Book blogging takes time—time to read, ruminate and write. Then it’s time to find a jpeg or graphic of the front cover, edit what you’ve written and boost the SEO. I recently wrote a guest post on book blogging for Mary Fiacco, owner of Filles Vertes Publishing (FVP), a traditional independent publisher. Her first book, Using Curse Words: Finding Unusual Solutions to Life’s “Worst” Problems, will be published in the near future.
My short post speaks about what I like about being a book blogger. Although reading the book, forming an opinion and writing the review take time, it’s not all hardship. As publishers produce more and more books each year, plenty of candidates from many genres vie for my attention. Currently, I deal mainly with mystery novels. In the future, I plan to include some literary fiction, poetry and nonfiction. I frequently request Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) through www.netgalley.com, www.librarything.com and www.goodreads.com.
I foresee myself book blogging for quite a while into the future. Here’s to meeting new literary friends in real life and through the pages of their books.
A Dangerous Talent by Charlotte and Aaron Elkins
Thomas & Mercer
A low-slung Lamborghini cruises along a curvy, narrow road through scenic New Mexico mountains. Will Alix London and Christine LeMay survive when a tailgating pickup truck and a tractor trailer barreling down the wrong side of the road try to force them through the guardrail and down a cliff? Charlotte and Aaron Elkins wrote A Dangerous Talent as the first installment of the Alix London series. Previously, Charlotte wrote five romance novels pseudonymously as Emily Spenser. Aaron’s 16-novel mystery series featuring Gideon Oliver and three-novel series about Chris Norgren are familiar to mystery lovers.
Alix London attempts to grow her art consultancy while distancing herself from the long shadow of her father’s high-profile art forgery conviction. Validating a “recently discovered” Georgia O’Keefe painting for LeMay could jump-start London’s career. Quickly, London pegs the art work as a forgery. So why would someone try to steal it and kill the gallery owner who was selling the painting? And, why would someone want to kill London and her client? Would it have anything to do with the forgery?
London and LeMay are well-drawn and likeable characters in this series-starter. Ted Ellesworth, an FBI agent, and Geoff London, Alix’s father, provide the nascent love interest and a bit of angst, respectively. Also, Elizabeth Coane, the Blue Coyote gallery owner, is the decidedly-tipsy linchpin around whom a lot of speculation revolves.
For me, the dramatic car chase mentioned above is the most thrilling moment in the novel. After that, the resolution of the mystery seems anticlimactic. One minor thing is a small time discontinuity that wasn’t caught by the editors. The story moved along at a good pace and kept me guessing. But, I found the mastermind behind the mystery to be a let-down. Overall, I enjoyed this read and will move on to A Cruise to Die For, the next installment in the series.
Occasionally, I’ll talk about book-related apps for mobile devices and e-readers that source their material from various places, like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Google and Kobo. The book apps mentioned will have both an Android and Apple iOS version, unless otherwise noted. Most apps will be free to download, but some will charge for content.
Goodreads has a free app and a website for readers who want to interact with others via groups, reviews and recommendations. In Goodreads, booklovers find books and share reviews. They can maintain a library of books they’ve read or want to read. According to Goodreads, 75 million members have “shelved” 2.2 billion books, implying that reading is alive and well.
As a matter of personal preference, I use the litsy app (mentioned in a prior post) but tend to use the Goodreads website. Litsy has more of the quick back-and-forth common in social media and reminds me of Instagram. Goodreads is more like my favorite library or book club.
Dark Tide Rising
by Anne Perry
Who kidnaps Kate, wife of wealthy Harry Exeter, and demands a king’s ransom? The money paid, Kate’s release still goes awry. in Dark Tide Rising, Inspector William Monk stands amid a conundrum. He and Harry Exeter followed the kidnappers’ instructions to the letter. Who knew and betrayed them? Mistrust oozes up from the Thames like the famous London fog. How can Inspector Monk untangle the web of betrayal and distrust surrounding his chosen team of River Police? Continue reading
Blogging for Writers by Robin Houghton
Blogging for Writers
by Robin Houghton
Octopus Publishing Group/Writer’s Digest Books
© 2014, 2017
I just finished an enlightening book, Blogging for Writers, by Robin Houghton. While geared towards writers, the information is useful for anyone interested in creating their own blog or making an ongoing blog more successful.
The Book Blogger Platform, 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Book Blogging
by Barb Drozdowich
For anyone new to blogging and who wants to blog about and review books, The Book Blogger Platform, by Barb Drozdowich, gives a solid overview of the main blogging platforms. The book is aimed at those who are not totally tech savvy. Ms. Drozdowich discusses WordPress and Blogger, the two most popular blogging platforms. She discusses the posts, plugins, gadgets, widgets and sidebars that are part of every blog. Also discussed are backing up your blog and monetizing it.
Since this book focuses on book blogging, Ms. Drozdowich discusses where and how to get books about which to blog. Netgalley and Edelweiss are mentioned as prime sources from which to request advanced reader copies (ARCs) and as places to post reviews.
Book bloggers can also guest post on blogs of other book reviewers/bloggers. Other sites to post book reviews are GoodReads, LibraryThing, and Booklike. Ms. Drozdowich is also a proponent of posting to the major social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Instagram.
Overall, this book is a good overview of how blogging software works, where book bloggers can find ARCs and suggestions for other places to review books and get your name out there.
The author can be found online at:
A few months ago, I found a new social media app focusing on books. It’s a great app for readers, writers and book bloggers. Readers interact about what they’re reading and find new writers they like. New writers can interact with avid readers and build up a readership.
While mainly a mobile app for smartphones and tablets, there is a website that gives a short overview: http://www.litsy.com.
Title: Edinburgh Dusk | Author: Carole Lawrence | Publisher: Thomas & Mercer | Publication: 2018 | Genre: Mystery
Edinburgh Dusk is the second installment in a mystery series by Carole Lawrence. Set in 1880, Ian Hamilton, a Shakespeare-quoting Detective Inspector, and his associate, Sergeant Dickerson, are drawn into a poisoning case when Dr. Sophia Jex-Blake reports the death of the first victim, the husband of a client who gets help at her clinic for poor women. More victims follow, including a banker visiting Margaret, a prostitute at Fair Kate’s. The investigation leads Hamilton and Dickerson through brothels, pawn shops and back alleys in the Old Town section of Edinburgh. Continue reading
September Buzz Books Monthly, a roundup of new books appearing in September 2018, features new offerings from debut and veteran authors. Included are listings for new nonfiction titles such as Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Leadership in Turbulent Times (Simon & Schuster, 9/18) and a new mystery from romance writer Jude Deveraux – A Willing Murder (Mira, 9/18).
Genres included in this roundup:
- Literary favorites and emerging talents
- Debut fiction
- Commercial fiction
Seven excerpts are also included:
- Jude Deveraux, A Willing Murder (Mira)
- Lynne Hugo, The Testament of Harold’s Wife (Kensington Books)
- Walter Mosely, John Woman (Grove Press)
- Sarah Pinborough, Cross Her Heart (William Morrow)
- Rebecca Serle, The Dinner List (Flatiron)
- Imogen Hermes Gowar, The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock (Harper)
- Stuart Turton, The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (The Sourcebooks Landmark)
Buzzbooks Monthly is a great way to learn about interesting new reads from debut authors and old favorites.
The Quartet Murders: A Yorkshire Murder Mystery | By: J. R .Ellis | Publisher: Amazon Publishing UK / Thomas & Mercer | Copyright: 2018 | ISBN: 9781053903098 | Genre: Mystery
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Oldroyd is thoroughly enjoying a concert of chamber music in a chapel in a small Yorkshire town when one on the quartet members is shot while performing onstage by an unseen assailant and the musician’s irreplaceable Stradivarius violin goes missing. No one is seen leaving the building, yet the murderer and thief aren’t found. Is this the work of a gang of art thieves with whom some of the locals are involved? A few of the local well-heeled gentry are known for their private collections of rare and priceless musical instruments. Before long another member of the quartet is killed, and his murder linked to the stolen violin. DCI Oldroyd assists his old friend, DCI Sam Armitage of the local Halifax police force, in unraveling the knotted strings of these mysteries. The police assume the two deaths and the theft of the violin are committed by the same group of criminals. But are they connected or are they separate cases?