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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! 

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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

30 best love quotes from books


We wish you all the best and lots of love, not only in the bookish stories!

If you're planning on sending a love letter or leaving a surprise love note for your beloved one(s), we do hope that the following 30 bookish love quotes from literature will inspire you and put you in a romantic mood. 



What are you favorite literary love passages? Share them. With love. 



Do I love you? My god, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.William Goldman, The Princess Bride

Love, it never dies. It never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it. Love can make you immortal.Gayle Forman, If I Stay


You are my heart, my life, my one and only thought. - Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company



The way her body existed only where he touched her. The rest of her was smoke. Arundhati Roy, The God Of Small Things


You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.

Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind



To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love


You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.John Green, The Fault in Our Stars



There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey


The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person. – Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters


I won’t ever leave you, even though you’re always leaving me. – Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife


For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. – Diana Gabaldon, Outlander


To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life. - Victor Hugo, Les Misérables


I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who's ever lived: I've loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough. - Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook


I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one. My reason for life. - Ian McEwan, Atonement


In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. - Jane Austen, Pride And Prejudice


You don't love someone because they're perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not. - Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper


I have waited for this opportunity for more than half a century, to repeat to you once again my vow of eternal fidelity and everlasting love. - Gabriel García Márquez, Love In The Time Of Cholera 



Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same. - Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights


If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you. - A.A. Milne, Winnie The Pooh



It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight. – Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita


I have a million things to talk to you about. All I want in this world is you. I want to see you and talk. I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning.Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood


Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear. - Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre



Who, being loved, is poor? - Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance



Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps…perhaps…love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.

- Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea


I wish I knew how to quit you.Annie Proulx, BrokeBack Mountain


The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you. - Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Every lover is, in his heart, a madman, and, in his head, a minstrel.

- Neil Gaiman, Stardust

I fell in love the way you fall asleep, slowly and then all at once. - John Green, The Fault in Our Stars



I cannot let you burn me up, nor can I resist you. No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed. -A.S. Byatt, Possession



She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.Toni Morrison, Beloved


Psst. Check also:


15 Valentine's Day gifts for your beloved book lover


11 Crazy Couples in Books


Interview with Rachel Jordan + Paranormal Mystery Giveaway

Rachel Jordan is about to release her debut novel, The Haunting of Dove Cote House, a paranormal mystery (launching February 16!). She agreed to talk to BookLikes and tell us about her lifelong passion for writing, the path that led her to self-publishing, and her writing plans for the future.


Paranormal mystery giveaway

Feb. 13 - Feb. 28, 2018

Read more & request a free copy ->


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.


I live in the UK, the West Midlands to be exact. I was born in Kent and lived in various parts of the county until moving here nearly six years ago to be with my late partner. I have loved writing for as long as I can remember, and from an early age I loved writing short stories. I did some freelance journalism for a while but when my personal circumstances changed I had to quit. Writing is something I loved and I guess I always knew I had at least one book inside me.



How did you start writing?


As I said previously, writing seems to be part of my life since I was small. I began writing short stories when I was in primary school, and I always excelled at both English Language and Literature. I'm one of those people who believe that if you have a book inside you, then you need a way to get it out there so others can read it. Admittedly in my case it's taken me to the age of 50, but I have finally achieved my lifelong dream.



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


My writing habits have varied while l writing The Haunting of Dove Cote House. When I began work on it I made sure I wrote at least one chapter a day to keep up the momentum. Then, as I progressed with the story, I was working on it from early morning to late afternoon. In the end I was working on it pretty much all day. I was determined that not a day went by unless I spent some time working on it.  I'm currently taking a short break from writing, but I must admit I have already made a start of my second book, and I will be throwing myself into writing that shortly.



Do you have plans as to how often you will write and publish new books, in a given time frame (like per year)?


I would like to try to write and publish at least one book a year. If I can do two a year I'll be pleased, but I don't want to put myself under any undue pressure and stop enjoying the writing process. If all goes well with this new book I'm working on I'm hoping to release it later this year, early next at the latest.



Why did you decide to self-publish? Did you approach publishers first, or did you start off with the idea of self-publishing from the very beginning?


I knew that if I went to an established publisher the chances of getting the book out would be remote. I looked at some of the "vanity publishers", but to me they were asking for way too much money. Eventually, I spoke to a friend who is an editor and she suggested looking into self-publishing, as she knew someone who had taken that route. I looked around and found a self-publishing company that resonated with me and I went for it.



Tell us about the road a self-published author needs to embark upon. Is it a difficult road to travel?


I personally think self-publishing is as hard or as easy as the writer concerned makes it to be. If you have enough money to pay for "vanity publishing”, then all means take that route.


I would suggest if you really want to get your book(s) out there look around and see if a company catches your eye, as I did. If you can find someone who publishes for free and then takes their fee from your book sales then that is probably your best option, if money is a problem. What you also need to remember is that you need to pay for a book cover, and the prices vary from company to company. I've used a company recommended by my self-publishing company, and I'm thrilled with the cover for The Haunting of Dove Cote House. You also need to consider getting your book into as many retail channels as possible. Some companies only give you three or four places to distribute, while others will place them widely.



What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a writer - so, to someone like you the person you were, maybe a year ago?


I would say to aspiring writers: make sure you get your book written, and while you are doing that look around to see which publishing option is right with you. Bear in mind what I said about how you can make it as easy or as hard, and this I guess this depends on your financial circumstances. Look for people who will help promote you and your work. Always remember that social media is important and one of the best ways to create a buzz about your book. But most of all never give up on your dream of seeing your book in print, because I believe that right now it's easier to get your book out there then it ever was previously.



Your first book is a paranormal mystery if I am correct - is this your favorite genre? What do you like to read?


I do enjoy reading paranormal books, but I'm the sort of person that will just find a book and if it grabs me I'll read it. When I'm not writing you'll find me sitting down with my Kindle, my nose stuck in a book. I think the only exception to my reading rule is full-on romance novels. No disrespect to those who write or read them but it's a genre I've never liked reading.




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


Where do I start with favourite authors? Amy Cross, Neil Spring, Shani Struthers to name just a few. I also have a book blog and through that I'm getting to find out about some great authors I would never have heard of otherwise. I think that each author has inspired me in their own way to write my stories and just write them as me. I don't try and create a specific writing style, I just write naturally I guess.



Please tell us about your first book - I think you plan to write a whole series?


The Haunting of Dove Cote House - Rachel JordanThe Haunting of Dove Cote House is the first book to feature Caitlin Fletcher. She returns to her family home following the death of her father, but in doing so her whole life is turned upside down. Slowly she remembers her past living at Dove Cote and the spirit that was so attached to her. With the spirit suddenly reappearing on her return, Cat knows she has to get rid of this ghost for once and for all if she possibly can. Joining her on her quest is her husband that she has separated from, her best friend from childhood, a priest, and an excommunicated exorcist. Slowly Cat pieces together Dove Cote's past, and realises that a second spirit who haunts the property is in fact related to her, but as the story of the house's occupants unravels Cat is faced with something far more evil than she could have imagined



Is the series already planned and “written” in your mind?


I currently have another Cat Fletcher ParaInvestigations books planned. As I said, I have already begun work on the second and have the cover for the third ready. Some of the books are locked in my brain if you like, and I have a good idea of their plots. Others are at the moment just brief outlines, which I am sure I will fill in over time.



What would you like to say to your readers? What do they need to know about you and your first book?


What isn't widely known right now is that parts of The Haunting of Dove Cote House are based on truth, although the majority of it is fiction. Dove Cote is based on a much smaller house with a different name that I lived in until we moved to be closer to my secondary school.


If you like paranormal mysteries, horror and occult novels, then please give the book a try. I know it may not be to everyone's taste, but I have finally achieved my lifelong dream of being a published author, and I truly hope that people will enjoy it and carry on reading the series over time.



Follow Rachel Jordan on BookLikes:



More maintenance works


We're planning some more maintenance works on BookLikes in the next few days. 

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


Hey all, just wanted to confirm that we know the notifications aren't working properly. We're doing all to fix them ASAP.


So sorry for any inconvenience.


Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns, for all queries please use the Need help? box on the left, mail or mail us at


p.s If you've missed our updates, please check our Thursday's fixes: BookLikes Fixes: Facebook, ASINs, Last tags

#28 Follow Friday with book bloggers: SENSITIVEMUSE



Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! 

Let's meet Karoline, a fan of mystery, fantasy and YA novels, who reads 8 book at a time! 



What are you reading now? How is it?


I read a lot of books at the same time. :) however! One of them is Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms - Morgan Rhodes,Michelle Rowen 


How did your book love begin?


When I was a wee little child. My parents came to Canada before I was born and to practice their English they would read to me aloud. My parents always encouraged my love for books. They bought one for me at least once a week or my mom would order a box of books from Scholastic when I was attending elementary school.


You’ve been with BookLikes since 2012! How did your blogging adventure start?


I first starting blogging as a diary but it didn't interest me as much, then I realized why not start a blog about something I am interested in. Since books is one of the things I can talk about non stop I decided to put up a book blog with reviews on all the books I've read. I've had some hiatus moments here and there but it's still rolling :)



In your short bio you write you’re a chef. Can you tell us more about your profession?


Oh! haha I love to cook! I love to bake too so it's another hobby of mine. I have moments of creativity and I get to the kitchen and start baking away. Family members have gone up a few sizes thanks to me. I love making stir fried dishes, noodles, and pasta. My baking specialty goes towards bundt cakes or bar (lemon flavored ones are the favorites here at home).


What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?


I love fantasy, mystery/thriller, and YA. Fantasy mostly because they take me to other worlds and I literally feel like I'm on another journey. I get attached to the characters and watch them come alive in my mind. It's a perfect escape!


What are you three favorite book covers?


Wow. 3 Covers I love.. Girl of Nightmares is one, Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick is two and Insurrection is three I like dark imagery!

Girl of Nightmares - Kendare BlakeSilence - Becca FitzpatrickInsurrection - Thomas M. Reid


What’s your reading goal for 2018?


For the past years I've been in a major reading slump and haven't been reading up to what I used to. So I'm aiming for 50 books for this year. If I read more then that's great. I'd also like to try finishing series that I didn't get around to completing!


Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?


Two books I'm really excited about: The Traitor God by Cameron Johnston   first of all the cover! Beautifully done and the synopsis looks so good! Definitely looking forward to this one! The other one would be Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare. I read what this one was about and wow! Definitely different and unique from all the other books I've read so far. So I really can't wait for these two books and they're on top of my wishlist.


The Traitor God - Cameron JohnstonInk, Iron, and Glass - Gwendolyn Clare


You’ve reviewed 167 out of 169 read books. What’s your book review process?


Usually how I do my process is I write down my initial thoughts right after finishing my book. I put everything into point form and then move onto my blog and start writing it out into a more in depth review. After that then it's all copy paste on all book sites I'm a part of :)


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


Oh! hahah it's no where special really. It's my bedroom and when I'm feeling like going out I go to the local library which is about 5 minutes away sit in a quiet corner and read.


Do read one or several books at a time?


I read several at a time. It's insanity. But miraculously I can keep track. Right now I'm about into 8 books. Depending on my mood of the day I choose two books and just start reading.



Reviewed Shelf


What are you doing when not reading? You’re short bio says you’re a gamer and a hockey fanatic!


Unfortunately since I moved, I can't watch hockey and I'm also located in a non hockey city! So I follow my favorite hockey team via the web when I can. I still play games on my PC or PS4 when I do find the gaming time, but! Being married actually takes my time from these hobbies and I find I do less gaming/following my team and I do more reading in my spare time. Which is good, but sometimes a good hour or two of Skyrim helps clear the mind!

A paper book or an e-book?


Paper. I'm old school. I love the feel of the pages, I love the smell of books I like looking at the cover and just the idea of turning pages and reading one more chapter is what is so appealing. Don't get me wrong I think e-books are fantastic but I find myself ignoring the e-reader/tablet and just gaming on them. I used to own a kindle and it never saw much use. I always preferred picking up a paper book.

Favorite quote?


I have many! But one that was good and book related is from my favorite play from Hamlet:

Listen to many, speak to a few



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


Anne Rice or R. A. Salvatore. Anne Rice because I love Lestat and her vampires (except you Louis...not you) and R.A. Salvatore because I love drow elves and he's a great fantasy author.


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 Fixes: Facebook, ASINs, Last tags

As we've mentioned several days ago our developers prepared several BookLikes updates. Some of the features were fixed, some of them were brought back, and other will receive additional works. 


Please look at the following list of the updates:





Yes! BookLikes + Facebook connection is finally back!


You can connect your Facebook profile with your BookLikes account in your Settings (menu -> Settings). 




When you connect your BL and FB account all your posts and reviews will be shared automatically on your Facebook profile. You can turn off the auto-posting any time by deactivating the Facebook icon next to the text editor window.


Gree icon = active, grey icon = inactive. Click the icon to switch from active into inactive. 


You can also log in to your BookLikes account with your Facebook account. 



Just remember that the e-mail address for your Fb and BL account should be the same in order to make the connection successful. 


Note: Please have in mind that our developers will be improving the BookLikes-> Facebook connection and auto-posting. Some works are planned but they should not interfere with the actual status. 





ASIN problem is finally fixed! Now you can add, remove and edit the ASINs in the book edit form. All users can edit the book details -- the changes will appear on the book pages once accepted by the BookLikes Librarians so don't worry when your edits won't be visible instantly. 



Click edit to add or update the book information 


Now you can add a new Kindle edition of your favorite books


The edits made by the Librarians don't require verification and are visible one the book pages immediately. 





Last tags are finally here! The feature vanished but it was successfully brought back presenting your most recently used tags in the handy Last tags spot next to the text editor. 




We're still working on:


- BookLikes -> Goodreads synchronization - the feature is under review and will be turned on shortly 

- The longer list of authors in the book edit form (sorry Jenn, it will be available with the next round


And now, let's celebrate! 




BookLikes should be working fine but if you notice anything alarming about the service or its features, please don' hesitate and let us know at or mail or use the Need help? supprt box on the left.

Thank you! 

Biographies & Memoirs of 2018



I am a huge fan of biographies. What I'm always looking for is a story. I want a story I have never heard from anyone else.

Brandon Stanton

Have a look at February biographies & memoirs worth your reading time. To view more titles, please visit the 2018 New Biographies & Memoirs Reading list.


Renoir's Dancer: The Secret Life of Suzanne Valadon - Catherine HewittA Dangerous Woman: American Beauty, Noted Philanthropist, Nazi Collaborator – The Life of Florence Gould - Susan RonaldThe Wife's Tale: A Personal History - Aida Edemariam



Renoir's Dancer: The Secret Life of Suzanne Valadon - Catherine HewittRenoir's Dancer: The Secret Life of Suzanne Valadon by Catherine Hewitt 

Out: Feb. 27, 2018


In the 1880s, Suzanne Valadon was considered the Impressionists’ most beautiful model. But behind her captivating façade lay a closely-guarded secret.

Suzanne was born into poverty in rural France, before her mother fled the provinces, taking her to Montmartre. There, as a teenager Suzanne began posing for—and having affairs with—some of the age’s most renowned painters. Then Renoir caught her indulging in a passion she had been trying to conceal: the model was herself a talented artist. Rebellious and opinionated, she refused to be confined by tradition or gender, and in 1894, her work was accepted to the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, an extraordinary achievement for a working-class woman with no formal art training.


A Dangerous Woman: American Beauty, Noted Philanthropist, Nazi Collaborator – The Life of Florence Gould - Susan RonaldA Dangerous Woman: American Beauty, Noted Philanthropist, Nazi Collaborator – The Life of Florence Gould by Susan Ronald 

Out: Feb. 20, 2018

Born in turn-of-the-century San Francisco to French parents, Florence moved to Paris, aged eleven. Believing that only money brought respectability and happiness, she became the third wife of Frank Jay Gould, son of the railway millionaire Jay Gould. She guided Frank’s millions into hotels and casinos, creating a luxury hotel and casino empire. She entertained Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Joseph Kennedy, and many Hollywood stars, like Charlie Chaplin, who became her lover. While the party ended for most Americans after the Crash of 1929, Frank and Florence refused to go home. During the Occupation, Florence took several German lovers and hosted a controversial salon. As the Allies closed in, the unscrupulous Florence became embroiled in a notorious money laundering operation for fleeing high-ranking Nazis.

Yet after the war, not only did she avoid prosecution, but her vast fortune bought her respectability as a significant contributor to the Metropolitan Museum and New York University, among many others.


The Wife's Tale: A Personal History - Aida EdemariamThe Wife's Tale: A Personal History by Aida Edemariam 

Out: Feb. 27, 2018


A hundred years ago, a girl was born in the northern Ethiopian city of Gondar. Before she was ten years old, Yetemegnu was married to a man two decades her senior, an ambitious poet-priest. Over her lifetime her world changed beyond recognition. She witnessed Fascist invasion and occupation, Allied bombardment and exile from her city, the ascent and fall of Emperor Haile Selassie, revolution and civil war. She endured all these things alongside parenthood, widowhood and the death of children. The Wife's Tale is an intimate memoir, of both a life and a country. In prose steeped in Yetemegnu's distinctive voice and point of view, Aida Edemariam retells her grandmother's stories of a childhood surrounded by proud priests and soldiers, of her husband's imprisonment, of her fight for justice--all of it played out against the rhythms of the natural world and an ancient cycle of religious festivals. She introduces us to a rich cast of characters--emperors and empresses, scholars and nuns,



Being Wagner: A Short Biography of a Larger-Than-Life Man - Simon CallowI've Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery - Mamrie HartGustav Klimt at Home - Patrick Bade



Being Wagner: A Short Biography of a Larger-Than-Life Man - Simon CallowBeing Wagner: A Short Biography of a Larger-Than-Life Man by Simon Callow 

Out: Feb. 06, 2018


Richard Wagner's music dramas have never been more popular or more divisive. His ten masterpieces, created against the backdrop of a continent in severe political and cultural upheaval, constitute an unmatched body of work. A man who spent most of his life in abject poverty, inspiring both critical derision and hysterical hero-worship, Wagner was a walking contradiction: belligerent, flirtatious, disciplined, capricious, demanding, visionary, and poisonously anti-Semitic. Acclaimed biographer Simon Callow evokes the intellectual and artistic climate in which Wagner lived and takes us through his most iconic works, from his pivotal successes in The Flying Dutchman and Lohengrin, to the musical paradigm shift contained in Tristan and Isolde, to the apogee of his achievements in The Ring of the Nibelung and Parsifal, which debuted at Bayreuth shortly before his death. Being Wagner brings to life this towering figure, creator of the most sublime and most controversial body of work ever known.


I've Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery - Mamrie HartI've Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart 

Out: Feb. 06, 2018


When Mamrie simultaneously enters her 30s and finds herself single for the first time since college, the world is suddenly full of possibilities.Emboldened by the cool confidence that comes with the end of one's 20s plus the newfound independence of an attachment-free lifestyle, Mamrie commits herself to living life with even more spirit, adventure, and heart than before. Mamrie dives into new experiences at full-tilt and seeks out once-in-a-lifetime opportunities (like meeting the Dixie Chicks), bucket-list goals (like visiting the Moulin Rouge), and madcap adventures (like going anchors-away on a Backstreet Boys cruise)—all while diving back into the dating world for the first time in a decade. Mamrie doubles down on her strong female friendships, her willingness to engage in shenanigans, and her inimitable candor, taking the reader along for a wild and unforgettable journey through adulting.


Gustav Klimt at Home - Patrick BadeGustav Klimt at Home by Patrick Bade 

Out: Feb. 01, 2018


Gustav Klimt at Home explores the influences of Vienna and other places Klimt travelled to and called home on his life and work. Klimt was one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. He was both influenced by and shaped the city of Vienna at the turn of the century, undertaking several public commissions. Klimt travelled little, but trips to Venice and Ravenna, as well as annual summer holidays with the Flöge family on the shores of Attersee, were a source of inspiration and influence on his creative output. Fully illustrated, the book features paintings, archive imagery and photographs of the surrounding city and landscape to provide an insight into how the people and places of his life relate to his work.



Son of a Midnight Land - Atz KilcherOne Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together - Amy BassMy Father's Wake: How the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die - Kevin Toolis


Son of a Midnight Land - Atz KilcherSon of a Midnight Land by Atz Kilcher 

Out: Feb. 06, 2018

In his memoir, Atz Kilcher tells the story of how he learned many vital skills while helping his parents carve a homestead out of the Alaskan wilderness: how to work hard, think on his feet, make do, invent, and use what was on hand to accomplish whatever task was in front of him. He also learned how to lie in order to please his often volatile father, and put himself in harm’s way to protect his mother and younger, weaker members of the family. Much later in life, as Atz began to reflect on his upbringing, seek to understand his father, and heal his emotional scars, he discovered that the work of pioneering the frontier of the soul is an infinitely more difficult task than any of the back-breaking chores he performed on his family’s homestead. Learning to use new tools—honesty, vulnerability, forgiveness, acceptance—and building upon the good helped him heal and learn to embrace the value of resilience. This revised perspective has enabled him to tell an enhanced and more positive version of the legacy his father created and has him doing the most rewarding work of his life: mapping his own inner wilderness while drawing closer to his adult children, the next stewards of the land he helped his father carve out of the Alaskan frontier.


One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together - Amy BassOne Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together by Amy Bass 

Out: Feb. 27, 2018


When thousands of Somali refugees resettled in Lewiston, Maine, a struggling, overwhelmingly white town, longtime residents grew uneasy. Then the mayor wrote a letter asking Somalis to stop coming, which became a national story. While scandal threatened to subsume the town, its high school's soccer coach integrated Somali kids onto his team, and their passion began to heal old wounds. Taking readers behind the tumult of this controversial team--and onto the pitch where the teammates vied to become state champions and achieved a vital sense of understanding--ONE GOAL is a timely story about overcoming the prejudices that divide us.


My Father's Wake: How the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die - Kevin ToolisMy Father's Wake: How the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die by Kevin Toolis 

Out: Feb. 27, 2018


Each day, along with reports of incoming Atlantic storms, the local radio runs a daily roll call of the recently departed. The islanders go in great numbers, young and old alike, to be with their dead. They keep vigil with the corpse and the bereaved company through the long hours of the night. They dig the grave with their own hands and carry the coffin on their own shoulders. The islanders cherish the dead--and amid the sorrow, they celebrate life, too. In My Father's Wake, acclaimed author and award-winning filmmaker Kevin Toolis unforgettably describes his own father's wake and explores the wider history and significance of this ancient and eternal Irish ritual. Perhaps we, too, can all find a better way to deal with our mortality--by living and loving as the Irish do.



 Check out more titles in the 2018 New Biographies & Memoirs Reading list->


Keeping you updated.
The main works will be happen in 20 hours. Still plenty of time to read and review on your BookLikes blog!

Maintenance works on BookLikes on Tuesday, Feb. 06, 2018

Reblogged from BookLikes:


Dear readers, authors, bloggers, all book lovers!

We're planning some IT updates and maintenance works on BookLikes on Tuesday, Feb. 06. 


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



When it happens, lift your mood with a good book. We're really curious what would you pick as your emergency read? Share your reading suggestions :) 


All updates will be posted in the comment section below - to receive a notification, please click "Yes" in the notification spot in the comment section below. 


#27 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Sorry kids, no feet


Hello Friday! It's time for a book blogger interview. Meet an avid reader who doesn't kiss feet. Em, what? Read on and get to know more about her reading guilty pleasures.


Follow Sorry kids, no feet on BookLikes:



Your blog name is “Sorry kids, no feet”. Can you tell us more about your blog title.


For a time I had a dream of being one of those fabulous mom-life bloggers like you see on Pinterest. I was a stay at home mom with three girls. I started an outside blog page called I Don’t Kiss Feet. Since it was going to be a blog about being a mom, the title was a tribute to my own mother. The blog was going to be about me coming to terms with the fact that I am slowly turning into my mother. When we would get hurt as children, my mom would always say “Are you hurt? Where? You know I don’t kiss feet.”. I was trying to be witty and original when titling my blog.




When have you discovered you were a book lover?


I think I’ve always been a book lover. I’ve been told I started reading around the age of three and a half. I picked up a book one day and just started reading out loud. My mom figured it was a book I had memorized (like when Laura Ingalls tries to convince her dad she doesn’t need to go to school because she can read Pilgrim’s Progress). My mom realized I had picked up a book she had never read to me. I don’t think I’ve been without a book since.



You’ve read over 670 books! How much time do you spend reading daily?


Not nearly as much as I use to. Now that my girls are all in school full-time, I’ve gone back to working full-time. I now find I go in spurts. I will go a week without reading anything and then finish three books the following week. I think the 670 number is slightly misleading. I’m sure if you were to take a look at my list, you would see quite a few children’s picture and chapter books. My nine year old is a voracious reading (maybe more than her mother) and some of my reading list is tracking her reading.



Your bookshelf is full of historical books. Is history, next to reading, your big passion?


Maybe one of them. When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, I had a job where I worked an early morning shift. My husband worked a 9-5. I had entire afternoons to spend by myself. I watched all of the Showtime show The Tudors while it was too hot for an overly pregnant woman to be outside in the summer. The show brought me to historical fiction, specifically the Tudors. Once I immersed myself in the Tudor-era, I found myself rapidly looking for new eras to discover.


What are your three favorite book covers?


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Illustrated Edition - This is one of my all time favorite novels. I loved the fully illustrated versions. This has to be included on any list I make.

-The Hourglass Factory - While this book wasn’t exactly memorable or outstanding in terms of writing, I would have never picked this book up if not for the cover. 

- Batman: The Killing Joke - ‘cuz Batman 


The Hourglass Factory: A Novel - Lucy RibchesterHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Illustrated Edition - J.K. Rowling,Jim KayBatman: The Killing Joke - Alan Moore,Brian Bolland,Tim Sale,Richard Starkins



Is Young Adult your guilty pleasure? Why is that?


That shelf title might need a new name. For a while, I was kind of embarrassed by my love of Young Adult novels.I didn’t really want people to know I was enjoying the Twilight  novels. I didn’t want to admit I read the Harry Potter novels once a year. I would come up with excuses for my reading Young Adult/Middle Grade books. One of those excuses was my younger brother. He is 15. I’m slightly older. My mom is constantly asking me what books to get him. Until I discovered reading sites like Goodreads and Booklikes, I didn’t realize that other adults read Young Adult/Middle Grade books for entertainment. Now I find myself reading Young Adult/Middle Grade novels as a nosy parent who wants to know what her daughter might be reading. And because, I might secretly have a crush on Percy Jackson.



How do you decide what to read next? Do you have a list, a reading system, a next book jar?

Sometimes I make the decision process more complicated than it really needs to be. What era do I want to read? What author do I want? Should I read a different genre? How many pages are in this book compared to that book? Other times it is a matter of what is due back at the library soonest. I’m in a group specifically devoted to challenges. Where I am at in a reading challenge will sometimes impact what I read next. Right now I’m playing Historical Mystery Clue in one of my reading groups. Some of my recent books have due to where I’m at in my Clue game.



Read Shelf


How did your blogging adventure start? What did it change in your (reading) life?


I briefly described the start of my blogging adventure above. In terms of reading and reviewing books? That actually started with a friend and Goodreads. I bought a friend of mine a Kindle before she went to serve in Kuwait. Bringing hard copy books was out of the question. She was always asking me for recommendations but our ability to communicate was pretty limited. A fellow soldier introduced her to Goodreads. She in turn introduced me to Goodreads. It became a way for us to share what we were reading and make recommendations. Slowly I began to make my way to reading groups. Everything continued to evolve to the point where I started reviewing some of the books I had read. Blogging has certainly expanded my TBR and opened me up to books well beyond what I thought existed in my local libraries.



Can you name three titles you’d like to recommend to other readers?


Honestly, I can’t. I don’t really believe in books anyone “has” to read. I think you should read whatever makes you happy.


Do you read one or several books at a time?


Always at least one. Typically two. Not usually more than three.


Paper books or e-books?


Paper. However, I am finding myself reading more e-books since I can read those at night without having all my bedroom lights on.


If you could become the character in one of the books you’ve read - which book would it be?


Since I have not read any books featuring Wonder Woman, I would have to say Hermione Granger. I would love to have the ability to absorb knowledge the way she does.



What new releases are you impatiently waiting this year?


The Throne of Caesar by Steven Saylor  (Gordianus is one of my fictional boyfriends)

For The Immortal by Emily Hauser  - It is the final book a in trilogy re-telling some of the most popular Greek myths. I have immensely enjoyed the first two novels and look forward to the conclusion. 

- It’s not a book but I’m on pins and needles waiting for the movie Black Panther to be released. I don’t necessarily track book releases like I track movie releases.


The Throne of Caesar: A Mystery of Ancient Rome - Steven SaylorFor The Immortal - Emily Hauser


What is your favorite quote?

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’”. - Mary Anne Radmacher



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:
#26 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Elentarri's Book Blog ->


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! 

Maintenance works on BookLikes on Tuesday, Feb. 06, 2018


Dear readers, authors, bloggers, all book lovers!

We're planning some IT updates and maintenance works on BookLikes on Tuesday, Feb. 06. 


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



When it happens, lift your mood with a good book. We're really curious what would you pick as your emergency read? Share your reading suggestions :) 


All updates will be posted in the comment section below - to receive a notification, please click "Yes" in the notification spot in the comment section below. 


10 Psychological thrillers for your 2018 TBR pile

We love to feel shivers when reading. And you? Check out these 2018 psychological thrillers full or secrets and deadly mysteries. Yummy! 


To add the book to your bookshelf click +Shelf. What's your secret? Share your  2018 thriller picks!



The Perfect Nanny: A Novel - Leila SlimaniThe Perfect Nanny - Leila Slimani  

Out: Jan. 9, 2018

When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family's chic apartment in Paris's upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on one another, jealousy, resentment, and suspicions mount, shattering the idyllic tableau. Building tension with every page, The Perfect Nanny is a compulsive, riveting, bravely observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, and motherhood--and the American debut of an immensely talented writer.



Sunburn: A Novel - Laura LippmanSunburn - Laura Lippman  

Out: Feb. 20, 2018

They meet at a local tavern in the small town of Belleville, Delaware. Polly is set on heading west. Adam says he’s also passing through. Yet she stays and he stays—drawn to this mysterious redhead whose quiet stillness both unnerves and excites him. Over the course of a punishing summer, Polly and Adam abandon themselves to a steamy, inexorable affair. Still, each holds something back from the other—dangerous, even lethal, secrets.

Then someone dies. Was it an accident, or part of a plan? By now, Adam and Polly are so ensnared in each other’s lives and lies that neither one knows how to get away—or even if they want to. Is their love strong enough to withstand the truth, or will it ultimately destroy them?



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

Out: Jan. 11, 2018

You can feel it in the woods, in the school and in the playground; you can feel it in the houses and at the fairground. You can feel it in most places in the small town of Anderbury . . . the fear that something or someone is watching you. 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?




The Elizas: A Novel - Sara ShepardThe Elizas - Sara Shepard  

Out: Apr. 17, 2018

When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it's just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.

Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn't it?



Anatomy of a Scandal: A Novel - Sarah VaughanAnatomy of a Scandal - Sarah Vaughan  

Out: Jan. 11, 2018

A high-profile marriage thrust into the spotlight. A wife, determined to keep her family safe, must face a prosecutor who believes justice has been a long time coming. A scandal that will rock Westminster. And the women caught at the heart of it.  Anatomy of a Scandal centres on a high-profile marriage that begins to unravel when the husband is accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is sure her husband, James, is innocent and desperately hopes to protect her precious family from the lies which might ruin them. Kate is the barrister who will prosecute the case – she is equally certain that James is guilty and determined he will pay for his crimes.



The Daughter: A gripping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming - Lucy DawsonThe Daughter - Lucy Dawson  

Out: Jan. 24, 2018

You lost your daughter. You will never forgive yourself. Now someone's determined to make you pay… Seventeen years ago, something happened to Jess’s daughter Beth. The memory of it still makes her blood run cold. Jess has tried everything to make peace with that day, and the part she played in what happened. It was only a brief moment of desire… but she’ll pay for it with a lifetime of guilt.

To distance herself from the mistakes of the past, Jess has moved away and started over with her family. But when terrifying things begin happening in her new home, Jess knows that her past has finally caught up with her. Somebody feels Jess hasn’t paid enough, and is determined to make her suffer for the secrets she’s kept all these years.



The Good Samaritan - John MarrsThe Good Samaritan - John Marrs  

Out: Apr. 12, 2018

The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life is worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn’t want them to hope. She wants them to die. Laura hasn’t had it easy: she’s survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn’t love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it. But now someone’s on to her—Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together? The sinister truth is within Ryan’s grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to…Because the best thing about being a Good Samaritan is that you can get away with murder.



Twist of Faith - Ellen R. Green WoodTwist of Faith - Ellen R. Green Wood  

Out: Feb. 1, 2018

After the death of her adoptive mother, Ava Saunders comes upon a peculiar photograph, sealed and hidden away in a crawl space. The photo shows a shuttered, ramshackle house on top of a steep hill. On the back, a puzzling inscription: Destiny calls us.
Ava is certain that it’s a clue to her elusive past. Twenty-three years ago, she’d been found wrapped in a yellow blanket in the narthex of the Holy Saviour Catholic Church—and rescued—or so she’d been told. Her mother claimed there was no more to the story, so the questions of her abandonment were left unanswered. For Ava, now is the time to find the roots of her mother’s lies. It begins with the house itself—once the scene of a brutal double murder.



Tips for Living - Renee ShafranskyTips for Living - Renee Shafransky  

Out: Feb. 1, 2018

It’s taken Nora three years. With the help of her best friend, she fled New York City for a small resort town, snagged a job as the advice columnist for the local paper, and is cautiously letting a new man into her life. But when Hugh and his perfect new family move into a house nearby, Nora backslides. Coping with jealousy, humiliation, and resentment again is as hard as she feared. It’s harder still when Hugh and his wife are shot to death in their home.

If only Nora could account for the night of the murders. Unfortunately, her memories have gone as dark as her fantasies of revenge. But Nora’s not the only one with a reason to kill—and as prime suspect in the crime, she’d better be able to prove it.



Pretty Girls Dancing - Kylie BrantPretty Girls Dancing - Kylie Brant  

Out: Jan. 1, 2018

Years ago, in the town of Saxon Falls, young Kelsey Willard disappeared and was presumed dead. The tragedy left her family with a fractured life—a mother out to numb the pain, a father losing a battle with his own private demons, and a sister desperate for closure. But now another teenage girl has gone missing. It’s ripping open old wounds for the Willards, dragging them back into a painful past, and leaving them unprepared for where it will take them next.
Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent Mark Foster has stumbled on uncanny parallels in the lives of the two missing girls that could unlock clues to a serial killer’s identity. That means breaking down the walls of the Willards’ long-guarded secrets and getting to a truth that is darker than he bargained for. Now, to rescue one missing girl, he must first solve the riddles that disappeared with another: Kelsey Willard herself. Dead or alive, she is his last hope.



If you love the titles add them to your bookshelf! Click +Shelf, or visit the 2018 Psychological Thrillers reading list


Food in Fiction: A Writer’s Delicious Story Device


Waring! A mouth watering post. 


-- A guest post by Evy Journey --



We can’t live without it. Yet sometimes, it can be poison.


When we gather together to celebrate or even commiserate, we usually offer food and/or drink. Even at funerals. On first dates, we’re likely to take our potential amour to dinner or, at least, meet her for coffee or a drink. Sometimes we binge on food to calm our nerves.


We are what we eat. So, when Evy Journey writes novels, she includes food/eating scenes.


She says they’re a delicious way to help define mood or setting, as well as activity. Even character. They can also draw readers in emotionally. Plus, she loves writing cooking and dining scenes.  


For instance, in Hello My Love, Book 1 of her trilogy, Between Two Worlds, the main characters reconcile at an Indian restaurant where they order tandoori lamb and mango lassi. Choosing an ethnic eatery offers a glimpse into their personalities—open and exposed to things exotic or often unfamiliar to Americans. It also serves to subtly situate where the story happens (a fairly cosmopolitan city). Three of Evy’s five novels are set in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Hello, My Love! (aka: A Modern Love Story) (Between Two Worlds Book 1) - Evy JourneyHello, Agnieszka! (Between Two Worlds Book 2) - Evy JourneyWelcome, Reluctant Stranger (Between Two Worlds Book 3) - E Journey

Between Two Worlds series


There’s always a good cook in her stories, including a mother who only prepares Polish dishes in Hello Agnieszka (BTW, Book 2) and the computer nerd hero of Welcome Reluctant Stranger (BTW Book 3). So when she ramps up food talk in her latest novel Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies - Evy JourneySugar and Spice and All Those Lies, it seems natural and inevitableGina, the heroine, cooks at a Michelin-starred restaurant catering to a rich and privileged clientele.


Evy warns, though, that S&S&ATL uses cooking and food as a device to show how the heroine grows. In that sense, food isn’t really the focus of the story although there are ample references to it.


Rather, the story shows us how food affects those who make them and those who consume them. It’s more about the cook’s passion for creating dishes that give pleasure (and life). And more about how we relate to food than how it makes us salivate, lick our fingers, tease our taste buds, or what satisfies our cravings.




Has she cooked any of the dishes in her latest book?


Yes, she has. When she mentions a dish in a scene, it’s one she’s familiar with, either from having eaten it or cooked it.


Evy often uses this teaser to S&S&atL:

Chanterelles Garnished with Cream and Mayhem.

She says it captures both the culinary and crime aspects of the novel.


Has she made the chanterelles dish?


Many times, and without using a recipe. For her, when it comes to savory dishes, recipes are merely guides. She claims to be a use-what-you have, taste-as-you-go adventurous foodie. Below she’ll tell you how she prepares it.



It’s a different story when it comes to baking. She does follow recipes. To the letter when she first tries it. Then, she’s likely to tweak it when she makes the recipe again.

In the book, Gina’s mother is the daughter of a murdered French chef. She inherited her father’s passion for cooking and passes it on to Gina. In one scene, she serves her guests gougère and fig tart with almond cream.


Evy has made both dishes a few times. She first tasted fig tart with almond cream in Paris and has been hooked on it ever since. She shares her recipes below, adapted from one she uses for Pear Tart.



Making Chanterelles in Cream Sauce


Evy  talks about how to make this dish in a An adventurous Foodie in Paris: A Simple Plate of Chanterelles. The only caveat she has is to use more chanterelles than onions. :


A pound of girolles (common French word for chanterelles) goes a long way in both quantity and taste; and they are easy and fast to cook—even away from home. Sauté some sliced onions or shallots in oil or butter until soft, dump the sliced girolles in, splash that leftover white wine, salt and pepper to taste, cook at high heat until soft and nearly dry, about 5 minutes. Before serving and with the heat still on, spoon some crème fraîche (or good sour cream) into the mix. If you have it and like it, sprinkle a little tarragon, and you’re all set. Go vegetarian and place a sunny-side up or poached egg on top and you will feel like you’re eating at a king’s table. For meat eaters, we’ve served this with sausages from a charcuterie. All good on top of couscous or just savor it with a crusty baguette.



A Couple of Pastries


Alain Ducasse’s Gougères  Recipe

Gougères are cream puffs with cheese. You don’t need to fill them.


The traditional recipe uses gruyere but Evy has substituted other kinds of cheeses and increased the quantity as much as half a cup more. You can make a lot of these and freeze some to serve another time. They last months in the freezer.



1/2 cup water

1/2 cup milk

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

Large pinch of coarse salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

3 1/2 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (1 cup), plus more for sprinkling

Freshly ground pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg

How to Make It

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 400°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Add the flour and stir it in with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms; stir over low heat until it dries out and pulls away from the pan, about 2 minutes.

Step 2:  Scrape the dough into a bowl; let cool for 1 minute. Beat the eggs into the dough, 1 at a time, beating thoroughly between each one. Add the cheese and a pinch each of pepper and nutmeg.

Step 3:  Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip and pipe tablespoon-size mounds onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 22 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve hot, or let cool and refrigerate or freeze. Reheat in a 350° oven until piping hot.



When making the choux pastry, it is important to be sure that each egg is fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next. Don't worry if the batter separates and looks curdled at first. Keep beating, and it will come together nicely.

If you use 1½ cups cheese, reduce butter to 6 tablespoons.


Fig Tart in Almond Cream

Evy loves anything in almond cream. This is a versatile recipe. You can substitute other fruit.

You can use figs fresh, but you may need to lightly stew others like pears (very good in almond cream).


Tart Shell

2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup ground almonds

11/4 cups flour

6 tbsp butter

1 pinch salt

1 egg

1 tbsp sour cream (or more as needed)


Evy makes the tart dough the easy, lazy way: Throw the first five ingredients into a food processor and whirl until the butter is well incorporated. Then, add the egg and sour cream (or lemon juice)  and whirl again until you have a coherent mass. The sour cream helps tenderize the tart shell. Chill.

Use your own techniques if a food processor doesn’t do it for you.


Almond Cream Filling

6 tbsp butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 cup almond powder

4 tablespoons cane sugar

Figs (cut in half and enough to line the tart shell.

Almond extract or vanilla

Apricot jam to brush over the figs when the tart is baked (0ptional).

For the almond cream, whisk together or whirl in a food processor sugar, butter, and almonds until well mixed. Mix in the the eggs one by one.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and place it in a tart shell.

Spread the almond cream on the bottom of the dough. Place fig halves on top of the almond cream.

Bake for 30 minutes on 350F. Cool before cutting into wedges.



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Don't miss our interview with Evy and win Sugar and Spice and all Those Lies!


#26 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Elentarri's Book Blog


Hello Friday!

Please meet Tanya, a book lover and blogger who loves to learn and entertain herself with the impressive pile of fantasy and science books. 


Follow Elentarri's Book Blog on BookLikes:



In 2017 you’ve read 133 books. Awesome score. What’s your reading goal for 2018?


My reading goal for 2018 is approximately 100 books.


Elentarri's Reading Challenge Page



Your bookshelf presents nearly 1,600 read books! How much time do you spend reading?


Every minute I can squash in; usually a few hours every evening and more during the weekends.



What are you reading right now? Do you recommend it?


I’m reading 3 books at the moment.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage  – This is a light history book that started off being entertaining but is getting a bit tedious at the wine and rum chapters. 


Animal Kingdom: A Natural History in 100 Objects by Jack Ashby  – This book is more interesting than the history book.  Each chapter briefly covers a specific animal, selected for a variety of reasons. 


Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire  – A short, enjoyable fiction story. I’ve just started this one, but I loved the other 2 stories in this series.


A History of the World in 6 Glasses - Tom StandageAnimal Kingdom: A Natural History in 100 Objects - Jack AshbyBeneath the Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire


I would recommend these books to different people; the non-fiction books for those who like to learn things and the fiction book for those who want a good story for entertainment.



Do you have any reading patterns or habits?


Not particularly… I do tend to carry a book/e-reader around with me even when I know there is no chance I’m going to need it.  I try to read a history book followed by a science book and then a fiction book just to get through the TBR pile, but this doesn’t always work as intended.  There is also usually more than one book being read at a time.



What made you start writing about books/book blogging?


I started writing very short book reviews on GoodReads, then moved to BookLikes, which ended up being a blog as well as book review site. Then I started writing longer (and hopefully better) reviews because people were actually reading them.




How did you discover you’re a book lover?


I’m not sure this can be categorised as a “discovery”. Reading and carrying around books has been something I’ve always done. It only got worse once I reached the age of 10 and discovered proper (as opposed to children’s) books, like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  Everything else just followed on from there.



What are your three favorite book covers?


Choosing a favourite book cover is difficult since there are so many beautiful covers and designs. I’m going to cheat and select more than 3.  My favourites would include anything involving combinations of John Hower and J.R.R. Tolkien; and then anything that Josh Kirby illustrated for Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.


The Lord of the Rings cover with Gandalf painted by John Howe.

The Hobbit cover with Smaug the Golden painted by John Howe.

I adore John Howe’s paintings, especially the illustrations he did for J.R.R Tolkien’s books.


The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. TolkienThe Light Fantastic  - Terry Pratchett


I also rather like the Discworld cover art painted by Josh Kirby. The covers perfectly illustrate the wild ride the reader will find between the pages.


For non-fiction books, I’m rather fond of the covers for:

The Sun's Heartbeat: And Other Stories from the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet by Bob Berman; and Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods by Danna Staaf


  1. The Sun's Heartbeat: And Other Stories from the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet - Bob BermanSquid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods - Danna Staaf



Your bookshelf is very well organized with many additional thematic and author shelves. How do you decide what to read next?


I’ve found that too many additional thematic and author shelves make it confusing when trying to find a book, especially when the subject matter has overlapping categories. I don’t have any particular method for deciding what to read next.  I read whatever strikes my interests and/or mood at that particular time. I try to alternate between history, science and fiction, but that doesn’t always work.  Sometimes a book just doesn’t appeal to me at this moment, so I will leave it and pick it up again later.



You’ve reviewed over 600 books on your blog. What’s you review drill?


Read the book, then write the review the same day (if possible) or as soon as possible. Sometimes I make notes if there is something particularly interesting or something that really bothers me about the book.  Mostly the reviews are what the book is about and how I felt about it.  Writing negative reviews is easier because there is something to complain about and therefore something to write about.  I find writing decent 4 or 5 star reviews harder because I have to dissect the book to find out why I liked it, and that ruins the euphoric feeling of just having read something great.  Dissecting books reminds me too much of high-school English class.


Elentarri's Shelf



What are you favorite book genres, and why?


My favourite book genres would be science and fantasy: Science because you learn so many fascinating things about the world and how it works.  Fantasy because of the world building and characters, which are sometimes more “real” and definitely more pleasant company than the people I interact with regularly.



Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers this year?


This is a hard question to answer because everyone has different tastes in books and interests.


My most recent favourite book is Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods by Danna Staaf. This is a beautifully written and illustrated science book about cephalopod evolution. 


The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World by Andrea Wulf is also something I would recommend. This book is a delightful mix of biography, history, scientific discovery and how it all resulted in our current view of nature – with energizer bunny on too much caffeine, Alexander von Humbooldt, as the “tour guide”.


Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods - Danna StaafThe Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World - Andrea Wulf



Who is your favorite author?


I’ve read many great authors, but J.R.R. Tolkien is still my favourite. Another favourite is Janny Wurts.  This author writes the most amazing standalone novels, short stories, trilogies and epic series stuffed full of original world building and in-depth characters.  She also paints many of her own cover illustrations. 



A paper book or an ebook?


I prefer paper books to ebooks, especially for those science and history books that include maps, illustrations, footnotes and other little goodies that don’t show up well on ebooks. I’ve found ebooks best for fiction novels.  I do own a back-lit e-reader which has been very useful for those occasions when the lighting has been bad, or the power has gone out, or carrying around tomes has been impractical, or when sneaking off during an incredibly boring in-law-family function (yes, I know. I’m an uncivilized barbarian, but there is no way I can survive mind-killing social functions without doing something more constructive such as reading or playing with the dog).



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


No-one actually.  I’ve never given the subject too much thought…well...having a dinner party with Rincewind, Gandalf, Harry Dresden and Merlin as guests might be interesting, if somewhat hazardous to one’s health… perhaps we should invite Aragorn, King Arthur, Commander Vimes and Mouse to the party too?  I suspect Vetinari and Denethor would be glowering from the corners of the room ;)



Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)


These are some of the books in my home office. The rest of still in storage waiting for the construction of a new bookshelf (one day).



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! 

What to do with a new book?

Here are some handy tips on how to deal with a new book. Ready? Pick up. Open up. Read up. And write about it on your BookLikes book blog!



1. Check if it's in BookLikes book catalog


Please use the book search box and check if the book is already in our data base. You can use the title author phrase or simply paste ISBN.


If it's here. Bravo and congrats! Make sure the book data are correct, if something is missing, go to the book page and edit the details. Your edits will be verified by the BookLikes Librarians before being published on the book page. 


If the book isn't here, add it. Use the new book link in the book search



OR add a new book directly on the author page. 




You may also want to check the following posts:



2. Add it to your bookshelf and read


Shelve, read and review. You know the drill. You can add the book to your additional bookshelf, e.g. new 2018 releases.



If you decide to make it a separate status, it will be visible just under Read/Planning/Currently menu. 


If you decide to make is a regular shelf, it will be added as a thematic shelf in the shelf menu on the left. 


You may also want to check the following posts:



3. Share your thoughts!


There's nothing better than a new book, right?! Make sure your readers and followers know your opinion about the title. Write a short post or a review, share a quote or a book trailer. Make sure you're honest about your review, no matter whether it's positive or negative. It's you who read the book, right? :)



You may also want to check the following posts:



4. Giveaway


Give a book a second reading life, and give it away! You can decide who gonna receive the book by selecting ME in the Select winners by... section.



If you're an author, share your new book or ARC among book lovers.


You may also want to check the following posts:



5. Add it to a reading list


We love book lists! We share new releases and other interesting reads on the reading lists page. Add a new title to your existing list or create a new list with the upcoming books you can't wait for.



You may also want to check the following post:



6. Invite friends to a book launch



Remind your friends and readers that the book is finally out! Add the title to the release calendar and invite other readers who would be interested in the title. 



You may also want to check the following posts:

Interview with kids and YA author Karl Beckstrand + Kid Lit Giveaway

International Publisher and Presenter Karl Beckstrand is the bestselling and award-winning author of 19 multicultural/multilingual books and more than 50 e-book titles (reviews by Kirkus, School Library Journal, The Horn Book’s blog, ForeWord Reviews). Raised in San Jose, CA (he knows the secret to peeling avocados), he has a B.A. in journalism from BYU, an M.A. in international relations from APU, and a broadcast & film certificate from Film A. Academy. Since 2004 he has run Premio Publishing. His survival western, To Swallow the Earth, won a 2016 International Book Award.


Karl has also offered 50 ebooks of Muffy & Valor as a giveaway for our BookLikes community! The book ties in with the Multicultural Children's Book Day celebrated on January 27.


Read the interview to learn more about Karl and why his books for children are so diverse and multicultural!



The Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on How to Earn a Living - Karl Beckstrand, Yaniv CahouaYour newest book The Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on How to Earn a Living is on work and careers for young people?


Yes. I hope it helps bridge the gap between what kids learn in school and what they need to know and do to succeed in life. Vermont’s Office of Treasurer has selected it as part of their primary school financial literacy curriculum.


What draws you to this genre?


Seeing a lack of kids’ curriculum on how money is made — how to earn a living. I used to be a recruiter in Silicon Valley; today’s graduates don't seem as prepared for work as their parents. Many young people don’t know that failure is normal and that it can nourish future success.


Please describe what the story is about in one sentence.


A child with a knack for solving problems learns that helping some hungry fish — who can’t pay him — facilitates his finding a treasure.


What was the time frame for writing your last book? Did you need a lot of time?


Only a few days. Illustration is the real work! — and I had to do some on this book.


Do you aim for a set amount of words or pages per day?


No (but I spend hours on books and marketing every day). It’s just what I do.


How much research do you do?


I did more for this book than a typical picture book. I had to organize and present valuable tips and business ideas I’ve learned over the years.


Most of your books have characters of color, is that intentional?


Yes, I grew up in a very diverse part of California, so it’s unnatural for me when I see a kid’s book where the characters are all one race. It doesn’t reflect the real world that I’m used to. I participate in Multicultural Children’s Book Day each year on January 27.




What is the easiest thing about writing?


Ideas that ambush me. They don’t leave me alone until I get them written out correctly.


When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?


In college (when I should have been doing my homework) I would get ideas and scribble them on scraps of paper. I thought I’d try to get published when I was old and retired, but I got lucky at a younger age.


What are your thoughts on good and bad reviews?


Every review can be helpful. Even bad ones contribute to visibility — and they offer great feedback. Still, I’ve learned what kinds of feedback to embrace and what to ignore.


Which do you prefer: pen or computer? And how do you stay organized (any methods, tools you use)?


I usually write ideas on scraps of paper in odd moments and places, then I write out the story on my laptop.


How do you relax?


Volleyball, music, and films are my favorites. I’m always reading something — though I’m not as big a book reader as other authors I know. I read articles, journals, and mostly non-fiction.


What were your biggest learning experiences or surprises throughout the publishing process?


When my first publisher died (the day they were to print my first book) I had to learn the publishing and marketing business. I’ve done a lot of self-publishing since then.


Giveaway: Jan. 24 - Feb. 7, 2018

 Request this lovely e-book


What would you have done differently if you could do it again?


I would have sought more reviews for my early titles. These really affect sales.


Can you tell us something personal about you that people may be surprised to know?


Yes! No matter how many achievements I have, I struggle with self-doubt, fears, and (at the same time) self-absorption!


What’s next? What are you working on at the moment?


I’m about to illustrate a couple of my non-fiction stories of immigrant kids. I’m also about to publish another bilingual (Spanish-English) picture book that teaches colors in both languages.


Do you re-read books? One book that you would read again and again?


I’m always re-reading the scriptures. I think there are many books out there that give you new insights the more you read them.


Who were you influenced by, and who are some of your favorite authors?


I love history, so anything by David McCoullugh is ideal. Other authors I love: Tolkien, Harper Lee, C.S. Lewis, Clancy, Grisham, Shel Silverstein


What book are you reading at present?


Major Problems in American Colonial History by Karen Kupperman.


Last question: what is the best piece of writing advice we haven’t discussed yet?


Write every day and join a writer’s group. You get great feedback from people other than family and friends — plus it is a great way to network (find editors, readers, agents, publicists, etc.).



Follow Karl Beckstrand on BookLikes:



Karl Beckstrand's books:

Muffy & Valor: A True Story - Karl Beckstrand, Brandon RodriguezA Sky So Big - Karl Beckstrand, Ransom A. WilcoxThe Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on How to Earn a Living - Karl Beckstrand, Yaniv CahouaBad Bananas: A Story Cookbook for Kids - Karl Beckstrand, Jeff FaerberWhy Juan Can't Sleep: A Mystery? - Karl Beckstrand, Luis F SanzButterfly Blink: A Book Without Words (Stories Without Words 2) - Karl Beckstrand


Polar Bear Bowler: A Story Without Words - Karl Beckstrand, Ashley SanbornSounds in the House: A Mystery - Karl BeckstrandShe Doesn't Want the Worms! Ella no quiere los gusanos: A Mystery (in English and Spanish) - Karl Beckstrand, David Hollenbach

and more (click to visit the author page)