Book Blogger Spotlight: Purple Jelly Bean Reviews

We’re excited to bring you our November Book Blogger Spotlight! This is where we chat with one of our bloggers, ask them to share some of their favorite authors, the books they can’t live without, and find out how they came to book blogging.

This month, we bring you our chat with the delightful Natalie from Purple Jelly Bean Reviews. You can follow her on Twitter @nattiejean1969.

What made you want to start a book blog?

I have always been a very passionate reader, it wasn’t until I had been given an ereader that I discoverd reviews for books, I followed the trail to the Goodreads website and started checking out everyone’s book blogs, I asked a few questions to friends who added me and as they say “Bob’s your Uncle” my blog was born!

What’s your favourite reading spot?

My favorite color is purple (like I’m not obvious about that lol) and I found a huge purple leather chair that just happened to look like a jelly bean. Curled up in that reading is where you will most of the time find me.

Your favourite book in the last year?

My favorite in the last year is a series by Patti Roberts called Paradox The Angels Are Here. It is so far a 3 book series and I think 1-2 more coming out. I am on #3 right now. It is a must read series, Patti is from Australia and she is an indie author published through Smaswords.com and Amazon.

Favourite book of all time?

Oh wow that is a tough question, with all of the books I read it is really hard to narrow down which has become my favorite of all time. I think I will answer this question with a favorite book/series I have read many times if that’s ok lol. V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic I would say is one of my favorites to date, I’ve read that series probably 20 times now.

Favourite author?

I have a few of those, Stephen King, Sandra Brown, Christine Feehan, Beatrice Small and Philippa Gregory are my favorites that I just have to have their new books, incredible authors.

Favourite movie adaptation of a book?

The Green Mile, I have to say is my favorite adaptation of a book, I think I have watched that as many times as I have read V.C. Andrews!

What do you do when you’re not working on your blog?

I work in Health Care, I am a secretary for Seniors Mental Health and also for Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment Program in Nova Scotia. I have 2 children 17 & 21 but they still keep me very busy lol an amazing boyfriend and 2 cats Bubba and Missy and 1 dog, a Boston Terrier named Jack who I think has been sent to drive us all crazy lol, he is very entertaining though and a joy to be with (espically when he’s sleeping)!! The rest of my time is spent reading, and I love chatting with all my blogger/author friends on facebook or through email.

Bubba and Missy

Jack

Do you seek reader engagement on your blog? If so, how does this affect your ideas about books and authors?

Oh yes, I love getting others opinions of what I have read, my opinion is only 1 of many and it is nice to see how everyone elses perspective is different from my own, it lets you see things in many different ways wether I agree or not. It is a big part of why I blog I love the interaction with those who follow me.

Do you read other blogs? Which ones?

I have over 400 that I try to follow as best as I can, I always start with Simon & Schuster I review a lot for them, Cambria Hebert, Jason McIntyre, Patti Roberts, Rachel Firasek, Christine Feehan, simonreads.ca, harpercollinscanada, Dani Harper oh her blog is so awesome, they all are but there is so many to list.

How has your blog developed or changed since you first started?

Oh when I first started lol it was a mess, I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t know HTML coding, trying to figure out what a gadget and a widget was almost gave me a nervous breakdown lol, but slowly and with the help of some amazing bloggers I had made friends with my blog has developed better than I had thought it would, which to me is amazing, I love blogging and reviewing for authors if I hadn’t of gotten an ereader for christmas one year I wouldn’t be talking with you today which I am so grateful that I am!

Book Blogger Spotlight: Just a Lil’ Lost

We’re excited to bring you our October Book Blogger Spotlight! This is where we chat with one of our bloggers, ask them to share some of their favorite authors, the books they can’t live without, and find out how they came to book blogging.

This month, we bring you our chat with the wonderful Michele from Just a Lil’ Lost. You can follow her on Twitter @JustaLilLost.

What made you want to start a book blog?

I have always loved blogging, and used the Post a Day Challenge on WordPress last year to get back into the swing of things. A friend noticed that I often wrote about books that I was reading so she suggested I look into book blogging! I’m surprised I didn’t immediately think of doing that to begin with, since I always wanted my blog to have a main topic… this was really just inevitable!

What’s your favourite reading spot?

Anywhere! I will always have a book with me so anywhere I can get a chance to read is a favourite spot. I actually enjoy reading while commuting. It makes the trek go by faster, and if it’s somewhere further I have to go, I just figure it’s more reading time for me!

Your favourite book in the last year?

My favourite book of last year was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I absolutely loved that book, and quite enjoyed the movie as well.

Favourite book of all time?

Favourite book of all time would have to be the Harry Potter series. I know, I know… it’s not ONE book but those really are my favourite. I don’t re-read books except for this series. But, if I absolutely had to pick a favourite from the series, I’d say it’s #6 – Half Blood Prince.

Favourite author?

Going along with my previous answer, it would have to be J.K. Rowling – for sure. It’s so inspirational how she started writing, while sitting in a coffee shop and having publishers turn down her manuscript before it finally got published. Rags to riches… it’s amazing.

Favourite movie adaptation of a book?

That’s a tough one… at the risk of sounding repetitive and saying Harry Potter again (even though they are my fave) I’ll say The Notebook. I thought the book was okay but I absolutely loved the movie. I joke that I tend to have a cold heart towards sappy movies or books but this film had me bawling!

What do you do when you’re not working on your blog?

When I’m not downing Starbucks’ caramel macchiatos at my day job in marketing or out with friends for brunch, I can be found with a book and my laptop, near a TV. Besides reading, I am also a bit of a TV junkie and, like I am with books, there are way too many good shows that I don’t get a chance to check out. There is just not enough time in a day to read all the books, and watch all the shows, that I’d like to!

Do you seek reader engagement on your blog? If so, how does this affect your ideas about books and authors?

Hmm yes and no.. I welcome comments and thoughts on reviews or other posts that I may have up on the blog. It’s more when I’m reading reviews that I tend to be more selective. There was a highly-anticipated book last year that I was very excited about. In passing, accidentally, came across someone’s thoughts on it and the one thing they had a problem with it. The entire time I was reading the book, I couldn’t get that issue out of my head because the seed had been planted. I hate spoilers, so I tend to stay away from reviews on books that I plan on reading soon, just so it won’t taint or bias my own view of it.

Do you read other blogs? Which ones?

I read many other book blogs – which would be too numerous to list. Other than that, I frequent Entertainment Weekly‘s site, and sometimes Wired, Gizmodo and Jezebel.

How has your blog developed or changed since you first started?

When I first started it, it was a blog about anything of interest that came to mind. It developed into what it is now, a “mostly-book blog” where I still can use it to discuss particular topics that I find interesting, share my photographs and – of course – discuss all things book related

Book Blogger Spotlight: Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf

We’re excited to bring you our September Book Blogger Spotlight! This is where we chat with one of our bloggers, ask them to share some of their favorite authors, the books they can’t live without, and find out how they came to book blogging.

This month, we bring you our chat with the lovely Lucy from Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf. You can follow her on Twitter @MoonlightGleams.

Lucy: Before getting into the interview, I would like to thank the wonderful people at Simon & Schuster for extending this wonderful opportunity to me. If I could, I would give you all a group hug! *virtual group hug!*

Let’s get started!

 What made you want to start a book blog?

Reading has always been a passion of mine and is a big part of who I am.

Prior to blogging, I was reviewing books on my Indigo Community page for quite a few years. This was a great start for me, however, I was wanting for a more personal way to review novels and connect with other book lovers around the world.

With the encouragement and support of the great friendships I acquired within the blogging community, I was finally brave enough to pursue my desire of creating my very own book blog.

I created Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf on November 28th, 2010, nearly two years ago, and I feel fortunate to be part of a wonderful community that welcomed me with wide open arms.

What’s your favourite reading spot?

My favorite reading spot at the moment is at the corner of my room, right by my bookshelves. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by books while reading?

 Your favourite book in the last year?

There were so many titles that I really enjoyed over the last year! I can’t seem to pick only one, so I’d like to share my top four picks if you don’t mind!

–      Triangles by Ellen Hopkins
–       Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook
–       Lucy In The Sky by Anonymous
–       The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Favourite book of all time?

Go Ask Alice is definitely my favorite book of all time. It’s an emotional read that addresses strong subject matters and will change the reader’s perspective on life. I’ve read it four times over the years and I recommend it wholeheartedly to everyone that hasn’t read it yet.

Favourite author? 

Kelley Armstrong and Cassandra Clare are my favorite authors within the paranormal genre for both Adult and YA Fiction. Ellen Hopkins is also tied in at first place as I really enjoy her prose poetry writing style and how she incorporates relatable characters and important everyday issues within her novels.

Favourite movie adaptation of a book?

What immediately comes to mind is a classic called To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee. It’s a great movie and an even better novel that I believe everyone should read.

I also really enjoyed movie adaptations of Gone With The Wind, Little Women, and Wuthering Heights. My most recent movie releases that are among my favorites include Shutter Island, The Timetraveler’s Wife, My Sister’s Keeper, The Lovely Bones, and The Golden Compass.

 What do you do when you’re not working on your blog?

I’m currently a full-time university student at Concordia University in Montreal, at which I’m pursuing a Chartered Accountancy designation. I also work part-time in retail and as a marker for one of my professors.

My other hobbies, apart reading, include creating natural mineral eyeshadows, photography, and coin collecting, just to name a few.

Do you seek reader engagement on your blog? If so, how does this affect your ideas about books and authors?

Connecting with my readers is very important to me as I believe in developing great relationships with them.

While keeping in mind that my readers include people of all ages, other bloggers, and authors, I do my best to create and share quality posts that will interest them all. That being said, honesty is my top priority when I’m creating my posts and typing up my reviews.

I am really fortunate to have acquired such a great follower base in so little time. My readers are very supportive and frequently give me great feedback by commenting on my reviews, and sending me private messages.

I can also say with confidence that many of the friendships I’ve acquired throughout the last two years of blogging will last for years to come.

Do you read other blogs? Which ones?

There are quite a few blogs that I’ve subscribed to and I wish that I could list them all; however, I’ll list some of those that I visit most often:

Tynga’s Reviews

Rabid Reads

fiktshun

Books of Love

Cindy’s Love Of Books

Lost at Midnight Reviews

Midnight Bloom Reads

Bookshipper

Parajunkee’s View

Kristina’s World of Books

Dazzling Reads

Once upon a quote …

How has your blog developed or changed since you first started?

With the exception of the appearance of my blog, I’m always looking to improve my reviews and step out of my comfort zone.

I have also recently recruited a co-blogger, Crimson! She’s awesome and I couldn’t have asked a better person to take on the task. I’ve created an About Us page so that my readers can learn more about her and I.
Ways to contact Lucy:
Email
Goodreads
Facebook
Youtube
Amazon

Book Blogger Spotlight: History and Women

We’re excited to bring you our July Book Blogger Spotlight! This is where we chat with some of our bloggers, ask them to share some of their favourite authors, the books they can’t live without, and find out how they came to book blogging.

This month, we bring you our chat with Mirella, who is extremely busy maintaining not one, but TWO blogs! History and Women and Historical Novel Review. You can find her on Twitter @historyandwomen or @historicalnovel.

What made you want to start a book blog?

I was the firstborn child of immigrant parents from Italy. In my pre-school years, my parents struggled to learn English. Most of the time, I was their interpreter, even though I was younger than 5 years old. So no one read me a story. In fact, I didn’t even know books existed. Then when I began first grade, my teacher opened a book and read the class a story. It was life changing. I was hooked at this whole new world that I never knew existed. By the time I was seven years old, I dragged my mom to the library and made her get me my own library card. From that day forward, I borrowed books every week. My passion for books remained with me all my life. I have a huge collection of books, so I decided to write reviews and spread the word about books I loved. I began http://historicalnovelreview.blogspot.com and the blog became so popular, I had to add several good friends to help me.

Popularity continued to grow so I expanded and created another blog, http://historyandwomen.com to not only feature biographies of notorious and famous women of history, but to include reviews of women’s or biographical historical fiction. This blog turned out to be even more popular than the first one.

Together, the two blogs are generating 75,000 hits per month / 3,000 per day. I’m so thrilled to be able to share my love of books with others and even happier that I have made so many cyber friends through my blogs.

What’s your favourite reading spot?

I read only in bed. At the end of the day, (usually shortly after supper) I put on my pj’s and cuddle up with a good book. I’ll read for one or two hours and then it’s lights out. Unfortunately, I’m not a good sleeper and usually awaken in the middle of the night. That’s when I pick up my book again until my eyes get heavy and I can fall back asleep.

Your favourite book in the last year?

I can’t say I have one clear favourite, but the book that really comes to mind is CROWN by Nancy Bilyeau.  Books set in medieval periods and about women are clear hits with me; especially biographical or those with Italian settings.

Favourite book of all time?

There are three books that are my all time favorites.

The first is Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I first read that book at the age of twelve and have read it several times since then.  Who doesn’t love Scarlet O’Hara and Rhett Butler? But more than the characters, it was the southern setting of Atlanta and its burning that caught my fascination.

The second book is John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. I love a great, evil, unredeemable villain and this book depicted the worst of the very worst! I think it is the shock of all the horrible things the villainess did that kept me reading and made me fall for the book.

And thirdly, I have to say Outlander by Diana Gabaldan. I love the hero and the heroine and have read this book several times because I could not get enough of it. Unfortunately, the latter books in the series didn’t capture me as much as the first book. 

Favourite author?

Along with Margaret Mitchell and John Steinbeck who I’ve already mentioned, I love F. Marion Crawford another classic author. His intricate plots and ability to paint a literary masterpiece with intensely descriptive words astounds me every time I pick up one of his books.  And because he is an American who moved his family to Italy, many of his tales have Italian settings.

Favourite movie adaptation of a book?

I love The Miracle , a novel written by a German author named Karl Vollmöller. It was made into a movie in 1959. It’s about a young postulant in Spain who falls in love with a handsome British soldier who asks her to leave the convent and marry him. The postulant prays for guidance from a statue of the Virgin Mary, but when she receives none, she leaves the convent and the statue descends from its pedestal and takes the postulant’s place. Meanwhile, the postulant encounters several adventures which ultimately lead her back to the convent. Of course, the plot is much more intricate than this, but I can’t simply give you all the terrific details. Suffice it to say that I loved the movie so much, I scoured the internet and bought a copy of this old book. I just had to add it to my shelf of favourites.

What do you do when you’re not working on your blog?

I’m an aspiring historical fiction author trying hard to break into the Canadian market. I’ve just completed a historical novel entitled Orphan of the Olive Tree. It is a family saga about lies, secrets, and betrayal between two unforgettable women, an oath sworn in blood, a curse uttered in envy, and the dark secret that destroys their lives. It’s set in 13th century Tuscany. I’m currently looking for an agent/publisher. Lots of twists and turns in this story.

Do you seek reader engagement on your blog? If so, how does this affect your ideas about books and authors?

I have met so many fascinating people through my blogs because of comments left and conversations started. It’s led me to meet many authors and bloggers and get to know them well. We regularly visit each other’s blogs to see who is reading or writing what and to get the inside track on new book releases. We share knowledge, our frustrations, and support each other in our blogs.   

Do you read other blogs? Which ones?

You can find a complete list of all the blogs I follow at:  http://historyandwomen.com. There are way too many that I adore. But some of my very favourites are:

Unabridged Chick               

The Brooklyn Scribbler

Colin Falconer 

Lindy Lou Mac Book Reviews

Murder by Gaslight

Royal Women           

How has your blog developed or changed since you first started?

History and Women, now a book review blog, began humbly, as a place to write biographies about famous women in history. I thought it would be nice for me to learn about some of history’s bad girls or saints or scholars and share it with my readers. The blog grew in popularity and now receives 50,000+ hits per month. I expanded the blog to include women’s historical fiction and a little bit about myself and my works in progress. I am so humbled at its popularity and thrilled that I have so many visitors and readers leaving such informative comments. Many even make suggestions about a woman in history they want me to research or a book to read and review. It’s been great fun and a wonderful escape.    

Make sure to take a moment and check out both of Mirella’s blogs below. 

Book Blogger Spotlight: Darlene’s Book Nook

It’s the March feature of Book Blogger Spotlight, where we chat with some of our bloggers, ask them to share some of their favourite authors, the books they can’t live without, and find out how they came to book blogging.

This month we’re hearing from Darlene of Darlene’s Book Nook.

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