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#45 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Celticlady's Reading Room

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers. Meet Kathleen, an avid reader and blogger behind the Celticlady's Reading Room blog. 

 

Follow Kathleen on BookLikes: http://kathleenkelly.booklikes.com/

 

 

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

 

I just started reading Rip Current by Amanda James. I just started it so it is hard to tell
 
 

When have you discovered you’re a book lover?

 

I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. I remember the See Spot Run books in school and I remember loving Black beauty.
 
kathleenkelly.booklikes.com
 
 

Why reading is important to you?

 

Reading has always been an escape for me but I love sharing my love of reading with others.
 
 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

Anything by B.A.Paris , The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir and too many to mention. I am a fan of historical fiction.
 
Bring Me Back: A Novel - B.A. ParisJane Seymour, the Haunted Queen (Six Tudor Queens) - Alison Weir
 
 
Your blog name indicates Irish roots. Does the Irish history influence your book picks?
 
I would have to say yes it does when I see a book's description and it takes place in Ireland  or it is an Irish author, I always take a look at it.
 
 
What’s your reading plan for 2018?
 
In past years I read 150 books a year but since I had open heart surgery in December, I have had to cut down on the reading, my mind has not been able to focus as much. They tell me that is temporary.
 

 

Do you read one book or several at a time?

 

I used to have two or three going at the same time but now it is usually one

 

Shelf

 

Do you review all books you read? How does your review process look like?

 

I usually do review all of the books as I participate in a few book tours. I really don't have a process, I finish a book and just write the review, pretty simple.

 

 

A library or a bookstore?

 

Since I review books, I get most of my reading material from author's or publishers so it is rare that I go to either.

 

 

Your Shelf presents various types of books. Do you have a favorite genre or you simply don’t limit yourself only to one?

 

I love a good psychological thriller and historical fiction
 

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

I love all the covers...lol

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

I am comfortable with both.
 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?

 

Usually whatever book I happen to be reading at the time
 

 

Favorite quote?

 

"Love lights more fires than hate extinguishes - Ella Wheeler Wilcox
 

 

If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?

 

I can't drink alcohol anymore but if I did it would be wine, now it is coffee or hot chocolate or iced tea, depending on the weather.

 
 
Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)
 
I have bookcases all over the house!
 
Thank you!
 

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

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#44 Follow Friday with book bloggers: debbie krenzer

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Today we gonna meet Deb, a true book lover who has collected an impressive amount of 600 signed books on her shelves, not counting those without an autograph!

 

Follow debbiekrenzer http://debbiekrenzer.booklikes.com/

 

 

What are you reading now and how do you like it?

 

I just finished reading “Jar of Hearts” by Jennifer Hillier (creepy and cray cray) and started on "Something in the Water by" Catherine Steadman, which I was so lucky to get before Reese Witherspoon named it her “book of the month” for June.  Everyone is going to want to read it now and as I’m about half way through, I understand why she did so.  It’s starts out with someone digging a grave and telling all about it.  Then it moves on to a couple who are about to be wed.  Starting out with this plot twist is killing me.  Who dies or gets killed?  It’s really good and I am enjoying it immensely. 

 

Jar of Hearts - Jennifer HillierSomething in the Water: The Gripping Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick! - Catherine Steadman

 

 

When have you discovered you’re a book lover? 

 

I started reading while very young.  I remember one of my earlier books was “Magic Elizabeth”  by Norma Kassirer published in 1966.  (Yes, I looked this up to find author’s name.  I was so surprised to find it on Goodreads.  All I remembered was the name of the book and that it was a brown book with a picture of a doll on the front.)  I also read V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic series); Little House on the Prairie books, a lot of the Bobbsey Twins books and whatever basically I could get my hands on.  I remember every time we would get those Scholastic Book Fair brochures with the new books sitting down with my mother and showing her the many books I had marked.  Of course, I didn’t get all the ones that I wanted, but I was happy with what I did get.

 

During the 1980’s and 1990’s I was working, married and raising kids.  However, that didn’t stop me from reading, although it wasn’t as much as I liked.  I read Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, Sophie Kinsella, Jen Lancaster, and others.  I couldn’t wait for their new books to come out!  Of course, I had to wait for the paperback edition as I could not see paying for a hardcover that I would finish in just a few days.  I simply did not have that kind of money back then.

 

In 2008, I retired from a 22 year career in the natural gas industry.  Alas, my industry had been desecrated by the likes of Enron, Dynegy and others and the jobs were few and far between.  Plus, I was considered old by then.  Had I been a male though, I’m sure my career would have went further. 

 

After I retired, I was pretty bored and started reading again.  This time though, I was buying the hard covers and I went to many, many author signings at my local independent bookstore, Murder By the Book.  I have over 600 hard covers signed by authors to show for these years.  I enjoyed meeting the authors and talking with them, discovering where, why and how they wrote their books.

 

Unfortunately, the trek to MBTB was 28 miles one way going to downtown Houston.  My night vision kept getting worse and my anxiety levels of driving in traffic (something that I spent 2 to 3 hours a day sitting in) was getting to me.

 

In 2013 I found Net Galley.  This was a godsend for me.  Free books just for reading and saying what I thought of those books?  I could certainly do that and have done so since that time.  It also cut down on my finances and allowed me to read even more books.

 

debbiekrenzer.booklikes.com

 


Why reading is important to you? 

 

I love to read!!  I love being someplace else while just sitting in my chair or lounging back in my adjustable bed (purchased just so I could sit up in bed and read)  and shutting out the rest of the world.  You can learn so many things and live vicariously through the characters.  Reading has definitely added to my trivia knowledge! 

 


Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers? 

 

I love to promote any book that makes me feel something.  Whether it’s a racing heartbeat or tears of joy or sympathy.  I especially love to recommend books that are well written and leave me wanting more.

 

Three books that come to mind?  Ugh, that’s hard.  However, one certainly made it to my mind first.  That would be Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate.  The story was remarkable made only that much more so due to the fact it was based off a true story/event that was going on in our country.

 

I think the second book I would recommend would be a true story written by Anthony Ray Hinton, a prison inmate on death row, which I saw was recently picked up by Oprah for her book club.  The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, for me, was an excellent 5 star read.

 

My third choice is a series written by Justin Cronin, a professor at Rice University, “The Passage ” series which is about vampires.  However, they are not the main characters in most of the books.  It’s also a dystopian novel which I definitely  loved about it.

 

Before We Were Yours - Lisa WingateThe Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row - Anthony Ray HintonThe Passage - Justin Cronin

 


Your book reviews are often for ARC and new releases/upcoming titles. How do you manage to keep a track and keep on reading the new titles? 

 

Spreadsheets.  The only way I can keep track.  I’m a sucker for a good blurb.  I always request more books than I can read and it sometimes gets me into trouble.  During 2017, I was sick for quite a while and had requested all these books.  I have been behind ever since.  I’m trying as best as I can to stay up to date by skipping a lot of books that I should have read.  Ugh!  I just hate that.  I feel bad for the author as well as Net Galley for this happening.  However, I have decided that one day, I will go back and read those books I missed.  I know I missed some really good ones and it kills me knowing they are just sitting on my Kindle.

 


Your short bio says you like Netflix. Is movie watching your second passion next to the reading? 

 

Netflix.   OMG, what a wonderful thing!!  I don’t binge as much as I like due to my being behind on reading, but there are some days when I say WTH and I binge.  I watched Gilmore Girls nonstop for like 4 or 5 days.  All the seasons including the newer one that was just recently released.  You really can’t help yourself.  I mean the next episode is just sitting there waiting for you.  Why wouldn’t you watch another and another and another.  HA!!

 


Your BookLikes shelf reveals books in many different genres: mystery, fantasy, thriller, chick lit. How do you pick a next book to read - according to your TBR list, your mood, publishing dates? 

 

Picking books.  Of course, the first prerogative is if I like the author, I will request that book without even reading the blurb.  They are tried and true and I know I can’t go wrong.  I also receive a lot of emails from places like Shelf Awareness, Book Reporter, Book Riot, Epic Reads First, Read it First (which is where I was turned on to Julia Keller’s “A Killing in the Hills” – one of the first books I found from emails.) and many other sites.  Of course, now I can’t tell you which site recommended or even told me about the books today.

 

Covers of books are also a red arrow for me saying “pick me, pick me”.  I also used to get recommendations from friends in the early part of my retirement.  I got hooked on the “Twilight” series after it was recommended that way.  I read that series in less than a week.  I tore through those pages.  Then I discovered YA through that series and went on to read “Hunger Games” and “Divergent”.  Anymore, I am telling friends what to read since I usually get them before they come out.

 

As to genre, I was mostly mystery and suspense, some horror and of course, chick lit before I found Net Galley.  Then I discovered a whole new set of genres and I took advantage of that factor.  I like to move around genre’s.  I can’t just keep reading murder and suspense novels – that can be morbid after a while and I read other genres to alleviate all that.  Women’s fiction or chick lit is usually my go to after so many murder books. 

 

I find that if I like the description given for the book, I will give it a chance.  Of course, it helps that the pricing is good for me.  I doubt that I would read so many books or genres if I didn’t have that factor.

 

It is also based on my mood.  A lot of times I have started a book and found that I just wasn’t in the mood for it.  So, I will put it aside and go back to it.  Unfortunately, there are times that when I do go back to them, I realize it just wasn’t my mood that was putting me off.  However, that is definitely not the norm.

 

I also have to go by publishing dates in order to stay current.  My spreadsheets list the name of the book, date published, author and number of pages.  A lot of times, I will use that number of pages to knock out a lot of the shorter books and then gleefully sit back and read the longer ones that usually stay with me longer.

 

Reviewed Shelf

 


Do you read one book or several at a time? 

 

I usually read one book at a time.  However, there are times when I do have actual ARC’s and may be away from them or away from my Kindle and have to go back and forth.  If I’m somewhere out and I don’t have my current book, I will start another one.  I can usually be found reading at any number of places near my home that have outdoor patios (in good weather) or a nice quiet bar.  And, of course, I am always reading while eating.  I never leave the house without my Kindle.  It used to be my Ipad, but that thing was really weighing down on my purses.  I like the fact that with Kindle I can totally get lost in a book.  With the Ipad, I was always getting some kind of news or email alert or Words with Friends telling me it was my turn to play.  It was definitely worth it to me to buy the Kindle which is less cumbersome and fits a lot better in my purse.

 


A library or a bookstore? 

 

Well as to library, the only times I go there is to drop off books for donations.  I have donated a LOT of books over the years as I used to frequent the sales by one of these bookstores that was selling hard covers for $1.00.  You can bet I bought a lot of books at those prices.

 

As to bookstores, I have already stated how I attended book signings at MBTB.  I do try to keep them in mind and order a few books a year that I really liked or wanted with the author’s signature.  There is also a bookstore, BookPeople, in Austin that I have ordered signed books from.

 


We’ve read you love attending book signing events. How many signed books can we find on your bookshelf? 

 

Over  600 books in my front room (basically most of the books in there) that should be a dining room, however, I made it a library.  I am enclosing pictures of my library wherein I have added a musical theme to keep up with that media.  I also have many items I’ve received from authors on my shelves.

 


What are your three favorite book covers?

 

Three favorite book covers?  Well, I can tell you two right off the top of my head.  I have a framed 20 x 30 marketing poster from MBTB of Lisa Unger’s book “Heartbroken” that is signed and dated by her in my bedroom that matches the colors of my bedroom perfectly.  And, unfortunately sum up the demise of my marriage.  Of course, that’s my secret that no one knows.

 

 

I also have framed the cover of Amber Brock’s book “A Fine Ambition” in a plastic frame that I painted to match that beautiful dress on the cover, shadowed with black cardstock.

 

I also have several other book posters from MBTB that are located throughout my home with two in my library.

 

 

For my number 3 cover, I am going to say it’s a toss-up because I am including all their covers.  First, I would say Carolyn Haines, the Sarah Booth Delaney books which always have the word “Bones” in the title and absolutely wonderful covers.  And the second would be Mary Kay Andrews.  All her beach reads have awesome covers and she is VERY special to me as she was my very first author signing.  I was on a beach family reunion with my roommate’s family in Duck, North Carolina in this awesome house that rents for $15,000 a week in Corolla, North Carolina.  There were like 26 of us there ranging in ages from 2 to 60 and I could not get anyone to go with me.  Nevertheless, I went alone.  It was also special for MKA because she had just found out that she got some special award for her book “Summer Rental” back in 2011.  She had just flown in from Houston to attend the Duck signing and I was upset because I had like 5 books of hers at home in Houston.  HA!!

 


A paper book or an e-book?

 

I addressed my love of my Kindle in question number 7.  However, I did not address paper book.  I’m spoiled.  I love e-books!  They are so easy to read and you can have all of them with you at once.  With the paper books, you only have one with you.  There is also finding space for them.  Together I have over 1000 books in my house.  The signed ones are in my library and then I have a glass doored bookcase in my family room and 3 bookcases in my bedroom.  Thankfully, my roommate gave me the master!  HA!!  At one time, I had more than that and did the right thing and donated them to my local library. 

 


Three titles for a holiday break? 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?  For me, that would certainly be beach reads and picking “A” title would be like asking me “who is your favorite kid?”  It just would not be fair.  I am just going to have to name authors for this question.  Those would be, of course, Mary Kay Andrews, and Mary Alice Monroe, Elin Hildebrand, Nancy Thayer, Mariah Stewart, Viola Shipman, Amy E. Reichert, Fiona Davis, Jill Mansell, oh I could go on forever.

 


Favorite quote? 

 

I have many favorite quotes and I keep them on my Ipad on my Notes app.  I will just say this one that was the latest that said something to me. 

“You are most critical of the flaws in others that you have in yourself” “The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go” by Amy E. Reichert. 

 

And now, I am going to add this one

“You cannot find peace by avoiding life” by Virginia Woolf. 

This quote definitely spoke to me as I tend to stay at home too much.

 


If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading? 

 

I don’t usually drink when I’m reading.  However, when I do drink it’s either a margarita, Makers Mark and Diet Coke or a nice pinot noir or grigio depending on the weather.

 


Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

 

Thank you!

 

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

read more »

New release: Author interview with Ken Goldstein & "From Nothing" Review Copies

 

We're happy to introduce you Ken Goldstein. Author of This Is Rage, Endless Encores, and From Nothing; and entrepreneur, adviser and a chairman at ThriftBooks & Good Men Project.

 

Ken talked with us about his brand new business suspense novel From Nothing, writing plans and inspirations. Read our interview to get to know the author better. 

 

For those of you who'd like to request a review copy of Ken's newest title From Nothing, please sign up. The author will send a signed paperback to five lucky bloggers. Good luck! 

 

 

 

What are you reading now Ken? 

 

I’m getting ready for a service project in Cape Town, South Africa, where I will be working with entrepreneurs, so I’m reading Kasinomics: African Informal Economies and the People Who Inhabit Them. It’s a fascinating portrait of storefront marketplace dynamics, common-sense marketing and the role of human connectivity in commerce. I just finished Dan Rather’s What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, which I think is a must-read for all Americans given the turmoil of our times. Next up for me is David Mamet’s Chicago: A Novel of Prohibition, which I’ll probably read crossing the Atlantic.

 

Kasinomics: African Informal Economies and the People Who Inhabit Them - Vivien AlcockWhat Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism - Dan Rather,Elliot KirschnerChicago: A Novel - David Mamet

 

 

Tell us a few words about yourself - whatever you want to share about your personal and professional life, but also how does an entrepreneur become a writer?

 

This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness - Ken GoldsteinThe truth is, it’s the opposite: I’m a writer who became a business guy and then later returned to writing with my first novel This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness. The first decade of my career was all about writing, including being part of some of the first real storytelling efforts in computer games. As my career evolved, I found that my business skills became more valuable to the companies where I was involved, and so I eventually stopped writing to focus on company leadership. After many years absent from my place at the keyboard, I returned to my original passion for words about eight years ago, and now I split my time between writing and advising highly creative companies.

 

 

Was there one event that inspired your decision to become a writer?

 

I think it’s like anything else: You try to do something out of curiosity, and people tell you they like your work and want more, so you feel compelled to study your craft. Reading was pretty much my whole life as a kid, and writers to me were the superheroes who delivered justice in the form of philosophical thought bombs and sometimes really clever jokes.

 

I wrote a few plays prior to college that seemed to catch on, and people would tell me they couldn’t wait for my next one, so I sat down and tried to do it again. I discovered that if I read and wrote every day, I would get better at it, and as I got better at it, I became obsessed with wanting to become really good at it. That’s when I discovered that writing is more process than arrival, and as such, it’s an inexhaustible channel for passion. I thought I was obsessed with the craft as a very young person. Now I’m truly obsessed, and it remains something I can do for the rest of my life and never stop learning or improving.

 

 

You’re a busy man being an adviser, entrepreneur, mentor and a leader in many of your projects. I can imagine that your life experiences helped you a lot in writing your books as all of your titles give a reader a look behind the curtain of how corporate business operates in America. Or was it on the contrary and the knowledge disturbed your fictional story to emerge? 

 

The advice most writing teachers pound into you – write what you know – carries a lot of truth. Yet there’s a piece of advice that I think is even more profound. One of your challenges and opportunities as a writer is to take your readers to places they might not otherwise get to visit. Not a lot of people get to sit in on a corporate board meeting. Not a lot of people have daily access to captains of industry. A lot of what people think about the business world is wrong, because the people writing the stories haven’t been in the right rooms to impose a layer of authenticity on the everyday absurdities of wealth, power and the enormous struggles below the surface. When I realized I had that access as well as the ability to make it interesting to people who love fiction, I saw a unique opportunity I could pursue. Making it real and making it a good story require a reasonably unique approach to the material, and I decided I would put my all into trying to pull off that challenge.

 

 

Your third and the newest title will be released June 12th 2018. Please tell our readers more about From Nothing: A Novel of Technology, Bar Music and Redemption

 

It’s truly the most personal of my three novels. From Nothing is certainly born in the From Nothing: A Novel of Technology, Bar Music and Redemption - Ken Goldstein  business world, but it traverses to my deep love of music, and from there attempts a meditation at what in our lives matter and what we are willing to do to realize the core truth of ourselves.

 

It takes readers behind the scenes of the tech world, behind the scenes of the classic rock music world; but in the end it’s the life story of one man, Victor Selo, trying to make sense of the choices he has made and still needs to make to put the earliest turmoil of his life behind him. Victor wants to grow – needs to grow – but he can’t help but keep getting in his own way when faced with the extraordinary pressure of high-stakes decision-making.

 

No matter how many times he learns the lesson – that we discover ourselves in the creativity of beginning anew – he is torn by the traps of outward pressures and enticements. He has to learn with absolute certainty that beginning “from nothing” is not a punishment, but a gift of discovery.

 

 

 

Your previous book Endless Encores is a guide book on how to succeed in business. Does it correspond to the success in the publishing world as well? 

 

There is an enormous paradox in that question. I know a lot about marketing and have been reasonably successful at it over the years, but marketing yourself as a writer is a much trickier proposition. I can work with a team of professionals to build an omniscient value proposition in a product line and fund its success by measuring the analytics in various tactical investments, but my sense is that in storytelling, people need to find the voices that move them much more organically, through friendship and word of mouth.

 

Endless Encores: Repeating Success through People, Products, and Profits - Ken GoldsteinAll of the basic principles in Endless Encores: Repeating Success Through People, Products, and Profits apply, but the core proposition of Endless Encores is that there is no success without failure; succumbing to copy a previous success is the plight of the one-hit wonder, and no one gets to predict their successes and failures. Add the notion of art to that premise and you enter a realm where success is almost exclusively in the control of the audience.

 

 

What are your writing plans? Do you actually have any at this point, right before the release of your third book, or will you start making plans once it's out? 

 

I find that the last phase of writing a book, final editing and proofing, is less arduous on the creative mind than the earlier phases of composition and revision, which for me has meant a time of hunger for innovation. Over the last year, I have put that energy to work on a new novel, become increasingly focused on developing the story, characters and thematic elements I want to explore. That early work is now on the shelf fermenting into the wine hopefully it will someday become. I know what the next book is about; I just don’t know the timetable for delivering it or all the side paths that will intersect the arc.

 

 

All of your fiction books are business suspense fiction. Do you consider changing the genre or will you follow the writing path? 

 

I’m not sure. My next book is definitely in the business suspense fiction genre. I think my voice is strong there and as yet not exhausted. Might I kick myself out of my comfort zone and try something else? I’m not ruling it out. There are lots of things I’d like to write about, but only a few I feel I know well enough to deliver on authenticity.

 

Whatever I write, I just want to be certain there is more to the story and characters than the material on the surface. I want to encourage people to think about the issues and circumstances of these characters’ lives as they apply to the complexity of the world around us. That’s my keen interest: driving a dialogue of comparable situations that might cause readers to rethink some of their most pressing personal decisions as their lives intersect with others.

 

 

Please tell us about your day and your writing habits. Do you write every day, and for how long? And how do you combine your “day job” with writing?

 

I get asked this a lot and I have to admit I am the absolute worst person to ask. I have tried everything imaginable to create a discipline in my life around my writing time and my not-writing time. Nothing works for me. I usually have to force myself to focus on tuning out everything that is not writing in order to write. Because I have a number of business interests, I have a smorgasbord of opportunities to procrastinate on silent time at the keyboard. Then the muse will sing, the mood will hit me and I’ll knock out 4,000 words. The next day I may cough up a sentence, the next day I may edit the four thousand words. If I were better at this, I could tell you when a book will be done, but I am just awful at it and I don’t seem to get any better.

 

 

Who are your favorite authors and genres? Have they influenced you and in what way?

 

I have written at length about Tom Wolfe, who recently passed away. His work (both non-fiction and fiction) taught me what a story should be. The entire notion of New Journalism and the social novel were to me a call to emerging voices to write about stuff that matters. There’s a glass-encased picture of Shakespeare on my desk because if you want to learn how dialogue and poetry create voice in epic storytelling, the Bard is the high-water mark. I love everything that Anne Lamott writes because she embodies the notion of heart. Kurt Andersen is perpetually brilliant, particularly at weaving irony into the complex human problems we all face. Many forms of thoughtful humor built from observation resonate for me, and rounding out the list would be Mark Twain (honesty), Charles Dickens (serialization), Samuel Beckett (isolation), Lenny Bruce (courage) and George Carlin (originality). I also seem to read almost everything written about The Beatles and the sport of professional baseball, looking for clues in both for the perfection of craft.

 

If you, or any of your readers would like to learn any more about me please feel free to visit my site: http://kengoldsteinauthor.com/.

 

Ken Goldstein books on BookLikes: 

(click the book covers to add to your bookshelf)

This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness - Ken GoldsteinEndless Encores: Repeating Success through People, Products, and Profits - Ken GoldsteinFrom Nothing: A Novel of Technology, Bar Music and Redemption - Ken Goldstein

#43 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Rendezvous With A Romance

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Heather, an avid reader who loves romance stories.

 

Follow Friday Rendezvous With A Romance on BookLikes  http://rendezvouswitharomance.booklikes.com/

 

 

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

 

 

I just finished Laird of the Black Isle by Paula Quinn  and started The Snow White Bride by Claire Delacroix. I loved Laird of the Black Isle and it is too soon to tell about The Snow White Bride.

 

Laird of the Black Isle - Paula Quinn   

 

 

When have you discovered you’re a book lover?

 

I was in middle school when I picked up my first romance novel, but it wasn’t until I was teaching that I became a voracious reader. It became my escape and has kept me sane.

 

 

Why reading is important to you?

 

It keeps me sane. It is the thing I do that keeps me happy and helps me get through rough school years.

 

Rendezvous With A Romance

 

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

This is hard to answer, but here goes. If someone were to ask me to recommend must read books, the list would include:

 

Bec McMaster's Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk #1), Monica McCarty's The Chief   (Highland Guard #1), Sherrilyn Kenyon Born of Night  (The League #1), Christine Feehan's Shadow Rider   (Shadow Rider #1), Christine Feehan's Bound Together  (Sea Haven #6), Karen Marie Moning's Shadowfever  (Fever #5), Nalini Singh's Archangel's Blade   (Guild Hunter #4), Jeanine Frost's Destined for an Early Grave   (Night Huntress #4) and At Grave's End  (Night Huntress #3), Sherrilyn Kenyon's Styxx  (Dark-Hunter #22...

 

I really could go on and on. There are so many books that are absolute must-reads, in my opinion.

 

Kiss of Steel - Bec McMasterThe Chief - Monica McCartyBorn of Night - Sherrilyn Kenyon

Shadow Rider (The Shadow Series) - Christine FeehanBound Together (A Sea Haven Novel) - Christine FeehanShadowfever - Karen Marie Moning

Archangel's Blade - Nalini SinghDestined for an Early Grave  - Jeaniene FrostStyxx - Sherrilyn Kenyon

 

 

 

Your short bio says: “I love supporting and promoting my favorite authors and promoting my favorite authors.” How do you do that?

 

Through my blog and being part of some of my favorite authors’ reading teams. Every book I read I review on various sites, Goodreads, BookLikes, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles. I also post on various social media platforms. Any way I can get the word out about the books I read, I do. That is how I support my favorite authors.

 

 

How do you find new books to read?

 

Goodreads and Amazon mostly, and a few publishing companies will send me books to consider. That is definitely where I have expanded the types of romances I read the most.

 

 

You’re an English and creative writing teacher. How do you encourage kids and your students to read more?

 

I don’t hide that I like to read, if they see I like to read then they start asking questions. I also have books in the classroom and anytime someone says they wish they could like reading but haven’t found anything they can stick with I just start asking questions about what they like. What sort of movies and TV shows do they like? Do they like fantasy, sci-fi, spies, horror, etc. and I go from there and recommend an author or a book that fits those interests. 

 

 

Your blog name says all about your favorite book genre - romance. Do you switch between the genres or are you loyal to your favorite reading path?

 

I’m definitely loyal to romance. But from there, there are so many sub genres: paranormal, historical, contemporary, Regency, Medieval, cowboy romances, small town romances, Steampunk, etc.

 

 

Do you read one book or several at a time?

 

One at a time for sure

 

Reviewed Shelf

 

 

  1. Your BookLikes Shelf presents over 800 read titles! How much time do you spend reading?
  2. Every free moment I can. I do not have kids, so when I come home from work I like to curve up with my dogs and read. I don’t watch a lot of TV. I don’t leave the house without a book just in case I find myself somewhere waiting.

 

 

A library or a bookstore?

 

Bookstore

 

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster, Luck Is No Lady by Amy Sandas  , and I Knew You Were Trouble by Soraya Lane

 

Kiss of Steel - Bec McMasterLuck Is No Lady (Fallen Ladies) - Amy SandasI Knew You Were Trouble - Soraya Lane

 

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

Both, I like to rotate between the two. I’ll read eBooks for a while and then switch to paperback to rest my eyes for a time.

 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?

 

 

This one is hard because I read whatever I have on hand that I have purchased or have received from NetGalley/publishers at the time of the holiday. So three books I plan on reading over the summer break I just started include: A Crown of Bitter Orange by Laura Florand, Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Torched by Donna Grant

 

 

 

 

Favorite quote?

 

Pride and Prejudice (the English teacher inside of me peaking through with this one):

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

(1.1-2).

Favorite book, one of many of the favorite lines from it.

 

 

If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?

 

Either a glass of wine or hot chocolate, depending on how I’m feeling.

 

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

 

Thank you!

 

*

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#42 Follow Friday with book bloggers: KatiEllenReads

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Kati a booktuber with a crave for a lemonade and YA reads. 

 

Follow KatiEllenReads: http://katiellenreads.booklikes.com/

 

 

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

 

I've nearly finished The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz  . It's reminded me why I really enjoyed her Blue Blood Vampire series. The story is written with multiple view points so something is always happening. It's historical fiction with magic, she's blended the world's brilliantly.

 

 

 

2. When have you discovered you’re a book lover?

 

I loved reading as a kid but then kind of fell out of it. Harry Potter got me reading again, but it wasn't till my late teens I really discovered how much I love books. I stumbled across The Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce and that was it, I think if I hadn't of found those I may not have kept reading.

 

 

3. You’re mainly a booktuber now although we can spot some reviews published on your blog some time ago. Why have you chosen to become a booktuber?

 

I'd done Booktube before but wasn't that consistent with it. I feel with Booktube I can be more expressive, passionate and silly, I find it hard to write my personality into a book review. Plus working full time I never really had the time to just sit and write a review, although filming and editing is just as hard but I find the time. 

 

katiellenreads.booklikes.com

 

 

4. How different is talking about books from writing about books?

 

Like I said above it's all about my personality. You'll see me lose my train of thought, ramble on or get stupidly excited. Whereas with writing I feel like I need to sound more professional. On the flip side, because it takes me longer to write a review I would probably say more about the book. 

 

Kati's Shelf

 

 

5. Why reading is important to you?

 

Such a hard question!! I just love it. The same as watching an amazing film or TV series, I love being sucked into that world. Seeing how it all develops and expands. I can't imagine sitting on my lunch break or train to and from work without a book in my bag.

 

 

6. Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

Ones that get me passionate. Recently I've been raving about the Sin Eaters Daughter, that book had me gasping out loud and making some very embarrassing faces I'm sure on my train, but I was totally hooked. If a book has me reacting out loud that's a book I can't wait to recommend. Another books I'm nuts about is the Half Bad Trilogy. It was the first male lead book I'd read after HP, it was completely unexpected and amazing. I cried so much in the last few chapters of the final book. I'm really looking forward to reading her latest release The Smoke Thieves.

 

 

 

7. How do you find new books to read?

 

I've found a lot of books via Amazon, it's recommendations from what I've bought. But recently Instagram and Goodreads. Sometimes I'm not even sure how I stumble across new book, but somehow I do. 
 
 
 

8. Your bookshelf reveals your passion for YA and fantasy reads? Do you switch between the genres or do you follow you favorite reading path?

 

At the start if the year I try and pick a real mix of books to keep my interest going. That way when it comes to each month I've got some variety to pick from. I try to reread at least one book/series from when I was younger, I like to revisit the books I loved or ones I might not have fully understood 10+ years ago. 

 

 

9. What’s the most surprising book you’ve ever read?

 

Probably the Half Bad trilogy. I never expected that level of emotion from a male lead book. It got me really emotionally invested, not just between the war between the black and white witches but with Nathans personal anguish. The relationship between him and Gab is possibly the best thing I've ever read, Nathan is just a ball of anger and pain and Gab will do absolutely anything for him, no hesitation. Second to that, Peter Pan. I'd read a lot of reviews about the book but I actually found it a creepy, I want to revisit it again though to see if my view on it has changed. (two separate photos)
 

 

 

10. Do you read one book or several at a time?

 

When I was younger I used to swap between three books every week. Somehow I kept the stories all straight and everything made sense. Prior to the job I'm at now I would have a book at work and one at home. Currently I'm just reading one at a time. But I find it easy to read multiple books. 

 

 

11. A library or a bookstore?

 

Always a bookstore. My high school library was brilliant, but when I went to college it was all educational books and that really deflated me. I think I've only ever been to my local library once and that was for an essay at college. 

 

 

12. What are your three favorite book covers?

 

Do you understand how hard of a question that is?!?! There are way too many to pick from, I won't lie I'm a cover addict. The three I've gone for are ones I'm currently in love with. 

 

 

13. A paper book or an e-book?

 

Always and forever paperback. I do own a kindle, because I'm slowly running out of room. Plus it's great for holidays and books I'm uncertain I'll like but want to give ago. 
 

 

14. Three titles for a holiday break?

 

Any of the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown, they're so fast paced. Such a guilty pleasure read for me, I love history. Stardust by Neil Gaiman, it's far too short but it's so beautiful. Finally The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Oh my goodness this book!!

 

 

 

15. Favorite quote?

 

I actually don't think I really have one. I don't know how people have them. I wish I did though.

 

 

16. If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?

 

I'm so boring I drink a lot of water!! But the wear has been so sunny of late so let's say a cocktail!! Lately I'm a lover of raspberry gin and lemonade.

 

 

17. Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

My bookshelves will never be complete. I'm always removing and reorganisating them. These are my favourite two bookcases.

 

 

Thank you!

 

*

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6 YA Fantasy Books for Your June Reading List

Have a look at six most anticipated YA fantasy books to read in June. Have you already added them to your reading list?

 

What are you reading and waiting for this June? 

 

 

 A Reaper at the Gates - Sabaa Tahir  

Out: June 12th 2018

Buy it->

 

 

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister's life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she'd have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias's devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.
 

 

 

Smoke in the Sun - Renee Ahdieh 

Out: June 5th 2018

Buy it->

 

 

After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice--to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor's ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead. 

With the wedding plans already underway, Mariko pretends to be consumed with her upcoming nuptials, all the while using her royal standing to peel back the layers of lies and deception surrounding the imperial court. But each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and the very safety of the empire.

 

 

My Plain Jane - Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton 

Out: June 26th 2018

Buy it ->

 

 

 

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.

 

 

Court of Shadows - Madeleine Roux 

Out: June 26th 2018

Buy it->

 

 

After the frightful events of last autumn, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton has settled into her role as a maid at Coldthistle House, but she has not settled into what that means for her humanity.

As Louisa struggles to figure out whether she is worthy of redemption, the devilish Mr. Morningside plans a fete— one that will bring new guests to Coldthistle House. From wicked humans to Upworlders, angelic beings who look down upon Mr. Morningside’s monstrous staff, all are armed with their own brand of self-righteous justice.

Even a man claiming to be Louisa’s father has a role to play, though what his true motive is, Louisa cannot tell. The conflicts will eventually come to a head on the grounds of Coldthistle House—and the stakes include Louisa’s very soul.

 

 

The Emerald Sea - Richelle Mead 

Out: June 26th 2018

Buy it->

 

 

 

Meet Tamsin, the Glittering Court's hard-angled emerald. Her outsized aspirations make her a fierce competitor, rising to the top of the ranks. But when the ship she boards for the New World is tragically lost at sea, she is quite literally thrown off-course.

 

 

The Bird and the Blade - Megan Bannen 

Out: June 5th 2018

Buy it ->

 

 

 

As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love.

Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.

Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of ... even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart.

 

 

What are your June reading plans?

 

 

P.S.

If you love romance stories, you should check 12 Royal Wedding Books Reading List ->

#41 Follow Friday with book bloggers: JoRead

 

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Joanna, an avid reader and romance books fan, who prefers reading than eating and sleeping. Obviously. 

 

Follow JoRead on BookLikes: http://joread.booklikes.com/

 

 

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

 

I hardly ever read more than one book at once but right now it happens that I’m reading two. The first one is a lovely ARC by the always amazing Katharine Ashe called The Prince and I’m loving it. I’m also reading Bad Bachelor by Stefanie London but only a few chapters in on that one so it’s too early to tell ;)

 

The Prince (Devil's Duke) - Katharine AsheBad Bachelor - Stefanie London

 

 

When have you discovered you’re a book lover?

 

Very early in life. I was the girl that would rather spend her time inside reading a book instead of playing outside with kids my age.

 

 

Why reading is important to you?

 

At first it was sort of an escapism. Books would take me to a different place, different time, and sometimes even different worlds. Now I’ve realized that books, regardless of genre or whether is fiction or non-fiction have always something new for me to learn. Books have taught me to understand people better because in a way I’ve been inside other people’s minds.

 

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

I think people need to give romance books a chance. Romance is more than “smut” or “mommy porn,” which by the way, are terms that I loathe with the passion of a thousand suns! Romance is a genre that’s been empowering people in general (women in particular) for centuries. Depending on your tastes you could try authors Lisa Kleypas for historical stories, Penny Reid for some fun contemporary reads, and Jennifer Ashley for adventure with paranormal creatures.  

 

JoRead's Shelf

 

 

You short bio says: “If it wasn't because life gets in the way, I could spend all day reading”. How much time do you spend reading daily?

 

Dear me, hours I tell you! Hours! But who needs to eat and sleep is overrated anyway… :)

 

 

How do you find new books to read?

 

Besides Booklikes I’m part of several book groups in Facebook and Goodreads. Like-minded people tend to recommend the best books.  

 

 

We can find many romance titles on your BookLikes shelf. Do you switch between the genres or do you follow you favorite reading path?

 

I read romance the most because it’s what I like the most but I do enjoy all genres. I’ve read from Leo Tolstoy to the beautiful crafted Japanese Manga. A book is a book is a book and each one has something new to teach the reader. 

 

 

Do you read one book or several at a time?

 

I try to stick to one at a time but there are times when I cannot take my print with me so my handy eBook reader comes to the rescue. For instance, currently I’m reading Bad Bachelor in print and The Prince in eBook.  

 

joread.booklikes.com

 

 

Your bookshelf has got many thematic shelves. Does it mean you’re a well organized reader?

 

I try to be. My digital shelf is organized so because if I ever need to “pick” a book with a certain theme I can just check that shelf and voilà! All at the click of a key :)

 

 

A library or a bookstore?

 

Tough question. Bookworms should never be made to choose.

 

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

Eek! I have lots! No way I could choose only 3. How about I give you the three that come to mind right away ;) 

 

Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld,Keith ThompsonLady in Red - Maire ClaremontWonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons Series) - Leigh Bardugo

 

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

Both. Well, I love prints and if I’d have more place at home all of my books would be in print but I love the simplicity of format of an eBook. You can literally have hundreds of books in the palm of your hand!

 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?

 

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen

 

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

 

 

 

Favorite quote?

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ~ Albert Einstein

 

 

If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?

 

I’d read Jennifer Ashley’s Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage while sipping Earl Grey tea. Yep, that would hit the spot.

 

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

My apartment is really small so most of my books are in boxes *sad face*

But here is a pic of the books I have on hand because I’m planning on reading them or have read recently.

 

 

Thanks! This was lots of fun! 

 

Thank you!

 

*

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Works on BookLikes - an update

 

Hey all readers, authors, publishers, avid readers, all book lovers!

 

Just wanted to confirm that the IT works on BookLikes will continue, however, they should not affect your BookLikes experience.

 

If you still encounter the difficulties on our site it maybe because your browser does not recognize the updates we've been doing. Please do consider clearing your browser's cache memory. 

 

If clearing the cookies won't change your BookLikes experience, please feel free to let us know, mail Kate@booklikes.com . You can mail Kate with any other queries as well :)

 

Happy reading and BookLiking! 

12 Books To Read If You Miss The Royal Wedding

 

Can't get enough of the royal wedding? Miss the royal atmosphere already? Here come books to the rescue! Check out 12 titles which will transfer you into the royal setting and wedding-to-come (or not) story line. 

 

The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne 

Buy it

The Princess Diaries meets Runaway Bride in this wonderful novel about a London career girl who embarks on a whirlwind romance with a mysterious man--only to discover that he's a prince.

 

 

Bookworm Dreams REVIEW: If you want to know 100 reasons why you should not date (or God forbid) marry a prince and you like chick lit novels with quirky characters and English humor, then The Runaway Princess might be the book you are looking for... READ MORE

 

 

Royal Wedding: Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot 

Buy it

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first adult installment, which follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding--but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.

 

 

Kaethe REVIEW: Cabot successfully translates her YA heroine into a twentysomething involved in politics, celebrity, TMZ, stalkers, a weird family, and plenty more. I loved it. My 16-year-old, who had left off reading the Princess Diaries around volume 7 or 8, loved it. Really, just a tremendously fun book... READ MORE 

 

 

The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory 

Buy it

Filled with intrigue, romance and mystery, Lindsay Emory's The Royal Runaway will whisk you away on a romantic, glamorous and royal adventure. For fans of The Princess Diaries and The Royal with a splash of James Bond, The Bourne Identity.

 

Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent is so over this princess thing. After her fiance jilted her on their wedding day, she's finally back home after spending four months in exile - aka it's back to press conferences, public appearances, and putting on a show for the Driedish nation as the perfect princess they expect her to be. But Thea's sick of duty. After all, that's what got her into this mess in the first place. So when she sneaks out of the palace and meets a sexy Scot named Nick in a local bar, she relishes the chance to be a normal woman for a change

 

 

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole / Buy it

A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole  / Buy it

From acclaimed author Alyssa Cole comes the tale of a city Cinderella and her Prince Charming in disguise. The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

 

 

The Royal We by Jessica Morgan, Heather Cocks 

Buy it

Celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding with this "fun and dishy" (People) royal romance about an American girl finding her prince.

American Bex Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess. But it's adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall - and Bex who finds herself accidentally in love with the heir to the British throne.

 

 

So many books so little time REVIEW: I feel like this is a great summer read.  There is witty banter, lovey doveyness and cooky characters so I found it rather enjoyable.  It is the perfect book if you are in  the mood for a chuckle... READ MORE

 

 

The Royal Wedding by Melanie Summers, MJ Summers 

Buy it

Don't miss the irresistibly funny conclusion of The Crown Jewels Romantic Comedy Duo for fans of both Bridget Jones and The Princess Diaries…When most girls get engaged, at most they face a disapproving mother-in-law, but in Tessa Sharpe’s case, it’s a disapproving nation.

 

 

Royals by Rachel Hawkins 

Buy it

Daisy Winters, average sixteen-year-old, has no desire to live in the spotlight - but it's not up to you when your perfect older sister is engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. The crown - and the intriguing Miles - might be trying to make Daisy into a lady, but she may have to rewrite the royal rulebook.

 

 

sunsetxcocktail REVIEW: This book was like a giant rom-com cliché. The alternate history for the Royal family was eye rolling and cringe worthy. That being said once you over look those things, it was actually a very entertaining read. Irritating as hell, but fun... READ MORE

 

 

Royally Hung by Anne Marsh 

Buy it

Fairy tales always have a Prince Charming and a bad guy. In real life, Prince Charming is the bad guy and his favorite happy ending is the big O.
I'm Prince Dare but you can call me Prince Charming. Cinderella never wanted the prince--she wanted a night out, a banging dress, and some midnight fun. I deliver that. I make being bad look way more fun than being good, and no one leaves my royal bed without a happy ending.

 

 

Hopeless Romantic REVIEW: Forget the tale we think we know. Royally Hung is a new kind of fantasy. The charming prince is a royal jerk with a chip on his shoulder and an appetite for the naughty side of life. Dare is no walking dream, but he does have a few surprisingly sweet attributes... READ MORE

 

 

Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase 

Buy it

Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master's degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it's to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

 

 

Claire loves to read! REVIEWLoved it, really well written and fun... READ MORE

 

 

A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James 

Buy it

Miss Kate Daltry doesn't believe in fairy tales . . . or happily ever after.

Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince . . . and decides he's anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.

 

 

Rachel's books REVIEW: I enjoyed this retelling of Cinderella. Like every historical, it is predictable (but isn't that part of the reason we love them? Well, most/some of them!) I enjoyed the journey and HEA... READ MORE

 

 

To Marry a Prince by Sophie Page 

Buy it

 

Can an ordinary girl survive preparations for her very own Royal Wedding? Bella Greenwood isn't a fairytale girl. If pushed, she'd probably tell you that her perfect wedding would involve a handful of close friends and family. But as she's never met anyone she'd like to marry, it is a moot point. Until, in a midnight garden, Bella is helped out of an embarrassing situation by a tall, dark, handsome man with laughing eyes. Suddenly her life changes for ever, because the man is the world's most eligible bachelor—Prince Richard, heir to the throne.

 

 

If you'd like to have all the titles on your bookshelf go to the Royal Wedding Books Reading List and click Add all books to your shelf. 

 

#40 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Book Reviews by Lynn

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Lynn, an avid, eclectinc and open-minded reader, who read Harry Potter for 12 hours nonstop! Check out Lynn's reading list for the Summer and her reveal why she loves reading. 

 

Follow Book Reviews by Lynn http://notrow1.booklikes.com/

 

 

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

 

I’m currently reading, or I should say re-reading, Soulblade (Dragon Blood #7) by Lindsay Buroker.  I love it! It’s a mix of urban fantasy, fantasy and steampunk, with swords, dragons, sorceresses and military pilots.

 

Soulblade - Lindsay Buroker 

 

 

When did you discover you’re a book lover?

 

 

I first fell in love with reading when I was about eight or nine years old. I was given a children’s version of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin to read by my school librarian and fell in love with the tale. I then read My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara and the rest is history.  

 

 

How did your book blogging adventure start? What do you enjoy the most about it?

 

It started in 2011, when I won a competition on a Facebook page, which I still follow, to become an admin for a week. I didn’t know what to do, so I began writing book reviews. I still admin on that page today, as well as running my own on Facebook. I enjoy sharing the books I love with others, as well as finding new books and authors and sharing them too.

 

notrow1.booklikes.com

 

 

Why reading is important to you?

 

Reading is important to me as it is my way of escaping from the negativity that surrounds me and the world. I think it stems from being bullied at school as a child and wanting to get away from it by escaping to other worlds and lives.

 

 

In your short bio we can read you lived in Zimbabwe. Can you tell us more about that that and how did you end up in UK?

 

I was born in Zimbabwe (or Rhodesia as it was once known) in 1973 after my parents left the UK in 1972 and moved there in search of a better life. We lived there for nearly thirty years. The whole family decided to move back to the UK due to the political and economic situation at the time; this was in 2002 when Mr Mugabe instituted his land appropriation programme from the farmers (mainly European ones, though there were some African ones affected too), which made life extremely difficult.  

 

 

Does your place of residence influence your reading list?

 

No. I love reading about places all around the world, as well as the made-up worlds, cities, towns and villages in fiction. I’m an eclectic and open-minded reader.

 

BookShelf

 

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

This is a tough question to answer, it’s like asking me which book is my favourite – I have too many to list. I think it depends on my mood, the genre, and whether I really loved the story, or only enjoyed it.

However, I usually recommend: The Boots My Mother Gave Me by Brooklyn James  (Coming of Age); Three Days of Rain by Christine Hughes  (Contemporary Romance); The Relic Guild by Edward Cox  (Dark Fantasy); Faithless by Graham Austin-King  (Dark Fantasy); The Devil's Detective by Simon Kurt Unsworth  (Dark Fantasy); Releasing The Wolf by Dianna Hardy  (PNR); Ruby Blue by Julie Cassar  (YA)… I could go on, but I’d bore everyone to death.

 

The Boots My Mother Gave Me - Brooklyn James 

The Relic Guild - Edward CoxFaithless - Graham Austin-KingThe Devil's Detective - Simon Kurt Unsworth

Releasing The Wolf - Dianna HardyRuby Blue - Julie Cassar

 

 

How do you find new books to read?

 

I find new books through recommendations from various sources: family, friends, blogs I follow, Amazon, Book Bub, Booklikes, Audible, Facebook groups & pages etc.

 

 

You’re an editor and a proofreader. We assume you may spot editorial errors while reading for pleasure. So, does your profession help in reading or not?

 

No. I was a reader before I became an editor and proofreader. Spotting errors as a reader made me want to help authors correct them. Doing an editing and proofreading course to become an editor and proofreader made that dream become a reality. However, if I’m editing rather than reading, I focus on the technical aspects which is a lot less enjoyable than just reading for pleasure, though no less rewarding.

 

 

We can find a lot of romance books on your BookLikes shelf. Do you switch between the genres or do you follow your favorite reading path?

 

It depends on my mood. Romance is my main preference for reading material, but I love a good thriller or murder mystery too, as well as fantasy, urban fantasy, children’s books and the occasional horror amongst others.

 

 

So far, you’ve read 51 out of 100 books in your 2018 reading challenge. How much time do you spend reading daily?

 

I don’t keep an eye on the clock when reading, especially if the book keeps me hooked, so it’s difficult to say for definite how much time I spend reading every day. If I had to guess? Somewhere between 3-5 hours, maybe more. I’ve been known to read for almost 12 hours straight (that was a Harry Potter book; I think it was The Half Blood Prince. It had just been released, and I read it over a weekend). I don’t watch a lot of TV as I prefer to read. I also work part-time, so when I don’t have any editing work to do on top of my part-time job, I read. Unfortunately, my reading pile never seems to get any lower, as I’m always adding to it.

 

Lynn's 2018 Reading Challenge Page - check it out!

 

 

Do you read one book or several at a time?

 

I generally read one book at a time. But, I also listen to an audiobook when cooking or doing other chores and at bedtime to help me sleep.

 

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

Another tough question! The most recent cover would be Faithless by Graham Austin-King. The last two are Forsaken by Jana Oliver and Witchblood by Emma Mills.

 

Faithless - Graham Austin-KingThe Demon Trappers: Forsaken - Jana OliverWitchblood - Emma Mills

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

For ease of holding, e-book. However, I still love paper books as I don’t get headaches from them since they aren’t backlit. The only issue I have with paper books is I can’t change the font if I find the print too small to read.

 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?

 

This is a tough question as, again, it depends on mood and genre preference. I would say Cinder by Marissa Meyer  (YA), Kissed by a Dark Prince by Felicity Heaton  (PNR), and The Spell of Summer by Dianna Hardy  (Contemporary Romance).

 

Cinder - Marissa MeyerKissed by a Dark Prince (Eternal Mates #1) - Felicity E. HeatonThe Spell of Summer - Dianna Hardy

 

 

 

 

Favorite quote?

 

Currently, my favourite quote is from Blood Shadow by Dianna Hardy:

“Death is my redemption,” she whispered, her tears falling on his chest before rolling into the lapping ocean. He stilled for a moment, and she felt something warm and wet slide down her right temple and past her ear. His tear. His nose brushed against her forehead, before his lips pressed a kiss to it. “It seems we're at a bit of an impasse, then. Because your survival is mine.”

 

If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?

 

Coffee or tea. I very rarely drink alcohol.  

 

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

 

Thank you.

 

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

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Maintenance works on BookLikes

 

Dear readers, authors, bloggers, all book lovers!

 

Due to some technical issues and ongoing works you may experience temporary interruptions on BookLikes. This include Dashboard limited posts load, post dates and  minor publishing issues. So sorry for all the inconveniences! 

 

We'll do all to fix everything up as soon as possible.

In case of any questions, please mail Kate@booklikes.com

 

What's your reading list in case of emergency?  

New release: Author interview with Nick Sullivan & 3 "Deep Shadow" Giveaways

 

Nick Sullivan has spent most of his adult life as an actor in New York City, working in theater, television, film, and audiobooks. After narrating hundreds of books over the last twenty years, he decided to write his own. His newest title Deep Shadow, a first installment in Caribbean Dive Adventures series, has been release in April 2018.

 

Read our interview to get to know the author, and enter the giveaway contests to win a signed paperback or an audiobook copy of Deep Shadow (narrated by the author himself!). 

 

Deep Shadow by Nick Sullivan -THREE GIVEAWAYS

MAY 14 - MAY 30, 2018

Deep Shadow - Nick Sullivan

In the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, something lethal is on the move.

Scuba divers travel from all over the world to visit the little island of Bonaire, with its crystal-clear waters and a host of beautiful marine life. After three years in the “Divers Paradise”, divemaster Boone Fischer thought he’d seen it all; but on a routine afternoon dive, he spots something that will turn his tranquil life upside down.

From the arid shores of the ABC Islands to the tropical jungles of Venezuela—from the ocean depths of the Southern Caribbean, to the lush islands of the Northern Leewards, Deep Shadow takes Boone and the reader on an action-packed adventure filled with danger and suspense.

 

  

 

You are an actor, author and narrator - which of the three do you enjoy doing the most, or identify with? Can you make that choice? 

 
The answer to that really does change day by day... if I'm on stage or doing a shoot on a TV show, I'm in full actor mode... well, that's not true lol. When I shot an episode of "Bull" I had just run a promo for my first book, Zombie Bigfoot. I kept checking my phone for sales every time they turned off the camera lol. Narration is something I love dearly and when I'm in the booth I'm not thinking of anything else. Unless I start getting hungry.
 

After narrating over 400 audiobooks (!!) you made the choice to write your own book! How did that happen? Was there one event that inspired your decision to become a writer as well? 
 
I think the choice to try my hand at writing came in several stages: A. I've narrated so many books and was inspired by great writers (and was also inspired by some bad writing... figuring, well if THAT can get published...)
B. I had dabbled with writing screenplays (Zombie Bigfoot is a novelization of one of mine) and knew I enjoyed that form of writing.
C. I've narrated for some new authors and watched their careers flourish, and learned a few tricks from them as far as writing, marketing, and publishing went.
And D. I've made some great contacts in the book world from my narration work, and it finally struck me that I'd be crazy not to dive in and give it a try. You only live once!

 

What is it like to write your own book when you have read and acted out so many others, most of them probably quite famous - is it intimidating? 
 
Not really. I've read some early works by big names and have learned "everybody has to start somewhere". Every author evolves and I'm no different. Right now, I'm fairly new... but I'm loving every minute of it.
 

Tell us about your books - the first one seems quite different from the second, you've started two different series, isn't that right? 
 
Zombie Bigfoot (Creature Quest Series Book 1) - Nick SullivanYes... the two books are verrrrrrry different. And yet, I think a similar style is present in both. I realize if you want to make money you should establish a brand and stick with it... but I love to read all sorts of books and right now I just want to write whatever speaks to me. I had a blast with "Zombie Bigfoot"... a creature feature with a hefty amount of comedy baked into the pie—"horror", but a lot of action adventure too (like a Crichton novel, or "Jaws"). One reviewer said it reminded them of the action adventure writing of Preston and Child.
 
At the time I was narrating a lot of action adventure for a coupleDeep Shadow - Nick Sullivan  writers and I've been an avid scuba diver for almost as long as I've been narrating audibooks— so when another idea I'd had for a screenplay pushed itself into my brain, I decided to set ZBF's sequel aside and dive in to "Deep Shadow". (But worry not, "Zombie Billionaire" is about a third done). "Deep Shadow" has all sorts of elements I enjoy as a reader and narrator: action, adventure, and suspense in a tropical setting... some colorful characters, multi-dimensional villains, and some pretty good twists!

What are your writing plans? Do you actually have any at this point, right before the release of your second novel, or will you start making plans once it's out? 
 
At the moment I'm focused on making the launch week a success but I'll be back to writing next week. I have a complete storyboard for the ZBF sequel, and a fairly good idea what I'm going to do with the followup to "Deep Shadow". Actually, I'm taking a scuba trip to the island "Deep Shadow" ends on, which is where the sequel will begin. And in August, I'll be taking a writing retreat to Bonaire, where "Deep Shadow" starts! And I'll be narrating and auditioning for TV and film too... one day at a time!
 
 
Do you have any long-term goals as a writer? Maybe a certain number of books you would like to write within a specific amount of time?
 
I wish I could write more quickly, but with so many irons in the fire, it's difficult to say what sort of writing schedule I can expect from myself. I would like to get to where I can write one book in each of these series each year (one every six months) On the other hand... there's that fantasy book that I storyboarded... no!! Gonna stick with these for now!

Who are your favorite authors and genres? Have they influenced you and in what way? 
 
I love fantasy, sci-fi, horror, historical fiction, technothrillers, mystery, suspense, and thrillers. Favorite authors: Carl Hiassen: I narrated one of his books and loved his supremely broad characters.
Stephen King: probably the first "adult" novels I read were his. King's primary inspiration to me is the craft of writing itself—"On Writing" was excellent.  
Patrick Rothfuss: Absolutely loved The Name of the Wind. And I was taken with how he played with time in his narrative. And I'd have to admit that many great television shows and movies have inspired my writing.
 
More than one reviewer has commented that my books read like cinema. One person said of the "Zombie Bigfoot" audiobook: "It's like Netflix for the ear!" I think it was meant as a compliment...

 

Follow Nick Sullivan on BookLikes: http://wyp.booklikes.com

 

Nick Sullivan's book on BookLikes:

Zombie Bigfoot (Creature Quest Series Book 1) - Nick SullivanDeep Shadow - Nick Sullivan

#39 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Line Bookaholic

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Coraline, a book lover from Belgium who loves sipping beer when reading ;) Check out Coraline's beach reads, cover love and her French bookshelf. 

 

Follow Line Bookaholic http://line.booklikes.com

 

 

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

Wonder - R.J. Palacio 

I just started reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It has been on my shelf for ages because I've heard many great things about it and I finally decided to pick it up. I am only 32 pages in but I feel like I'm going to like it a lot. 

 

 

Which book made you a book lover?

Fear and Trembling - Amélie Nothomb,Adriana  Hunter 

Harry Potter definitely got me into Fantasy. But I really started reading a lot after reading Amélie Nothomb for the first time. She is a writer from my home country and I really love what she does. It is really different from what I usually read though. (Stupeur et Tremblements; Fear and Trembling in English)

 

 

How did your book blogging adventure start? What do you enjoy the most about it?

 

I started blogging a few years ago when I discovered Booktube. I found it totally amazing that so many people were loving the same books I was and I decided to start a blog. What I enjoy the most is interacting with other book lovers. Not many of my friends are readers and it is amazing to be able to share so much with other readers and discovering new books.

 

 

http://line.booklikes.com ->

 

 

Why reading is important to you?

 

It is mostly a way to escape reality. When I read I stop thinking about all the rest (money, work, chores, world problems...). But it is also really important because it makes me think about new things. It helps me understand a lot about the world and it gives me new perspectives. Also, it helps improve my English (but this will be for next question!)

 

 

In your short bio we can read you live in Belgium. In what languages do you read? Does the book language influence the reading experience?

 

Yes, I'm from Belgium and I do speak French. I mostly read in English though, but sometimes also in French (when the author writes in French, I do not like reading translations). My main problem with reading in English is the "cultural" stuff, I do not always get all the references, but I learned a lot about American/English cultures through books and I am really thankful! Also, classics are trickier because the language is more difficult to understand.

 

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

I would definitely recommend everyone to read Amélie Nothomb. I know that she is not as famous in non French speaking country but her books are all translated in English and she is truly fantastic. Also, read any Sarah J. Maas' books, whether you like YA or not, I think you may enjoy it :)

 

Fear and Trembling - Amélie Nothomb,Adriana  HunterA Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

 

 

How do you find new books to read?

 

I used to find new books by watching Booktube videos. Now, it's mostly through newsletters or thanks to Instagram. I also follow a lot of my favourite authors on social media and they often recommend books by debut authors.

 

 

You’re a fantasy and sci-fi YA lover. Are you an adventurous reader picking up new genres or are you loyal to your favorite book genres?

 

I tend to stick to my favourite genres. I sometimes try to get out of my comfort zone by reading classics or books in French but most of the time I'm not really adventurous in that sense.. I try to force myself to do it more often because I'm never disappointed!

 

 

So far you’ve read 29 out of 80 books in your 2018 reading challenge. How much time do you spend reading daily?

 

I read every single day; sometimes even 3 pages but I can't go to sleep without having read during the day. Sometimes I read 2 or 3 hours, sometimes only 20 minutes; it really depends on my mood and on my activities.

 

 

Do you read one book or several at a time?

 

Most of the time I read one book at a time, but sometimes I read one book and listen to an audiobook on my way to work.

 

 

Your BookLikes Bookshelf presents a French Shelf. Why do you enjoy French literature?

 

French is my mother tongue and I think it is a really beautiful language. Most of the books I read in French were for school as a teenager but I try to read more classics because there are a lot of amazing French speaking writers out there! I really love Emile Zola, who is a naturalist author from the 19th century. I learned a lot about French society thanks to his books.

 

2018 Reading Challenge Page

 

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis, Phobos by Victor Dixen, Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor & Jim Di Bartolo   

 

Not a Drop to Drink - Mindy McGinnisPhobos (Phobos, #1) - Victor DixenNight of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone) - Laini Taylor,Jim Di Bartolo

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

I love reading e-books but I definitely prefer paper book.

 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?

Any of the Anna and the French Kiss book, When Dimple Met Rishi, Ready Player One. Holiday means contemporary for me and Ready Player One is just a really funny and enjoyable book.

 

 

 

Favorite quote?

 

Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. (J.R.R. Tolkien)

 

 

If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?

 

I would say tea. But for the moment it is sunny and I love to have a really cold beer while reading in the sun (I’m from Belgium after all).

 

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

Here are my regular shelves and my Harry Potter shelf.

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

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

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3 reasons to publish a book review. Now. Scheduling not working

You're on BookLikes among book lovers so you probably know why book reviews are so important. Just in case you're still wondering here are three points that should encourage you to publish a book review on your blog. Right now. 

 

3 reasons to share a book review:

 

1. Reading buddies know good books -- there's no better book recommender than a fellow book lover so if you're looking for a next read take a peak at your friend's bookshelf and a book blog. 

 

2. Deepen your reading experience -- writing a review makes you think, ponder, analyze the plot, characters, author's choices and perspective. 

 

3. Shout out -- if you receive good news, you want to scream it out; if you read a good book, you should spread the word out. It's great for your followers but also writers for whom positive feedback is an excellent fuel and wiring inspiration. 

Inspired to share a book review? 

Great!

 

Now a short note from the BookLikes staff. Oops!  

 

We wanted to let you know that the Post date option in the text editor mode received an unexpected hiccup and refuses to set a future post date, or any post date :/ Apparently, it follows Benjamin Franklin's motto: Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today. 

 

For the time being the best possible way of publishing is to publish NOW.

You CANNOT set up a future post date.

The calendar sticks to a cursor and dances around making it impossible to set a publication date other than NOW. 

 

The issue has been reported and awaits for a fix. 

 

 

Workaround. 

If you have some reviews, articles, posts in your Drafts (no date scheduled) and you'd like to publish them NOW:

1. Go to your Drafts (Main menu -> Blog -> Drafts (in the right column)

2. Click Edit the post

3. Copy the source code (the text and images will be copied with the formatting)

 

4. Start a new Text post

5. Paste the source code

6. Publish with NOW date

 

If you have already scheduled your posts with the future dates, they will publish in accordance to the dates. It appears that the bug refers only to new posts.  

 

We're really sorry for the ongoing situation! ;(((

Please write to Kate@booklikes.com with any questions or concerns. 

 

We can only ask you to stay calm and follow Buddah's mantra: 

 

Interview with best-selling historical fiction author Tony Riches + "Mary-Tudor Princess" Giveaway

 

 

Today we welcome UK author Tony Riches, best known for his Tudor Trilogy. Read our interview where Tony reveals what his next book will be about and why he writes historical fiction.

 

Tony also runs a giveaway for BookLikes readers -- don't miss a chance to win his newest title Mary-Tudor Princess

 

Win Mary - Tudor Princess by Tony Riches 

Enter the e-book giveaway

Mary - Tudor Princess - Tony RichesFrom the author of the international best-selling Tudor Trilogy, the true story of the Tudor dynasty continues with the daughter of King Henry VII, sister to King Henry VIII. Mary Tudor watches her elder brother become King of England and wonders what the future holds for her. 

Born into great privilege, Mary has beauty and intelligence beyond her years and is the most marriageable princess in Europe. Henry plans to use her marriage to build a powerful alliance against his enemies. Will she dare risk his anger by marrying for love?

Meticulously researched and based on actual events, this 'sequel' follows Mary's story from book three of the Tudor Trilogy and is set during the reign of King Henry VIII.

 

Request your copy 

 

Everyone loves the Tudors. What new angle are you bringing to historical fiction readers about the Tudor era?

 

I was born in Pembroke, within sight of the castle where Henry Tudor was born, so I’ve always been keen to know more about how he became King of England. Like most people I knew all about Henry VIII and his six wives, but very little about the life of his father – or grandfather. I’ve now become an expert on the Tudor dynasty and want to help readers understand the true stories behind the myths.

 

 

How do you balance historical accuracy with compelling story telling?

 

They say the events of history can be stranger than anything you could make up. I know from readers that they appreciate my hard work to keep my books as factually accurate as possible. The early Tudors were of course surrounded by servants and people such as clerics and physicians whose lives are lost to history, so there is plenty of scope to be creative. I find it particularly useful to have a ‘sidekick’ or companion for my main characters, as it helps provide the interaction and conflict of the storytelling.

 

 

How does setting influence your stories?

 

I enjoy visiting the actual locations in my books to have a real understanding of the setting. My research has taken me to some amazing places. I followed the footsteps of Jasper and Henry Tudor through the secret tunnels under the town of Tenby in West Wales, to their exile in remote Brittany, and visited Henry’s magnificent tomb in Westminster Abbey.

 

REQUEST YOUR COPY

 

 

Please tell us about your latest book, MARY –Tudor Princess.

 

Mary - Tudor Princess - Tony RichesI researched Mary Tudor’s early life for my last book, Henry – Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy.

 

In the Tudor Trilogy I’d moved forward one generation with each book, so it appealed to me to write a ‘sequel’ which did the same. I’d become intrigued with Mary’s story of how she risked everything to defy her brother, King Henry VIII, and marry for love.

 

 

What are you working on now?

 

When I was writing about Mary Tudor I researched the life of her second husband, Sir Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and visited his tomb at Windsor Castle. He was Henry VIII’s best friend and a champion jouster and adventurer, leading an army into France even though he had no military experience. Then he breaks his promise to Henry and secretly marries Mary. I’m now writing Brandon – Tudor Knight, which will tell the story from his point of view.

 

 

Where can readers buy your books?

 

All my books are exclusive to Amazon and available worldwide in eBook and paperback. The Tudor Trilogy is also available as audiobooks and an audiobook edition of Mary – Tudor Princess is currently in production.

 

Mary - Tudor Princess - Tony RichesOwen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy - Tony RichesJasper: Book Two of The Tudor Trilogy - Tony RichesHenry - Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy - Tony Riches

 

About the Author

 

Tony Riches is a full-time author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the fifteenth century, with a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. Tony was a finalist in the 2017 Amazon Storyteller Awards and is listed 130th in the 2018 Top 200 list of the Most Influential Authors in in the World. For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his popular blog, The Writing Desk and find him on Booklikes at The Reading Desk,  Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.

 

Follow Tony Riches' blog on BookLikes: http://tonyriches.booklikes.com/

 

 

 

Tony Riches' books on BookLikes

Owen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy - Tony RichesThe Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham - Tony RichesWarwick: The Man Behind The Wars of the Roses - Tony RichesJasper: Book Two of The Tudor Trilogy - Tony RichesThe Shell - Tony RichesAGILE Project Management for Busy Managers - Tony RichesPersonal Productivity For Busy Managers - Tony RichesMary - Tudor Princess - Tony Riches

... and more on the author page

 

#38 Follow Friday with book bloggers: JUNIPER GREEN

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Juniper, a science fiction lover who recommends a bunch of amazing titles not only for sci-fi readers. Keep on reading. 

 

Follow JUNIPER GREEN's blog on BookLikes: http://junipergreen.booklikes.com/

 

 

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

 

Right now I'm using the time between two fiction books to read some short fiction. I've just finished Calved by the always amazing Sam J. Miller. The short story is set in Qaanaaq, eponymous floating city of Miller's recent novel Blackfish City, and follows Dom, an ice boat worker, at his desperate attempt to mend his relationship with his estranged teenage son Thede. It's well imagined cli-fi – science fiction dealing with the consequences of climate change – as well as a gut-punching tragedy. “Crushing” is probably the most fitting expression to describe it. That I anticipated the ending quite early on just made it worse. (In case it isn't clear: That's a compliment.)

 

Gypsy Sexuality - Jud Nirenberg,Bill BilaApart from that, I'm reading a non-fiction book, Gypsy Sexuality: Romani and Outsider Perspectives on Sexuality   a collection of essays, studies, and interviews edited by Jud Nierenberg. It's less about sex and more about Romani civil rights and relationships, dealing with such diverse topics as the self-image of Romani women, the objectification of Romani by outsider media, the difficulties in Romani / non-Romani relationships, and also about atrocities like the forced sterilization of Romani women. I think it's an important book and deserves to be more widely read. It could use a more professional editing, some contributions seem a bit haphazardly translated – on the other hand, that lends them a certain kind of authenticity.

 

 

Which book made you a book lover?

 

I can't remember a time when I wasn't a book lover. When I was little, I wouldn't go bed without a bedtime story. I was lucky enough that my family encouraged my love for books and stories. I grew up surrounded by books. My parents read to me, children's books and fairy tales and comics, and when they didn't have the time, my grandfather would make up stories about a heroic Saint Bernard called Bello and tell me about his adventures. 

 

 

How did your book blogging adventure start? What do you enjoy the most about it?

 

I started writing book and film reviews for our local newspaper when I was a teenager. I've been reviewing books (and films) on and off ever since. I enjoy writing about what I've read, about what I did and didn't enjoy. Reviewing helps me to analyse why certain things work for me while others don't. It also helps me remembering more details about what I've read. I've used Goodreads for a while, but couldn't really get into the community. Booklikes' blogging structure seems a bit more suited to the way I actually review, and also allows me to blog random stuff about music and films.

 

 

 

Why reading is important to you?

 

Reading is a mind-expanding experience. I can examine different points of view, giving my empathy-muscle some work-out.

 

 

In your short bio we can read you live in Germany. Do you read both in English and German? Does the book language influence the reading experience?

 

Whenever possible, I try to read books in their original language. Most books I read are in German and English though, and occasionally I will read a book in translation, if I can't find a copy of the original or if the translation is much cheaper (yeah, I'm somewhat of a cheapskate. And I love vintage paperbacks). When reading in German, I can more easily lean back and relax, getting into the flow of the story. Reading English or another foreign language means more work for me. The language barrier creates a greater distance between me and the text, I have to work harder to form a connection with a story and its characters. But putting more work into it also means the book will stick with me longer.

 

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

I have so many books to recommend, it's hard to narrow it down. Especially because I don't yet know what my followers here prefer to read. But here are some of my favourites:

 

Falling Out Of Cars by Jeff Noon. British SF and weird fiction author Jeff Noon's most lauded work is Vurt  his breakthrough novel first published in 1993. I love Vurt, but I like Falling Out Of Cars even more. It's the weirdest thing I've ever read, without exaggeration. In this dystopian novel, people are falling prey to a disease overflowing the human mind with static, making it impossible to tell signal from noise. Marlene Moore tries to navigate this world, following a mysterious job, picking up enigmatic passengers along the way. This book is her diary, a nightmarish road-movie borrowing motifs from Alice in Wonderland (as Noon is wont to do), creating something  complex and haunting.

 

Falling Out of Cars - Jeff NoonVurt - Lauren Beukes,Jeff NoonTales of Nevèrÿon - Samuel R. Delany

 

Tales of Nevèrÿon by Samuel R. Delany, the first book in the Nevèrÿon series. Delany uses the sword-and-sorcery genre to examine power from all angles – sexual, political, economic, you name it, it's here. He also explores themes like language, desire, gender, psychology, the nature of civilization. Also also, he tells a rip-roaring story about a couple of gay lovers leading a slave-revolt. Also also also, dragons.

 

Schilf by Juli Zeh  (In Free Fall (US) or Dark Matter (UK) in English). Zeh combines physics, love, and murder into something that's not quite a mystery. Oscar and Sebastian are friends since their days at university. After Sebastian's marriage, the relationship has grown tense. When Sebastian's son Liam appears to be kidnapped, events spiral inevitable downwards. “Physics is for lovers”, and this book is for everyone who likes to read literary mysteries.

 

Schilf: Roman - Juli ZehIn Free Fall: A Novel - Juli ZehDark Matter - Juli Zeh

 

 

 

How do you find new books to read?

 

Lots of different sources. Recommendations by trusted reviewers, following favourite authors and publishers on Twitter, stalking their blogs, professional reviews...

 

 

You're a sci-fi fan. Are you an adventurous reader picking up new genres or are you loyal to your favorite book genre?

 

As a younger teenager, I used to be a very loyal reader of horror (Stephen King) and vampire stories (Anne Rice). When I got my first library card, it expanded my reading-universe immensely. I used to pick up books solely going by cover and title, discovering many great authors this way, even some all-time favourites (José Saramago, most importantly). I still read pretty widely, including lit-fic, noir, science fiction and fantasy, weird fiction, and some horror, but currently I'm focusing on catching up with science fiction and noir classics.

 

 

Do you read one book or several at a time?

 

I try to stick to one book at a time. Reading more turns too stressful for me. But sometimes I'll read a fiction and non-fiction book parallel to each other.

 

Read Shelf

 

 

You’re an editor, a journalist and a lecturer. Does your book related occupation influence your reading list?

 

Sometimes. I teach linguistics and semiotics, and I find myself drawn to book dealing with these topics. Sometimes I can even use books I've read for fun in class.

Being an editor – copy editor for non-fiction texts – influences my reading in less pleasant ways. Spotting mistakes in books really annoys me, and I can be extremely nit-picky.

 

 

Your BookLikes Bookshelf presents many thematic shelves. Does it mean you’re an organized book lover?

 

Oh, no! Not at all! My shelves are mostly named by association, and sometimes even I can't tell any more why I put a certain book on a certain shelf. My shelves at home are organised by colour and my Kindle isn't organised at all.

 

There's a German saying: “Ordnung ist das halbe Leben” (order is half of life). Well, I prefer the other half.

 

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon. I haven't even read the book yet, but I love the cover. It's so corny, and so neon – absolutely spectacular.

 

The Poem Skull by J.M. Hushour.  A very fitting cover. Weird, zany book, too.

 

Recently I find myself in love with the UK edition of Sam J. Miller's Blackfish City, the next book I plan to read. I like the neon-coloured US-edition too, but the UK cover with its crisp ocean colours and contrasting pink letters really stood out to me.

 

Inherent Vice - Thomas PynchonThe Poem-Skull - J.M. HushourBlackfish City: A Novel - Sam J. Miller

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

Firmly both. I like my Kindle for practical reasons; it's easier to travel with, and I can adjust the font size to my convenience. But I also like the look and feel (and smell) of paper books, of books brand new from the factory as well as of vintage paperbacks which have already traveled a bit, gaining personality and having more than one story to tell.

 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?

 

For your Eurovision holiday party (May 12th, don't miss it!): Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente. I mean, Eurovision in space!

Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente 

 

For a day (or a month) at the beach: Der Schwarm (The Swarm) by Frank Schätzing. Biological thriller featuring everything (EVERYTHING!) you ever wanted to know about marine wildlife. Plus a few things you didn't want to know.

Der Schwarm - Frank SchätzingThe Swarm - Frank Schätzing,Sally-Ann Spencer

 

For people who don't like holidays: Thomas Ligotti's The Conspiracy Against the Human Race. The sun shines too brightly? The birds sing too chirpy? Your life's too damn groovy and you need something to bring you down? This is the perfect book for you. A veritable antidote to happiness, darker than sunshades and as soothing as a rainy day in November.

 

The Conspiracy Against the Human Race - Thomas Ligotti,Ray Brassier 

 

 

Favorite quote?

 

Der Mensch ist ein Loch im Nichts. // The human being is a hole in nothingness.

~ Juli Zeh, Schilf (In Free Fall/ Dark Matter)

 

If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?

 

Something with caffeine. Coffee in winter, in summer diet coke with lots of ice.

 

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

I don't collect books. Usually I donate or re-sell after reading. So I don't have that many shelves I could show you. But here's a look at my less than impressive, and somewhat chaotic, library and at my Kindle content.

 

Thank you!

 

 

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