New BFF: Delphine’s Babble on Some Good Reads

BFF

Today on the blog I’d like to welcome Delphine who is the babbler on Delphine’s Babble on Some Good Reads. If you don’t know her yet, you are going to be so impressed with this girl! She is so clever, she reads all kinds of genres, I mean she knows all the classics, she’s a fan of Alice,… she has great (and expensive) taste in shoes, she loves to use sarcasm, she likes books over movie adaptations (because movies wouldn’t even be there without the books), she loves pearls, not diamonds, and has 4 tattoos, and one of them are words in French. Yeah she has a thing for France and even wants to live there ;-). If you want to see her tattoos (go on, I know you do) or read more fun facts go on over to her blog and give her a like and a follow, she so deserves it!

Okay, so I asked her a couple more questions myself, and here they are:

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Name: Delphine Cheikosman

Age: 22

Birthday: February 28

What did you study or do you study now / what is your current job?

I recently graduated from UCLA (Class of 2017). I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature & French. Right now I’m interning for TOKYOPOP Publishing and I’m book blogging full time. I may decide to go to grad school and pursue marketing, but I’m still debating. In the end my dream is to work for a major publisher so I’m doing everything in my power to get there, but some pixie dust, if anyone is willing to offer it, is always welcome.

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Do you have any other hobbies?

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You mean besides reading all day everyday? Hmm. That’s a toughie because it seems as though everything I do has some connection to reading. For example, my book blog is all about my bookish thoughts and reviews. And my shopping is really book-based. On the flip side, I do enjoy hiking and gardening – those are some outdoor activities that keep me from laying in bed all day snuggled up with my kitty.

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Your favourite color?

I like light colors and pastels so can we count white?

Do you collect anything (besides books)?

Shoes. If it’s not books it’s shoes. I’m a sucker for designer brands like Charlotte Olympia and Kate Spade – hence the negative amount in my bank account right now *eek*.

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What’s the name of the book that you’ve had the longest? Have you read it?

That’s sorta hard because: 1. I don’t remember, as I’ve added lots to my collection over the past years. 2. Some of my books have yet to be taken from my parents house and into my new apartment. 3. When I was really young, there was a disaster that lead to the majority of books I owned being destroyed. Looking at my bookshelf now, the book that, for me, stands out the most as being the most aged would be a Border’s edition (remember when Barnes & Noble wasn’t the only major bookstore out there?) of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Yes, of course! It’s my all time favorite classic – just goes to show the positive affects that heroine can have on the creative mind… (For those of you that don’t know Lewis Carroll was a major heroine addict).

Have you ever regretted a book you purchased? A book that sounded so promising but you wished you’d have spent your money on another book after reading it?

Dave Eggers, The Circle. That book was a disaster x 1000. The premise was so promising and the fact that a movie of it was recently released starring Emma Watson made it seem like it was going to be a masterpiece… WRONG! I hate this book with a burning passion and I rant about it to my book buddies at every opportunity.

Do you listen to audio books?

Nope, I like the pleasure of reading at my own pace and hearing my own voice in my mind of characters and the effects of situations.

Do you have a favorite genre?

I’ve been changing between genres a lot lately. I used to be only into classics such as Emile Zola and Balzac. Now that I’ve graduated university and am more free in terms of my reading, I’ve been jumping a lot between genres. I recently became a huge fan of Young Adult, following my reading of Lang Leav’s Sad Girls. She is also one of the most brilliant new contemporary poets in the industry today!

School is almost out for Audrey, but the panic attacks are just beginning. Because Audrey told a lie and now her classmate, Ana, is dead. Just as her world begins to spin out of control, Audrey meets the enigmatic Rad – the boy who could turn it all around. But will their ill-timed romance drive her closer to the edge?

And then there’s my new infatuation with Donna Tartt who falls into the Adult Contemporary genre. She has only published three books so far, but I have been immensely pleased by her illustrative writing style and intriguing plots. Right now I’m trying to get into Fantasy and Science Fiction. I’ve read lots of awesome reviews lately of the Shades of Magic trilogy so I just may give it a go pretty soon!

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What is the book highest on your wishlist right now?

Ahhh so many to choose from. I think I’ll have to say Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. It expected release date is October 03 and I can’t wait. I mean, look at the cover – so pretty! I just requested an ARC copy from Netgalley, which just goes to show my level of impatience. Hopefully I’ll receive an affirmative answer soon.

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How is your library organized?

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I’ve been purchasing so many books over the last couple of months that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to come up with a strategic way to set out my books that is at the same time functional and pretty (who doesn’t want an attractive looking bookshelf, anyway?). At the moment, I have quite a few scattered titles due to my last book-buying binge. In my flat I have two complete bookshelves that reach the ceiling. I sort of organized the first shelf to include my reference books and anthalogies that I used a lot in university. There are also quite a few french novels and classics from Hugo, Balzac, and, of course, Proust.

My second shelf includes more contemporary collections as well as books that I’m proud of and make me happy. As you can see, there’s a lot going on here…

Do you read more ebooks or physical books?

I prefer physical books, but I’ve been reading kindle versions a lot lately for my ARCs.

Do you have a favorite book?

Don’t gotta ask me twice: The Goldfinch from Donna Tartt.

What’s the cover in your collection that you’re most proud of?

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A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.

Do you have any idea how many books you own? <100, >100, >200, >300 …?

 >200 and counting – a gal can never have too many books… bring it on!

What’s the title of the last book you purchased?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Not something I would typically pull off the shelf, but given all the hype that has been circulating lately I felt that I absolutely HAD to buy it just so I can join in on all the ‘cool’ bookish discussions about it.

What was your favorite author when you were a child?

Barbara Park, author of the Junie B. Jones series.

From which author do you have most books?

Haruki Murakami. I own ten of his books.

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He has become my favorite new author of 2017 following my first encounter with Kafka on the Shore. As a warning to my fellow readers out there: his books are definitely not for everyone, given the elaborateness and often complex allusions twisted in his writing style. There are often times where I find myself pausing and even having to walk away totally and utterly confused – sometimes never really being able to make sense of what I’m reading. However the surreal quality and evocative ways in which he describes his characters and plots is beautiful and blows me away every time.

Are there books you’ve read 2 or 3 times?

The French Gardener by Santa Montefiore was my favorite book when I was in high school and I wrote a number of different essays and book reports about it because I felt a connection with the narrative which follows a family that falls apart but is brought back together by the presence of a handsome and mysterious French gardener. I think I’ve read Alice in Wonderland like 4 times as well. The new movie that came out with Johnny Depp caused me to reread the novel the second time and then the third and fourth were on my own accord because I just really love books that go beyond reality and create a whole other universe where just about anything is possible. I’ve been meaning to reread The Goldfinch for the longest but, like, the book is almost 800 pages and there’s just so many other books that is on my TBR.

How many books are there on your Goodreads challenge this year and how many have you read already?

There’s 100 at the moment and I’ve read 32. I’m almost sure that I’m not going to make it to 100 by the end of the year. In my defense however, I just graduated so cut me some slack! Senior year was super stressful with thesis’ popping up left and right – so glad that’s over and now I have time to concentrate on reading and book reviewing.

Can you spell your name with the first letters of titles in your book case?

I have over 200 books, come on now – of course I can! And you best be sure that Haruki Murakami is included:

D: Dracula, Bram Stroker
E: Eiffi Briest, Theodor Fontane
L: Love & Misadventures, Lang Leav
P: Paris, Edward Rutherfurd
H: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World, Haruki Murakami
I: I Am A Cat, Sōseki Natsume
N: Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre
E: Emma, Jane Austen

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In case you missed it, these are the BFF’s (Blog Friends Forever) I posted about before :

Martina – The Mystery Corner
Liis – Cover to Cover
Anne – Inked Brownies
Danielle – Books, Vertigo and Tea
Drew – TheTattooedBookGeek
Jillian – Rant and Rave About Books
Meg – Magic of Books
Betty – Bookish Regards
Anais – Zeezee with Books
Nicki – Secret Library
Donna – Chocolatenwaffles’ Blog
Chitra – Books & Strips
Annie – The Misstery
Dee – Novel Deelights
Stephanie – Teacher of YA
Tina – Reading Between the Pages
Savanah – Off-Color Lit

I don’t want my BFF club to be complete just yet! There’s still plenty of room for plenty more so give me a shout if you want to be added!

Behind Her Back by Jane Lythell #BlogTour #BookReview #QandA

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What’s it about?

Liz Lyon is a television producer and busy single mum to a teenage daughter. She works at StoryWorld, the UK’s favourite morning show. As both confidante and team leader, she is the person tasked with controlling the conflicts and tantrums that flare up off-air. Having just started dating again, she’s also having to deal with a few conflicts and tantrums at home…

Following a blissfully peaceful two-week holiday in Italy, Liz has returned to find a new colleague has joined the station. Lori Kerwell has been brought in to increase the show’s profitability. But Liz is not sure that’s the only thing on Lori’s agenda.

As Lori builds her power base with the bosses, Liz finds herself wondering what’s really going on behind her back…

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About the author

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Jane Lythell worked as a TV producer for 15 years and her two novels Woman of the Hour and Behind her Back take the lid off the TV industry.

She has also written two other novels. After The Storm follows an English couple who get on a small boat with two American strangers to sail to an island after knowing them less then 24 hours. It has been described as Marine Noir, and her debut The Lie of You a portrait of obsession to the point of madness in which a woman tries to destroy her colleague.

Jane Lythell lives in Brighton in the UK and is a sea-lover, star-gazer, film and football fan. After years in television she moved to the British Film Institute as Deputy Director, did one year as Chief Executive of BAFTA (which was miserable) followed by seven years at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (which was interesting). She now writes full time.

Connect with Jane Lythell

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Blog

Q & A

1. Can you tell me what Behind Her Back is about and why people should absolutely read your new novel?

It’s about backstabbing at the workplace and conflict with a teenage daughter at home. Liz Lyon is a respected but stressed TV producer who has to manage the huge egos of on-screen TV stars and a difficult boss at work. When she returns to her flat, which should be her haven, her daughter Flo gives her a hard time. When Liz starts dating again, Flo deeply resents the new man in her life. Meanwhile at work a new senior employee is making moves against Liz.

Read this if you like a relateable heroine facing work and home conflicts.

2. Your novels have such a realistic feel to them. Is there perhaps an overlap between fact and fiction? Are parts of this novel a bit biographical, like the doubts Liz has and her struggles with teenage daughter Flo?

Absolutely! I worked as a TV producer for fifteen years and was also a lone parent to my daughter. I struggled with this. It was hard to keep the balls up in the air and I felt torn by the competing pressures. Sometimes I felt that I wasn’t doing either role properly. I left working in TV when my daughter Amelia was nine-years-old. I wanted to explore this world and these pressures.

3. There are a lot of secrets and lies in your novel, which is great because nobody wants to read a novel where there’s nothing happening but I’d love to hear what is/was the best part working at a TV station?

There is a feverish and high tempo atmosphere in a TV station that broadcasts live shows and this can breed conflict and drama. The upside is that you feel you are at the centre of things that are happening in the country. You get to hear about books, films, trends and news events before anyone else and this can feel heady. There is also a great sense of camaraderie when the show goes well.

4. If given the choice, would you prefer working for a man or a woman and can you explain why ?

Difficult question because the best boss I ever worked for was a woman who was supportive, fair and generous. But the worst boss I ever worked for was also a woman who was controlling, divisive and did not share the information I needed to do my job! That was very miserable. So I think on balance that I would rather work for a man.

5. Your novels have a psychological side to them and show power games, vicious traits of people etc. Have you ever thought about writing a full-on psychological thriller going even further than you’ve taken it now?

My first two novels were psychological thrillers: The Lie of You and After The Storm. I am fascinated by the psychological states of my characters and like to get inside those characters’ heads so that the reader knows what is really going on as opposed to the image they present to the world. I’m interested in what tips a character into full-blown obsession. This is definitely an area I want to explore further in my books.

6. Is there going to be a third novel? What are your future projects?

There may well be a third Liz Lyon book as I can imagine more storylines about Liz, Julius, Fizzy and Ledley unfolding into the future. I’m very fond of the characters even though they often misbehave! However at the moment a new idea for a book is growing in my mind which I’m keen to develop. This idea is in psychological thriller territory so I may have to think about that next.

7. If you could have a wish come true, how would you like your future to look like? Any more dreams you have?

On a personal level I would love to travel more in South America. I have visited Buenos Aries, when I was working at the Foreign Office. It is such a beautiful city. I’d like to visit Brazil and Chile.

On the writing front I would be thrilled if any of my books made it onto the TV or film screen. My two psychological thrillers have been bought by a production company so fingers crossed.

Review

star three and a half

Behind Her Back is the sequel to Woman of the Hour and includes the same people as in the first novel, with the addition of one newcomer who promises to be the trouble maker of service. I’m talking about Lori, a new employee who waltzes into StoryWorld and does nothing short but take over the place. Her field of expertise is marketing and advertisement and it should stop there but Ms. Powerpoint has all sorts of brilliant ‘ideas’ and of course she gets her way every single time. She wheedles her way in the daily editorial meetings and she wants to have her say about everything. I guess everything can be proven with figures and charts but she certainly forgets about the human aspect, how everything was going smoothly before her arrival, and Liz will have to reconcile and appease different parties again. I don’t think you can blame Liz really for not warming up to her.

I really like the fact that this novel creates quite an intimate atmosphere by the way it was written, I had the impression I was almost reading Liz’ diary with her everyday troubles at work alternated with scenes of her home life. It wasn’t that at home it was all peachy either, she faces challenges on both fronts. I really felt for Liz, apart from her friend Fenton, she doesn’t have anyone to really unwind with. I was happy to see there was some romance in the air but the guy works at a rival station so can you really unburden yourself when he could be using it against you? Is he even really interested in her or more in the scoop about what is going on behind the scenes at StoryWorld ? I was left wondering about that and hoped Liz would be cautious. This led me to wonder as well if their relation would and could survive the fact that she couldn’t open up completely.

It didn’t take but a few pages to be plunged back into the pitpool of egos, and my god do those presenters have egos!, they have egos the size of a country and they have to be handled very carefully. In a very natural evolution there came to be two camps in this novel, camp Fizzy and camp Ledley. Although Ledley had his shortcomings and wasn’t playing fair at some point, I was on his side from the beginning. I felt he didn’t deserve to be treated this way and I came short to acknowledging that Liz really favoured presenter Fizzy, even if it meant grudgingly agreeing Lori had a valid point here. Fizzy is called the ‘Queen of Live TV’ but I didn’t like that she was being placed on such a pedestal. Not to say anything but she was a weather girl in the past so I didn’t understand the special treatment. It bothered me, even though I believe this must be something that is just a given in the tv world. I also didn’t feel much motherly love between Fizzy and her son Zachery which was a shame and only added to my unsympathetic feelings towards her.

Liz is a normal woman facing life’s hardships on her own, she’s a woman who cries and shouts too, she’s not a superwoman like so many heroines in books lately, so this was definitely refreshing to read. If you like to see how her life unfolds with ups and downs and get a little peek at the inner workings of the entertainment section of a TV station, you’ll enjoy this novel, it feels all too realistic. As Behind Her Back offers a little recap here and there about what happened in the first novel, I’d advise to read that one first if you’re interested, although this one can certainly be read as a standalone as well.

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher, Head of Zeus, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Check out the other blogstops too. Up tomorrow : Cosmochiklitan

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Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas #BookReview

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What’s it about?

She can run
Libby Hall needs to hide, to escape from everything for a while. Which is why the house swap is a godsend. The chance for Libby and her husband Jamie to exchange their tiny Bath flat for a beautiful haven on the wild Cornish coast.

But she can’t hide
But before they can begin to heal their fragile marriage, Libby makes some disturbing discoveries about the house. And soon the peace and isolation begin to feel threatening. How alone are they? Why does she feel watched?

Because someone knows her secret
What is Jamie hiding? Is Libby being paranoid? And why does the house bring back such terrible memories? Memories Libby’s worked hard to bury. Memories of the night she last saw her best friend alive . . . and what she did.

amazon uk amazon com

Review

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As a reader of so many thrillers each year it’s not so easy to find a novel with a great plottwist that I didn’t see coming, but boy this one certainly hit it off! Oww yes, you are going to love Last Seen Alive if you enjoyed Claire Douglas’ previous novel Local Girl Missing! Even if they are completely different stories, you’ll experience the same exhilarating feeling when reading this. You are led to believe – again – that the story is a pretty straightforward one but I can assure you that you don’t know anything ;-).

I’m not going to lie, the first part of the story is a storyline which you’ll find in other novels as well, Libby is seeing things that don’t add up, suspicion is all around. Ms. Douglas is doing the legwork for the brilliant plotting in part 2 and 3 of this novel and this first part is very relevant is all I can say. I was totally invested in the lives of Libby and James and I did my best to try and figure out what was going on and who was to be suspected in this story but I still didn’t see IT before I was told in the second big break in this novel. I really like it that the author also included Libby’s own thoughts and theories and suspicions, making the character really think for herself and cleverly showing all the possibilities there are and so creating very subtly the seeds of suspicion. If you’re like me, all you’ll probably do is nod your head and think that’s exactly what I was thinking. Well you’re going to do a double-take when you find out how this plotline is going to develop. That’s a promise I make :-).

The prologue of the novel alone is to die for. It’s not even a page long but raises soooo many questions and is a brilliant set up for the rest of this novel! A lifeless body, a woman standing over him, one question on her lips, was she seen killing her husband?

All through the first part of the novel, when Libby and James are in Cornwall enjoying a little in promptu vacation after a few tumultuous weeks, I was wondering what could have happened to this couple to have brought this on, I kept going back to that prologue in my head. They are so wonderful and happy together and I couldn’t for the life of me imagine what could make Libby kill her husband. How well do you really know a person though? Who’s keeping secrets? Libby sees strange things in Cornwall… is someone really taking pictures of her husband? Who’s standing in the back yard of the holiday cottage?  When they get back home the situation escalates even further. Could I keep on denying that the ever so friendly and kind James had some (dirty little) secrets? Libby doesn’t want to believe he did anything wrong but puuuhlease ;-). Argh Ms. Douglas sets the stage and she’ll go in for the cut in part 2 and 3. I had the whole situation judged and catalogued and I was finding myself out of my depth suddenly with the major turn of events.

Well the second part of the novel, where Libby revisits her past at the age of 21 and right before she met James, shows she has some secrets of her own. I already knew she had some bad memories about her trip to Thailand but didn’t realise it ran so deep. Secrets I didn’t come to expect from this teacher, someone who seems to be born to teach children. The twist is really well done!

The third part is confession time in the present, time to get all the secrets out on the table and she’s going to have to spill it all to the police when the body in the back yard is discovered. There’s lots more fun to come when they try to make Libby confess and she has to come clean about everything. I really appreciate the amazing plotting Ms. Douglas has done. I seriously love this author! The only downside is that this is one of those books that you’ll always remember the twist of ;-).

Without any doubt, I highly recommend reading this one and I think you’ll see it on my favorite list of this year! I already look forward to the next novel!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher, Penguin Books, in exchange for my honest opinion.

WWW Wednesday (09-08-2017)

WWW Wednesday is a book list hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and I’m happy to participate today.

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Three W’s:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m reading:

I had a (first) DNF on Netgalley which made me feel kind of bad. This never happens to me, I always choose carefully and I normally like all the books. So I thought it would be best to read something completely different and what better than something uplifting and funny instead of crime? When I was flicking through the pages of my ereader I saw this one and decided to give it a go. I loved Six of Hearts last year so I’m hoping I can repeat the experience.

The Hooker and the Hermit by L.S. Cosway & Penny Reid

The Hooker and The Hermit

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What I (recently) finished:

This one was my most recent buy. I’ve seen it everywhere and I just wanted to know too! I’m not over the moon about this one like some but it is enjoyable. Review to come ;-).

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

The Honeymoon

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What I’ll probably read soon:

I love the Tracy Crosswhite series, and reviewed number four not so long ago. This is book 5 already and when I happened to come across this one by accident on Netgalley I requested it without any hesitation. It’s the only book on Netgalley I have now (I just have too much to read in paperback to request any new books, unless it’s really special).

Close To Home by Robert Dugoni

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While investigating the hit-and-run death of a young boy, Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite makes a startling discovery: the suspect is an active-duty serviceman at a local naval base. After a key piece of case evidence goes missing, he is cleared of charges in a military court. But Tracy knows she can’t turn her back on this kind of injustice.

When she uncovers the driver’s ties to a rash of recent heroin overdoses in the city, she realizes that this isn’t just a case of the military protecting its own. It runs much deeper than that, and the accused wasn’t acting alone. For Tracy, it’s all hitting very close to home.

As Tracy moves closer to uncovering the truth behind this insidious conspiracy, she’s putting herself in harm’s way. And the only people she can rely on to make it out alive might be those she can no longer trust.

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So that’s it, what are you reading this week? Share your link in the comments below so that I can come and take a look !

Little Gray Dress by Aimee Brown #BlogTour #GuestPost #Giveaway

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Title: Little Gray Dress
Author: Aimee Brown
Release Date: August 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Chick Lit
GoodReads: add Little Gray Dress to your to be read list

Book Blurb

Emi Harrison has avoided her ex-fiance, Jack Cabot, for nearly two years. Her twin brother Evan’s wedding is about to end that streak.

From bad bridesmaid’s dresses, a hyperactive sister-in-law, a mean girl with even meaner secrets, and too much to drink, nothing seems to go right for Emi, except when she’s wearing her little gray dress.

When she speed-walks into Liam Jaxon’s bar, things get more complicated. He’s gorgeous, southern, and has no past with Emi. He may be exactly what she needs to prove for the last time that she doesn’t need or want Jack!

Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult life. Will it make another when she least expects it?

AmazonUS: eBook – $2.99 | print – $9.99

AmazonUK: eBook – £1.99| print – £6.99

Barnes & Noble: print – $9.99

I have the cutest Giveaway for the tour – pictured here <– & opened worldwide.

Included is a ‘create’ coffee cup, some dark & handsome K-cup pods, a cute Life is Short, Eat Cake wall art, some tiny macaroons, a Little Gray Dress bookmark & postcard!

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Aimee Brown is a writer and an avid reader. Little Gray Dress is her first published novel. My second novel is in the works now. She’s currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in English Writing. She spends much of her time writing, doing homework, raising three teenagers, binge watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has been known to utter profanities like she’s competing for a medal.

Aimee grew up in Oregon but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and far too many pets.

She would love to hear your thoughts on Little Gray Dress! If you’d like to chat with her she’s very active on social media. You can find her at any of the networks below. Stop by and say hello!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Website/Blog | GoodReads | Amazon Page | Newsletter

Guestpost

Writers Block is my Arch Enemy

I’ve never experienced something more terrifying than a blank page. Once I get to about 20k words things go easier for me than when I’m staring at a blank page. It’s not even necessarily writer’s block completely, but more the fear or the wrong opening.

So many times I’ve read about how important your first sentence, first page, and first chapter are in a book. That’s your hook. If you can’t hook a reader in the first few pages, they may not continue. It’s stressful!

When I open a book to a bunch of back story or ‘setting’ info, it loses me immediately. Or a prologue! Those are the worst. Holy hell, just make it a chapter if it’s so important.

If I open to a conversation, I immediately feel as if I’m in the middle of the story right from the first sentence. That’s my intent as a writer. To always start so you immediately feel immersed in whatever is going on. It’s not always that easy though.

Sometimes I can start a story and feel like right from the first line that it’s the right opening. Considering I’ve only got one book out though, clearly I delete more than I keep. Getting past the first few chapters is at times, a challenge for me. Investing myself in a story I’m not completely happy with the opening, is unheard of for me. If I’m not happy with the first chapter, I absolutely can not move on. It’s my set up. That’s the moment I have to make sure you as a reader choose to continue reading what I’ve written.

It’s a lot of pressure and sometimes that pressure can result in me staring at a blank screen for hours on end. Or worse yet, filling the screen with words and then ultimately deleting them because I’ve decided I hate them.

For some authors, I’m sure it’s easier to commit and keep whatever they write. Writer’s block or some form of it has maybe never made an appearance in their life. I’m jealous. It seems to be my arch enemy or rather, maybe my kryptonite. Sometimes, I feel crippled by it. Sometimes, writer’s block manages to convince me that I’m the worst writer in the world. Other times, I hit back, tell it off and stomp on it on the way to my destination. That’s rarer than me giving up and walking away hoping to start again ‘tomorrow’.

Writer’s block has claimed ten years of my tomorrows and now that I’ve tackled it, I’m determined to not let it steal any more days from me. Commitment and determination are the two hardest traits for me to overcome. I constantly change my mind. I daren’t read Little Gray Dress now that it’s out or I’ll wonder how I ever got published. I can’t be the only one like this? Surely more writers than just myself struggle with a blank page?

My only advice for writer’s block is this… don’t think about it, just write. No one needs to see your first draft. You can include anything and fix it later. It’s easier to edit a disaster of a first draft, but not as easy to edit a blank page. If you’re anything like me though, don’t reread what you’ve written until you are completely finished, just continue on and fix things later. Farewell writer’s block, I’m going to X you out.

Check out the other blog stops too! Tomorrow:

Book Lover in Florida with an excerpt!

Weds – August 2nd

Blog on the Run – Book Review/Author Guest Post after 2nd
Books and Photographs – Book Review
Judging More Than Just the Cover – Book Review/Author Interview
Nicole Evelina – Book Review/Guest Post
The Novel Girl Reads – Book Review/Excerpt/Author Q&A

Thurs – August 3rd

Chick Lit Central – Author Interview
NovelGossip – Book Review
Hey Said Renee – Author Guest Post
Romantic Reads and Such – Book Excerpt
Steamy Book Mama – Book Review

Fri – August 4th

BrizzleLass Books – Book Review
O.D. Book Reviews – Book Excerpt
He Said Books or Me – Author Guest Post
Corinne Desjardins – Book Spotlight
Where Dragons Recide – Book Review/Author Q&A

Sat – August 5th

JenaBooks – Book Review
Sylv.net – Spotlight Post
Got Books, Babe? – Author Guest Post
The Writing Garnet – Book Review

Sun – August 6th

I Read Novels – Book Review
It’s my Life – Book Excerpt
RaeReads – Book Review
Keelee Morris – Author Guest Post
GrassMonster – Book Review

Mon – August 7th

Living Life with Joy – Book Review/Giveaway/Author Q&A
The Belgian Reviewer – Author Guest Post
Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt
Haddie’s Heaven – Spotlight Post
Books in my Opinion – Book Review
Literature Goals – Book Review/Excerpt/Author Q&A

Tue – August 8th

Reading to Unwind – Book Review
Kristin’s Novel Café – Book Excerpt & Giveaway/Book Review
Key of Dee – Author Guest Post
FrankyBrown – Book Excerpt
Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog – Book Reviews (3)

Weds – August 9th

Ink, Maps and Macarons – Giveaway/Author Q&A
Heartalefix – Book Review
Tea Party Princess – Author Guest Post/(possible) Review
One Book at a Time – Book Excerpt/Spotlight/Book Review

Thurs – August 10th

ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review/Excerpt
Rosa Temple Writes – Author Guest Post
Life at 17 – Spotlight Post
Daily Waffle – Book Excerpt/Author Q&A

Fri – August 11th

Pretty Little Book Reviews – Book Review
Sparkly Word – Book Review
Books and Readers – Book Review/Excerpt/Giveaway/Guest Post
Ali the Dragon Slayer – Book Review
Katie Lady Reads – Book Review
Rambling Lisa’s Book Reviews – Book Review/Book Excerpt

Sat – August 12th

Life of a Simple Reader – Book Review/Excerpt
Karlita – Goodreads/Social Media – Book Review
KD Reads – Book Review/Giveaway/Guest Post
D.K. Hamilton – Book Review/Author Q&A
20CC Reviews – Book Review
TrashyBibloBlog – Book Review/Excerpt

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The Night Stalker by Clare Donoghue #BookReview

 

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What’s it about?

Dead Woman’s Ditch. The site of a grisly two-hundred-year-old murder – and a recent hit and run. When a young woman’s body is found at the macabre landmark in Somerset’s Quantock Hills, DI Mike Lockyer and Sergeant Jane Bennett are called in to investigate.

They find a community gripped by fear and superstition. The locals won’t venture out at night, believing there’s a man stalking the hills; a phantom cloaked in folklore and legend, keeping the sinister legacy of Dead Woman’s Ditch alive.

Confronted by a hostile CID team and a murder victim with close ties to their own squad, Lockyer and Bennett will have to accept what they can’t see before they can find what’s really there . . .

amazon uk amazon com

Review

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Dead Woman’s Ditch, Great Bear, Will’s Neck, Frog Combe.. this is Shervage Woods, the incredible atmospheric setting of this story. Imagine driving home through the winding hills, passing cattle grids, the weather cold with rain hammering down and snow falling all around. A small village where the land still lends itself to ghost tales and plenty of legends, the one with John Walford not even nearly forgotten.

Dead Woman’s Ditch is the place where a woman, Jane, was killed in 1798 by her husband John Walford. A decade old murder finds root in a present case when there’s a woman found dead at the same place and the local population goes on and on about a link between the deaths. Other than the place there’s nothing that binds them, Walford is long dead, and yet. DI Lockyer doesn’t believe in legends and superstitions but the deeper he digs, the more stories he hears and he has to wonder if there really is a connection.

DI Mike Lockyer and DS Jane Bennett are assigned to the case in Somerset because there’s a London connection. In reality though he has to take control of the investigation without the present DI Bill Townsend knowing so. It seems people higher up aren’t very convinced about his competence and Lockyer has to agree, 3 days in and the investigation still stands nowhere. Townsend is convinced the girl was killed in a hit and run at best, but Lockyer conducts the investigation like it should, leaving no stone unturned and he discovers way way more than he bargained for. At the same time there’s also the voice of Steph, a young girl who has the feeling she’s being followed and is scared of driving home at night. Nobody takes her fears seriously though so she’s left to buckle up and just get on with it. I had the strongest sense of foreboding and if I could have spurred the team on myself I seriously would have.

I had no idea how this story was going to play out for such a long time, I kept wrecking my brain who could be behind all of this. I thought I paid attention to detail and figured it all out by myself while they were still fumbling about. I was dead wrong. I can’t say anything anymore than that I fell from surprise into surprise into surprise. No typo, it’s exactly what I mean. The middle part of the novel was maybe a little bit of nothing really big happening at all but it all came rushing down in one spectacular cascade. The ending of this case was great! Now I know why I loved the first novel so much again too, such a great reveal.

This novel can be read as a standalone but I read novel 1 and now number 4 and I advise you to do the same so that you can place the personal lives of Lockyer and Bennett better.

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher, PanMacmillan, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book folding tutorial: a simple heart / home

Tutorial

So I saw some examples of book folding (from someone selling some books) a while ago and I love the idea so much that I wanted to try it myself. I have clicked on numerous sites and read hours and hours about patterns and inversed letters and all and I’m just going to share a little bit of the basics today.

I found there are two different ways to conduct book folding. The first one is simply with a chart that tells you where you have to measure with a ruler. I’m going to do it this way later on and is method 1.

The second method is actually putting a picture with lines under your page and fold to the tip and bottom of each line. See where I put the pencil marks on the book, you have to fold there.

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We’re not there yet though, I also found you can fold in two different ways as well. You can eather fold your page in a 45 degree angle (which I will be doing with the heart because it was shown like this in the instructable I followed), or you can create a notch (with a knife or some sharp object that creates an indent) at a similar distance on the top and bottom pages and fold towards that point. I think this will create an even neater and more even look.

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Now let’s start !

What you will need:

  • An old book – preferably a hard back because it stands better on its own. Most designs ask for books with 400-500 pages but this beginner’s design only has 40 folded pages so a thin book is fine in this case
  • a ruler
  • a pencil
  • measurements (or a patterned design)

I agree, it’s not easy to ‘sacrifice’ a book but I had a very old copy of a novel (the Cal one) that was a mandatory read in school almost 20 years ago. I think it’s okay to let go now :-). The pages are all yellow as well so nobody would want to read it anyway.

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Turn the book so the left side is facing up:

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And then you make pencil markings, where you’ll have to fold. Now page 1 is not the first page of your book. You’ll have to calculate (or guess) where you’ll have to start so that it evens out on both sides a little. In this case it’s not hard because you know it’s 40 pages so count the middle of the book and 20 pages back.

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You can see here where I put the first marking (in centimeters as this is the metric system here) from the top and the second one (also from the top!). After marking you can fold both in as much of a straight line as possible, or you try the other method where you can fold towards the point where you made an indentation.

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This pattern is the easiest there is but Words are harder because some most letters like an R have interruptions and every time a letter crosses more sections on the same line it’ll need another fold on another page, so the page count for your folds increases fast this way.

If you have an inversed heart or other design it is done with little cuts in the paper’s edge and folding it back. I really like the way that looks as well. More for my to do list.

So you want to see the result? Here it is. Not too bad for a first try I think.

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So when I finished this I wanted to do another one 😉 and this is how I did Home using the second method :

And the result:

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So my experience so far:

  • The heart one was quite fun and easy to do! No frustrations here !
  • I guess you have to have a lot of patience if you do big designs but you can mark where you ended and restart another day easily
  • One of the most difficult things is figuring out where you have to start in a novel with folding the pages. You’ll have to count out how much pages you need before you start and with a graphic design it’s not so easy. And then you have to figure out on what page to start the folding. It must be horror if you’ve been folding for hours and you run out of pages ;-).
  • It’s not so easy to find (free) patterns. I found a lot about making your own designs with Photoshop and even in Word and tried some of it out but still didn’t manage to get an actual good design out of it.
  • You can find quite a few patterns on Etsy but again, they are mostly for thick books (450-500 pages) and they have to have a certain height as well.
  • There are plenty of youtube videos but the best tutorial, info and free templates (also the home one) I found on the site of Scrappy Sticky Icky Mess
  • I also found a template for Read and Love on the above site but I’m still troubled with counting out how many pages I need. I think a lot of pages and I don’t have a book now so it’ll have to wait until I find an old novel nobody wants anymore 🙂

 

So what did you think? You like the results of book folding? Tempted to try it out yourself? Let me know!