Do you share book recommendations on social media?

Bookish Question #74 | Do you Share Book Recommendations on Social Media?

Yes!

As you all know, I review books. I publish a new book review on this website every Monday, and a #ThrowbackThursday review every (wait for it!) Thursday. I also participate in the First Line Friday blog meme, although I haven’t always read the books I share.

I share all my blog posts on social media: Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter (I use an app called Buffer to help: I set up a single post, and Buffer shares it to all the social networks for me. Click here to read a blog post I wrote introducing Buffer).

I also share my reviews on sites such as Amazon, BookBub, Goodreads, and RiffleBooks. I reshare reviews and my favourite book quotes on Twitter using an app called SocialJukebox. I add links to the relevant jukebox, and the app shares random quotes on a predefined schedule. (Click here to read a blog post I wrote introducing SocialJukebox).

What about you? Do you share book recommendations on social media? On which sites? What’s your favourite site for finding book recommendations?

Leave a comment and let me know!

Quote from Unknown Enemy by Janet Sketchley: Your gift is to see the best in people. What they can be, not necessarily what they are.

Book Review | Unknown Enemy (Green Dory Inn 1) by Janet Sketchley

Today I’m reviewing Unknown Enemy, the first book in Janet Sketchley’s new Green Dory Inn Mystery series, which is set in the town of Lunenburg in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada. (For those who are interested, Janet recently took readers on a virtual tour of Lunenburg in a guest post at International Christian Fiction Writers. Click here to read that post.)

Landon Smith has returned to her hometown of Lunenburg for the first time in years, and she doesn’t want to be here now. But Anna, family friend, surrogate mother, mentor, and confidante, needs her. Strange things are afoot at the Green Dory Inn, and the neighbours aren’t sure if Anna’s reports are real or signs of a grief-induced breakdown.

But an intruder might not be Anna’s only problem. There is the challenge of keeping the inn running single-handed, and the rumours … It’s an excellent story, and the start of what promises to be an even better series. I especially liked the author’s note at the end which promised answers to some of the loose ends. Don’t worry—it wasn’t a cliffhanger ending (which I loathe), in that the main plot question was answered. But there were other unanswered questions, not least being thiswhat happened to Landon to drive her away from Lunenburg?

Unknown Enemy is a quick and easy read, and I finished it in under two hours. But it packs a lot of punch—strong characters with plenty of secrets, and enough humour to lighten the writing without destroying the building tension. Landon is an intriguing character—understated, yet with plenty of secrets hinting at hidden depths. The Green Dory Inn also has secrets, and I look forward to finding out more in future books in the series.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Janet Sketchley

Janet Sketchley is an Atlantic Canadian writer who likes her fiction with a splash of mystery or adventure and a dash of Christianity. Why leave faith out of our stories if it’s part of our lives? Her Green Dory Inn series is set near the picturesque town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Janet’s other books include the Redemption’s Edge Christian suspense series and the devotional collection, A Year of Tenacity.

Find Janet Sketchley online at:

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Twitter

About Unknown Enemy

Landon Smith vowed never to return to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Despite her faith, the memories might undo her.

But a shadowy figure has been skulking around the Green Dory Inn—seen only by her friend Anna.

Loyalty demands she stand by this woman who’s been a second mother to her. No matter the cost.

With the police unable to find solid clues, and the incidents escalating, Landon must help Anna discover the truth about the prowler and stop him. Before he turns violent.

Find Unknown Enemy online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

Read the introduction to Unknown Enemy below:

First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week 57 | Justice by Emily Conrad

It’s First Line Friday! That means it’s time to pick up the nearest book and quote the first line. Today I’m sharing from Justice by Emily Conrad:

First line from Justice by Emily Conrad: Snow floated onto Main Street, each flake large enough to catch the breeze like a parachute.

What’s the book nearest you, and what’s the first line?

About Justice

Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she’s pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. As Brooklyn wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake, she can’t bring herself to tell him the truth.

To make matters worse, if the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake’s coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both.

Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God’s love and in each other?

You can find Justice online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

You can then click the link which will take you to the master page of all this week’s #FirstLineFriday posts.

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

#ThrowbackThursday | The Boy in the Hoodie by Catriona McKeown

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m sharing my review of The Boy in the Hoodie, the 2016 debut novel from Australian author Catriona McKeown. This review previously appeared at Australasian Christian Writers.

The Boy in the Hoodie was the winner of the 2016 Omega Writers CALEB Prize for an unpublished manuscript. It was a well-deserved win, because it’s a great coming of age novel about making mistakes, paying the price, and becoming a better person through the experience.

I enjoyed everything about The Boy in the Hoodie. Aussie setting, strong characters, solid plot, and excellent writing with enough humour to offset the often-serious nature of the story. Like this line, where Kat is wishing she could leave her current high school and go to a private school:

Quote from The Boy in the Hoodie by Catriona McKeown

Well, I thought it was funny.

The set-up could have come across as contrived, but it didn’t. I think this was because the story was told in first person from Kat’s point of view, so we could see both why she lied for her friends, and what she thought about it. It was also interesting watching her get to know the boy in the hoodie and find out more about what the adults thought about her misdemeanor.

The boy was also an interesting character, and first person worked well in that I (as the reader) didn’t know any more about him than Kat did, and got to know him as she did—for better and for worse.

I almost read The Boy in the Hoodie in one sitting—yes, it was that good. The ‘almost’ is because the tension got too much towards the end, so I had to take a break. I definitely recommend The Boy in the Hoodie for young adult and not-so-young adult readers.

Any chance of a sequel? I see Paige had issues and I want to know more …

About Catriona McKeown

Catriona McKeown lives on the Fraser Coast in Queensland, Australia, with her husband of 20+ years and three daughters.

​She is passionate about issues of social justice and often writes with such ideals in mind. Her current studies are in Inclusive Education; she is passionate about education that allows every child to reach their full potential and has a particular heart for gifted children as well as those with autism.

​She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching. Catriona has completed a writing course at The Writers’ Studio and continues to study the art of writing as time affords her.

Catriona hails from country Victoria, lived a short stint in Western Australia, and has now settled on Queensland as her home state.

Find Catriona McKeown online at:

Website | Facebook

About The Boy in the Hoodie

One girl. One boy. And a friendship that could save them both. Good-girl Kat knew drinking alcohol at school would have serious consequences. But to protect her friend from being expelled, Kat lands herself a term’s worth of detentions. Inside the detention room, she meets a strange boy who obsessively draws dark pictures and covers his head with a grey hoodie. Little does she know, the hoodie hides a dark past … An unlikely friendship forms between Kat and the boy in the hoodie. When she discovers a sinister truth he’s been hiding, she somehow feels compelled to help him—but at what cost? And how much is she willing to risk in order to keep him safe? The Boy in the Hoodie is a real, unforgettable story about past scars and how the ones we love can sometimes heal them.

Find The Boy in the Hoodie online at:

Amazon | Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction to The Boy in the Hoodie below:

How do you discover new books?

Bookish Question #73 | How Do You Discover New Books?

Once upon a time, there were only two ways I discovered new books.

One was to visit the home of new books—the book shop. You remember, the actual physical shop where books were sold. The other was to visit the school library, or the public library. I visited the school library most days, especially in winter or when it was raining. I travelled to and from school by bus, and realised I could stay dry and warm in the library while waiting for the bus. The best part was that only a couple of other kids had worked that out, so the librarian was happy to lock up and leave us inside.

Then I discovered mail order books, but they had to come from Australia and postage was expensive, so I didn’t do that often. Then I moved to London, Jeff Bezos invented Amazon, and my world was much larger.

My bank balance … not so much.

I still mostly buy from Amazon (especially ebooks), but the store is now so big that it’s hard to browse—not like in the old-fashioned book store. It’s easy to find the book you want if you search by title or author, but there are too many choices.

I tend to find new books a couple of ways:

Via NetGalley

I review books, and I get most of my review copies from NetGalley. I can search just those publishers I’m interested in, which makes it easy for me to keep track of what’s new in Christian fiction (from those publishers, at least. Not every publisher is on NetGalley).

Recommendations from Friends

We discussed this a couple of weeks back. Yes, I follow several other book bloggers, and am often introduced to new books and new authors through their posts. I also participate in the weekly First Line Friday meme, which features 20+ Christian novels each week.

So now I’m spoiled for choice!

What about you? How do you discover new books? Or new-to-you authors?

Quote from Formula of Deception: He was the most strikingly handsome man she had ever seen. The only flaw on him was the wedding ring on his finger.

Book Review | Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

I thought Formula of Deception was another story in the Gwen Marcey series, so was initially surprised when I realised it’s a standalone novel with all new characters. This perception wasn’t helped by the pages of praise for the Gwen Marcey series at the beginning of the book. It also wasn’t a romance, despite my quote above!

Anyway, it took me a little longer to get in to Formula of Deception, because I kept waiting for Gwen to show up. Spoiler: she doesn’t, because the book isn’t about her.

Formula of Deception begins on April Fool’s Day on a small island of the coast of Alaska as an earthquake then tsunami hit. It then moves to the present day, where Murphy Andersen has got a job as a police artist on Kodiak Island, Alaska. She’s drawing a decades-old murder scene, based on the memories of a dying priest.

Murphy was a fascinating character.

There is obviously some unknown trauma in her history, and this unfolds gradually as the plot progresses, as her personal story collides with the story of the dead bodies … and there are soon more dead bodies. A murderer is on the loose … but is this related to the priest’s memories, Murphy’s own personal history, or something else?

Murphy is hiding details about her personal history from her police colleagues, and it’s not always easy to find the truth in her words, thoughts, and actions. This makes the book a challenge, but is also a strength, as it highlights the tension and the suspense. And there is plenty of suspense.

Recommended for suspense fans. Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Carrie Stuart Parks

Carrie Stuart ParksCarrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.

Find Carrie Stuart Parks online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

About Formula of Deception

An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden.

After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

Find Formula of Deception online:

AmazonChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction to Formula of Deception below:

Read my review of Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks

Read my review of When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week 56 | Formula of Deception

It’s First Line Friday! That means it’s time to pick up the nearest book and quote the first line. Today I’m sharing from Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks:

First line from Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks:  Murphy Andersen's mission to Kodiak Island was about to collide with her lies.

I don’t like lies in real life. But a character with lies? That’s a promising start for a novel. What do you think?

What’s the book nearest you, and what’s the first line?

About Formula of Deception

An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden.

After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

Find Formula of Deception online:

AmazonChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

 

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

You can then click the link which will take you to the master page of all this week’s #FirstLineFriday posts.

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

#ThrowbackThursday | Pointe and Shoot by Alison Stone

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m sharing my review of Pointe and Shoot by Alison Stone. This review originally appeared at Suspense Sisters Reviews (which has now been retired).

Pointe and Shoot is a great title, and one that had me hooked from the opening line.

I knew something bad was going to happen. Sure enough, it did.

Everyone thinks Miss Melinda’s death is an unfortunate accident, but her boss, Jayne, isn’t so sure. But no one wants to listen when she says she believes Miss Melinda was lured onto the dark lakeside road. Not the police chief, not her policeman brothers, and not even Danny, her dead brother’s patrol partner.

This is where it got clever. Most of the novel is written in third person from Jayne’s point of view. But some chapters were written in first person, from the point of view of the unknown assailant.

So the reader knows it was murder. Kind of …

I thought the use of first person here was inspired, because it meant we knew nothing about the assailant, not even their gender. Clever!

Miss Natalie, the owner of the ballet school and Jayne’s mother, has Alzheimer’s. It’s a horrible affliction, and I was impressed with the sensitive way it was portrayed, and with Jayne’s unfailing patience with her mother—on her good days, and her not-so-good days. I did, however, have less charitable thoughts towards Jayne’s brothers for some of their attitudes …

There were a few annoying writing niggles—overuse of words like “noticed” (I always figure if I notice a word, it’s been used enough that I notice the word over the writing). And I would have liked a little more of the developing romance between Jayne and Danny—it did feel like this got left behind in the suspense plot. Hey, I like my romantic suspense to have plenty of romance as well as plenty of suspense!

But don’t let that put you off. Pointe and Shoot was an excellent suspense (with romantic overtones), set in a ballet school run by a non-ballerina who once wanted to be a police officer. And which ended with a tantalizing hint that this might be the first book in a series. If so, I’ll be back for more.

About Alison Stone

Author Photo: Alison StoneAlison Stone discovered her love of writing after leaving a corporate engineering job to raise four children.

Constantly battling the siren call of social media, Alison blocks the Internet and hides her smartphone in order to write fast-paced books filled with suspense and romance

Married for almost twenty-five years, Alison lives in Western New York, where the summers are gorgeous and the winters are perfect for curling up with a book—or writing one.

Find Alison Stone online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

About Pointe and Shoot

Jayne Murphy has always put family first. That’s why she abandoned her dream of joining the police force to run her ailing mother’s dance studio.

When one of the studio’s most talented instructors dies in a car crash, Jayne isn’t convinced it was just an accident. Relentlessly pursuing her hunch, she teams up with Officer Danny Nolan, the best friend and partner of her brother Patrick, who died in the line of duty. Haunted by Patrick’s death, Danny has begun to question whether he should still be a cop at all.

As Jayne digs deeper, suspects emerge, including the victim’s clingy ex-boyfriend and a jealous foe from the cutthroat dance world. Her evolving insights into the case rekindle Jayne’s passion for police work. Danny, too, feels a renewed sense of purpose…and a definite attraction to his unofficial partner, which seems to be mutual. Now, if Jayne can only keep herself out of harm’s way, she and Danny both might get a second chance—with their careers and each other.

Find Pointe and Shoot online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

Read the introduction to Pointe and Shoot below:

Do you subscribe to book deal email lists?

Bookish Question #72 | Do you subscribe to book deal email lists?

One of the big changes in book marketing over the last few years has been the introduction of book deal email lists, advertising free and cheap ebooks. Many were developed as a way of earning money from the Amazon affiliate scheme. This pays a commission of between 3% and 8% (I think) if anyone clicks through from the website to Amazon and makes a purchase.

Amazon soon caught onto this.

They introduced more rules about affiliate marketing, like the fact affiliates are not supposed to email affiliate links, and that a certain percentage of purchases have to be of paid purchases (not free ebooks) in order to earn affiliate commissions. (Yes, I’m also an Amazon affiliate. I don’t earn enough from the scheme to pay for the hosting on this blog, let alone turn it into a profitable business! But click here if you’d like to visit my Amazon shop and contribute a few cents to my book-buying habit.)

Bookbub is the biggest in the business.

They have the biggest email list, and Bookbub subscribers can choose which genres they want to receive emails about. They have 810,000 people on their US Christian fiction list. It advertises just two books most days—free, or heavily reduced (usually to 99 cents or $1.99). Authors and publishers pay hundreds of dollars for a spot in one of these daily newsletters, and most make their money back.

Other book deal email lists include BargainBooksy, eReader News Today, FreeBooksy, My Book Cave, and Riffle. I subscribe to all of them, and occasionally buy from them.

Occasionally. Why not more often?

Sometimes it’s because I’ve already read the book. Sometimes it’s because I already own the book. Sometimes it’s because I’m just not interested (Christian fiction is a wide genre, and there are some sub-genres I’m not interested in). Mostly I don’t buy because I already have too many books on my to-read and to-review pile, and I’m trying to get that number down. So I’ll buy maybe one book a month as a result of seeing it advertised in one of the emails, although I’m more likely to download or buy a free or 99 cent book than a more expensive book.

What about you? Do you subscribe to book deal email lists? How often do you buy a book from one of the emails?

Quote from Darkwater Secrets by Robin Caroll: Just because someone doesn't believe something doesn't make it less real.

Book Review | Darkwater Secrets by Robin Caroll

Adelaide Fontaine is the General Manager of the Darkwater Inn in New Orleans, but she might not be for much longer. Not if her boss has his way. She is—unknowingly—being pursued by two men: Beau, a police officer and longtime family friend, and Dimitri, the son of the hotel’s owner, who wants to be a chef rather than follow the management path his father has laid out for him.

As if that wasn’t complicated enough, life is about to get more complicated when a body is discovered in one of the hotel’s rooms … and the body has links to Adelaide’s hidden past.

Adelaide, Beau, and Dimitri are all great characters (and I usually loathe the love triangle plot).

There is plenty of action, plenty of secrets, and plenty of clues to consider as I wondered who-dun-it. What’s most interesting is that finding the culprit wasn’t the end of the story—it was almost as though the murder were the vehicle to explore some deeper personal issues …

There are elements of romance, suspense, mystery, plenty of secrets and even a little voodoo. Yes, voodoo in a Christian novel. As one of the characters says, the Bible wouldn’t need to warn us against demons and evil if they didn’t exist. All in all, an excellent novel, and I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel.

Thanks to Gilead Publishing for providing a free ebook for review.

About Robin Caroll

Robin Caroll grew up in Louisiana with her nose in a book. She still has the complete Trixie Belden series, and her love for mysteries and suspense has only increased with her age. Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her published novels.

Best-selling author of thirty-plus novels, ROBIN CAROLL writes Southern stories of mystery and suspense, with a hint of romance to entertain readers. Her books have been recognized in several awards, including the Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, and more.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of nearly three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home in the South. Robin serves the writing community as Executive/Conference Director for ACFW.

Find Robin Caroll online at:

WebsiteFacebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter

About Darkwater Secrets

A murder investigation uncovers sordid secrets and haunting mistakes

The Darkwater Inn stands tall and proud in the French Quarter, the hub of New Orleans. Bourbon Street is bustling, and General Manager Adelaide Fountaine has her hands full with a hotel at capacity. She, along with everyone else, is shocked when a body is found: a hotel guest stabbed with a kitchen knife.

Detective Beau Savoie, Adelaide’s childhood friend, is on the case. As Beau digs into the victim’s past, he unearths a shocking connection between Adelaide and the murdered guest. Beau is hurt that his friend—the woman he’s quietly loved for years—kept the truth from him. To make matters worse, the stress of the investigation has sent Adelaide right into the comforting arms of her coworker Dimitri. But Beau can’t press Adelaide too hard . . . he’s keeping secrets of his own.

Can Adelaide and Beau afford to hide from the truth with a killer on the loose?

Find Darkwater Secrets online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction to Darkwater Secrets below: