maandag 28 januari 2013

LLC Interview 3

Interview with Michelle Styles, our third author for LLC 2013!

Hi, we are Aurian from boeklogboek and Maia and today we have best selling author Michelle Styles visiting us here in Utrecht, Holland.
Of course you want to know, what is LLC 2013? It is short for Autoren Love Letter Convention 2013, which takes place in Berlin, Germany, on May 25 and 26, 2013. Michelle Styles is one of the British romance authors attending. We had a blast this summer, so we immediately bought the tickets once they became available for next year’s convention.

Our guest is Michelle Styles, author of numerous historical romance novels, written for Harlequin. And thanks of her generosity in giving away some of her books to us last year in Berlin, we both have read some of her work and really enjoy her books.
And we still remember the gorgeous red shoes she wore!

Aurian:      Welcome to Utrecht, the Netherlands, Michelle. Have some hot chocolate and some Dutch cookies.
Michelle:   Thank very much for having me.  I adore hot chocolate and Dutch butter cookies.

Maia:         Can you tell our readers who might not yet know you or your books, a little about yourself? Something that is not in your official bio (which is at the bottom of this post).
Michelle:   Last May my editors and I decided that I should once again focus on the Viking period so my next novel An Ideal Husband? which comes out in April 2013 is my last Regency/Victorian for awhile. I am very excited about the change as I had been lobbying for it for awhile. My maternal grandfather was half Norwegian and half Swedish so I like the period. Unlike my sister, I don’t speak Norwegian though.
LL Convention questions
Aurian:      Could you tell us why you are attending the convention in Berlin, Germany, Europe, again? I know we had a blast last year, but how was it for you as an author? What are some of the differences with American conventions?
Michelle:   I was very impressed with the Berlin conference and had such a good time last year and so I knew I had to go again this year. The big difference for the authors is that the readers are so friendly and that there was such a good atmosphere.  The authors are worked hard but are also encouraged to meet the readers who were lovely and welcoming. At some US conferences from what I understand, there is a very different vibe.
Maia:         The convention is in Berlin, a beautiful city. Are you planning to do some sightseeing? In Berlin or even in the rest of Europe?
Michelle:   Last year I got to see a little of Spandau but I am hoping to see more of Berlin. It depends on how tired I get. As my youngest will be taking his A level exams, I will have to go straight back home to the UK.

Aurian:      There's a lovely group of authors coming this year. This year another British Harlequin author is attending as well, Annie Burrows. Do you know her personally? Or any of the other new authors?
Michelle:   Annie Burrows is a friend and a truly lovely person. I am so pleased she is attending. I also know Jane Porter and Sharon Kendrick very well. They are both lovely people.  Really fun and very approachable. All three will enhance the conference.
Book questions

Maia:        We both read Impoverished Miss, Convenient Wife. Beauty and the Beast is my favourite trope, but I loved how she stood up to him. Do you characters manage to surprise you?
Michelle:   My characters often manage to surprise me. They become real people to me and sometimes like real people they are less than cooperative. Sometimes they hide things from me and don’t tell me why they are behaving like that. Sometimes I have to threaten them with being fired...

Aurian:      I’ve really enjoyed Miss Hattie Wilkinson meets her match. It was a nice change of pace reading something not taking place in the “ton”. Are your characters more often members of the gentry instead of the haut ton? Do you have a preference, or do their “titles” just fit the story?
Michelle:   With my Regency/Victorians I have set them in the North East and I like having people who are not in the charmed circle but the age had so much more to offer. It was such an age of change.

Maia:        You write all kinds of historical romances, Regency, Vikings, Romans. We do miss some hot Highlanders in a kilt on your covers. Don’t you like them, or do you think there are enough of those already? What is your favourite time period?
Michelle:   I haven’t written any Scottish books. At the moment, my editors want me to focus on the Viking period and there were no kilts then. If I came up with a good idea for a Scottish Highlander, I would write it. I do have Scottish ancestory...

Aurian:      Would you like to venture into other genres, like paranormal or Young Adult, or are you happy writing historical romances?
Michelle:   I like writing historical romance as it gives me a chance to hold a dark mirror up to today’s society. However, I am slowly venturing into contemporary so it is a sort of watch this space.

Aurian:       What is next on your writing schedule?
Michelle:    I am currently writing my next Viking which is due 1 April.

Personal questions:

Maia:         We both have enormous TBR mountain ranges, how big is yours? And what do you plan on reading next?
Michelle:   At the moment I have to do my reading for the Rita judging. I have to get those read first. Unfortunately I am not allowed to talk about them but several look very good.

Aurian:       What would you be if you could not be an author?
Michelle:    Very bored.

Aurian:      Who are some of your favourite authors? Do you still have the books you loved reading as a young girl?
Michelle:   I have a lot of favourite authors. They include but are not limited to: Georgette Heyer, Anya Seton, PG Wodehouse, Rosemunde Pilcher and Victoria Holt. Of authors currently writing, I love Julia Quinn, Robyn Carr and a number of harlequin series authors.

And now for some fun quick questions:
Oh good

Are you left-handed or right-handed?
Utterly and totally left handed

What is your favourite movie, and which is the last one you saw in the theater?
My current favourite movie is Les Miserables. I saw it in the theatre on the 12th of Januaray and cried all the way through it. It was very cathartic. It has been a long time since I saw anything that powerful. My favourite movie tends be Casablanca when I forced to name one.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
A Morning person

What famous author, dead or alive, would you love to meet and why?
I would have loved to meet Georgette Heyer because among other things she founded the Regency romance genre and she also coped with having a husband who is a barrister!

Although I was born and raised near San Francisco, California, USA, I have lived in Britain since 1988 when I married. The deal was if he passed his Bar exams, I would quit my job in insurance, and go to Northumberland, see how I liked it for a year and then we would decide where our future together would be.
We spent our honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies discussing how and why if he were an examiner, my husband would surely have failed. He flew back to the UK and arrived the morning the results were print in The Times. The first time through, he missed his name but then saw it -- the examiners had not followed his fears, but had passed with him with a high mark. My hand trembled as I hung up the phone. It had come to pass. I was about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime.
I gave my notice to my manager who was sorry to lose me, made arrangements for furniture to be sent across the Atlantic and started reading Catherine Cookson novels to get a flavour of the area. For although I spent my junior year of college at Lancaster University, I had not bothered to travel to the North East.
After reading about ten novels and Catherine Cookson’s autobiography, I thought -- oh no what have I done here and rapidly checked with my manager I could return to my job if things did not work out. I need not have worried. Northumberland is beautiful, truly a forgotten corner of the British Isles with green fields, stone buildings and a landscape littered with castles, and Roman remains. I fell in love with the North East, and in particular with the Tyne Valley. So after, all this time, with three children, two dogs, two cats, and assort of chickens and ducks, I believe we are settled.

Why do I write?
I write because I love to write. I have always loved books and reading. Before I could read, my mother reports my favorite occupation was to sit and look at books. After I learnt to read, in part using the Richard Scary books with his labeled pictures and wonderful anthropomorphic drawings of animals performing all sorts of tasks, I read everything. My childhood favorites included The Wizard of Oz books, the Nancy Drew mystery series, The Chronicles of Narnia, Lloyd Alexander’s Book of Three series and countless books of folk tales and fairy stories. As I grew older, I read as widely as possible. If I read a mention of a book in another book, I tried to read that book. By the time I was 12, I knew I wanted to be an author, but the one important piece of advice I received was -- authors must have some sort experience of life. In order to write, you must live.
Years passed and while I wrote articles for newsletters, kept a journal, made several starts at writing novels, I was not serious. Then in 2002 I became seriously ill with gall stones. As I lay in Hexham Hospital, I started to re-evaluate my life. What did I want to do with it? I decided I had lived enough to begin seriously writing, and made a promise to myself, I would write a novel (and finish it!) I started one, but then stopped. How could I say anything of importance? Later that summer I visited the website of Slyvia Engdahl, the author of the Newberry Award winning Enchantress from the Stars. I asked her why she no longer wrote. Her reply was that while she could think up themes, she could no longer think up the tent poles to hang them on. A light bulb moment for me. I thought I can think up tent poles. I became determined to write a novel and more importantly to finish.

My First Sale
My First sale did not happen overnight, I have the form rejections and other rejection letters to prove it.

What else do I do?
Other than writing and reading, my interests include gardening (the restoration of the garden is 25 year project), beekeeping, cooking, needlework, walking and traveling. I also am actively involved with my church.

Where to find Michelle?
twitter: @MichelleLStyles

 Michelle’s next book is An Ideal Husband?, which will be published in April 2013.

donderdag 24 januari 2013

blij blij blij vier boekjes erbij!

Gisteren een leuk stapeltje boeken in mijn brievenbus:
  • Jennifer Ashley - The seduction of Elliot McBride
    • die ga ik heel binnenkort lezen!
  • Maya Banks - Shades of gray
    • met een extra kort verhaal "Softley at sunrise" voor LLC zal ik de serie uithebben
  • Jacquelyn Frank - Adam
    • komt op de TBR
  • Jayne Ann Krentz - Copper beach
    • komt ook weer op de TBR, moet de serie nog bijlezen.

woensdag 23 januari 2013

boekuitgaven in 2012

Een overzichtje van de door mij gekochte (romantische) boeken in 2012

In totaal heb ik 228 boeken (215 PB, 13 TPB), en 1 ebook gekocht.

Ik heb in totaal €680,47 uitgegeven aan boeken:
  •   €348,67 voor 74 boeken bij The Bookdepository
  •   €262,10 voor 112 boeken op Marktplaats
  •   €53,50 voor 21 boeken bij Aurian
  •   €16,20 voor 7 boeken op het boekenfestijn Jaarbeurs.
Dat is dus €56,70 voor 19 boeken per maand, of €1,86 per dag. Er zijn duurdere verslavingen... ;-)

Ik heb in het zelfde jaar ook boeken gekregen:
  • 12 boeken van Aurian
  •  2 boeken van Michelle Styles, waarvan ik er een verder heb doorgegeven
  • 1 boek van Janeen O'Kerry via Gini Koch
Al met al is mijn boekenkast dus met 242 boeken gegroeid. Dit had helaas als gevolg dat mijn mooie boekenkast in de woonkamer vol is geraakt. Gelukkig heb ik nog plek in de 2e slaapkamer...

Vergelijk ik dit met vorig jaar:
  • Ik heb meer boeken gekocht 228 vs 202
  • Maar voor minder geld €680, 47 vs €690,50

Ik heb nu 1600 boeken:
      1476 paperbacks
    103 trade paperbacks
     21 hardbacks

vrijdag 18 januari 2013

Interview with Pamela Palmer

Interview with Pamela Palmer, our second author for LLC 2013!

Hi, we are Aurian from Boeklogboek and Maia from, and today we have best selling author Pamela Palmer visiting us here in Utrecht, Holland.

Of course you want to know, what is LLC 2013? It is short for Autoren Love Letter Convention 2013, which takes place in Berlin, Germany, on May 25 and 26, 2013. Pamela Palmer is one of the American romance authors attending. We had a blast this summer, so we immediately bought the tickets once they became available for next year’s convention.

Our guest is Pamela Palmer, author of numerous paranormal romance novels. I have read only one so far, but there are more on my shelves waiting and I am very certain they will be read in time for LLC.  I did enjoy the one Esri book I read, I especially liked the world building. Maia, you have read some of her Feral Warrior books?
Yes Aurian, and those warriors are hot shapeshifters! Mmm sounds just like my kind of read Maia!

Aurian:       Welcome to Utrecht, the Netherlands, Pamela. Have some hot chocolate with whipped cream, and some Dutch cookies.

Pamela:      Thank you for having me, Aurian and Maia!

Maia:         Can you tell our readers who might not yet know you or your books, a little about yourself? Something that is not in your official bio (which is at the bottom of this post).

Pamela:      I’m a full-time writer, the author of more than a dozen paranormal romance novels, and a New York Times, USA Today, and der Spiegel bestselling author. The two series I’m currently working on are the Feral Warriors, a shape-shifter romance series, and the Vamp City series, which I’m calling a multi-book romance. The Vamp City series will be 4 or 5 books long, but will tell the story of a single couple. Continuing characters, in other words.

LL Convention questions

Aurian:       Could you tell us why you are attending a convention in Berlin, Germany, Europe? Have you been there before? Or other places in Europe? Were you surprised at being invited to a convention this far away?

Pamela:      When I first heard about the Love Letter Convention, I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. When I was invited to attend, I was delighted. I hear from many fans of my Krieger des Lichts books (my Feral Warriors in German). The opportunity to meet some of them was something I didn’t want to miss. I’ve been to Europe a number of times and am always excited to return. Berlin, though, will be a brand new experience.

Maia:         The convention is in Berlin, a beautiful city. Are you planning to do some sightseeing? In Berlin or even in the rest of Europe?

Pamela:      Yes, I’ll absolutely be doing some sightseeing. My husband will be coming with me, so we’ll be exploring Berlin and possibly one or two other places while we’re over there. My husband Keith has travelled extensively in Germany and Europe on business, so we haven’t decided whether we’ll try to hit one of the many places he’s told me he wants to show me, or visit somewhere that’s new to him, too.

Aurian:       There's a lovely group of authors coming this year. Do you personally know any of the other authors present?

Pamela:      I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting a couple of them at conferences, but I’m looking forward to meeting the others, too. It looks like a great group!

Maia:         The convention promo and books are in German. Will it be possible for you to bring some English books and/or swag?

Pamela:      I’ll definitely bring some swag. How much depends on what I can fit in my suitcase!

Book questions

Aurian:       I really enjoyed A Warrior’s Desire, in the world of Esri. What made it fun, was the totally different world. For instance, the trail of flowers that followed Charlie, or that food would grow on demand. How did you come up with this?

Pamela:      I have no idea where any of this comes from! : ) Honestly, my imagination is constantly in overdrive. I’m delighted you enjoyed Charlie’s book! I had so much fun writing it, coming up with a world completely different from our own, then dropping a Navy SEAL in the middle of it.

Aurian:       There is a 4 year gap between Dark Deceiver and A Warrior’s Desire. Why was that? Is there any chance of a reprint of the first two books, as those are no longer available?

Pamela:      The Dark Gate was the first book I ever sold, bought by Silhouette (now, Harlequin) Nocturne. After I’d written the first two books in the four-book Esri series, my agent sold the first three Feral Warriors books to Avon (Harper Collins). When Harlequin came back for the last two Esri books, I had to schedule them after my Feral Warriors deadlines. That accounts for part of the delay. The rest comes from Nocturne’s small publishing schedule (just 2 books per month), which often results in a backlog of books to be published.

                  I doubt they’ll be reprinted, but all four Esri books are available for Kindle. (I just checked and they’re on The Esri series, in order: The Dark Gate, Dark Deceiver, A Warrior’s Desire, and Warrior Rising.

Maia:         I’ve read the first book in the Feral Warriors series. Desire Untamed. It was a rollercoaster ride of a plot, but, I have to admit, I was really annoyed with Lyon. In my opinion, he did not explain things enough to Kara, preparing her for what would happen. Why did you make him so secretive?

Pamela:      Lyon was afraid that telling Kara too much would overwhelm her. And it probably would have. But the way he went about it, telling her things only when he had to, didn’t work for him either. Lyon is the chief and used to issuing orders and having them followed. He was over his head dealing with a scared young woman who thought herself human. And he made a lot of mistakes.

Maia:          The hero of Heart’s Untamed is called Zeeland. I am curious, this is a Dutch word, and the name of one of our provinces (states). How did you come up with it, and does it have a meaning in English?

Pamela:      I didn’t know that! I originally called him Zealand, but I was afraid Zea would be mispronounced. Zee was simpler (as a nickname). As for why I came up with the name at all, I was trying to find a naming culture for these immortals that was slightly unusual, or at least not entirely American mainstream. Some of the other Therian male names I used in that story: Ryland and Grayson.

Maia:          What is next on your writing schedule?

Pamela:      I’m currently writing the eighth Feral Warriors book, which will be Wulfe’s book. My second Vamp City book, A Kiss of Blood, comes out in the U.S. in June.

Personal questions:

Maia:          We both have enormous TBR mountain ranges, how big is yours? And what do you plan on reading next?

Pamela:      Oh, yes, my TBR pile is about to topple, too! I’m actually about to start re-reading the entire Feral Warriors series. I don’t do this with every book, but every now and then I read them when I’m starting the next book to make sure I don’t forget anything.

Aurian:       What would you be if you could not be an author?

Pamela:      I started my professional life as an industrial engineer with IBM. If I weren’t an author, I’d probably still be an engineer.

Aurian:       Who are some of your favourite authors? Do you still have the books you loved reading as a young girl?

Pamela:      I have some of my favorites, a selection of children’s books and Nancy Drew mysteries, but we moved so often when I was a girl, that it was impractical to keep much. Some of my favorite authors now: Nalini Singh, Larissa Ione, Anna Campbell, and Sarah MacLean.

And now for some fun quick questions:

Are you left-handed or right-handed?

What is your favourite movie, and which is the last one you saw in the theater?
My favorite is the Lord of the Rings trilogy (I can’t choose just one!). The last movie I saw in a theatre was Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
If I could choose my own schedule, I’d be a night owl. But I get up at 6:45 every morning to make my husband’s breakfast and lunch, and to see him off to work.

What famous author, dead or alive or undead, would you love to meet and why?
Oh, that’s a difficult question! There are so many of them, but I’d probably have to say JK Rowling.

I grew up in the Air Force. No, no, I didn’t wear little fatigues or salute my parents (although I have a snapshot of me attempting to do push-ups beside my pilot dad at age four), but as anyone in a career military household knows, it’s not just a job, it’s a life that includes the entire family and one that can provide some unique experiences. At a year old, I thought any man in an Air Force uniform was my daddy. At nine I received a government-issue set of dog tags, and at ten I rode an elephant in Bangkok and later watched an earthquake ripple like ocean waves across our front yard in the Philippines.

Unlike a lot of authors, I didn’t grow up wanting to be a writer. I didn’t even want to be a pilot like my dad. I wanted to be an astronaut. I spent hours alone in my room either reading, watching Star Trek, or imagining other worlds filled with magic, strange creatures and dashing space pirates. The dream followed me to college where I studied engineering with plans to head for NASA when I graduated. But at nineteen I woke up to the reality of the modern space program and the stars finally fell from my eyes. The Space Shuttle was never going to take me where my imagination wanted to go.

Instead, I graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Industrial Engineering and went to work for a major computer manufacturer. I still devoured books (almost exclusively romances) and even tried writing one, but after the first exciting chapter I had no idea what to do with my characters. I thought I couldn’t write. In hindsight, I simply had no idea how to plot.

I set aside the dream of writing for a few years while I had babies, though I continued to create stories in my head. Then one night as I did the dinner dishes, one of those daydreams became too big to keep in my head. I had to write it down. This time, however, thanks to the recent opening of a brand new library down the street, I discovered a wealth of books on plotting and character development and realized I could learn how to turn scenes into books and craft entire stories. The process was neither fast nor easy, encompassing four manuscripts, half a dozen partials, and eleven years of hard work before I sold my first book. Fortunately, I had a lot of encouragement along the way. With my very first book I finaled for Romance Writers of America’s most prestigious award for unpublished writers, the Golden Heart. Each of my subsequent books also became a Golden Heart finalist, the third winning the award outright. The fourth, through the Golden Heart, sold.

Now I spend my days in those fascinating worlds filled with magic, excitement and dashing heroes, and my evenings with my real-life hero and two wonderful kids.

Where to find Pamela?
     twitter: @Pamela_Palmer

Pamela’s latest books are
In English: A Love Untamed (26-12-2012) and A Kiss of Blood (25-6-2013)
In German: Krieger des Lichts: Ungezähmtes Herz (8-2012) and Ungezähmter Kuss (2-2013)

rondom de jaarwisseling

Een wat lang uitgestelde afronding van een mooi leesjaar:

In december en januari heb ik de volgende boeken binnen gekregen:

Via marktplaats:
Bach, LaurenSlow Hands
Brennan, AllisonFear No Evil
Brennan, AllisonSee No Evil
Brennan, AllisonSpeak No Evil
Brennan, AllisonThe Hunt
Brennan, AllisonThe Kill
Brennan, AllisonThe Prey
Garwood, JuliePrince Charming
Phillips, Susan ElizabethBreathing room
Schone, RobinThe Lady’s Tutor
Krentz, Jayne AnnDangerous Affair
Krentz, Jayne AnnThe Waiting Game
Krentz, Jayne AnnThe Wedding Night
Krentz, Jayne AnnTwist of Fate
Roberts, NoraThe MacKade Brothers

Via Bookdepository
Cole, KresleyShadow's claim
Adrian, LaraDarker after midnight
Koch, GiniAlien vs Alien
Singh, NaliniTangle of need
Viehl, LynnNightbred
Day, AlyssaHeart of Atlantis

Daarnaast had Aurian nog een mooi kerstcadeau, in de vorm van acht boeken, voor mij (mij blij!):
Andre, BellaGame for Seduction
Enoch, SuzanneDon't look down
Lowell, ElizabethDie in Plain Sight 
Lowell, ElizabethRunning Scared
Roberts, NoraEntranced
Roberts, NoraCharmed & Enchanted
Roberts, NoraLawless
Roberts, NoraWaiting for Nick

In deze maanden heb ik de volgende boeken gelezen:

Kevin Hearne - Trapped
    Het nieuwste deel in de Iron Druid serie. Las heerlijk weg.
    Zal ze van Aurian blijven lenen, en wie weet zelf een keer kopen  ;-)
Gini Koch - Alien vs Alien
   Nog een boek in een geweldige serie. Ging er als een speer doorheen.
   Volgende deel al weer besteld
Jennifer Ashley - A MacKenzie family christmas - a perfect gift
    Lief klein verhaaltje in de MacKenzie serie. Leuk om iedereen weer te zien.
    Ian blijft een favoriet!
Lisa Marie Rice - Midnight man, Midnight run, Midnight Angel
   Sexy verhalen over sterke, zorgzame mannen en over vrouwen die het lukt
   hun 'caveman tendensies' te inspireren, maar ook te temperen.
   Ze laten niet over zich heen walsen! En dat maakt de boeken toch wel weer grappig.

Om 2012 af te ronden:
  • Ik heb dat jaar 50 romans en 15 novella's gelezen, in totaal dus 65 boeken, vier meer dan het jaar er voor.
  • Dè ontdekkingen van 2012 waren Gini Koch en Karen Marie Moning. Twee schrijfsters die in de ik-vorm schrijven, een manier van schrijven die ik over het algemeen niet echt fijn vind, maar bij hen werkte het wel.
    • Gini Koch schrijft een heerlijke serie over Kitty Katt in Alien serie. Humor, actie en een heldin "who saves the day". Leest heerlijk weg.
      • daarnaast kreeg ik van Aurian hele mooi gesigneerde boekplaten voor mijn verjaardag!
    • Karen Marie Moning. Ik ben ooit begonnen in haar Highlander serie begonnen, maar daar kwam ik niet echt ver in. Maar haar Fever boeken grepen me zo dat ik de hele serie in een keer achter elkaar heb gelezen.
  • Verder boeken gelezen van favoriete schrijfsters als G.A. Aiken/Shelly Laurenston, Jennifer Ashley, Maya Banks, Suzanne Brockmann, Thea Harrison, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb en last but not least Nalini Singh.
  • De enige niet-romance boeken die ik verder gelezen heb zijn de boeken van Kevin Hearne. De serie over de Iron Druid Atticus leest heerlijk weg. Kevin's fantasie kent geen grenzen. Hij maakt gebruik van diverse pantheons om een wereld te scheppen die allerlei moeilijkheden, maar ook mogelijkheiden op het pad van onze laatste druïde plaatsen.
Hèt hoogtepunt van 2012 als lezeres was natuurlijk het bijwonen van de LoveLetter Convention in Berlijn. Een kleine week praten en eten met bloggers, schrijfsters en andere aardige mensen. Geweldig! Dit jaar gaan we weer!