Sunday, January 21, 2018


Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

*Late Edition*
This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful covers!
It also provides information, 
if available, on their 
very talented creators!

This week, I have a SURPRISE!!
Pick your favorite YA cover, enter the contest in the Rafflecopter below, and
you have a chance to WIN that book from The Book Depository!!!

Yes, this giveaway is 
Just make sure TBD delivers to
your country. You can do that HERE!!

This giveaway starts at midnight
today, 1/21/18, and ends at
midnight on 1/22/18!!!

The rules are simple.
You must be at least 13 years old,
or have permission from
your parents to enter.
This giveaway has a little twist...
I have two questions for you
to answer in the
Rafflecopter widget.
One is about your favorite cover, and the other, about this meme.
Each is worth FIVE ENTRIES!!
(The comment about this meme
is optional.)
Also, you will have 48 hours to reply
to my email notification, if you're the 
winner. After that, I will choose another winner.

Here are the book covers!
Click on each to access the GR page.
(If you pick Shadowsong, please
be aware that it will be released
on February 5th, 2018.)

Be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter!!
Thanks for entering!!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Book Blogger Hop No. 119: How NOT to Treat a Mass Market Paperback

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @

For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.

This Week's Question

When reading a mass market paperback, 
many people fold the
front cover back, as if they
were reading a magazine. How do
you feel about this
common bookish habit?

(Submitted  by Maria @ 

My Answer

I have very strong feelings about this. I just can't do that to a book! I don't care that mass market paperbacks are cheaper than trade paperbacks and hardcovers. They're books, and therefore, sacred

A mass market paperback is obviously not a magazine, so I don't know why people fold the front cover back, as if it were, in fact, a magazine, instead of a book. I don't think that doing this makes these books easier to read, either.

I know that not all readers feel the way I do about this issue. Some readers are bookworms only, while others are bibliophiles as well as bookworms. There's a difference. According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, a bookworm is "A person unusually devoted to reading and study." (Check out the link HERE.) A bibliophile, according to the same dictionary, is "A lover of books, especially for qualities of format; also: a book collector." (Check out the link HERE.)  

What this means to me is the following: some people read for information and content alone, and really don't have a special regard for, or attachment to, books as objects in themselves. Thus, they will borrow books from libraries, then happily return them, swap books with their friends, lend books to them as well, fold back paperback covers and corners of pages, and read ebooks. Other readers, however, actually revere printed books as objects in themselves, in addition to the information contained within their covers. This is the group I'm in. I definitely revere books! Lol. I can't borrow books from libraries because, if I fall in love with them, they HAVE to be MINE. And I don't lend books to anyone, because others might not treat books with the care and respect that I do. Nor do I enjoy reading ebooks, although at times I have to, because I'm running low on money..... 

Furthermore, once I've fallen in love with a book I've bought for myself, I keep it. That book has become part of my soul, and I am unable to part with it. If I absolutely can't stand a book I've purchased, then I have no trouble at all getting rid of it! I usually donate such books to Goodwill.

Of course I'm a book collector -- an addicted one, in fact. Lol. No, I don't go to book auctions and spend thousands of dollars on priceless, rare editions. I just collect regularly-priced, new books, as well as cheaper, used books in "like new" or "very good" condition.

Based on all of the above, I am definitely a bibliophile as well as a bookworm. So I am very, very careful with my books. I treat them with LOTS of tender, loving care!

What are the effects of folding back the front cover of these books? Well, this creates very ugly creases in the book's spine. Sometimes the creases are so deep, that the book will automatically open to certain pages, and then there's the danger that some of the pages will come unglued from the spine.  See the photos below. They're both of the same book, from different angles.

Another very unsightly effect of folding back the front cover is that the book will then be tilted. Yes, that's right -- tilted. When you put a book that has been treated this way on top of a table, it won't sit straight on the surface. It will be tilted. This drives me NUTS!! See the photos below. UGH, UGH, UGH!!! (They show the same book, again from different angles.)

I do not like for my books to look as if they've been abused, and that's exactly how books with folded-back front covers look to me -- abused.  My books -- including my mass market paperbacks -- still look new after I have finished reading them, precisely because I NEVER fold back the front cover.

Furthermore, if I order a used mass market paperback from either Amazon or eBay, and I see, when I open the package, that the entire book is tilted, and the spine has creases on it, I will immediately contact the seller for a refund. If I'm in a secondhand bookstore, or at Goodwill, and see a book in this condition, I will not buy it, no matter how cheap it is.

The above pics are of a book I recently bought on eBay, and got a refund for. The seller said I didn't need to return it, so I'm donating it to Goodwill soon. Then I will buy another copy of the very same book, one that is NOT tilted, and has NO spine creases. Lol.

I'm also including pics of a mass market paperback from my personal library, which I read some time ago. The book's title is Blood Rights, and you can find my review of it HERE. (This is proof that I have, indeed, read it, lol.) I've owned if for five years, as you will see from one of the photos below. This book not only looks brand new, but I have even laminated it. I do this with books I especially love, whether they're trade paperbacks, hardcovers (I laminate the dust jacket), or mass market paperbacks. See the pics below. (The surface you see in all of the pictures in this post is the top of the lap desk I use with my laptop.)


The two photos below show that the spine is neither creased nor tilted.


The photos below show how I make a paperback book MINE (whether it's a mass market or trade). I print my complete name on the inside front cover, along with the year in which I bought the book, and then I laminate it. (I don't have the time or the money to do this with each and every paperback I own, but I at least put my name and year of purchase on each. Besides, I laminate only those books that I'm especially fond of.)

As you can see, I treat printed books -- no matter how cheap the edition -- as the treasures they truly are!

What are your thoughts on
this topic?
If you're participating in this hop,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!!  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Author Interview/Giveaway!! Boneseeker, by Brynn Chapman

Welcome to the Boneseeker Blog Tour,
sponsored by
Prism Book Tours!!

For my stop, I'm featuring an interview with the author, Brynn Chapman!
There's also a tour-wide giveaway!!

(The Boneseeker Chronicles, Book 1)
Brynn Chapman
Digital Edition, 213 pages
The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
January 10, 2018
Trade Paperback, 286 pages
January 10, 2018
Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, 
Suspense, Young Adult Fiction

Aspiring scientist Arabella Holmes doesn't fit the role of a 1900s lady. Her father, Sherlock, landed her a position at the Mütter Museum to pursue her dream of becoming a purveyor of abnormal science, or what her father calls a "Boneseeker."

Henry Watson’s two-fold mission at the Mütter Museum is to join their team of forensic anthropologists in unearthing unusual antiquities and to watch over Arabella. If only he could get her to speak to him, instead of hurling knives in his general direction. Assigned to a most secret expedition to investigate a mysterious skeletal hand discovered in upstate New York, Arabella and Henry are soon caught in a scientific debate, and the search for the truth may have deadly consequences for those involved.

Are the bones from a Neanderthal? Or are they living proof of fallen angels known as Nephilim?

Watson and Holmes must put aside their differences, trust their instincts, and rely on one another to survive to uncover the truth.

*This is a new version of a previously published edition.

An Interview with Brynn Chapman

Welcome to A Night's Dream of Books, Brynn!

Maria: If you have a favorite Sherlock Holmes story, which one is it? 

Brynn: "The Adventure of the Creeping Man".

Maria: What type of research did you have to do for this novel?

I do a copious amount of research for every novel. For BONESEEKER, I expanded my library and study of Forensic Anthropology books ( I do have an anthropology minor), and also made a study of historical non-fiction resources on murders and relevant science beliefs, and societies of the time period. The science of phrenology, for instance, was very much alive and en vogue in 1910.
Here is the definition:




The study of the shape and protuberances of the skull, based on the now discredited belief that they reveal characterand mental capacity.

While on holiday last week, I visited one of my favorite vintage shops. The owners travel to Europe and obtain many of their artifacts. Here is a picture of a bust with Phrenology’s beliefs cast over the skull. The words are difficult to read, but each ridge and protuberance along a person’s skull was said to represent personality traits. The one along the longest ridge in the second picture reads, "destructiveness".

Maria: If you could meet Sherlock Holmes in person, what question(s) would you ask him?

Brynn: What was your greatest regret?

Maria: Do you think an AI computer could ever match Holmes's brilliant deductive and observational skills? 

Brynn: Um, yes. I have just begun studying the science of AI and am fascinated and terrified. Holmes was compared to “Babbage's adding machine” of course. LOL.

Maria: In your opinion, what's the difference between plotting a mystery novel, as opposed to other genres? 

Brynn: Well, BONESEEKER is not a mystery per se, because it doesn’t follow the mystery formula. I would say it falls closer to historical thriller with a large dollop of romance.

Maria: How did Holmes prepare Arabella for her future scientific work, and did he also train her in sleuthing skills?

Brynn: I want you to picture Sherlock Holmes, any Holmes from historical canon to Cumberbatch—and picture him with a child.

Fortunately, Arabella inherited the Holmesian propensity for science. So from the time she was small—Holmes made science part of her daily life and routine. It was Watson who constantly intervened, trying to provide Arabella with a more normal childhood.

When Holmes insisted she learn the periodic table of the elements, it was Watson who suggested she be permitted to skip rope, to the reciting of the elements. As she grew, so did the difficulty of the lessons. The bone obsession developed on its own, with no help from Sherlock Holmes.

Maria: Thanks for visiting, Brynn! I can't wait to read your book!

Brynn: My pleasure ! Thanks for having me, and I'm glad you want to read my book! 

Praise for Boneseeker

Winner of the New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Contest

"Creative, meticulously researched, and terrific fun!"  
Grace Burrowes, NY Times  
Best Selling Author

"The characters, the setting, the descriptions and 
the mysteries and relationships all work together seamlessly to create a truly wonderful 
story that I completely adored." 
Best Books Ever Blog

"The settings are intriguing and the way they are described make you feel as if you are immersed in the story. I could feel the gloom and damp. That is rare in so many books! Boneseeker is a book I highly recommend, and I give it 5 stars!" 
Christy's Cozy Corners Blog

Purchase Links

Print/Digital Editions
Amazon US/Amazon UK/Amazon CA
The Wild Rose Press

Digital Edition
Barnes & Noble

GIVEAWAY #1: To enter to win a Boneseeker audiobook and the pictured charm necklace ("And though she be but little, she is fierce." - Shakespeare), send a copy of your Kindle purchase of Boneseeker to US only.

GIVEAWAY #2: To enter to win a Boneseeker ebook and a $10 Amazon Gift Card, enter via the Rafflecopter below. Open internationally. Ends January 24th.

Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. If her ancestry tree is true, she is a descendant of the House of Stuart.

She also writes under the pseudonym
R.R. Smythe.


To access the complete tour schedule, just click on the button below!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday No. 49: Traitor Born, by Amy A. Bartol

Welcome to "Can't Wait Wednesday"!
This is a weekly event hosted by
Tressa @ Wishful Endings, and inspired by "Waiting On Wednesday", which used to be hosted by
 Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

For more information, please click HERE.

As in the previous meme, this one showcases future releases  we book  bloggers 
are eagerly anticipating!!
There's also a Linky widget, so participating blogs can link up!

Here's my choice for this week!

 Traitor Born
(Secondborn, Book 2)
Amy A. Bartol
Trade Paperback, 316 pages
     April 17, 2018       
Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Feminist Fiction,
Science Fiction, 
Young Adult Fiction

Rebel warrior Roselle St. Sismode returns in the second book of the epic Secondborn series by USA Today bestselling author Amy A. Bartol.

In the Fates Republic…
Firstborns reign supreme.
Secondborns kneel in servitude.
Thirdborns face death.
And Census shadows them all.

Secondborn Roselle St. Sismode was pressed into military service to battle the rebel uprising threatening the society that enslaves her. Now, powerful factions conspire to subvert the lines of succession, positioning Roselle to replace her mother as leader of the Republic’s armed forces. But the woman who bore her would sooner see Roselle dead than let her usurp her firstborn brother’s command.

The deadly war of intrigue between her new masters and her ruthless family is but one conflict challenging Roselle. A soldier for the rebellion has drawn her into a rogue army’s plot to overthrow the Republic and shatter its brutal caste system. Targeted by assassins and torn between allies, Roselle will have her loyalty, love, and honor tested in the greatest battle of—and for—her life.

Why I can't wait for this one!

Okay, so I'm a HUGE sucker for UTTERLY GORGEOUS covers. I am just visually gifted to a high degree, lol. And when those covers are accompanied by a kick-butt plot that includes a b***ss female protagonist, well. The book is sold, as far as this reader is concerned!! 
 As usual, I found out about all of this AWESOMENESS when I came across one of the sequels in a series! Well, in this case, I think I caught it just in time! This is only the second book, after all! Haha!! I'm still in time to catch up!  I can actually HEAR all of the other books patiently waiting on my TBR shelves GROANING in total despair, too.....
(This is irrelevant, of course, but don't you think this author looks like Madonna?)

Here's the previous book in this 
exciting series!! Click on the
cover for the Goodreads page.

I am a graduate of Hillsdale College, and live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons.  My family is very supportive of my writing.  They often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner.  They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re real.  They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats.  They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making.  They have learned to accept my "writing uniform" consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants.  And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them.  In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed.

What do you think of my
choice this week? 
Please leave a comment and
let me know!