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: Serendipitous Readings

We’re excited to bring you our June 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 Marci, from Serendipitous Readings. You can find her on Twitter @SerendipReads.

What made you want to start a book blog?

I wanted to see if there were people out in the blogosphere that had the same taste of books I had, as well as opinions – and how they differed.  I have come to find that not only are people opinioned about books they are just as or more than I am!

What’s your favorite reading spot? 

Favorite reading spot in the summer has to be outside – in a chair, on the grass, on the beach, have book will travel!

Your favorite book in the last year? 

I just read one called The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye absolutely could not put it down for the 12 or so hours it was glued…wait I was glued to it!

Favorite book of all time? 

I would have to say The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

Favorite author? 

Just one ?!? I have so many!  Lawrence Hill, Philippa Gregory, Scott Westerfeld, Vincent Lam,  Andrew Pyper..the list could go on, and on and on!

Favorite movie adaptation of a book?

I would have to say The Soloist by Steve Lopez.  Some or most of the political issues weren’t included in the movie, but still a fabulous book!

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

I take our dog Remington out for walks, I talk about people about books, I am on twitter, facebook, and because I’m a single parent, doing all of the running around that needs to be done!

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

I do seek reader engagement.  I believe that everyone has a valuable opinion and it usually doesn’t affect the ideas – thoughts I have about books and authors.  When I’m reading a book for review, I try not to read other reviews until I am finished.  I don’t want their interpretations of the same book I’m reading to skew my opinion.  Even on social media websites there is the occasional scuffle which either includes a blogger, an author, both or something /someone else.  In the beginning, it was exciting to hear all of the drama (right?) Now I’m more of the thing about all of us getting along and supporting one another, trying to work things out.  Life is too short, wouldn’t you agree?   But, there have been times when an author has gone all up and down someone and I thought wow, how can I make this not happen to me or to someone else? Or what has made the author so angry to make them explode on a public forum like that, it must have been bad if they have gone and done that!

Do you read other blogs? Which ones?

Sure I do, mostly when there is a book I haven’t heard about or a geek blog such as Mashable, Good E-Reader.  Like I had said earlier, I don’t really read book blogs unless there is a book that I haven’t heard of, or it has had a fantastic review of one I have already read and adored.

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

I guess in the beginning it was all new and exciting, I created a blog on Blogger.  After about a year or so after that I moved to WordPress and just last year I created my own site now that I pay for out of my own pocket, which I hope that will stay as relevant as any other blog out there.  I try to look beyond what the person is trying to say in the comments or when they send me an email about an issue I have covered and try to help them as much as I can.  There are the usual ups and downs, but I try not to let that get to me.  Everyone has their own opinion and they are welcome to share it, even though I may or may not agree/disagree with it.

Book Blogger Spotlight: The House of Crime and Mystery

We’re excited to bring you our May 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 Jacques, from The House of Crime and Mystery. You can find him on Twitter @housecrimystery .

What made you want to start a book blog?

To change the world? Actually, it was to share my passion for books with others –hoping they would care—and to post interviews I was doing with crime fiction writers. I thought it’d be interesting to become a member of the blogging community, meeting new people and interacting about literature. The thing I never thought would happen, nor even dreamed about, was that my blog would receive so much visits, attention and flattering comments. I am flabbergasted (I always liked that word).

What’s your favourite reading spot?

Between the covers. Literally. And pretty much everywhere else. The couch is comfortable; the expression ‘couch potato’ applies to me but in connection to books, not to television. In the summer, I like the patio. I bought a hammock but I haven’t installed it yet, and I’m sure it’ll become my favourite spot this summer.

 Your favourite book in the last year?

Boy oh boy. Tough question.  Since the start of 2012, I’d have to go with Tom Rob Smith’s Agent 6, a great thriller that travels from Russia to NYC, to Afghanistan and back to Russia, from the 1950s to the 1980s. Close behind I’d have to mention Brad Smith’s Red Means Run, the start of a promising series, and Montreal writer Robert Pobi with his first novel Bloodman. Almost as scary as Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon and as creepy as The Silence of the Lambs. I’ll soon post on my blog an interview I did with Robert recently in Montreal. Not creepy at all, very nice man, très sympathique, and interesting.
Favourite book of all time?

Wow, tougher question.

OK, can’t pick only one so I’ll go with the ones I keep re-reading (yes, I do that; when a book is really good, it deserves to be re-read). John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things, Stephen King’s Different Seasons and his Dark Tower series (although I have read that only once so far); Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon, Peter Straub’s Ghost Story, Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island. And many more that I forget. Impossible to have only one.

Favourite author?

OK, it’s a little easier. The ones mentioned in the previous question are all favourites, along with George Pelecanos, Michael Connelly, Megan Abbott, Bryan Gruley, Laura Lippman, Mark Billingham and a few others. But the number one has got to be Stephen King. The man has been entertaining me for over 30 years and he’s the main reason I’m in this business. He influenced so much of my readings. His 1980 book Danse Macabre was like a bible to me from my teenage years to my early 30s. I’ve read pretty much everything he recommended in that book. We have a special bond moi et oncle Steve; when he talks to his “Constant Reader”? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s actually me he’s talking to. Ayuh.

Favourite movie adaptation of a book?

Stand by Me (from the story The Body, in King’s Different Seasons), Shawshank Redemption (from the same book), Mystic River, The World According to Garp, L.A. Confidential, I could name so many. I’m almost as passionate about movies than I am about books.

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

I work full-time as a sales rep for independent publishers (The Literary Press Group of Canada). I raise two kids (my wife helps a lot). Last year, I co-founded the QuebeCrime Writers Festival with my friend Guy Dubois, owner of La Maison Anglaise Bookstore, in Quebec city. We’re working on the second edition that will be held from October 25 to 27. I’m also the Canadian contributor for a great website called Crime Fiction Lover, based in the UK. I’m also an amateur photographer.

I still play ice hockey twice a week from September to March, and I bike the rest of the year. My soft spot is for stray cats; I feed and nurse them back to health when they need it. There are between 5 and 10 of them depending of the season. Some come and go, others have been coming here for a few years. And that’s not counting the two that have been living in the house for the past 15 years. I’d love to have a dog too. A big one.

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

Surprisingly, with the constant traffic I get on the blog, I don’t receive a lot of feedback on the actual blog. I receive a bit more by email. I’d love to receive more feedback –good or bad, as long as it’s honest criticism. I’m very open to suggestions about the blog in general and about books and writers in particular. I’m working on an interactive post that could be recurrent if response is good and people enjoy it. Reader reviews are welcome as guest posts. I try leaving comments on other blogs because I know it can be hard not getting any feedback. You start wondering if your post is boring, if you wrote something stupid, etc. Fortunately, the constant rise in traffic is encouraging.

Do you read other blogs? Which ones?

The Rap Sheet for the wealth of info. I admire J. Kingston Pierce and what he’s doing. It’s the best blog in the genre, bar none. That’s why I don’t do a regular crime fiction news on my blog; I’d never be able to keep up with The Rap Sheet and what would be the point. It’s the CNN of crime blogs, we don’t need another one like it. Pearce is a living encyclopedia and I seriously hope someone at some point will give him a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to crime fiction. I also admire what Janet Rudolph is doing; if Wonder Woman exists, it’s Janet. She runs two different blogs (that I know of): Mystery Fanfare and Dying for Chocolate, and also a fabulous website/paper, Mystery Readers Journal for Mystery Readers International. She writes and produces Murder on the Menu, etc.

I also enjoying reading other blogs like Jen’s Book Thoughts, and a few more that focus almost exclusively on book reviews and some interviews or guest posts. I read the ones where I know I’ll discover writers and works, like Eva Dolan’s loiteringwithintent, Andrew Nette’s Pulp Curry, Luca Veste’s  Guilty Conscience and a few others. The best interviewer out there, alongside J. Kingston Pierce, is probably Len Wanner. His website is The Crime of It All. Brilliant stuff.

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

I hope it has improved. I like to think it has. Looking at the blog stats I know which posts are popular and from the constant rise in traffic I also know that I must be doing something right. The giveaways are more popular when readers need only to send their name and address, as opposed to contests where they need to participate a bit more, like giving an answer or two. So unless an author or publicist wants to do a contest, I’ll just keep doing giveaways. Before starting my blog, I looked at what was being done out there and I decided to try to be different as much as possible. I have a French page “Ze Room Noire” that is very popular and I have to thank my main collaborator Grenouille Noire for this. After a while, I thought of putting that page as a separate blog, but I finally decided against it because Ze Room Noire is too much a part of The House of Crime & Mystery. I also deleted some pages that I never really updated; I did some trial and error during the first year and I’ll keep making changes whenever it’ll help the blog be more interesting.

Book Blogger Spotlight: Cindy’s Love Of Books

It’s the February 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 Cindy of Cindy’s Love Of Books.

What made you want to start a book blog?
I have always been a reader and always recommending books and it was only when my son started kindergarten (4 years ago) that I realized that I wanted to start documenting what I read and thought of books. Someone I knew had recommended doing it online so I started researching and stumbled upon other people who had a passion for reading doing the same thing. So I figured why not, I have time on my hands to do it while he was at school.

What’s your favourite reading spot?
My favorite reading spot currently is the living room, curled up on the couch. Although that will change once we get our family room renovated in a few weeks. I will have the back section where I will have my books placed in a new home on wall to wall bookcases and a nice comfy chair in front to sit and read.

Your favourite book in the last year?
I read so many great books last year that I don’t think I could pick just one. I read and enjoyed The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher, Holly Black’s White Cat and Red Glove (can’t wait for the new one to come out) and so many other great books.

Favourite book of all time?
My favorite book of all time is Wuthering Heights. I read it when I was in high school and to this day its the only book that I can re-read over and over again.

Favourite author?
I have so many favorite authors and probably too many to list but hands down favourites are James Patterson, Sophie Kinsella, Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, and Cassandra Clare. This list grows everytime I discover a new author.

Favourite movie adaptation of a book?
I usually don’t watch a movie adaptation of a book but the one that I really want to go and see is Hugo. I borrowed the book from my son’s school library and enjoyed it so I am curious to see how it will play out.

What do you do when you’re not working on your blog?
When I am not working on my blog, I am probably reading, helping my son with his homework, or taking him to hockey or curling. I have just started knitting so that is something else I do when I am not blogging.

Do you seek reader engagement on your blog? If so, how does this affect your ideas about books and authors?
I love when my readers stop by and comment on my blog. I am like a little kid in the candy store when I go into my blog to discover a new comment from a reader. It’s really exciting and it makes you feel good knowing that someone takes the time to do that. I have to admit that I am a little bad at commenting on other blogs. That is my new year’s resolution though.

Do you read other blogs? Which ones?
Yes. I read so many blogs and try to read them all but its hard so I make the effort to at least read them weekly. My favorites are read daily.

Some of the ones I read all the time are:
Tina at http://bookshipper.blogspot.com
Lucy at http://moonlightgleam.com
Kathy at http://bermudaonion.net
Sheila at http://bookjourney.wordpress.com/
Marci at http://serendipitous-readings.com/
Marie at http://lazydaisy0413.blogspot.com/

These are just a few of the ones I read. There are so many more!

How has your blog developed or changed since you first started?
One of the things that has changed since I first started blogging is the look. I have changed that so many times and I think I finally found something that I truly love. I know my reading taste has changed dramatically since blogging. I have opened up and tried so many genres and authors that I wouldn’t have before. I think I have grown more as a person and so has the way I write.