Tag: book blogging

December Wrap Up

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder

I had such a wonderful December filled with family, friends and LOTS of delicious food. I’m pretty sad I no longer have an excuse to add the auld drop of Baileys to my coffee but it’s time to get back to normal now anyway.

How was your holiday season?

With all the family fun I got very little reading done and what I did read were mostly audiobooks.

I’m still slowly reading The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (since November) I’m enjoying it but I hope to finish it up in January.

eBooks

Voyeur by Fiona Cole ★★★★☆

Contemporary Romance, Erotica

I think 3.5 stars for this one. Voyeur follows Oaklyn and Callum who are college student and teacher. Oaklyn is desperate for a job in order to pay for college and on the advice of a friend gets a job in Voyeur, a club where clients can watch people having sex and/or masturbating. Unbeknownst to Oaklyn, her new teacher Callum is a regular of the club. Callum has some issues that make a normal relationship very difficult and becomes slightly obsessed with Oaklyn… or infatuated if you want to be a bit nicer. I actually really enjoyed this story but it dragged a bit.

Audiobooks

I Thee Wed (Vanza #2) by Amanda Quick ★★★★☆

Historical Romance, Mystery

My first Amanda Quick book and I am now a fan. I didn’t realise this would have a mystery in it (suits me perfectly since I’m doing Cloak and Dagger Christmas). I love when historical romances have a mystery in them as well.

This book follows Emma and Edison who are attending an event in a country house. Emma is a lady’s companion at the party when circumstances lead her to being assistant to Edison in his investigations for a book of arcane potions he believes was stolen by one of the guests.

Wicked Widow (Vanza #3) by Amanda Quick ★★★★★

Historical Romance, Mystery

Loved this one! Here we follow Madeline and Artemis  who are being plagued by the apparent ghost of Madeline’s husband. The husband everyone believes she murdered. The ghost wrecks havoc with Artemis’s plans for revenge on the men responsible for the death of his lover so the two team up to discover who the ghost is and what he’s after.

Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher #1) by Kerry Greenwood ★★★★☆

Historical, Cosy Mystery

I thought I would enjoy this more since I really like the TV show but there’s something about Phryne in this that annoys me. She’s a little bit of a Mary-Sue… The woman can do anything including dance like a professional, have the perfect body and solve crimes. It was a bit much but still enjoyable. I’ll keep going with the series and see if Phryne calms down a bit.

Murphy’s Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1) by Rhys Bowen ★★★★☆

Historical, Cosy Mystery

This was really enjoyable even if it was a bit unrealistic. That’s totally fine for a cosy mystery though. It should be more enjoyable and fun to read than gritty and real.

Here we follow Molly Murphy in 1901 making her way from Ireland to New York. When she arrives she gets entangled in a murder on Ellis Island and must clear her name and the name of her friend. The reason I found it a bit unrealistic is because Molly is very independent and has very trouble running around New York investigating a murder by herself.

I really loved the language in the book. It’s the best Irish dialogue written from a non-Irish person I’ve read.

Death of Riley (Molly Murphy Mysteries #2) by Rhys Bowen ★★★★☆

Historical, Cosy Mystery

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first but it was still very good. In this one Molly gets a job working for a private investigator but he ends up murdered and she sets herself the task of finding out who done it


So that was it for December. I was in a tizzy over what book to bring to my parents for Christmas week and in the end I had no time to read anyway!

I’ll hopefully read a bit more in January. What was your favourite read in December?

January TBR

The first TBR of the year. I plan on reading less this year than previous years so I’m going to make my TBRs about 3 or 4 books and leave the rest to mood reading.

I’ve picked out two books from series I’ve already started, one new series and a stand alone novel that I was sent from Poolbeg.

Echoes of Grace by Caragh Bell

Contemporary Fiction, Stand Alone, Print

Echoes of Grace

Even in death, love survives

Grace Molloy was the darling of the theatre scene. Young and dazzling, she gave it all up to marry the playwright Henry Sinclair, thirty years her senior. Then, one stormy night, she died giving birth to her daughter, Aurora.

Left with no memory of her mother, Aurora is raised by Henry and her nanny, Maggie, in a huge old house on the Cornish coastline. All the little girl has of Grace is a portrait – a painting of a woman in a white dress, her beautiful face frozen in time.

Aurora grows up, resembling Grace in looks and talent. She pursues her dream of being on the stage and soon achieves great success in the world of theatre, like her mother before her. Then a secret unfolds – a secret that could threaten all that she holds dear . . .

Echoes of Grace is the story of a young woman who, having overcome a painful past, must now embrace it to find her real self.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


Arcana Rising by Kresley Cole

YA Fantasy Dystopia, #4 Arcana Chronicles, eBook

Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles, #4)

Losses mount and deadly new threats converge in this next action-packed tale of the Arcana Chronicles by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole. 

When the battle is done . . . 
The Emperor unleashes hell and annihilates an army, jeopardizing the future of mankind–but Circe strikes back. The epic clash between them devastates the Arcana world and nearly kills Evie, separating her from her allies.

And all hope is lost . . . 
With Aric missing and no sign that Jack and Selena escaped Richter’s reach, Evie turns more and more to the darkness lurking inside her. Two Arcana emerge as game changers: one who could be her salvation, the other her worst nightmare.

Vengeance becomes everything.
To take on Richter, Evie must reunite with Death and mend their broken bond. But as she learns more about her role in the future–and her chilling past–will she become a monster like the Emperor? Or can Evie and her allies rise up from Richter’s ashes, stronger than ever before?

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


Wicked Abyss by Kresley Cole

Paranormal Romance, #18 Immortals After Dark, eBook

Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark, #18)

This fairy tale doesn’t end with a kiss… A spellbinding Immortals After Dark tale from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole!

The terrifying king of hell…

As a boy, Abyssian “Sian” Infernas had his heart shattered by a treacherous fey beauty who died before he could exact vengeance. Millennia later, a curse has transformed him into a demonic monster–just as she’s been reincarnated. Sian captures the delicate but bold female, forcing her back to hell.

Meets his match.

Princess Calliope “Lila” Barbot’s people have hated and feared Abyssian and his alliance of monsters for eons. When the beastly demon imprisons her in his mystical castle, vowing revenge for betrayals she can’t remember, Lila makes her own vow: to bring down the wicked beast for good.

Can two adversaries share one happily-ever-after?

As Calliope turns hell inside out, the all-powerful Sian finds himself defenseless against his feelings for her. In turn, Lila reluctantly responds to the beast’s cleverness and gruff vulnerability. But when truths from a far distant past are revealed, can their tenuous bond withstand ages of deceit, a curse, and a looming supernatural war?

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Urban Fantasy, #1 Iron Druid Chronicles, eBook

Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


What books are you planning on reading this month?

Interesting Articles from the Booksphere

Fangoria Hires Women to Reinvent Frankenstein Myth

Not only is Fangoria back on the beat after a year-long hiatus, but the classic horror magazine is branching out into film production, and one of its first projects will be a female-fronted version of Frankenstein called “After Birth,” the directorial debut of Laura Moss (who also co-wrote the script). From the synopsis given by The Hollywood Reporter, this tale sounds like the true heir to Mary Shelley’s original tale – which, as Jill Lepore documented earlier this year, owes more to the author’s biographical experience than history has been willing to consider (in the years immediately before writing Frankenstein, she gave birth to a child who died, and then became pregnant again almost immediately after). It sounds like this will be a fascinating entry into the feminist Frankenstein mythos that for once doesn’t focus on “The Bride.” – Tom Blunt, Signature

An Activist’s Reading List from Virago Press

The Activist's Reading List

Virago Press publishes a range of titles from historical fiction to nature writing, but it has always published a list of vital and vocal books about feminism and activism. While preparing to publish Can We All Be Feminists?  Seventeen Writers on Intersectionality, Identity and Finding the Right Way Forward for Feminism edited by June Eric-Udorie, a collection of essays about intersectional feminism, I rooted around in the Virago archives to find five essential texts that every feminist and activist should read. – Ailah Ahmed, Virago

10 Best Books on the Art of Storytelling

There’s something thrilling about the way certain writers can take readers behind the curtain of how stories are told. Some authors bring the same verve and deftness to their accounts of the process as they do with their acclaimed fiction and nonfiction; others turn the building blocks of stories into something unpredictable, leading readers to view the telling of stories in a whole new light. – TOBIAS CARROLL, Signature

Interview with Tana French

silver Apple MacBook Pro on

Dublin crime novelist Tana French has the kind of critical reviews that other writers would…well, die for. Her debut murder mystery, In the Woods, won rave reviews and multiple literary prizes upon its release in 2007. Since then, her books have tended to haunt the bestseller lists, on both sides of the pond, and for months at a time. British newspaper The Independent has dubbed French “The First Lady of Irish Crime,” and The Washington Post says she is the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past ten years.  – Goodreads

7 Best Coffee Books for Coffee Lovers (Plus a Free Guide)

For some, coffee is a means of getting through the morning. For others, it is a way of life. Whatever it may be for you, more than 150 million Americans drink coffee each day and more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world each day.

What can we gather from this? People love their damn coffee and always will. With that being said, we’ve put together a list of the best coffee books out there, as well as a free coffee guide. Read on, coffee lovers, read on. – JESSICA MIZZI, Signature


Visit Elaine Howlin Zazzle Literary Book Gifts Store

5 Interesting Articles from the Booksphere

It’s almost as enjoyable to read about books as it is to read books (almost). Here are some interesting articles I read during the month about the books and reading. The article from Goodreads about killing the ‘dead girl’ in crime is particularly interesting and Signature’s article on haunted houses in literature has some great books for Autumn.

Elaine Howlin Book Blog Review

Book Bloggers Are Real Readers

Bloggers do it for their love of books. No agendas, no bias and no pay. If  bestselling authors can see the benefit, why can some readers not?

“On Saturday, February 4th, Chocolat author Joanne Harris started a hashtag on Twitter: #tentweetsaboutbookbloggers highlighted some of the misconceptions that surround the world of book blogging and online reviews.” – Margaret Madden, The Irish Times

Killing the ‘Dead Girl’ Theme in Crime Fiction

dead girls

“It’s long been my observation that a lot of crime writing, even very good crime writing, can be summed up this way: a beautiful girl dies, and a man feels bad about it. Maybe he’s a mourning husband/father/brother/lover. Maybe he’s falsely accused. Maybe he did it, but he has, you know, REASONS. And now we’re seeing more and more female writers asserting for their ownership of crime fiction, and it’s very exciting. ” – Cybil, Goodreads

The Future Isn’t Female—It’s Feminine

women power

“How is feminine different? Because as with all labels, categorizations divide us. Evolving means being all-encompassing rather than exclusive. Men are just as capable of being feminine as females are. Therefore, this change isn’t solely to be championed by females. But championed by those in tune with and embracing all things feminine. A balanced approach to both masculine and feminine energy. Not one or the other. Remember from the Goddess Manifesto: Unity is a source of our power.” – Emma Mildon, Tips on Life & Love

Beyond Haunted House: Fictional Houses in Novels that Jump off the Page

“Whether English country houses, Gothic Manors, or simply the classic haunted houses, writers have long had a fascination with making homes the centerpiece of stories. Some are so memorable and integral to the narrative as to essentially become characters themselves. They stick with us, captivate and terrify us, and provide a level of metaphorical depth that lifts a novel to another level. From horror and suspense to literary fiction and everything in between, these are few of my favorite houses in literature.” – Keith Rice, Signature

Everything We Know About the ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ Movie

“With Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Witherspoon adds another female-authored debut novel to her list of book club picks. The book stars Eleanor, a lonely 30-year-old who spends her weekends nursing a bottle of vodka and a pop-star obsession. Throughout the novel we see Eleanor slowly widen her circle of interaction, both intentionally and unintentionally. However, Honeyman didn’t want Eleanor to be portrayed as a victim. The result is a humorous, yet thought-provoking story.” – Vicki Lindern, Bookbub


Visit Elaine Howlin Zazzle Literary Book Gifts Store

Book Blogger Inside Look Tag

It’s another tag video! This one is by Jamie @ALittleSliceofJamie

I mentioned the Children’s Books Not Safe For Kids post in the video. Here’s the link if you want to check it out.


The Questions

WHERE DO YOU TYPICALLY WRITE YOUR BLOG POSTS?

HOW LONG DOES IT GENERALLY TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK REVIEW?

WHEN DID YOU START YOUR BOOK BLOG?

WHAT IS THE WORST THING ABOUT HAVING A BOOK BLOG IN YOUR OPINION?

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT HAVING A BOOK BLOG IN YOUR OPINION?

WHAT BLOG POST HAVE YOU HAD THE MOST FUN WRITING SO FAR?

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TYPE OF BLOG POST TO WRITE?

WHEN DO YOU TYPICALLY WRITE? DO YOU REVIEW EVERY BOOK YOU READ?

HOW DO YOU WRITE YOUR BOOK REVIEWS? WITH A CUP OF COFFEE OR TEA? WITH NETFLIX? CUDDLED WITH YOUR FUR BABY?

WHEN DO YOU WRITE YOUR BOOK REVIEWS? RIGHT AFTER FINISHING THE BOOK? TWO WEEKS AFTER FINISHING THE BOOK?

HOW OFTEN DO YOU POST?