Elizabeth: How Does It Hold Up?

As I mentioned in Friday’s post, we recently went through a “Marie Kondo-ish” exercise at work.  According to the posters on the bulletin board, shredding unnecessary paperwork and clearing the detritus off our desktops was all we needed to do to be happier, more productive, calmer little worker bees.

Uh, sure.  Right.

I’m fairly tidy, so the exercise was a moot point for me, but some co-workers managed to shed an amazing quantity of stuff.  So much that it was hard to imagine how they had fit it all in their tiny cubes and offices to begin with.  The jury is still out on whether they are indeed happier, more productive, and calmer.

We have a number of Marie Kondo followers at work who have gone through their homes asking “does this bring me joy” for each item there and ruthlessly weeding out anything that doesn’t generate an immediate “yes” answer.  They seem happy and the thrift stores that get all of their donations are no doubt happy as well, so it’s a win for everyone.

When one friend told me she was turning her sights on her bookshelves however, I gasped in horror.

Get rid of books?

Who does that? Continue reading

Jilly: Book Signings

Have you ever been to a signing or other author event at a bookstore? Would you recommend it?

As I may have mentioned 😉 I’m a huge Ilona Andrews fan, and I especially like the Hidden Legacy series, because the books are romance in an urban fantasy setting, rather than urban fantasy with strong romantic elements. All Ilona Andrews books have the same basic components: lashings of imagination, fabulous world-building, characters to care about, strong community, sparkling dialogue, underpinned by kindness and humor, but I love them most when there’s a double helping of romance in the mix.

I was already excited about the upcoming release of Wildfire, the third and final (maybe) book in the series, which will be on sale next month, on 25th July. Then I discovered Continue reading

Jilly: Word Candy

Word CandyRegular 8LW commenter Rachel Beecroft recently introduced me to Gail Carriger (thanks, Rachel!). As I read the first few pages of Soulless, I felt a smile spread across my face and a great big Ahhhh! bubble probably formed above my head. The heroine Alessia Tarabotti’s world is complete and beautifully drawn and the characters are fascinating, but most of all I loved the author’s voice, which is witty, and rapier-sharp.

Most of my favorite books are written in close third person POV, which figures, because it suits the style of romance I like, where both hero and heroine get a voice and the story is experienced entirely through the eyes and thoughts of the viewpoint characters. There’s no place for anything that puts distance between the reader and the characters, be it asides from the author or words like ‘saw’ or ‘thought’. (For more on close or deep POV, check out this great post from Kay.)

Sometimes though, I read a book where Continue reading