Looking through my past posts, I realized it has been over a year since I’ve published a Book Notes review! Since I just finished reading a heartwarming novel that I really enjoyed, there’s no time like the present to offer up a new one!
The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay is a women’s fiction novel that I was fortunate enough to get from Net Galley last spring… and somehow I hadn’t read it until now! Here’s a description:
Friends, I wanted to share something with you. I’ve decided to step back from blogging for now, so The Biblio Blonde will be on hiatus for the forseeable future. The blog will remain online, so you’ll be able to access any previous posts or reviews, but I won’t be updating it with new content. I’ve also deactivated the Pinterest account and the Facebook page connected with my blog.
Sometimes, even an activity you love wears on you. Between writing, promoting, and reading books on a schedule, I started feeling a little burnt out. When I recently reminded myself that I “should read” it was a bit of a revelation… since when did reading become work? So, it was time to set aside some pieces of my book life that were bringing more stress than enjoyment.
I’m hopeful that after some time away, I can come up with a way to do this that preserves joy, and return with renewed energy and fresh ideas. In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram or Goodreads, as I will still be posting on those accounts. (Links below, or you can access them through the feeds in the sidebar or footer.)
Hello, friends! I’ve been taking a little break from the blog and social media for lots of holiday preparations. There’s still a few presents to wrap and some cookies to bake.
I’ll be back on the blog again in a few days with some posts to prepare for a brand new year. In the meantime, I wanted to thank you all. This time last year, The Biblio Blonde didn’t exist. In creating it, I’ve read great books, shared my thoughts, and most importantly, made new friends. So thank you for reading… I look forward to interacting with you all so much more in 2019!! Merry Christmas!!
Friends, today I get to do something a little bit different! I’ve talked about the writing and blogging community on Twitter and how easy it is to get to know people and find support. Well, a lovely lady I’ve gotten to know there is getting ready to publish her first adult novel, and she’s given me the honor of revealing the cover for this book! She’s also been gracious enough to answer a few questions for us!
Savannah Hendricks published her first book, a children’s picture book called Nonnie and I, in 2014. She has contributed stories to anthologies and magazines, and now, she’s set to release her first novel, a sweet romance, in January!
Before we show you the cover for this new release, Grounded in January, let’s hear a bit from the author herself! I posed a few questions to her to gain some insight into her background, writing process, and more… so read on!
When did you start writing, and what brought you to it?
I started writing in 2004 when I worked as a nanny. After cleaning up the house and folding laundry, I would sit down and work on a story. I wrote my first picture book, Nonnie and I, in a spiral notebook. Being a writer was the last career I ever thought I would have because not only was reading a struggle, I also hated to read. Yet, I found out how much I loved to write and how great I felt sharing my stories.
You’ve published books for children. How is it different writing and publishing for adults in the romance genre?
Writing for adults is a million times easier!! From story to edits to publishing. It’s a challenge to have a well developed story in four hundred words or less. For example, Nonnie and I took a total of seven years from draft to publication. Grounded in January, from completed first draft to publication date, will only be a year and a half. Of course, it takes weeks to a month for one round of edits on an adult romance novel, while I can run through three rounds of edits in a day for a picture book. Time frame from submissions to acceptance also plays a large role. When I started submitting Nonnie and I, everything was done by snail mail, and it took years to finally be picked up by a publisher.
Savannah, you have a different full time career in addition to your writing. How do you balance it all?
Carefully, and with a lot of singing in my car. It’s hard; to be honest, it’s overwhelming at times. I tend to spend about ten hours on Saturday writing or editing, and about six to seven hours on Sunday doing the same thing. My time management is excellent and that is key. If I’m not too tired I will try and get an hour or so of edits in at night, but between being a dog mom, cooking, cleaning, washing dishes (I don’t own a dishwasher) and trying to get exercise and adventure in, it’s hard.
As we look forward to your book, what do you want us to know about your characters?
Great question! I want my readers to know that even though it’s a sweet romance and my characters are fun, they have problems just like everyone else (big problems too). Kate, my female main character is loveable and determined. Ox, my male main character, is stubborn and talented. I hope that my readers see something of themselves in Ox or Kate.
And because I’m a fellow dog lover… tell us about Ransom!
Oh, Ransom, handsome Ransom. Well, he is a handful. I had two super low-key dogs prior to him (one, Bayou, is pictured on the left above). Ransom (above right, and below) has taught me a lot. He is super sweet and always wants to please others, but he also has zero awareness of others’ personal space. He has so much energy; I’ve never seen anything like it. Ransom is a good boy and doesn’t chew up anything in the house, but he is very strict on being with me 24/7, and he keeps at whatever it is until he gets his way.
That was fun! But I know what you’re all waiting for now: the big reveal! So let’s get to it!
Presenting… the beautiful cover for Grounded in January!
Isn’t it gorgeous? I love the lighting, the falling snow, and the feeling of joy! (And yes, the dog… who is not Savannah’s Bayou, but bears both his name and a striking resemblance!)
Here’s a little more info about the new book:
Phoenix resident Kate (who is rather clumsy) does not want to admit it, but she is unhappy. She doesn’t know if it’s her job, living in a city with two seasons (hot or extra hot), or her desire for love. In an attempt to review her life she gets on a plane (she has a horrible fear of flying) and heads home to Washington.
Washington resident Ox owns Inn of the Woods and enjoys flying his Cessna, but with his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, he believes his life is not worthy of love. Bouncing between good and bad days means family is not in the cards. But that’s alright, because his English lab Bayou keeps him company.
Will Ox realize love has no boundaries? Will Kate find her happiness? Can love prove strong enough to create a life of both their dreams?
Hello, everyone! It’s been a busy time with summer winding down, and the fall schedule starting up, so I haven’t been very active on the blog the past few weeks. But I’m glad to get back into the swing of things and be back with you all here!
Since I’m really looking forward to fall… let’s talk about fall reading! Today I want to highlight five of the books I’m most excited to read in the coming months, and share some great sources to find even more amazing titles!
The Dinner List, Rebecca Serle (9/11)
You know the old exercise that asks you to name five people, living or dead, with whom you’d like to have dinner? Well, in The Dinner List, Serle introduces us to one lucky girl who gets to do just that!
When she shows up at her 30th birthday party, Sabrina finds not only her best friend, but three significant people from her past, and… Audrey Hepburn. As the evening progresses, it becomes apparent that there’s an important reason these people have been gathered.
This sounds like the kind of whimsical magical realism that I dearly love, and I can’t wait to check out this title! (Personally, I’d probably read it just for the Audrey Hepburn appearance, but the whole thing sounds great!)
Time’s Convert, Deborah Harkness (9/18)
A few years ago, I was delighted by the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, an epic tale told over different periods of history. Time’s Convert is a continuation of this tale and focuses on one of the characters from the original trilogy. The publisher’s description is fantastic so I’ll just share it with you:
On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.
Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor—the young employee at Sotheby’s whom Marcus has fallen for—is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both—forever.
A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time’s Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries.
If you want to start at the very beginning, read A Discovery of Witches and go from there. Harkness paints a vivid picture of a swoon-worthy fantasy world hidden in plain sight… set some time aside for this series!
A Spark of Light, Jodi Picoult (10/2)
Jodi Picoult’s novels are always timely, relevant, and thought-provoking… they are best sellers for a good reason!
In A Spark of Light, a hostage crisis at a women’s reproductive health center takes on another layer of urgency when the police’s hostage negotiator realizes his fifteen year old daughter is inside. The young woman shares the frightening next hours with an unforgettable slate of characters. This novel starts with the incident and works backward to explore how each individual came to be at the clinic, as Picoult examines one of the most controversial issues of our time.
The Clockmakers Daughter, Kate Morton (10/9)
In 1862, a group of artists descends on Birchwood Manor, planning an inspired summer. But by the end of their stay, one woman is dead while another has disappeared; a precious heirloom is missing; and a man’s life is in ruins.
Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.
Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?
Kate Morton is fabulous… if you haven’t read her work, you should start now! Her books offer incredible, epic stories that sweep across time, and The Clockmaker’s Daughter promises more of the same.
Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty (11/6)
When nine people gather at a remote health resort, none of them can imagine how difficult their stay will be. Frances, a formerly best selling novelist, arrives broken in a variety of ways and is fascinated by her fellow guests. Can she find the answers she’s looking for, or should she run while she can?
If you’re familiar with this author, you know there are often twists and surprise endings, and while I have no idea yet what this book is about, I’m expecting the unexpected!
Honestly, has Liane Moriarty ever written a book that’s less than amazing? Nine Perfect Strangers promises to be excellent, and caps off a great list!
So there you have it… some fabulous ideas to get you started on fall reading!
Looking for more titles? I’ve found a few great lists with a *ton* of upcoming fall releases, so you should be able to find plenty of options to keep you busy all season long! Happy reading!