transmission, Sargent Fisher,” Jeff joked.

     The raising of her eyebrow meant she didn’t take kindly to his mockery. Jeff bit his tongue. The last thing he wanted was his parents to find out about his bad behavior. Ms. Fisher was a cranky old woman with no sense of humor.

     “That will be enough out of you,” she countered. “Be at the dinner table and don’t have me come looking for you.”

     Ms. Fisher stomped away with Wade back to the house.

     Jeff had spent many months working on his experiment. He wasn’t ready to give up easily. He slipped on his costume once again. Jeff fastened the jetpack over his back and jumped into the barrel. He pulled the rope with both hands. The barrel shot up to a port beneath the tree house.

     There Jeff figured out the answer to the problem.

     His hand caught a lever on the side of his pack. He dragged the handle down. Spitting flames radiated brightly from the rims of his rockets. He felt himself being slowly lifted into the air.

     “I’m flying!” Jeff cried excitedly. “I’m flying!”

 

 Chapter 2

 

 

     Jeff hurriedly squeezed his feet into ski boots. His hand snatched a mask-like helmet from a table. When he placed it over his head, he looked like an astronaut who crawled out of a trash compactor.

     He flew out the window like a soaring bird.

     Whoosh!

     Jeff blazed upward like a fast launching jet. The bird’s eye view of the green land formations was quite clear. Eventually, the sight of the city loomed largely. His flight was a success.

     Jeff swirled and twisted playfully as he hung in mid-air. His fun was cut short when a distant disturbance below caught his eye.

     A thick wisp of smoke was rising from a fiery midtown apartment building. Jeff knew his father, who was a firefighter, would be at that scene. Jeff believed he had a duty to protect him.

    He sped towards the leaping flames.

    Fire and smoke poured out of the open windows of the apartment building. Panicking firefighters were manning the hoses. Others were on ladders pulling choking residents out of the burning building. From the safety of the sidewalk, tenants watched with wearied eyes.

     “A firefighter is still in that building!” cried a woman.

     “No one can save him in time,” said a distraught man. “The fire is too much!”

     “Stand aside!” Jeff commanded in a firm tone.

     The man and woman looked up and saw Jeff flying sternly over them.

     “What in the blazes is that?” asked the woman.

     Jeff twisted a dial on his utility belt to activate the landing gear in his boots.

     It didn’t work.

     “Oh my goodness!” he gasped.

     He crashed through the fourth-floor window. Inside the dark smoke, he collided with a wall and fell face down. Jeff quickly got to his feet. He flicked a switch on his belt to turn on emergency lights installed in his helmet. The broken blinkers flashed on and off repeatedly.

     Jeff realized he was on the top floor balcony, and the fire was all around him. He heard a man coughing. He looked down over the railing and saw his father on the floor beneath him.

     Surprisingly, he didn’t have his mask on.

     “Dad!” Jeff cried.

     His father didn’t hear him because he was on his knees choking from the cloud of smoke. He had his hand around his neck. The floor where he was located was on the verge of collapsing.

     Jeff knew he had to think of a way to save him fast.

     The third level shattered. His father fell with the debris of what was once was a floor. Jeff pointed a wrist device at him. A handcuff, attach to a long cable, swept down. Its jaws draped over his father’s flailing wrist.

     “Got you!” Jeff said excitedly.

     His father dangled in the air below, leaping flames engulfing the lobby. He looked up to see who saved him. He nearly fainted. “What are you?” he asked.

     “Just a good astronaut…I mean Samaritan,” answered Jeff. “I have to get you out of here, Dad.”

     Mr. Morgan was greatly startled. “What did you call me!?”

     Jeff realized his mistake and blushed. “I said drag! It’s sure a drag getting you out of here.”

     Jeff flew over the fire as his father dangled in disbelief. Jeff guided him out of the smashed window through which he came. The burning ceiling came down just as they escaped.

     Once outside, Jeff swung his father into the arms of grateful firefighters.

     “That little guy saved my life,” said Mr. Morgan.

     “Who are you?” asked a curious firefighter.

 

 

     Jeff thought about that as he floated. Loose bolts hurtled from his noisy gadget suit.

     “I haven’t given that much thought,” he replied.

     Another excited firefighter drew closer. “That strange suit of yours is a success. With your help, we can save many lives.”

     “Sorry, but I am not a super-hero.”

     A panicking police captain pushed through the crowd with a radio in his hand. “There’s been a report of a bank robbery,” he said.  “It’s the National Bank on the other side of town. We won’t get there in time.”

     Jeff knew his mother, who was a police officer, was assigned to work in that sector of the city. He knew she would be there. He also knew he must protect her too.

     A succession of rocket blasts sent him up and away. The crowd cheered their hero on.

 

Chapter 3

 

 

 

     “Hurry up, you idling fool!” demanded Glue Dude as he eyed the nervous bank teller. “I want that bag filled with all the money!”  He was aiming his long glue soaker gun. “And don’t forget to add in a lollypop!”

     The shivering manager passed from cage to cage, gathering the cash, and stuffing it into a satchel.

     A wicked laugh burst from the mask of the evil scientist. “With the apartment fire I started downtown, the other cops will be very busy. They won’t get here in time to catch me. I fooled them all.”

     The bank customers, including Mrs. Morgan who was on-duty as a police officer, were face down on the floor. Their trembling hands covered the backs of their heads. She lifted her eyes to the greedy robber.

     “Glue Dude, you won’t get away with this,” Mrs. Morgan said.

     “Don’t bet on that, Copper,” he said. Glue Dude brandished his weapon. “This glue soaker is my most valuable invention. One day, I will have enough money to build the most destructive weapon in the world. I shall finally be respected as the greatest scientist of them all!”

     “Keep dreaming, Paste Face!” said Jeff as he skated into the lobby.  Smoke billowed from his defected blazing jet skates.

     “How dare you interrupt my plans!” said Glue Dude.

     Mrs. Morgan was star-struck like the rest of the smiling patrons. “Who are you?” she asked. “A super-hero?”

     Jeff blushed again. “Not exactly, Mom…I mean Ma’am!”

     “You little rascal,” said Glue Dude. “One blast from my glue gun will leave you stuck and hopeless.”

     “The only thing stuck and hopeless is your getaway.” Jeff taunted. “Make it easy on yourself and give up gluey brain!”

     Glue Dude raised his glue gun. Thinking fast, Jeff removed his electronic boomerang from his utility belt. He threw it. Instantly, his jet rang traveled backward. Jeff looked confused. It sailed out the entrance door of the bank.

     Jeff looked back at Glue Dude and stomped his feet “That wasn’t supposed to happen.”

     Glue Dude shrugged. “It looks like it has an electrical problem.”

     The jet rang came swirling back into the bank.

     “Look out, Super-Hero!” cried Mrs. Morgan.

     “Please, I am not a super-hero,” countered Jeff. “Just call me…”

     The swirling boomerang rang against the back of Jeff’s head.

     Whack!

     Jeff saw stars circling around him. He forgot what planet he was on. He slumped to the floor.

     Glue Dude laughed merrily. Jeff struggled to get to his knees.

     “You are a clumsy super-hero,” mocked Glue Dude. “Prepare to be swarm with paste.”

     Glue Dude activated his glue gun. Hoping to fly up, Jeff turned a dial on his utility belt. A long wire shot out from his wrist device. The jawing handcuff seized Glue Dude by his wrist.

     “Hey!” Glue Dude protested.

     "Oops…" Jeff said.  "That was supposed to activate my jet rockets."

     The powerful tentacle pulled Glue Dude off his feet. Both Jeff and Glue Dude spun clockwise at high-speed. Glue Dude circled around like a blind fly.  Jeff felt like he was spinning on a merry-go-round.

     “My brain is becoming scrambled eggs,” cried Glue Dude. “I give up. Please release me.”

     “I left the instruction manual at home,” Jeff joked. “I don’t how to turn it off.”

     “Find the off switch before I vomit, you pile of rubble!” Glue Dude hissed.

     “Oh,” prompted Jeff, “I think I created that button.”

     The instant Jeff flicked a switch on his belt, the handcuff released Glue Dude. His swirling body crashed through a window.

     Smash!

     Jeff paced toward the shattered window. Outside, across the street, he spotted Glue Dude running off into an ally.

     “You’ll never get me,” said Glue Dude. “I assure you, this isn’t the last of Glue Dude.”

     “Don’t come back!” warned Jeff.

      A delighted Mrs. Morgan and the customers eagerly approached Jeff.

     “Who are you?” Mrs. Morgan asked.

 

 

     Jeff eyed his mother for a moment, thinking, and then continued. “For now, call me Jet Set, the Science Defender. Until next time, stay indoors and stay safe Springdale residents.”

     Jeff saluted them. Afterward, he fired his rockets and began flying away. Loose screws from his humming suit rained down over the impressed spectators. They pushed and shoved to get at the screws they wanted to claim for souvenirs. Poor Officer Morgan had her hands full.

     Back at his tree house, Jeff slipped off his gadget suit. On the ground level, he ran through the woods, out across the lawn and up the side steps to his rural home. He pushed open the side door that leads into the dining room.

     Immediately, he found Ms. Fisher sizing him up. Her face was firm and her arms crossed. Jeff was startled.

 

END OF EXCERPT

 


 

Sooooo. How did you like the story? We'd love to hear your feedback!

Share your opinions in the comment section below.