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text 2017-12-26 14:39
An Interview with Mary Anne Yarde + The Du Lac Chronicles Giveaway


Today it is a real pleasure to welcome Mary Anne Yarde, author of The Du Lac Chronicles, on BookLikes! If historical fiction is your cup of tea, find yourself a cozy spot and read on.


It's holiday time and Mary decided to play Santa! :) Make sure to take your chance in the giveaway and win a signed copy of the first part of the Mary Anne Yarde's series, The Du Lac Chronicles! What a treat!


Giveaway: Dec. 26, 2017 - Jan. 16, 2017

Request a signed copy of

The Du Lac Chronicles

Request the book


I see that in the space of one year you’ve published three full-length, award-winning books, and one novella (cleverly labeled book # 1.5!).  How often do you write and how long at one time, to keep up this pace? It really seems like a lot of writing!


When you say it like that, it does seem a lot! I should really try and get out of the house more. Joking aside, my writing time is sacred. I write for three hours every day.


How long will be The Du Lac Chronicles series be? Do you have a plan, or will you just keep writing until the characters have something to say? Are you now working on book #4?


The Du Lac Chronicles started out as a trilogy. So much for good intentions! When I finished writing The Du Lac Devil (Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles), I realised there was no way I was going to get the story I wanted to tell into three books. I am currently working on book 4, and the way the story is going, there will definitely be a book five as well. Maybe even a six. As for a plan, I know where the story ends. I just have to get my characters there!


The Du Lac Chronicles - Mary Anne YardeThe Du Lac Devil - Mary Anne YardeThe Du Lac Princess - Mary Anne Yarde
The Du Lac Chronicles


You seem to like reading books from various genres, and you read a lot. Do you tend to read specific types of books while writing?


I love reading. If only there were more hours in the day! As you said, I read from a wide and various genres, I always have done. I think if I stuck with one genre to read I would soon become bored.


I still read a lot of fiction when I am writing, but I also spend a lot of my time reading non-fiction books about the era that my books are set in. I have more than my fair share of books on the Saxons, the Celts, the Franks and the Dark Ages. I also have quite a library on the subject of King Arthur and his Knights.


Your books are based on history and mythology, on your blog you say you are inspired by where you live and the history and mythology of England. How much studying did you have to do to get to know all the details behind the setting you created for your characters?


How much studying...? Hours and hours and hours! More hours than can be counted. It has very much been a lifetime of research.


I am very passionate about Folklore. I truly believe that Folklore is its own special brand of history. It is often overlooked by historians, which I think is a shame. You can tell a lot about a people by the stories they tell.


Saying that however, I am also an historian. My books are set in Dark Age Britain, Brittany, and France. I wanted to keep the history as real in the telling as I could. The only way I could do that is by research and that unfortunately takes time. But I enjoy it so it is not too much of a burden.


Request a signed copy


Let’s move away from the real world for a minute, since you write about times that are removed from today’s reality. If you could choose one character from a favorite book to have dinner with, or spend a day with, who would that be? What would you ask that person?


Oh my, that is quite a question. Who would I choose to have dinner with? I don't know. Umm... I'll get back to you on that!


Who designs your book covers? Do you personally design them, or only oversee the process?


I wish I were clever enough to design book covers! I am afraid that is something that I do not have any talent for. I work with the brilliant designer, Peter O'Connor, from Bespoke Book Covers. All credit must go to him for my covers. He came up with the whole concept of what the series would look like. He is also very patient with me and never complains when I want him to change something. He is a treasure!


Follow Mary Anne Yarde's blog on BookLikes: http://maryyarde.booklikes.com/


Mary Anne Yarde's book on BookLikes (click the covers to add the books to your shelf):


The Du Lac Princess - Mary Anne YardeThe Du Lac Devil - Mary Anne YardeThe Du Lac Chronicles - Mary Anne YardeThe Pitchfork Rebellion: The Du Lac Chronicles - Novella - Mary Anne Yarde


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text 2017-10-24 14:10
Khaled Talib: How I became a thriller writer [A guest post + Giveaway]

We're delighted to introduce you a suspense thriller author Khaled Talib who agreed to share his story with the BookLikes readers. If you've ever wondered how one becomes a writer, here's your chance. Enjoy!


If you love thrillers, we bet you'll love Khaled Talib's suspense espionage Incognito - you can request an e-book copy HERE.


Follow Khaled Talib on BookLikes: http://kat65.booklikes.com/


-- A guest post by Khaled Talib


If you ask me to write a poem, chances are, I can— but I won’t do it with the same pleasure that I derive from writing a thriller.  It’s hard to explain why, but have you ever seen how artists paint with passion and how musicians perform with fervor? You can feel their energy like a thousand thunders and lightnings shaking and flashing the night sky during a wild storm.  Well, that’s me. I like writing stories… and that would explain how I became a thriller author.


Unfortunately, I didn’t know where or how to start. It took me a long time to discover the process of becoming a thriller author. But if there is one thing that has kept me pursuing my interest it’s stubbornness and tenacity, a good trait to have if you want to write. 


I showed an interest in writing when I attempted my first book, a detective mystery. I was around 14 or 15 when I wrote it on a school jotter, but I gave up halfway. Some idiot in class found the book and made fun of it. He didn’t understand what I was trying to do. However, it didn’t matter as the experience had set the foundation of what I wanted to do … tell thrilling tales that will play with your emotion in more ways than one.


I was reading all kinds of books. Similarly, I was also watching lots of television. But it was not until I saw one book that changed the course of my thinking. It belonged to my uncle, an odd shaped book, nothing like I have ever seen before, but with an attractive cover. I knew it was a thriller novel from the cover’s artwork. It was entitled, The Bourne Identity, by someone named Robert Ludlum. I was still a teenager then.


I read the book after my uncle had finished it. It was exciting, and the style of writing was unique. I found myself asking questions: how does one become a thriller writer like Ludlum? Do I have to live in the U.S. or London? Is there a school that teaches you how to write?


I never had the chance to pursue my dream for a long time, although from now and then a little voice would remind me to stay the course. But how? These things are not taught in school. Nobody talks about it. And back then, there was no internet to do any research.  For a long time, I felt marooned on a deserted island. I was lost, confused, and hoping someone would see the HELP sign that I made across the sand.


I ended up becoming a magazine writer. It may not have contributed directly to my interest in writing thrillers, but the field did teach me the ground work to do research and fact checking. Important ingredients to an author.


Interestingly, I found myself trying to write a story again when I was in my twenties. It was a financial thriller. But I gave it up after a few pages when I realized I didn’t have the professional skills to write a novel.


I didn’t understand the structure of story building, which included plot, themes and characterization. Imagine reading a book about flying and then sitting in a cockpit alone trying to take off on a runway. Think you can fly the plane? 


SMOKESCREEN - Khaled Talib Wasted years went by. And then it started again… the little voice reappeared and told me to start writing. This time, however, I managed to complete the manuscript. I called it Smokescreen, a story about a magazine journalist who becomes a scapegoat in a plot to assassinate the Israeli Prime Minister. But the writing wasn’t great. I didn’t know how bad it was because you can’t see the forest from the trees. However, it didn’t matter as it set me along the course about what I should do next.


My subconscious prompted me to visit the bookstore. Perhaps there’s a shelf on writing that might be able to educate me. I remember visiting Borders, and instead of getting books that taught me how to write better, I found a magazine called Writer’s Digest, where I also learned about literary agents. It was the first time I’ve ever heard about such people. I didn’t even know such a profession existed before that.  They can help you get your book published. Fascinating, I thought.


I started writing to everybody, expecting favorable responses. Those were the days when agents expected you to send your samples by mail. It was a slow procedure, but an investment that I was sure would be worthwhile. Imagine my shock when everyone rejected me.  Well, there were some nice praises and some encouraging notes, but the letters were still rejections. I almost gave up the idea of submitting until I learned that rejection was normal.


I started rewriting the manuscript and sent out samples of my work to other agents. I got lucky with one New York agent who saw something in the story. However, he advised me to get an editor to help me brush up my work before resubmitting.


I began reworking the manuscript with the help of an editor. I was excited, delirious. It was going to be sensational! When I resubmitted the novel to the agent, he rejected me again. He explained his reasons, but I didn’t understand a word what he was trying to say. It was too technical.


I tried sending the same manuscript to others, including some small press. Even they rejected me. I thought: my work must be so bad. But one small publisher told me to resend it once I fixed the problem. Yet, no one told me what the problem was.


Imagine sitting in a jail cell waiting to be executed. Sometime before dawn, you hear the footsteps coming for you. I felt my stomach churning, my heart racing and my mind in a freeze mode. I struggled to decipher where the fault lies in the story just before the hangman pulled the lever. I was breathing heavily as I feel the noose tightened around my neck. And then…


Honestly, I’m not sure if it was intelligence or pure luck, but I discovered where I went wrong with the story. I managed to fix the problem – it was such a minor problem that took me a couple of hours to fix. But the way everyone made it sound like I had committed blasphemy.


I resubmitted it to the small publisher. Guess what? I got an offer to publish the novel! Then came the tough part. The publisher wanted me to ask other authors to endorse the book. What? Who? Where? I live in Singapore—nobody writes here. There were some local authors, but I didn’t think they’d qualify. I didn’t want to be a small island author. I wanted to be an international thriller author.


So, I took a deep breath and wrote to a thriller author whose novel I had read. An interesting book about a former CIA agent with Alzheimer. That author was Keith Thomson, whose novel, Once a Spy, became a New York Times bestseller.


There I was… a small fry about to ask this New York Times bestselling author for a blurb. I must be crazy, I thought, to query him. But I did ask him. He sounded busy when he wrote back, though he agreed to read my work. In the mean time I was biting my fingernails, waiting, expecting a rejection. When you read books by others, you always feel that you’re not good enough. Your mind starts to play with you, prompting questions like, “Why can’t I write like that author?” and “Why didn’t I use that word in my manuscript?” and “That scene sounds better than how I would’ve described it.”  Simply put, I began to doubt myself— I had zero confidence. It’s only nature for you to be unsure of yourself, especially at the start. It teaches you humility. You’re going to get a rude shock if you expect things to go your way.


So, when Keith Thomson finally replied after more than a month, I braced myself for disaster. As his email waited to be opened, a dozen questions ran through my mind again. His response would make or break my future. It would decide whether I could be a thriller author or not. After all these years of trying to imagine myself as a thriller author, the answer behind the author’s email would decide if I’m qualified or not to be a thriller writer. Could I live with rejection? The book would still get published but if this New York Times bestselling author rejected me, does it mean I failed to make the grade?


Keith Thomson didn’t reject my work. In fact, he said he was “compelled” to give me a blurb! Imagine that. If you like to know what he wrote, you’ll find it on the sample pages of my book on Amazon.


My publisher insisted that I should query several more authors for endorsements. I wrote to others. It’s not easy to ask, especially highly acclaimed ones. But why did I do that? I wanted to aim high. To gauge my own standard.  Well, I succeeded to get a few more. They included Ruth Harris, New York Times bestselling author of Hooked and Brainwashed, Jon McGoran, author of Drift  and the new YA, Spliced.


And so that day, I became a thriller author. Guess what? I decided to end it there. One book, that’s it— no more. It was hell of a road trip, and I didn’t think I could ever write again. I was exhausted. Who was I kidding? Just like a marathon runner, a tennis player or a soccer player, you’re going to feel tired after a game. You’re going to rest, then come back— and that’s what I did.


Incognito - Khaled Talib  I went on to write a few more books. I wrote Incognito, a novel about the Pope’s disappearance and Gun Kiss, which is due to be released by Canada’s Imajin Books. It’s a story about the Deringer that shot Lincoln getting stolen and ties up to a Hollywood actress stalked by a drug lord. The novel received endorsements from Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of The Rising, Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassin, and K.J. Howe, author of the riveting thriller, The Freedom Broker.


Today, I’ve become an official member of the International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association. My novels have been reviewed worldwide by magazines and bloggers. I guess this is really what I want to do— writer thrillers. Share my stories with others. Why? Why do painters paint? Why do musicians play music? Whatever the answer, this is what I like to do… because it’s who I am.  Somehow, you’ll find your way.



Request your e-book copy of Incognito ->


To learn more about Khaled, please visit:

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text 2017-03-28 20:41
Falling Out of Focus by Author Brynn Myers is being featured in this week's Audiobook Boom!

Click the link below and scroll down to Fantasy Romance to request your #FREE copy, and start listening today!



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text 2015-08-04 11:11
Author Talks: Leah Grant / Anne Wentworth

Please welcome Leah Grant to BookLikes! Leah is a romance writer, known under two pen names -- you can meet both ladies on BookLikes, have a look the author pages of Leah Grant and her YA alter ego Anne Wentworth. And to be up to date with Leah's upcoming releases, make sure to follow her BookLikes webpage at leahgrant.booklikes.com


Leah aka Anne agreed to talk with us about her upcoming debut young adult release (the book is released with Finch Books), baking and wild animals in her countryside. Ready? Here we go!



Have you always wanted to become a writer? How did it all start for you?


I started to writer very early at around age nine. Stories just came to me and my father encouraged me to keep writing. It has always made my heart happy. Characters even wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me their stories. If I'm working on a book - it plays like a movie in my head and I try to type as fast as I can to keep up.


You’ve mentioned that you’re using pen names: Leah Grant and Anne Wentworth. Can you tell our readers more about the ladies inside you.

How they are different and what their contribution is to your writing process?


I am an intensely private person - so when I decided to take the plunge into the publishing world I wanted to use a pen name. For romance I chose Leah Grant. I've always loved the name Leah and Grant is a connection to someone very special.

Anne Wentworth came about for Young Adult as I needed to keep the two kinds of writing separate.



The two names are just fronts that enable me to be creative and tell my stories. Both Leah and Anne drink far too much coffee and tend to have a sweet tooth. I'm not judging them though...


Your new young adult novel will hit bookstores September 2015. Congratulations! Can you tell our readers more about the book and how the idea was born?


Shake The Spiders is my first YA to be published (Finch Books - a division of   Totally Entwined Group UK) and I am very excited. When the story for this young adult book came to me, I wasn’t surprised. The book is about Kim, a fourteen year old that has suffered for years trying to live around her alcoholic mother. She is tired and damaged and I needed to tell her story. There are so many teens/kids out there that live through this. Some make it and some don’t.


When her mother drops her off for the summer at her grandma’s place – it’s almost like she’s been left at that final bus-stop. It ends up being the best thing that could have happened for her. I know so many never get that chance – someone reaching out to help. More often than not

the alcoholic manages to ruin not only their life, but everyone around them.


You can see the cracks in Kim’s person – she drifts, doesn’t trust people, has had to take on the role of parent from a young age, continuously has to cover and clean up the messes her mother makes – leaving her a shell – someone desperate inside for love and belonging.


This book is about her journey of healing and taking chances on people. It is about Kim drawing a line and choosing not to be hurt anymore. Kim does this in the book when she decides she just doesn’t want to have to deal with her drunk mother any longer. I set the story in small-town Manitoba and had a great time conjuring some interesting if not ‘flawed’ characters.


Being a real lover of paranormal, I wove a ghost legend into the storyline and also gave it some historical elements. I wanted to tell the story from the other side - the person that is trying to rebuild themselves and their life after the fallout from being around someone with an addiction.


Leah Grant writes fantasy romances, Anne Wentworth goes for young adult novels -- how do you find yourself in those genres? Did you pick them or did the genres pick you?


The books just happen. I don't really know how else to say it. Literally the book will just begin in my head. I don't have a clue where it will go or what will happen. Essentially, I'm really the 'first reader' and just go with it. When people ask me 'how does it end?' I often have to say, 'how would I know?'. (you should see the looks I get with that one) It is a different way to write, but it works for me.


You live in Canada, you love the Prairies and the wildlife that surrounds you, and even call the place “magical”. Can you tell our readers how does the setting influence your writing process? We guess that such a spectacular place just must have an influence on an individual.


The peace and beauty here is amazing. I love living out in the country, being surrounded by trees and critters of all kinds. The seasons and weather here are extreme - summers have massive storms (can be tornados) and winter can hit with temps falling to -40's. When I first walked on this land, I knew we had to buy the place. I felt free here and this is the place where my writing has been most prolific.


If I am tired or need a break, I just go outside to watch deer feeding in the trees across from our place. Sometimes there will be twenty or more hawks flying over in the later afternoon. Watching a fox scamper through the property just after midnight or a lone wolf making its way along the edge of the property - I feel so lucky to be able to experience all of this. It leaves me refreshed and must feed my imagination - as ideas for books are non-stop here.


You’ve mentioned you’re a cat owner. BookLikes community as well as the BookLikes team adore cats :) Does Miss Fish has her appearance in any of your stories?


Miss Fish was a rescue in 2012. She had been abandoned (not very nice when you think of a prairie winter) and a very kind soul fed her until a home could be found. When I saw her picture on the rescue web site - it was LOVE!  She now is part of our family and very well loved and cared for. She is our heart.


Miss Fish may have been some of the inspiration for 'Jammer' the huge black cat in Shake The Spiders. She is a very loving and amazing companion. She sits beside me as I write each day.



Your motto is: Don’t be afraid to step into the storm. What does it mean to you?



I believe a person has to go out and live - sometimes life can throw difficult circumstances and trials at a person. I've lived through many and the only thing I can tell others is that you can't be afraid to move forward. Sometimes the crazy/difficult/unhappy times in our lives can sweep us along to what ends up being an amazing place. If we don't step into the storm because we are afraid, we might lose out on something really good.


You’re a coffee & chocolate lover with a twist for cooking. What’s your best and favorite recipe? Would you mind sharing it with our readers?


I do love to cook and bake. Best and favorite? Ahhh... How about I list a few: roast beef and popovers (Yorkshire Pudding done in muffin tin), lasagna (very rich and layered - I always eat far too much), apple/pear pie, cheese and basil biscuits, roast stuffed chicken with vegetables, homemade bread (loaves and rolls) - hungry yet? I am. Now see what you've started? ; )


Best tip for popovers - heat the pan until the lard is almost smoking (handle carefully) then fill with batter and get it into that oven! Don't open the oven door until they are done.


From your point of view: is it easy to be a writer nowadays?


Yes and no. With the ebook industry - many more people can get their work out there, but that means there is so much more competition.


Do you have any writing habits which help you keep the story going?


The stories don't stop or slow down. I have to make notes to keep up with it as things unfold/characters tell me more before it is at that point in the book so I can remember to include it.


I drink coffee +++++++ I snack and I soak in the beauty here.


Could you tell our readers which authors inspire you and your works?



Just a few books come to mind - there are so many more. Eclectic would be a good word to keep in mind here.










Just read Chris Ledbetter's Drawn (YA) - loved it. Also read The Cat and Mrs. Cary again (Doris Gates). 


I read. One of my favorite things to do was go to the library and just pick books out - historical/biography/anthropology/WWII/paranormal/cooking - you name it.






 What are you reading now? How do you like it?

Just finished reading Drawn by Chris Ledbetter  - loved it.



Do you read when writing a new novel?




Are you a book collector or a book recommender?

My husband is the pack rat - he has boxes of books.

If I like something, I'll pass it on



Paper books or e-books? Why?


I like holding the book. Besides, what would shelves look like without books?



What are your favorite quotes?


When life gives you lemons, make lemonade and then drink it!


Don't be afraid to step into the storm...



What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write! Don't write to fit into what is popular. Write from your heart.

Don't give up - ever.


What’s your favorite writing and reading spot?

(our readers would love to see some photos)


My office. Miss Fish has her basket behind me and naps while I write.

Isn't that smile adorable?


Outside is my rock garden and I can watch as the birds and deer come to feed.

Baltimore Oriole came by. Our feeder is busy year-round.


The 'trio' come to our feeder and often empty it out in winter

for the black sunflower seeds.


Thank you, Leah!  


Leah Grant's books on BookLikes:

Wilde Jagd - Leah GrantOver the Hill and Through the Woods - Leah GrantDream Of The Raven - Leah GrantViking Grave (Encircled by Gold Book 1) - Leah Grant

see more on Leah Grant's author page


Anne Wentworth's book on BookLikes

Shake The Spiders - Anne Wentworth

See more on Anne's author page


Read other talks on BookLikes:

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text 2015-07-23 11:33
BookLikes Authors Recommend Great Summer Reads

Photo by Paula Borowska


Clean up your shelves, add a new collection to your e-reader, equip yourself with drinks and snacks. It's time for Summer recommendations! We've asked several of BookLikes authors to pick their perfect summer books. Here's a reading list that cannot be missed and a collection of reads that must be added to your TBR summer pile! 


Tellulah Darling author

Meet & follow Tellulah Darling on BookLikes ->



A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab 


"I picked this up because I am a sucker for alternate versions of cities. Yes, Neverwhere is a fav of mine and so when I saw this had that vibe happening, I was in. Let's start with the good: crossdressing thieves, multiple Londons, super cool magic, chicks to the rescue, throne power plays, and an amazing mythology I want to fall into and stay suspended in for a very long time.

Now for the bad: book two doesn't come out for another year. Seriously. That's all I've got.

Kell and Lila are a fabulous swashbuckling duo. His backstory is totally compelling and fraught with mystery. His brother Rhy is a charmer with a heart of gold that I demand more of. The world building is insanely cool. This is an original, compelling, thoroughly engaging and entertaining book one of a new fantasy series. If you're looking for romance, you won't really find it in this book though it sets up tantalizing and frustrating (in good ways) teases to be played out. Bonus points for actually wrapping up the main plot while still creating enough questions about events to follow. 

Honestly, by partway through the first chapter I was excited in ways I hadn't been for a story in a while. Grab it!"


A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev


"Before I found this story, I was in such a bad reading slump that I couldn't even make eye contact with my Kindle because I felt like all the half-read books on it were glaring at me for not finishing them. Then in the space of a few hours, I discovered and read this book. Colours seemed brighter, my heart felt lighter - this beautiful, sumptuous romance made me so very happy. 
Mili, married at 4 in a small Indian village, hasn't seen her husband in 20 years. But that hasn't stopped her from being 100% committed to this marriage and the hope that eventually he'll come for her. Until that day, she pawns her dowery jewelry so that she can further her education in the US. And that's where her brother-in-law Samir finds her, hell bent on getting her to sign annulment papers. 
There was something magical about this romance, about each tiny step in Mili and Samir's developing friendship, made all the more fragile and heart-stopping by the secrets between them. I flat out loved it. There was no sentimentality, just genuine, raw, beautifully realized and flawed humans daring to hope for more than their pasts had dealt them."
 Edward Lorn author
Light Summer Read:
"Palisades Park is a touching story magically and masterfully told. If an amusement park in its heyday is where you want to be this summer, brothers and sisters, Alan Brennert will take you there.
It might take you a few other places, as well. I wish you all a pleasant journey."
Thrilling Summer Read:
"Vicki Pettersson is the love child of Dean Koontz and Gillian Flynn. Okay, she isn't, but she writes like she is. Swerve piqued my interest because I'm a sucker for scavenger-hunts-to-stay-alive books in the vein of Laymon's In the Dark.
I also love anything having to do with road trips and/or crazy stalkers. If you like the same kinda reads and are looking for a little thrill while lounging in the Summer sun, give this new release a try."
Tish Thawer author

Meet and follow Tish Thawer on BookLikes ->



As a reader, I love books that can transport you. With both of these novels, I felt as if I was "in" the story. The world-building was phenomenal and the paranormal elements were woven in so well, I no longer felt like I was reading fiction. Magic is real, people! :)  


The Life & Death of Jorja Graham by Brynn Myers   




"Once again I was blown away by the imagination and detailed writing that Brynn puts into her stories. She never fails to transport me into the world she's created, and in this case, the world was eerie and magical and filled with characters that captured my heart." 


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness   




"This book was so engrossing. The amazing detail of the alchemic process and imagery was amazing. This author did her homework!"



Samantha Wilcoxson author

Meet and follow Samantha Wilcoxson on BookLikes ->



The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman 


"This is my favorite book of all time by the author who sparked my obsession in medieval England.


Each of her books is wonderful with complex characters and impeccable historical research that transports the reader back in time.

Since Richard III, the main character in this book, has been in the headlines lately, this is an ideal time to get swept away in this novel."


Villette by Charlotte Brontë




"I recommend this book because it is lesser known than the author’s more famous Jane Eyre, but I feel that the story and characters are even more captivating.


Lucy Snowe felt like a kindred spirit as she attempted to make her way in the world. The realistic way that each person sees her differently, but none completely understand her is heart wrenching.


Anyone looking for a classic novel that is a little off the beaten path should try Villette."


 Rod Raglin author

Meet and follow Rod Raglin on BookLikes ->



I have made a commitment to read and review the work of individuals like myself, because no one needs recognition more than a new, independently published author (believe me, I know). I wouldn’t describe these books as “beach” reads, but they are very good novels that have received very little recognition.

War in a Beautiful Country by Patricia Ryan 


"It’s quirky, perceptive and funny. It’s poignant as well as enlightening, entertaining and original. It ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous and covers a lot of the stuff in between.
The protagonist in War in a Beautiful Country is Regina, a middle aged woman living in New York City. Regina begins getting surface mail from an anonymous person threatening to blow her up, literally. The idea her life might end abruptly and without warning makes her examine her existence, her art, her relationships, her activities, and her purpose.
War in a Beautiful Country is wickedly funny while at the same time wise and worldly with fascinating insights on art and relationships."


The Last Bad Job by Colin Dodds 




"The Last Bad Job is an apocalyptic story with a sense of humor.
What makes this novel standout, makes it exceptional is the writing – natural dialogue, characterization through action, exact diction and an imaginative plot that doesn’t let you catch your breath.
Our protagonist, best described as an anti-hero, is an investigative reporter assigned to do a story on an apocalyptic cult and it’s leader, Dizzy Sheehan. The assignment entails living with the group and right away he compromises his objectivity by participating in cult activities like having sex with the female members. This is the first, but certainly not the last demonstration of his almost complete lack of any sense of morals or integrity.
As the reporter’s life spins more and more out of control, and Dizzy’s prediction of the apocalypse begins to unfold our anti-hero comes to believe he has been chosen for some special purpose and, indeed, he has."


Sandra Gustafsson author

Meet and follow Sandra Gustafsson on BookLikes ->


 Someone by Alice McDermott 



"This author was new to me, and maybe it´s to soon to say this is my favorite author, but I really enjoyed reading this book. Here and there I stopped at sentences, just to read them again, and again because they were so well written. The details made me feel like I was there, beside the book´s protagonist. 

The story is told in a simple yet very straight-forward way and I didn´t want it to end.
If you like people and the stories behind them, I think you will like this book."


The Lighthouse by Alison Moore   




"This is a very well written and really tense short novel. It´s the sort of book were nothing seems to happen, and still - everything is happening in front of me. It´s melancholy, haunting and exquisitely written - a beautiful novel. If you enjoy a slow and intimate book this one is for you."




Amber Foxx author

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Two books I’d recommend to people who share my taste for mysteries that venture off the beaten track are The First Lie, by Virginia King and When the Clocks Stopped by M.L. Eaton. These are totally different from each other, and yet have in common a thread of the mystical, vivid settings, complex and realistic protagonists, and excellent writing.  


The First Lie by Virginia King 


"The First Lie is set in Hawaii, where Selkie Moon has escaped from her former life in Australia. Her voice as the narrator is compelling, and the bizarre events that overtake her made it hard for me to stop reading. The layers of mythology and psychology in the intense plot gave it the kind of depth I like. I want more than to know the solution of a mystery, but to get involved with the characters’ lives."


When the Clocks Stopped by M.L. Eaton 




"When the Clocks Stopped takes place in a quaint English village with a dark history that comes alive. The main character, Hazel Dawkins, is utterly original, and so is the concept of this book, with the interweaving of the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, the crimes of both periods in time, and the ordinary and the extraordinary."


Anyone who likes a well-crafted and unconventional take on mystery will enjoy these books.



Jenny Schwartz author

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Two perfect summer reads for romance fans.


Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews   




"The first is a fast-paced, sexy paranormal romance by one of my favourite authors, Ilona Andrews. Burn For Me has the ultimate alpha hero and a heroine unsure whether to love him or run."


Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva by Eliza Redgold 




"My second recommended summer read takes you back in time to summer in Saxon England. “Naked” is the real story of Lady Godiva’s famous ride, beautifully told, and it’s special to me because it’s written by a good friend, Eliza Redgold, who is passionate about the power of Godiva’s legend and of Celtic women in general."




Murielle Cyr author

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Two of my summer readings picks swing precariously from the supernatural classic, Three Supernatural Classics, to the more lighter literary shôjo manga, The Heart of Thomas. Both are perfect for short and frequent time fillers needed while traveling, or even between beach dips. 

"Algeron Blackwood is the master of anything weird. “An idyllic camping trip along the Danube goes horribly wrong in The Willows”. In his second story, The Wendigo, “the dark terror of the remote Canadian wilderness unfolds where a hunting party encounters a creature from Algonquin myth.” In his third story, The Listener, a writer confronts his fears in a “rundown house in London” when he has “the sensation of being watched while he sleeps.”

"Moto Hagio is considered the “founding mother” of shôjo manga (manga graphic novels written and illustrated by women). “Unabashedly romantic and emotionally complex”, The Heart of Thomas, promises  a “richly imagined setting” and great memorable characters."
Happy reading, and have a magical summer!



"Anyone who has an interest in the creative process, from writers and artists to musicians and filmmakers, will find this book interesting and inspiring.


Catmull is the the president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. The level of struggle and revision that goes into making a Pixar movie is an inspiration, and the process they use to solicit useful and timely feedback on their work will be useful to all kinds of artists."


Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley 




"A gorgeously crafted and designed book about the power of belief. Micah's journey may rekindle your own belief in magic.


I loved it so much that the moment I put down my library copy, I called the bookstore to order a hardback."



BookLikes authors recommendations made it to the reading lists on BookLikes. If you liked our authors' picks, you can easily add all books to your shelf through the Reading List: 20 great summer reads picked by authors ->


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