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