Armchair BEA Wednesday – Expanding Blogging Horizons


Designed by Nina of Nina Reads

I’ve been at this blogging thing for more than a year now, and I am at a fairly comfortable place. Does that mean I’m ready to sit back and relax? Heck no! I really do want to take my blog to the next level. I’m not concerned with making it bigger, I only want to make it better. Here’s some of what I plan to do, and what I dream about. Continue reading

Armchair BEA Tuesday – Author Interaction

In this changing world of book marketing and the rise of social media I think author interaction is so important to the selling of books. Not all authors realize this (yet), but for those who do it can make an important difference. Let’s take a look at some of my author interactions and consider the effect they’ve had.

peter-james Continue reading

Armchair BEA Introduction


Designed by Amber at Shelf Notes

It is with emotions that I’m joining Armchair BEA this year. I was hoping to make it in person to the BEA in New York to meet up with some great blogger friends, but immigration hassles in the UK put the halt on that idea. So instead, I am back for me second year of Armchair BEA. I had a blast last year and met so many great bloggers, and this year looks to be just as exciting. So without further ado, the answers to the introduction questions!! Continue reading



I have never been a fan of Amazon and what I perceive to be its predatory practices. Its status as a bully has made headlines again this past week. In order to persuade Hachette Book Group to agree to unfavorable terms, Amazon ceased taking pre-orders for their books, delayed delivery times and stopped including Hachette books in its recommendation algorithm. As it has done with other publishers, Amazon is attempting to strong arm Hachette into an unfair deal. Allison at The Book Wheel has done an excellent job of outlining the problem and starting the hashtag campaign, #ReadHachette. Continue reading

Smoke River by Krista Foss

Smoke-RiverSmoke River is Krista Foss‘ first novel. It is set in the vaguely named interlake region of Ontario, in a fictitious settlement that bears a striking resemblance to the Caledonia and Hagersville area bordering the Six Nations Reserve. In recent years, Caledonia has been synonymous with First Nations land disputes, and that sets the scene for Smoke River. Continue reading

Cover Wars: Astonish Me

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead (review) was one of the most anticipated books of the spring. American and British publishers handled the cover design in very different ways. Stuart Bache, the designer of the British cover, explains how he came up with the cover for the UK.


So, which do you prefer? The North American cover that brings to mind the ribbons fastened up a ballet dancer’s leg? Or the more fractured and stark look of the UK cover?

Landing Gear by Kate Pullinger

Landing-GearI wasn’t sure what to make of Kate Pullinger‘s latest novel, Landing Gear. I really enjoyed her Governor General’s Award winning The Mistress of Nothing (2009), but in many ways it could not be more different than Landing Gear. The Mistress of Nothing was a historical novel set in colonial Egypt, Landing Gear is a novel that grew out of a multimedia digital project called Flight Paths: A Networked Novel and is very much set in the here and now.

Ostensibly the story is about Yacub, a Pakistani man who stows away in the landing gear of a plane bound for London. As the landing gear descends on it’s approach to Heathrow, he falls and lands on Harriet’s car. Miraculously, he is alive and unscathed and she takes Yacub home and adopts him into her family. And to a large extent family is really what the novel is about. What constitutes a family in modern society? How do you remain true to that family and how does it impact your identity as an individual? Continue reading

Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony Johnston

remember-me-like-thisI don’t normally read novels about missing children. As a mother, it is territory I don’t want to visit. But there was something about Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony Johnston that made me want to pick it up. Maybe it was because most of the book has to do with life after the missing boy returns home. Whatever it was, Remember Me Like This is a compelling and page turning read that delves into ever shifting family dynamics. Continue reading

The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland

I am quite surprised by how much I liked The Transcriptionist by Amy RoThe-Transcriptionistwland. It is a quiet and soft spoken novel, that to me read like a short story. Days after reading it, certain powerful images continue to pop up in my brain at the most unexpected times.

The story focuses on Lena, a transcriptionist at a large New York newspaper. Here Rowland speaks of what she knows, as she worked as a transcriptionist at the New York Times before moving on to the Book Review. Overtime, the words Lena transcribes come to overtake her and inhabit her. In particular, there is one story of a woman mauled to death by lions at the zoo, that Lena cannot let go of. Continue reading

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

bellweather-rhapsodyOne part The Shining, two parts Scooby-Doo equals Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia. Well, maybe not Scooby-Doo, but a mystery that is distinctly less frightening than The Shinning. Bellweather Rhapsody is a novel that is so up my alley, that it comes as now surprise that I whirled right through it.

Rabbit and Alice are twins chosen, along with about 100 other music prodigies,  to go to a statewide music festival hosted annually at the once regal Bellweather Hotel in upstate New York. For Alice this is a dream come true until her famous roommate turns up dead. For Rabbit, the weekend marks the beginning of a personal journey without Alice by his side. The teachers and chaperons of the event seem to be up to hi jinks of their own, and the weather conspires to snow them all in. Are ya with me? Continue reading