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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!


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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.


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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