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An Interview with Deborah LeBlanc + Two Paranormal Giveaways


Interview with Deborah Leblanc, author of over a dozen books with elements of mystery and horror, paranormal suspense, and paranormal romance.


What’s her advice for beginner writers? Read our interview and find out!

Tell us a few words about yourself - whatever you want to share about your personal and professional life, but also why you decided to become a writer.

Well, I'm an author, a business owner, a licensed death scene investigator, a licensed private investigator, worked in funeral service for 12 years, have been a paranormal investigator for almost thirty years and started a non-profit called Literacy Inc., to help fight the growing illiteracy rate in America's teens. I'm also the house 'clairsendium' for the upcoming television show, Through the Veil, which should be airing the fourth quarter of this year on Destination America. I served four years as the president of the Horror Writers Association, 2 years as the Southwest President of the Mystery Writers of America and eight years as President of the Writers' Guild of Acadiana.

As to why I decided to become a writer, I have to admit that it wasn't something I aspired to as a kid. Although books were my saving grace growing up, I never thought about becoming a writer. It wasn't until I was in my late thirties that I woke up one morning, brushed my teeth, and while staring in the mirror simply said...."I think I'll write a book." And write it I did. I was too naive at the time to know that most authors don't sell their first book, much less get an agent. By some stroke of luck, however, a month after writing the book, I had a New York agent who sold my novel within weeks to a New York publisher.


How did you start writing?

I simply sat down at my computer and started telling a story that had been ruminating in my head for some time. I had never written a novel before, so to understand pacing and cliff hangers and point of view changes, I took four books from different authors I admired and literally typed half of each book until I got the 'feel' of how their language flowed. Doing that helped me get a better handle on how to tell my story.


What are your writing habits? How often do you write, and how long at one time?

My writing habits are a bit obsessive. Once I get a story in my head, I'm anxious to see it written on paper. I write every day, and, depending on my life responsibilities, write anywhere from 2 to 18 hours a day.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a writer - so, to someone like you the person you were before you became a published author?

Have a great story to tell, then plop your backside down in a chair, fingers to your computer keyboard and start writing. Don't give up and don't keep going over the same chapter forty-five times before moving on. Just get the story told, then you can clean it up once you rewrite. So the advice is basically: Read, read, read---write, write, write...and NEVER give up!



Who are your favorite authors and have they inspired you in any way?

I have so many favorite authors it's difficult to name them all. I enjoy Jodi Picoult, James Lee Burke, Janet Evanovich, J.D. Robb, Sandra Brown, Steven King, and Dean Koontz to name but a few. All of the ones I've named have special qualities that I appreciate as a reader. Characterization, the simple art of storytelling, intertwining romance elements, and laughter.


What would you like to say to your readers? What do they need to know about your books?

That I appreciate every reader who takes the time to read one of my books. Out of all the books available to them, having them choose one of mine to add to their library is truly an honor. Many of my books include paranormal suspense and paranormal romance.


Why do you write such scary stuff? Do you like being scared yourself, or does little scare you anymore?

With my background, very little scares me anymore. I enjoy writing suspense, the unknown. To me, it gets people thinking that the tough situations in their present lives may not be so bad after all.


Do you only read books in the same genre as yours, or do you also enjoy very different stories - like happy romance?

Oh, I read all genres, romance, horror, paranormal, autobiographies, biographies, true crime, etc. As long as the story is well told, I'm a happy camper. :)


Deborah Leblanc's books on BookLikes:

The Wolven (Harlequin Nocturne, #101) - Deborah LeblancWater Witch - Deborah LeblancA House Divided - Deborah LeblancMorbid Curiosity - Deborah LeblancThe Keepers: Christmas in Salem: Do You Fear What I Fear?The Fright Before ChristmasUnholy NightStalking in a Winter Wonderland - Heather Graham, Deborah Leblanc, Kathleen Pickering, Beth CiottaGrave Intent - Deborah LeblancGhost Box - Deborah LeblancWhite Hot - Deborah LeblancBottom Feeder - Deborah Leblanc
and more


#32 Follow Friday with book bloggers: So it goes


Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers!

Meet Ella, a newbie blogger with an impressive library and an avid reader of many different book genres. 


Follow Ella's "So it goes." blog on BookLikes:



What are you reading right now? How do you like it?


I’m very slowly reading House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski  in a group read led by the author. I’m loving it and it’s very hard to stop myself at the points he covers, but I want to get input from the author, so I’m going very slowly. At his pace I’m not sure we’ll ever finish, but I’m determined to stick with his reading schedule.


On my own I’m currently reading In Every Moment We Are Still Alive, a memoir by Tom Malmquist. He’s a Swedish writer, so it’s in translation, but it’s incredibly sad. It’s basically about a man who suddenly loses his pregnant wife and is left with a baby. Sounds as sad as it is, but it’s also very good. Then again, I tend to fall in love with many good books as I read them. We’ll see in a year how I really feel about it.


House of Leaves - Mark Z. DanielewskiIn Every Moment We Are Still Alive - Tom Malmquist,Henning KochWe're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True - Gabrielle Union


Also listening to We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union  (read by the author.) I can already tell it’s an uneven book, but it’s very fun. She reads conversationally and it’s a bit like sitting down with a girlfriend to catch up on all the gossip.



When have you discovered you’re a book lover?


Very early in my life. I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t read. I loved to read as a kid and family lore about my reading ability gets more incredible as I get older. I’ve been told I read in nursery school, but who knows? By the time I can remember, we had a big tree in the backyard. I climbed it with a book and stayed there all day. Nobody ever found me. I read every single Hardy Boys book from that tree, as well as the entire Little House series, Anne of Green Gables and many more.



You’ve mentioned you’re new to blogging. How do you like it so far?


I love the BookLikes community. I don’t really know how to review. (I keep meaning to read some articles about doing it), but I like to talk about the books. I hope I’ll remember a lot more of the books I read if I do it this way. My goal in joining BookLikes was to find a replacement for Goodreads, but it turns out to be so much more. I do find myself with an ever-growing TBR list, but that’s not a bad thing.




You’re blog name is "So it goes." Can you tell us more about that quote and why have you chosen it for your blog name?


The phrase “so it goes” appears in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five 100-plus (maybe 106?) times. It appears every time there is a death. (Lots of death in a wartime novel.) He does it comically, tragically, every way you can imagine. By the end it conveyed to me both the randomness and inevitability of death extremely well, not to mention both the stupidity and extra meaning given to the act of dying in a war (like people have much choice about it.)


While the book is about war, I think the lesson can work for life too. We never know when death is coming, but we know it will eventually come. It’s not trivial, but it’s constant. If I was a better person, I’d tell you I think about it and it changes my reactions to humanity, but that would be a lie. For many years I thought I’d get a tattoo of it, but I’ve changed my mind about that. So when BookLikes asked me for a name for my blog, it was the obvious choice.



Why reading is important to you?


It teaches me about life. It also keeps my very easily agitated mind calm. It gives me a sense of perspective and allows me to learn more about the full experience of being human. At its best it stimulates me to think in a way I’d not previously imagined. I think that’s why books read as a teen or young adult leave such a huge impression. At its most basic, it means I don’t turn on the TV for many months at a time and I learn vocabulary words, if not always how to pronounce them. I find myself asking “is that how you pronounce it” fairly often because I’ve only ever read the word rather than heard it in speech.



What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?


It’s funny. I never really think I have a favorite genre. But when I started to catalog my books or use book websites, I learned that I do, in fact, have favorites. It turns out most of my favorite books live in a few categories: mystery, espionage, “literary” whatever that means, dystopian and fantasy. Also “realistic fiction.” So that covers almost everything, I guess. In college I was told I “read like a man” -- which I guess meant I didn’t always read what we’ve now call “chick lit” but I’ve read a lot of that through the years too, and I can’t bring myself to get rid of my boxed set of Ya-Ya Sisterhood books.


Why I like them is harder. I love spies. When I was little (in my tree), I read Harriet the Spy and followed neighbors around, carefully noting what they bought at the grocer and whatever I saw them doing. Only in later years did I learn everyone knew what I was doing, if not always why. When my sister explained that I was crazy and read it in a book, they just didn’t care!


I’m not all that genre-specific beyond my espionage needs. All of these are ways to live in a world that I’ll never actually inhabit, but that’s what books always are.


Reading challenge page->



How do you choose your next book to read?



If it comes in at the library and I’ve put it on hold, I read it before it’s due. Only this year have I decided I must read the books I own and unless I’m planning to reread or loan, move ‘em out! I own literally thousands of books, which is way too many for my smallish home. Weirdly, that means I’m picking up a lot of books I have copies of that I actually hope to dislike. That’s insane, but true. I’ve already given a few away this year, and I always have a box filling up for donation. The problem is that I try to only buy books I hope to love, so the process doesn’t work as well as I planned.



What are you three favorite book covers?


Argh - This is an impossible question! I really love the basic Penguin original style, but I’m constantly replacing my old copies of things with the fancy new covers they now make. Here are a few I’ve purchased recently:


This copy of Paul Auster’s famous New York Trilogy  makes me happy. The best part of this is the back cover though.


The New York Trilogy - Paul Auster,Luc Sante,Art Spiegelman


I love these Vintage Classics covers. Here’s War and Peace for an example. They have quotes on the back covers and are beautiful.

War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy,Larissa Volokhonsky,Richard Pevear 


And I just paid way more for a copy of this one because I loved the cover so much. Gorgeous! Whole cover attached.


The Master and Margarita: 50th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) - Mikhail Bulgakov,Christopher Conn Askew,Richard Pevear,Larissa Volokhonsky,Boris Fishman 



You’ve read over 70 books in so far, I mean in 2018 - WOW! What’s your reading goal for 2018?


It started as 30, so I could make sure I met it. I think I changed it too 100, but I’m honestly not trying to meet any goal beyond keeping track. I’d guessed I read somewhere around 200 books a year, but when I looked at my library list from last year (the USA keeps track of what we borrow,) it was closer to 500. As I looked at the list, I’d read a lot of what I borrowed, and I won’t tell you how many I bought.


I don’t speed read or skim. I do take tons of notes in margins or on paper. I just read fast. I’ve had many years of practice. I took a test once that told me I could read War and Peace in 12 hours. That seemed crazy to me. Recently I’ve been borrowing the audio from the library even if I have the physical novel handy. Audio is too slow, even at a high speed (I get pages ahead and tune it out,) but it’s a great way to “read” when I’m driving, cleaning or doing anything that doesn’t require my full attention. Now if only I could figure out a way to read when I’m supposed to be listening to other people!



Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?


Argh! Everyone should read what they want, when they carve out the time!  But I’ve picked up a few books from this series, so I’ll add a warning and give you some titles. WARNING: I liked it, but your mileage may vary!


I adore David Foster Wallace, and while I know Infinite Jest isn’t everyone’s cuppa, I’ll recommend his nonfiction, specifically A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again  . The book is worth the cost for the title essay alone. That essay finds David Foster Wallace, a socially-awkward introvert genius and hero of the American Literary Media Hype Machine, stuck on a cruise ship for a glossy American magazine. He also goes to a State Fair in this book (Getting Away from Already Being Pretty Much Away from It All,) sent by Harper’s Magazine, who called it “pure cocaine” - or at least I wrote that in my margin notes. He’s empathetic, kind, aware, wickedly funny, has a great BS detection system, writes detail beautifully and well - he was worth the hype.


The Secret History by Donna Tartt 


Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby 

Another great nonfiction book, but this one is about books and all of the things books are about. Hornby writes like you’re talking to a good friend, and his nonfiction is better, in my opinion, than his fiction. (Though I’ll never learn. I keep buying his fiction.)


A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again - David Foster WallaceThe Secret History - Donna TarttTen Years in the Tub - Nick Hornby



Do you read one or several books at a time?


Several. Usually I have one essay or short story collection on my ereader, which fits nicely in my briefcase or purse, one audiobook on my phone and one physical “big book” in some sort of process which usually takes me a while because I can get a bit obsessive about looking things up and taking notes.



How much time do you spend reading daily?


Embarrassingly, I think I probably read about 8-10 hours a day. This is because I don’t sleep much. My best friend remarked, years ago, that it was unfair for me to have sleep trouble because I spent my sleeping time becoming “well read.” She’s still upset about this and we’re in our fifties now!


A paper book or an e-book?


I prefer physical, and I like to wait for the paperback copy. If I love a book, I buy the paperback copy even if I own the e-book. I’m weird like that.


Three titles for a desert island?


Infinite Jest  (purely because I think you could read it 100 times and find new things every time. Also, it’s time-consuming!)


Eloise: The Ultimate Edition  (this is cheating because the first four ‘real’ Eloise books are all in it.)


And probably the complete Shakespeare, because if I’m stuck on a desert island, I may as well read all those plays I “should” read.


Infinite Jest - David Foster WallaceEloise: The Ultimate Edition - Kay Thompson,Hilary KnightWilliam Shakespeare: The Complete Works - William Shakespeare



Favorite quote?


“I'm sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.”
― J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey


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


Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh or Bernard Sampson from the ten-book series by Len Deighton. I simply cannot choose between the two.



Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)


They are coming! Stay tuned! Leave a comment and we're notify you they're online!


Shelfies are here :)


Ella wrote: Shelfies following from home as soon as I get there -- or maybe we’ll have to do without, which would be sad because people would be very heartened to see my horrendously disorganized boxes, piles and other mess. (I seriously have books on my kitchen counter.)


Thank you! 



Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links below:



You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.


See you next Friday!

Librarians advise: How to change editions on your bookshelf


We can always count on BookLikes community and useful tips from our Librarains. Jenn from Murder by Death once again shared some handy tips concerning changing editions of books shelves on your BookLikes bookshelf so we've decided to re-post the most important parts. 


Keep on shelving and to read a full post visit Jenn's blog.



... First, to do this you must have the list view of your shelves turned on.


Underneath each title is a small "change edition" link:



Once you click on that, a small search box pops up:



Ideally, for the shortest possible process, search by ISBN or ASIN if you have it.  You can search by title/author, but you're likely to get the same kind of results you'd get if you used the general search, meaning you'll have to find the book you're looking for amongst many results.



Once you've done your search and found the book in the results, click on the book cover to see all the available editions you can switch to:



As noted in the screenshot, the green background indicates the book you currently have shelved. I deliberately chose a book for this post that had very few editions to make it clear how to do this, so in this example, I simply click on the hardcover I want to switch to.


Once you find your edition, click the cover.  You'll get an "Are you sure?" message:



Click ok and wait a few beats ... you'll see your shelf update to reflect the new edition:



That's it. Super easy unless you're trying to change editions of very popular books. Hopefully adding ISBN/ASIN information to the editions pop-up will happen sooner rather than later.


Read the full post on Murder by Death blog: How to change editions





Have in mind that the window with other editions will be full only when all editions are combined. If you notice that some titles should be merged, please let us know by using Report option on the book page. 


Remember that you can choose a desirable edition of the title on a book page. When you're adding a new book to your shelf, use the upper main search box, click the cover and go to a book page. To view all editions, click Other Editions and look through other formats of the title. 




Also, we'd like to confirm we're working on the search issue using the ISBN numbers and ASINS (not working properly lately) and missing links. 

#31 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Broken Tune

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers!

Meet BT, known and Broken Tune on BookLikes, a moody readers who's not afraid of exploring new literary lands! 


Follow Broken Tune on BookLikes:



What are you reading now? How is it?


I usually read several books at a time, all appealing to different moods or interests. At the moment I am enjoying I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong, which is a buddy read with our Flat Book Society. I have also started two biographies – one of Arthur Conan Doyle and one of Phyllis Bottome. I am not sure, yet, what to make of the ACD biography as it seems to be brushing over his biography rather than investigate it, but the Bottome biography is very interesting. It appears that Bottome is yet another author that had an extraordinary life but who has been largely forgotten.


The Flat Book Society Book Club



When have you discovered you’re a book lover?


Very early on. My mother and grandmother have always had books around the house and some of my favourite early memories are of bedtime stories and falling out with my cousin when we couldn’t agree on which book my gran should read to us when we stayed at her house for weekends or holidays. To this day, I cannot stand Heidi (my cousin’s favourite choice), but still love The Count of Monte Christo and anything by Jules Verne.

As you can tell, my gran and my mom did not believe in restricting storytime to children’s books, and I am glad they didn’t.



In your bio you write “I'm an eclectic reader”, can you tell us more about your reading preferences?


I like the word “preference”. If there is anything I have learned from being around the Booklikes community, it is that there is not really any genre that I will not try. For example, I used to think that I do not enjoy books labeled as “Horror” because I can’t stand descriptions of gore or gratuitous violence, but then Char inspired me to try a few different authors, and I actually became a fan of one of them - Michael McDowell. (Seriously, check him out!)


So, while my preferences are now less defined by genre, and my reading is more diverse or eclectic in that respect, I prefer books that are intellectually engaging, that are plot driven, and that work magic with their use of language. And to keep things a little more contradictory, I like psychological plots but don’t like popular thrillers, and I like classic mysteries but don’t like books that try to copy classic mysteries.




How did your blogging adventure start?


It started mostly by curiosity. A couple of RL friends had sent me an invite to join GR some years ago, so I did. While my RL friends left it again quite quickly, I was intrigued by the facility to have a space to share thoughts on books with others.


The real joy of blogging came, however, when finding Booklikes. It was so much easier to compose and expand on thoughts about books and all sorts of other topics over here. And the Booklikes community is just fabulous – so welcoming and encouraging to share ideas and events, recipes, travel, and posts on random other topics. 



Why reading is important to you?


Reading is important to me because I love exploring – whether it is new places, new ideas, cultures, different times, ... whatever the topic I will find something that catches my interest. Books are a fabulous way to explore the world within and around us. I mean, I love travel, too, but with books you can also travel through time, and to galaxies far, far away, and of course, there is fiction, too. ;)


Apart from a thirst for exploring, I also love that reading can completely change your state of mind – it can calm you down, and it can rile you up. It can offer an escape from your day’s events and it can draw you more into the world and motivate you to engage with other people. There really is something to be said for the idea that books are “uniquely portable magic”.



How do you decide what to read next? I’ve spotted you take part in numerous reading projects, like The Suffrage Movement, Sherlock Holmes buddy read, Reading Agatha Christie


I am a huge mood reader. While I do have some set reading lists this year in order to chop down Mt. TBR and have a few reading projects going with the Suffragettes, Sherlock Holmes, and the ongoing challenge to read all of Agatha Christie’s novels, most of my day to day reading is decided on which mood I am in and which book appeals most.

The problem with this is that it can take a while to choose a book. I can literally stand in front of my shelves or stare at my kindle for quite some time before a book speaks to me.



What are you three favorite book covers?


That’s a tough one. I am way too easily swayed by gorgeous book covers. I don’t think I have favourite book covers, tho. Last December, I read Gladys Mitchell’s Murder in the Snow  and I had to leave the book on my currently reading shelf for a couple of days after I finished it because I loved the cover so much. I am also very partial to the covers of Gilded Needles and A is for Arsenic, which may also be partly due my loving the books themselves just as much as the covers.

There is just something very pleasing about the simplicity of the covers.


Murder in the Snow: A Cotswold Christmas Mystery - Gladys MitchellA is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup



We’ve spotted the 2018 Mt. TBR Project. What’s your reading plan for this year?


There isn’t that much of a plan. A plan doesn’t really work for me because my reading depends on my mood so much. However, I needed to do something about the stacks and stacks of physical books that I have at home. The book collection has long exceeded my shelf space, so some of them will need to go.

That’s why I decided to try and focus on reading the books I already have at home this year. I tried this a few years ago, and it helped to keep my physical shelves under some control. Last year, I decided to have a year of free reading and book buying...and I ended up with way too many books.


So, the Mt. TBR Project had to make a come-back this January. I can pick any of the books off the stacks, read them in any order, but the goal is to read them all by the end of the year...and not buy more than I read in the process.


Reading list: BrokenTune's 2018 Mt. TBR



You’re reviewed over 600 books on BookLikes. What’s your book review process?


It really depends on the book. It appears that I find it easier to write reviews for books that I did not like, while the books I love are the most difficult to write about because I know I will never do them any justice in a review.

I mostly make notes while I read that will remind me of quotes and ideas and thoughts that occurred while I read the book. Then it will usually take me a few days to gather my thoughts together for a review. I type the review, post it, and instantly remember another two or three things that I would have loved to write about... So it goes.


Reviewed Shelf



Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?


I find recommendations very difficult because it really depends on who the recommendation is made to and what I know of the likes and dislikes of the reader.

However, I do find it exciting when I get to recommend books that are important to me or that have had a big impact on me. So, I am always thrilled when people try a book by Ali Smith or Ruth Ozeki or even one of the lesser-known travel writers like Ella Maillart.

With every recommendation, however, there is also some anxiety that accompanies the excitement – Will they like the book? Will they not like the book and wonder why I recommended it?


Recommending a book is just not that easy.




Do your read one or several books at a time?


Several. Always. I usually have a selection of different formats and different topics that I can pick up to respond to whichever mood I might be in.



How much time do you spend reading daily?


I probably read about 2 hours a day on average. If I travel with work, I read a lot more. There is nothing I like better than to read while being stuck on a train or a plane. And of course, the weather and time of year also have an influence on the time I spend with books. I hardly ever switch on the tv, so if the weather is “dreich”, a good local word, and I don’t have be somewhere I’ll turn to a book.



A paper book or an e-book?


Both! And let’s not forget audiobooks! I love all formats of books, but not all books will work in all formats. I prefer paper for non-fiction, but ebooks or audiobooks for fiction.



Three titles for a desert island?


Well, how long am I stuck on the island for? If it is for a long time, I may want to pack something practical such a survival guide by Bear Grylls... I am kidding. I have no interest in that, and his books generally aren’t long enough to be of use on a desert island.


I’d have to take The Count of Monte Cristo, because it is long and features an escape from an island. I’d also take a book by Ayn Rand, either The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged, because, again, they are excessively long and that might be the only circumstance that I would actually read them.

Lastly, I would take something like Ovid’s Metamorphoses  or one of Homer’s books that can be read over and over and will still offer something new to be discovered.



Metamorphoses - Denis Feeney,Ovid,David Raeburn


Favorite quote?


Oh, so many... Let’s go with this one:


‘Right! Let’s do some good!’ she said, to the universe at large.


Terry Pratchett - Maskerade




If you could meet one author, who would it be?


Oh, this is a tricky one, too. If we are narrowing this down to living authors that I have not met yet but would like to, I would have to say Ruth Ozeki or Stephen Fry.



Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)



Thank you! 


Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:
#30 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Jodi's Classroom Favorites ->


You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.


See you next Friday!


10 books by female authors recommended by book bloggers


There's no better way of celebrating the International Women's Day than reading books written by female authors. We've looked through the book catalog, your posts and reviews, and women writers tag, and picked 10 great titles written by woman recommended by BookLikes community of book bloggers.


What's your favorite title written by female author? Share your suggestions in the comment section below! Happy reading!


Tell The Wolves I'm Home - Carol Rifka BruntTell The Wolves I'm Home - Carol Rifka Brunt  

There is only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen year old June Elbus, and that's her uncle, the renowned painter, Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn's company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June's world is turned upside down. But Finn's death brings a surprise acquaintance into June's life-someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.


Book review: My real-life book club is indulging in a year of reading young adult literature, and this is our March selection. I am also using it to fulfill the “book about grief” selection for my 2018 PopSugar Challenge and the entry for B in my Female Authors A to Z challenge. What a great portrayal of life in all its messiness! If you’ve lived through some family rifts or somehow found yourself further away from a sibling that you ever believed possible, you will find something to hang onto in this novel. The relationships were realistic, not melodramatic or overdone... keep on reading on Wanda's Book Reviews blog



Children of Blood and Bone: The OrÏsha Legacy (Children of OrÏsha) - Tomi AdeyemiChildren of Blood and Bone - Tomi Adeyemi  

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy.


Reading in progress note: Wow. The action is not letting up at all. I don't know how this is going to end but am watching between my fingers that Zelie and her brother Tzain make it out okay. The writing and world building are so freaking fantastic. I can picture each character and setting in my mind. I am just craving some art though. This book practically sings for a graphic novel adaptation... keep on reading on Obsidian Blue blog



Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste NgLittle Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng  

From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.


Book review: ...this will be my book of the year. A high-octane literary tale of the highest order, Celeste Ng tackles heady topics like racism and classism and morality and societal rebellion in smart, tactful strikes. Like the best literary fiction, this one unfurls slowly while keeping the reader totally engaged. I read this one in two sittings, my mouth agape and my hair on fire... keep on reading on Cody's Bookshelf blog



Anything Is Possible - Elizabeth StroutAnything Is Possible - Elizabeth Strout  

Recalling Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity, Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others.

Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother's happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author's celebrated New York Times bestseller) returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.


Book review:It is a melancholy book, and getting a little too caught up in the stories and reading them all in two sittings got to me a little. But it is also a book full of compassion and understanding for its characters (most, though not all, of the protagonists are compassionate and understanding people themselves), of human connection and love, of wisdom about what makes people tick. It is very well-written and got me quickly invested in the characters and their situations... keep on reading on Merle blog


What We Lose: A Novel - Zinzi ClemmonsWhat We Lose: A Novel - Zinzi Clemmons  

From an author of rare, haunting power, a stunning novel about a young African-American woman coming of age--a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, family, and country

Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother's childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor--someone, or something, to love


Book review: I wasn’t quite sure what I was reading when I read this novel, was this a work of fiction or a memoir? The main character was personally reflecting upon her own life, the death of her mother and the aftereffects. As I read, I also had a hard time understanding some of the chapters as they didn’t feel connected to the storyline and they seemed to come out of nowhere. I have mixed feeling about this novel as I thought the storyline was good but... keep on reading on My Never Ending List blog


The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore - Kim FuThe Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore - Kim Fu  

For the girls at Forevermore, a sleepaway camp in the Pacific Northwest, days are filled with swimming lessons, friendship bracelets, and camp songs by the fire. Bursting with excitement and nervous energy, they set off on an overnight kayaking trip to a nearby island. But before the night is over, they find themselves stranded, with no adults to help them survive or guide them home. The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore follows Nita, Andee, Isabel, Dina, and Siobhan through--and far beyond--this fateful trip. We see the survivors through the successes and failures, loves and heartbreaks of their teen and adult years, and we come to understand how a tragedy can alter the lives it touches in innumerable ways.


Book review: This book reminded me of my years working at a camp for disabled children. I loved this book. This book was very intriguing... keep on reading Heather's Book Blog



The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly Black  

ude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him--and face the consequences.

Book review: This book got so much hype and I must say the hype is well deserved, in my opinion. I really enjoyed this book and everything about it.  It is well written, fast paced and fun, thrilling roller-coaster ride. I loved the world that Holly Black has created, an awesome mix of faerie land with yet a touch of the modern world as we know it. We get a great deal of fairie and its daily life which at times does not seem so different than ours. School, work, politics and the daily grind is the same in fairie as it would be here. Just a bit different and with different views on life, mortal or fae... keep on reading on SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews



A Treacherous Curse - Deanna RaybournA Treacherous Curse - Deanna Raybourn

London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.


Book review:I love Veronica Speedwell.  Her character is almost everything I admire in a person, with the exceptions of her penchants for collecting butterflies, necessitating her killing them, and her need to verbalise her sexual liberty.  This isn't hypocrisy on my part; I think it's distasteful when men make their sexual needs topics of casual conversation, and it's no less so when a woman does it.  Boundaries.  Good fences make good neighbours and all that. But these are very minor niggles.  Everything else about Veronica is excellent and Stoker doesn't suck either... keep on reading on Murder by Death blog



An Enchantment of Ravens - Margaret RogersonAn Enchantment of Ravens - Margaret Rogerson  

Isobel is an artistic prodigy with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.


Book review: This was stunning. Not just a good read. A new favourite. Reminds me of the first time I picked up Holly Black's Tithe, or Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely. Gamechanging, fresh and classic at the same time. Excellent, lush worldbuilding. Compelling, surprising characters. A story that twists and yet... keep on reading on YA Fantasy - K.A. Wiggins blog


The Chalk Man - C.J. TudorThe Chalk Man - C.J. Tudor  

It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran - the Chalk Man. He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body. Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure. Is history going to repeat itself?

Was it ever really over? Will this game only end in the same way?


Book review: First, I must say this novel has the potential of becoming a good screen psychological thriller. I was held captive once I began reading.  This story is intense and gripping.  Nothing is what it seems and with all its twists and turns, stopping at the end of a chapter wasn't an option. Tudor didn't skimp on the characterization... keep on reading on My Reviews My Words blog


What's your recommended female author book? 


Interview with author M.K. Scott + "Requiem for A Rescue Dog Queen" Giveaway


M.K. Scott, the authors of Requiem for A Rescue Dog Queen published last November, agreed to grant BookLikes a short interview. You can also enter our giveaway and win five copies of this latest title! Their newest book, the eighth installment in The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries series, will be released in late March. 

Mystery Giveaway

Mar. 06 - Mar. 20, 2018

Request your copy->



Tell us about yourself.


K. Scott is the team name for Morgan K Wyatt and Scott Stamm, a husband and wife author team. Scott is a software engineer while Morgan is a semi-retired special education teacher.


What was your first book?


The first M. K. Scott was Murder Mansion.


Describe your first break.


First literary break was an open submission call for a cougar romance.


What is your favorite genre to read? To write?


I read several genres including non-fiction. Scott prefers sci-fi. As Morgan, I write romance, suspense, YA and non-fiction. Together, we write cozy mysteries.


What makes a protagonist interesting?


Being normal with interesting quirks as opposed to being a perfect character works for me.



What is the best thing about being a writer?


Writing. :) Then, research.


What is the worst thing?


Editing :(


Pantser or plotter?


I have the general concept before I start writing, but seldom outline.


What do you see the direction of your future writing taking? What can we expect next? Give us a little taste.


Under the M.K. Scott name, we’re releasing The Skeleton Wore Diamonds in March 2018. Bark Twice for Danger comes out in April 2018. The new series The Way Over the Hill Gang comes out in July.


Cat or dog person?


Dog. (Like cats, but husband is allergic to them.)


Favorite food?




Favorite book?


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith  


Favorite movie?


Shirley Valentine


Favorite vacation destination (you just have to want to go there)


The beach.


Check out  M.K. Scott's books on BookLikes.

Click the cover and +Shelf to add it to your bookshelf.

Murder Mansion - M.K. ScottDrop Dead Handsome - M.K. ScottThe Painted Lady Inn Mysteries: Caribbean Catastrophe (Volume 6) - M.K. ScottChristmas Calamity - M.K. ScottWeddings Can Be Murder - M.K. ScottThe Painted Lady Inn Mysteries: Death Pledges a Sorority: A Cozy Mystery with Recipes - M.K. ScottRequiem for a Rescue Dog Queen (The Talking Dog Detective Agency) (Volume 2) - M.K. ScottA Bark in the Dark - M.K. ScottKiller Review - M.K. Scott

#30 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Jodi's Classroom Favorites

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers!

Meet Jodi, a lovely reader, who spreads book love among children. Keep on reading! 


Follow Jodi's blog on BookLikes:  Jodi's Classroom Favorites -



How did your book love begin?


My love of reading truly began when I was in fifth grade with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling . After that, I was hooked! Reading became my favorite past time, and still is today!


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré 


How did your blogging adventure start?


My blogging adventure began as a classroom assignment (Hi Mrs. Gilmore!). I am currently enrolled in the Elementary Education program at the University of Montevallo. The goal of the assignment was to allow future teachers to become familiar with online resources for finding books to use for lesson planning. I have thoroughly enjoyed this assignment, and will continue to use BookLikes because of it.



In your short bio you write “A collection of my favorite picture, short story, and chapter books that I hope to house in my classroom library” Can you tell us more about your profession?


I am currently employed at a preschool, and I am preparing to become an Elementary Educator. BookLikes has allowed me to find wonderful books that I have already implemented while teaching!



How do you encourage children to read books? In your book reviews your include tips on how to use the titles during the lessons which is really great! 


I think the best way to encourage children to read is by making it a meaningful experience for them! By providing real life connections and experiences, children are likely to retain the information they have read. Hopefully this will inspire them to seek more opportunities to do so on their own. I also think that children learn so much from what adults model. I recommend that anyone trying to encourage young readers to devour more literature should do so themselves!



Reviewed Shelf



What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?


I love to listen to stories being told, so my favorite genre is fairy tales! I love how lavish and detailed these stories tend to be. I have discovered so many spins on classic fairy tales as well. It is always exciting to have a fresh perspective on and old topic. My most recent discovery is Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood!


Interstellar Cinderella - Deborah Underwood,Meg Hunt 


What are you three favorite book covers?


My favorite book covers include: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs Illustrated by Ron Barrett, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Illustrated by Dr. Seuss, Let Me Finish Illustrated by Isabel Roxas; They say that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to reading - I often do!


Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Dr. SeussCloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Judi Barrett,Ron BarrettLet Me Finish! - Minh Lê,Isabel Roxas



How much time do you spend reading?


I am constantly reading! Whether I am reading for class, reading for pleasure, or reading to my students, I am immersed in text. I might be late to the party, but I just finished Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. It is phenomenal!


Turtles All the Way Down - John GreenThe Book with No Pictures - B.J. Novak 


Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers? 


I am so excited for readers to discover The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak. Young readers love to have them read aloud to them, as it provides an excellent time to poke fun at adult



Do you read one or several books at a time?


I tend to stick with one book at a time. By brain is too busy to consume more than that!



What’s your reading goal for 2018? 


I want to read 100 new children’s books this year, especially those titles that celebrate diversity!


A paper book or an e-book?


Paper - for sure.


Three titles for a desert island? 


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, Holes by Louis Sachar, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. RowlingHoles - Louis SacharThe Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman


Favorite quote? 


It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.

What is essential is invisible to the eye.

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery


If you could meet one author, who would it be?


I would love to meet J.K. Rowling. I grew up with Harry, and he was a friend to me when I had none. I would love to thank her for providing me with that experience!


Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)




Thank you!


Have 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! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.


See you next Friday!


Book titles are tags - finds book reviews and book posts


Writing book reviews is great and very important -- it's the reader's way of expression the view about the book and recommending (or not) the title. But what about other ways of describing your bookish experiences? 


As much as the book reviews, we also love reading updates, book quotes, and other posts that pop up on our BookLikes Dashboard.


On BookLikes book titles work as tags.


If you wish to look through all kind of posts about a given title, type the book title in the book search box and choose TAGS. 


The book title tag search will show you ALL posts about a given book, and not only the book reviews. 



This is also a great way of discovering who else on BookLikes is reading the book you're enjoying.


If you wish to know the person behind the blog post/review better, hover over the avatar and you'll view the following information:


1. Blog name - click to go to a blog page and Follow (in the right upper corner of the blog page)

2. Number of books on BookLikes shelves

3. Number of followings and followers on BookLikes

4. Compare books - click to see if your reading preferences are similar.

4. Currently reading - the book cover is the book the person is reading right now. 



You may also want to read:

BookLikes -> Goodreads synchronization is back

6 tips for BookLikes newbies

Blogging about books - additional blog post options


What to write on your book blog next?

6 ways to blog about books


Happy reading! 

Book adaptations to read before watching: 9 books and movies for the Oscar night

We're book lovers but also movie fans! When it comes to books vs. movies the winner is always the same. The book. But that doesn't discourage us from watching after reading. And the Oscars time is just perfect timing for seeking new book-and-movie inspirations.  Just remember: Read before watching! 


What are you reading and watching?



Open book free icon  Clapperboard free icon



Painfully Rich: J. Paul Getty And His Heirs by John Pearson 

When John Paul Getty died in 1976, he was the richest man in the world. This text examines the impact of the Getty legacy and its attendant pressures, family intrigues and destructive greed on the rest of the Getty family.



All the Money in the World

The story of the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother to convince his billionaire grandfather Jean Paul Getty to pay the ransom.

Nominated for 1 Oscar.



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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? BY Philip K. Dick 

World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn't 'retiring' them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal - the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life.



Blade Runner 2049

A young blade runner's discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who's been missing for thirty years.

Nominated for 5 Oscars



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Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman 


Andre Aciman's Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. It is an instant classic and one of the great love stories of our time.



Call Me by Your Name

In 1980s Italy, a romance blossoms between a seventeen year-old student and the older man hired as his father's research assistant.

Nominated for 4 Oscars. 



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Mudbound by Hillary Jordan 


In Jordan's prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms, both subtle and brutal. It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm?a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura's brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not?charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South. It is the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion.




Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war.

Nominated for 4 Oscars. 


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Stronger: Fighting Back After the Boston Marathon Bombing by Jeff Bauman

Jeff Bauman woke up on 16th April 2013, in the Boston Medical Center, groggy from a series of lifesaving surgeries and missing his legs. Just 30 hours prior, Jeff was surrounded by revelry at the finish line of the Boston Marathon cheering on his girlfriend, Erin, when the first bomb went off at his feet. When Jeff awoke, rather than take stock of his completely altered life, he ripped out his breathing tube and tried to speak. He couldn't. So he wrote seven words, 'Saw the guy. Looked right at me,' setting off one of the biggest manhunts in the country's history and beginning his own brave road to recovery. 




Stronger is the inspiring real life story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become a symbol of hope after surviving the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.


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The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero,Tom Bissell 

In 2003, an independent film called The Room - starring and written, produced, and directed by a mysteriously wealthy social misfit named Tommy Wiseau - made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as 'like getting stabbed in the head', the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Over a decade later, The Room is an international cult phenomenon, whose legions of fans attend screenings featuring costumes, audience rituals, merchandising and thousands of plastic spoons.



The Disaster Artist

When Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.

Nominated for 1 Oscar.


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Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool by Peter Turner 

A description of Gloria Grahame's last days recalls her past in New York and her eccentric life in a trailer and her life in Liverpool, where the author and his family cajoled, comforted, and wept with the dying Hollywood star.



Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

A romance sparks between a young actor and a Hollywood leading lady.



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First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung 

One of seven children of a high-ranking government official, Loung Ung lived a privileged life in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh until the age of five. Then, in April 1975, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into the city, forcing Ung's family to flee and, eventually, to disperse. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, her siblings were sent to labor camps, and those who survived the horrors would not be reunited until the Khmer Rouge was destroyed. Harrowing yet hopeful, Loung's powerful story is an unforgettable account of a family shaken and shattered, yet miraculously sustained by courage and love in the face of unspeakable brutality.



First They Killed My Father

Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung recounts the horrors she suffered as a child under the rule of the deadly Khmer Rouge.



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Molly's Game: Inside the Wolrd of High Stakes Poker by Molly Bloom 

When Molly Bloom was a little girl in a small Colorado town, she dreamed of a life without rules and limits, a life where she didn’t have to measure up to anyone or anything – where she could become whatever she wanted. She ultimately got more than she ever could have bargained for. In Molly’s Game, she takes you through her adventures running an exclusive private poker game catering to Hollywood royalty like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck, athletes, billionaires, politicians and financial titans. With rich detail, Molly describes a world of glamour, privilege and secrecy in which she made millions, lived the high life and fearlessly took on the Russian and Italian mobs – until she met the one adversary she could not outsmart: the United States government.



Molly's Game

The true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target.

Nominated for 1 Oscar.


What are you reading and watching?


#29 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Red Lace Reviews


Hello Friday! Hollow Follow Friday with book bloggers. Meet Cat, a bloggers behind Red Lace Reviews blog, a lover or horror books who dreams of meeting Stephen King! 


Follow Cat's blog on BookLikes:


How did your book love begin?


Cirque Du Freak - Darren Shan,Takahiro AraiIt actually began one Christmas morning, when I was in the middle of opening gifts in my jammies and fluffy slippers. The first thing I noticed about this particular present was the black cover, followed by the coolest image of a spider I'd ever seen! It was red, and gave the whole thing an exciting, yet eerie feel. I was immediately interested, and if you're not familiar, the book was Cirque Du Freak, the first of the Darren Shan Saga. It's the adventures of Darren that ignited my love of books, especially those involving supernatural beasties.



How did your blogging adventure start?

It properly started this past January, when I decided to take the next step. I'd tried before over the years, but it just didn't stick, for no fault other than my own lack of motivation. This time I've poured a lot of time and effort into it - I ventured beyond my comfort zone and started consistently writing book reviews every week. I've also reached out to more readers and authors, and it's honestly been a blast!




Why reading is important to you? We can read in your short bio “I like being transported to new worlds”


I'm the sort of person that stresses over everything and anything. Having social anxiety, I can get worked up over the most basic of tasks, such as going to the dentist. However with reading,  all those worries disappear. It's a time I can truly relax and allow my imagination to explore the numerous carefully crafted worlds where anything is possible.



What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?


Right now my favourite genre is horror. I just love to feel uncomfortable and shocked at what I read on a page. I don't scare easily, but when it happens, I treasure it. Within the genre itself I enjoy it all; extreme, cosmic, psychological, paranormal, you name it! I find that the horror community is especially welcoming and friendly, which makes it all the better.


Read Lace Reviews' Shelf



You’re Irish. Does it affect your reading preferences?


Not in the slightest!



What are you three favorite book covers?

Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan - Sentimental value!

The Awesome by Eva Darrows - I just adore the art style of this one! It's so colourful and funky!

High Moor 3: Blood Moon by Graeme Reynolds - Again, the art of this trilogy is amazing, and I happen to love werewolves!


Cirque Du Freak - Darren Shan,Takahiro AraiThe Awesome - Eva DarrowsHigh Moor 3: Blood Moon - Graeme Reynolds



What do you do when not reading? You write you’re interested in drawing and gaming. Can you tell us more.

I loved gaming on consoles growing up, starting with the Sega Master System. Jump forward a few (okay, maybe more than a few) years and I was questing my way through Azeroth. I actually met my significant other in an MMORPG.

As for my other hobbies, I enjoy trying to create art, and failing miserably! I binge watch Netflix, drink a lot of coffee and wine, and look after my six pets.



What’s your reading goal for 2018?


At the moment it's to read thirty books, however I think if I can keep up the pace I can maybe double that.



Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

I really love recommending books and authors that aren't so well-known. For instance, I make the effort to read novels that are self-published, or published by independent publishers. What I'd recommend right now, would be What Hides Within by Jason Parent and The Devoured by Curtis M. Lawson, both I think deserve more attention.


The Devoured - Curtis M. Lawson,Jason Sprenger




Do read one or several books at a time?

I used to! Nowadays I focus on a single book, because I feel less overwhelmed that way.



How much time do you spend reading daily?


I try to read a hundred or so pages a day, which takes me around two hours to do (I timed myself recently). I don't consider myself a quick reader; I often go back to re-read passages, and may put the novel down to contemplate something that happened regarding the story.



A paper book or an e-book?

Whilst I much prefer physical copies of books (there's nothing like holding it in your hands and sniffing the pages), I read both paperbacks and kindle books.


Three titles for a desert island?


The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss  . Everyone needs a lengthy, yet superbly written fantasy in their lives.

John Dies at the End by David Wong. If I'm all alone on an island, I'd need to laugh at something.

How to Survive on a Deserted Island by Tim O'Shei  . Well, I'd need to survive somehow!


The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) - Patrick RothfussJohn Dies At The End - David WongHow to Survive on a Deserted Island - Tim O'Shei,Al Siebert


Favorite quote?

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

― Frank Herbert, Dune





If you could meet one author, who would it be?

Probably the KING of horror himself!



Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)



Thank you!



Have 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! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.


See you next Friday!

BookLikes -> Goodreads synchronization is back


Due to some technical issues the BL->GR sync stayed inactive for several weeks but from now on you can read, publish, shelve books on BookLikes and they will be added to your Goodreads page as well.


Here's a short reminder of how BL->GR sync works


To make a long story short: You can synchronize your Goodreads profile with your BookLikes webpage. This means that once you do one of the following book action on your BookLikes page:

- add book(s) to shelf,

- add a new shelf,

- post or edit a published review,

- rate or edit rating stars if your books

they will be published here on your BookLikes webpage and on your Goodreads profile.


Voila! If you love both services and want to be active here and there, it's a perfect solution. And saved time and energy can be used to read a book or two, right?!



Used BL->GR before?


If you've already used this feature, please go to Settings, Import tab and check if the Connect button is active. If it says disconnect, it means that your BookLikes and Goodreads accounts are synced! 



The connection should be still ON regardless of the break but it's always better to double check. Here's how: do one or all of the following things: 

- add a new book to your BookLikes bookshelf

- change a reading status to your book on your BL shelf

- add the rating stars to a book on your BookLikes shelf

- add a book to a thematic shelf, e.g. mysteries, 2018 challenge on your BL shelf

Then go to your Goodreads My Books page and check if the book information got updated on your GR page.


Please remember that the synchronization will work if the ISBN numbers of two books are the same on both platforms.


Also, a minor delay in action can happen, so give it a couple of minutes.


A perfect time to prepare a cup of tea or choose another book to read.


If your book got updated on your GR profile, yay, we're home. This means you're ready to publish and shelve on BookLikes and show the same bookish activity on your Goodreads profile. 


New to BL-GR synchronization?


As we mentioned it's great news for those who like BookLikes and Goodreads and want to stay active on both. WIth a BookLikes webpage you can synchronize your Goodreads profile with your BookLikes blog and shelf, and fill up both of your bookshelves at one go. 


To synchronize your Goodreads account with your BookLikes webpage, follow these steps:

1. Log into your BookLikes account.

2. Log into your Goodreads account in the second tab. 

3. Go to Settings/Import, import tab on BookLikes, and click Connect your Goodreads account in the BookLikes ->Goodreads synchronization spot.

4. Grant access to your Goodreads bookish page.

5. Enjoy shelving and reviewing books on BookLikes and have them published on both sites.



BookLikes -> Goodreads synchronization includes:

- adding books to shelf

- adding shelves

- posting a review

- rating books

no deletion is possible, if you wish to delete a book or review, please go to your  BookLikes and Goodreads page

Once you do one of those things on BookLikes, they will be published here on your BookLikes webpage (blog and shelf) and on your Goodreads profile.


Please remember that BookLikes -> Goodreads book match is possible thanks to ISBN numbers. If the book lacks the number or the number is unavailable, the book may not appear on your Goodreads bookshelf.


Please note that during this process we're dependent on Goodreads technology and some synchronization delays concerning adding books on your Goodreads shelf and posting a review may occur.


The synchronization will be active from the moment you connect your GR account on BookLikes. If you would like to fill up your BookLikes profile with your previous book entries from Goodreads, you can do that by importing your csv file from Goodreads with your book collection, bookshelves, reviews and ratings in Settings/Import.



We strongly recommend to make the book import BEFORE synchronizing your two account. First, import. Then, sync your accounts. 


If you have any more questions or concerns, please don't hesitate and write to us by using the Need help box on the left, or mail directly




The notification should be working fine now. Yay! Sorry for the confusion and  all the inconveniences. 

Writing habits of writers vs. reading habits of bloggers


We know that BookLikes readers love reading in bed with a cup of tea or coffee. Some books, though, require a big glass of red wine or a chocolate bar, a big spoon of ice cream or simply any kind of a sweet treat.


BookLikes bloggers tend to be polygamist readers who like to shift between formats and genres. Similar freedom takes place when replacing a missing bookmark with anything nearby, like ribbons, receipts, tickets, boarding passes and random pieces of paper.



Read more about BookLikes bloggers reading habits ->


How about writing? What are your writing habits? Have a look at the collection of weird habits of famous writers prepared by Custom Writing, and add yours!  



Infographic source:



10 #mustread books coming our today, February 20, 2018


Don't know what to read next? Have a look at a collection of today's new releases! +Shelf and read on! What's on your TBR shelf?



Blood of a Thousand Stars - Rhoda BellezaBlood of a Thousand Stars by Rhoda Belleza  

YA Fantasy 

War tears the galaxy apart, power tests the limits of family, and violence gives way to freedom in this exhilarating sequel to Empress of a Thousand Skies.
With a revolution brewing, Rhee is faced with a choice: make a deal with her enemy, Nero, or denounce him and risk losing her crown.
Framed assassin Alyosha has one goal in mind: kill Nero. But to get his revenge, Aly may have to travel back to the very place he thought he’d left forever—home.
Kara knows that a single piece of technology located on the uninhabitable planet Wraeta may be the key to remembering—and erasing—the princess she once was.

read more »

Maintenance works on BookLikes on Tuesday Feb. 20, 2018


We're planning some more maintenance works on BookLikes on Tuesday, Feb.20, 2018, CET. 

We'll do all to make BookLikes available during the updates, however, some hiccups and temporary interruptions may happen.


Sorry for all the inconveniences!

Blogging about books - additional blog post options, part 2

Writing on BookLikes is super fun, right? We've already mentioned 6 ways to blog about books (click to read more), and the side bar menu in the text edition (click to read more). Today we'd like to continue the topic of the text editor features.


When you click the Text, Quote, Photo, Video, URL on the upper bar on your Dashboard, you'll be moved to the text editor with some additional options at the top. Let's have a closer look, beginning from the first icon on the left: 



1. Embed

Embed your tweets into your posts. Just copy the code from a tweet, paste into the embed box and voila


Go to any tweet and click Embed Tweet from the menu on the right. Copy the code.


Go to your post. Click the Embed icon in the text editor, paste the code and click OK. 

In the editor the embedded tweet will look like a plain text but once you publish a post, it will look like this:


Did we mention you can embed any tweet? Yes, you can! Try it out!


2. Blockquote.

Use this to highlight a quote in your text. 


Write your post. Mark the passage which should be highlighted and click the Blockquote icon. The text will be given additional space on the sides. Just like that.  


3. Spoiler

Hide a passage not to reveal the book ending! 


Write your review, decide which part to hide, mark it and click the SP icon. The text will receive addition markers in the text editor and will be hidden once published online. 

(show spoiler)



4. Text options

Decide how to write: in bold, italics, underline your most important sentences or cross them out. 
Mark the text and choose the property. 



5.  Text layout

Align your text to right, left, center or justify.

Mark the text and choose the property. 



6. Make lists

You can easily make list in your text. Mark the text and decide which list format to choose:

  • bullet list or
  1. numbered list



7. Insert image

If you'd like to add an image you can use either the Add photo+ under the editor box or the Image icon on the top.



The Insert image icon works for image URL only. You can also edit the image with some advanced options, like style or additional border. 


8. Add link

Add link to your text.

Mark the text and click the link icon to insert the URL.




9. Page break

Add "read more" to your post. 

Write your article or review and decide where to add the READ MORE button. Put your cursor in that place and click Page break. The READ MORE button will be added to your text .


10. Source code

You can add more formatting to your text.

Write a full text and click the source code feature, add more features, like different font or color, etc.



You may also want to read: 

Happy writing! 

How a poet became a spy book writer / Author Interview with Wes Britton + Sci-Fi Giveaway


Today we talk to Wesley Britton, the author of both fiction, and non-fiction books. What inspired him to change genres? Read our interview and enter our giveaway to win a copy of The Blind Alien


Enter to win The Blind Alien by Wesley Britton.

Win the book and publish your review of The Blind Alien on your BookLikes blog to receive another installment in the Beta-Earth Chronicles! 

Request your copy.



Tell us about how and why you started writing - it all began with non-fiction, books about spies …


Actually, I started writing long, long before that. Throughout the ‘70s and ’80s, I wrote several terrible novels no one will ever see. When I went to grad school in 1983, I began to get published in scholarly journals with literary analysis, book reviews, and essays which led to a long association with Salem Press. They published the MasterPlots books, Magill’s Book Reviews, all sorts of encyclopedias. I can’t remember all the topics I wrote about.


Then, throughout the ‘90s, I was a pretty decent poet, published in all manner of print and online periodicals. It wasn’t until 2001 or so when the spy books began to jell when I wanted to write something longer than an article or poem.



Were you inspired by any non-fiction writers or events?


Hmm, a toughey. I recall starting the spy books because I had been reading books on specific TV shows but realized nobody had explored the genre of TV spies as a whole. So I saw an opportunity no one else had.


Some of my scenes in the Beta-Earth books were inspired by other authors. There’s one fight scene in Blood of Balnakin greatly inspired by a similar scene in From Russia With Love. The opening scene of my A Throne for an Alien was inspired, in structure alone, by a passage in Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi. That’s something other authors might like to think about. The scene opens with a grand overhead view, then begins to narrow in scope, then ultimately focuses on one character in one location. “Cinematic,” one teacher once described the technique to me.


The Blood of Balnakin - The Beta Earth Chronicles: Book Two - Wesley BrittonFrom Russia With Love - Ian Fleming

A Throne for an Alien - The Beta Earth Chronicles: Book Four - Wesley BrittonMississippi Writings: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer/Life on the Mississippi/Adventures of Huckleberry Finn/Puddinhead Wilson (Library of America #5) - Mark Twain,Guy Cardwell


As I explain in my first blog post here at BookLikes, the structure for the narrators of the entire Beta-Earth Chronicles was inspired by the print edition of The Beatles Anthology. All oral histories where the points of view alternate between members of a rock group or whatever were on my mind as well.

I can’t remember all the research I did and all the tidbits I pulled from my reading. For example, as I was setting my story on a world dominated by women, I thought it a good idea to read up on the Amazons. I got a few details from that research.



Were you happy with how your first books were received?


Ah, no, at least in terms of sales. The spy books, especially Spy Television, were very well received by reviewers, spy experts, fans, TV insiders, and other writers who wrote similar books. I got invited to appear on a number of radio shows, appeared several times at the International Spy Museum, and gave presentations at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention. Several intriguing side-projects came my way that were interesting but never bore fruit due to the sad deaths of two potential collaborators.


At the same time, I realized the three spy books from Praeger Publishers weren’t going to get a huge response in terms of my pocketbook. That was because the press prices their books so high. They expect their main readership is libraries who can pay the big hardcover bucks. I didn’t take that too hard after I heard a seminar where we were taught to consider non-fiction books as “calling cards” that should lead to other, more lucrative efforts.  This lead to my wife concluding that I’m “the man known by many, paid by few.”


This also led to my The Encyclopedia of TV Spies published by BearManor Media, a book priced for the general reader. It remains my ongoing best-seller.


I’m still waiting for The Blind Alien and the other Beta-Earth books to get a real foothold and break-out in a more than glutted market.


The Encyclopedia of TV Spies - Wesley BrittonThe Blind Alien. The Beta Earth Chronicles, Book One - Wesley Britton



Do you plan on writing more non-fiction? If not, why not?


Actually, yes. I have a thumb-drive full of all the audio interviews I did when I co-hosted online radio’s “Dave White Presents.” I used to interview celebrities from Jacki De Shannon to Ed Asner to Patty Duke to Walter Koenig to June Lockhart to Ron Dante to Ben E. King to Dave Mason to John Mayall . . . What I am hunting is usable software that I can use to convert audio interviews into text. When that happens, I expect a series of interview collections to result.



What inspired you to change genres? Science fiction seems as far away from non-fiction as you can possibly get!


I can recall several influences, like not wanting to do more meticulous research, but, most importantly, the stories just came to me. I’ve often said the characters created themselves.


At first, I didn’t intend to write anything down thinking I had no gift for writing fiction. But I changed my mind. I do that a lot.


Throw in the fact that I finally got sick of spies. Tired of reading about them, writing about them, all that. I like to do different things.




How did you find this new genre when you started your first sci-fi book? Was it easier, more difficult? More or less creative? More or less of a challenge?


I’ve been reading all sorts of genres all my life, including sci-fi. I will say writing fiction was, for me, a much greater challenge than the non-fiction books (and many articles as well.) Writing non-fiction books like I did was mostly to compile information, synthesize it, and organize it. Fiction is entirely mine. Much, much more challenging.



Do you read a lot of sci-fi and who is an inspiration (if you have one)?


Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been reading sci-fi along with spy thrillers and all the literature you’d expect a Ph.D. in American literature would have read. I would say I was absolutely blown away by Frank Herbert’s Dune books, but I wouldn’t call him an inspiration. I’d be scared to even try to emulate what he did. Or Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld series. All the classics.


Dune - Frank HerbertTales Of Riverworld - Philip José Farmer


But, to be honest, I can’t think of any authors or books remotely like mine. Frankly, I think that’s a good thing if you value originality and the unexpected.



There are now six books in the Beta-Earth Chronicles series. Are you working on book seven? How many will there be?


Yes, I’m presently working on book 7. At one time, I thought the first four books would be all there was as that was the vision I had in my head. Well, I must admit I left book 4 with a huge cliff-hanger at the end. I’m not sure what kicked book 5, The Third Earth, into gear. I guess I felt I wasn’t done with those characters yet.


Book 6, Return to Alpha, started when an editor tossed me a few starting points. He thought I should write a Romeo and Juliet story, set up a new Adam and Eve on our future earth, and I went from there with an entirely new cast of characters. Again, I thought that one would be the end.


Then, just a month or so ago, a friend told me I needed to start writing again. I don’t think she thought I’d carry on with the Beta-Earth stories, but a story started to develop anyway. I’m often astonished at where my strange ideas come from.


The Blind Alien. The Beta Earth Chronicles, Book One - Wesley BrittonThe Blood of Balnakin - The Beta Earth Chronicles: Book Two - Wesley BrittonWhen War Returns — The Beta Earth Chronicles: Book Three - Wesley Britton

A Throne for an Alien - The Beta Earth Chronicles: Book Four - Wesley BrittonThe Third Earth - Wesley BrittonReturn to Alpha The Beta-Earth Chronicles: Book Six - Wesley Britton

The Beta-Earth Chronicles series



Do you think authors need to plan a series ahead of time, maybe even when they start writing the first book?


I wouldn’t dare give authors such advice knowing we all have different wells to draw from and different roads to travel. I would say it worked for me to have the first four books mapped out in my mind so I knew, in general, where things were going to go. Lots of changes and revisions, revisions, and revisions happened along the way, but the framework was there.



What are your plans as a writer? How far ahead do you think and plan?


As I said, I hope I can get the software for the audio interview books to open that floodgate.  I have to admit, I’m pretty much tapped out for the Beta-Earth books. Book 7 is going to be a long, drawn out process as I have no idea where it’s going. I know where it should go, but I don’t have the story to take us from the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest to the ultimate bridges connecting up all the earths in the multi-verse. Not yet.


Follow Wesley Britton's blog on BookLikes:


Wesley Britton's books (click the cover to add the book to your bookshelf): 


The Blind Alien. The Beta Earth Chronicles, Book One - Wesley BrittonThe Third Earth - Wesley BrittonWhen War Returns — The Beta Earth Chronicles: Book Three - Wesley BrittonOnscreen and Undercover: The Ultimate Book of Movie Espionage - Wesley BrittonThe Encyclopedia of TV Spies - Wesley BrittonA Throne for an Alien - The Beta Earth Chronicles: Book Four - Wesley BrittonThe Beta Earth Chronicles: The Complete 6 Book Set - Wesley BrittonSpy Television - Wesley BrittonThe Blood of Balnakin - The Beta Earth Chronicles: Book Two - Wesley BrittonReturn to Alpha The Beta-Earth Chronicles: Book Six - Wesley BrittonBeyond Bond: Spies in Fiction and Film - Wesley Britton