Manic Monday and Weekend Mystery

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As we all know Mondays can be pretty manic and generally I look forward to Mondays nonetheless. This past weekend, Georgia had its first snow of the year-more like snow turned to ice-and left many trapped indoors for an entire two days. I’m not complaining though, it was a great time to catch up on shows, movies, format blog posts, drink lots of tea and talk with friends via social media about books. Alas, no reading for me. I know. I’m shocked myself. Let me explain why. Book reviewers can often go through a reading funk. Having so many books to get through and often times feeling like you are reading much of the same stuff, one can get frustrated. Well, that is me at the moment. Okay, I have to admit it’s been increasingly getting to a boiling point with me and so far the books I have selected and read this year has not been a good beginning for the new year. I have three books to write a review for that I was less than satisfied with. My main complaint with these stories is that there is no depth to the characters and not enough back ground information to really get to know them. One must get to know the character in order to sympathize and relate to them. Furthermore, the plots were weak and contrived.

With that said, I even wish agents and publishers would accept more stories with male protagonists. I’m also tired of seeing stereotypical characters. More so in the male roles. Another thing that concerns me is that the market to think that women just want to read about other women and their issues. It’s time for some changes. Yes, I said it and feel relieved to finally express my feelings about this. Agents and publishers, if you are reading this, I hope you take this into consideration. When a female author pitches a story to you with a male protagonist, please accept it! I can confirm I am not alone with this. Many of my fellow book bloggers and friends are right there with me.

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Having feeling this way and wanting to find something to get out of my reading funk; I then asked my friends, co-bloggers and author friends for some mystery titles with male protagonist. I posted this request on my Facebook wall. In the HNS Facebook Group and on twitter. The recommendations came flooding in and what great conversations it made! Soon I will be sharing those titles with you. I am currently arranging them in a file and formatting the post. I might do a series of them. Be sure to be on the lookout for that! I am really hoping this will get me out of my reading funk. We will see. Ha!

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Today I have lots of blogging things to do! I have a ton of interview questions to get out, answering emails, book promoting, draft two book reviews and turn them in. This doesn’t include all my other responsibilities that I have today…Whew! Here is hoping to a productive day! I know many of you can relate! More on my thoughts as a reader coming in the near future. Stay tuned.

Have a wonderful bookish week and be sure to come back every day this week to Layered Pages for some great posts!

Take a look and follow these amazing book bloggers! They do a tremendous job in supporting authors and books.

Flashlight Commentary

The Maiden’s Court

A Bookaholic Swede

A Literary Vacation

Let Them Read Books

2 Kids and Tired Books

Celticlady’s Reviews

A Bookish Affair

Thank you for visiting Layered Pages! Hop on ever to check out my post on a readers’s voice over at my BlogSpot

Stephanie M. Hopkins

One Reader’s Voice Out Loud

Disclaimer: All book reviews, interviews, guest posts and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie. M. Hopkins/Owner of Layered Pages

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**Bookish Happenings**

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me-iiIt’s that time again for bookish happenings! Today, I am sharing a few things that have been going on in the world of blogging and at indieBRAG. We are completely drawn into the world of stories and the people who write them. Our passion is to share our love of reading, good reads and our hunt for them. Daily we are exploring social media and various book sites for the next great read.

As we all know, this week as been a challenging week for many due to the elections in America. I’ve noticed my page views here at Layered Pages have been down this week. Whatever challenges I face in life I look to God and his word to help me get through the hard times and life’s challenges Another is books-of course-and surrounding myself with positive people. Many have shown great kindness this week and many not so much. My prayer is that we call can come together in peace and understanding. To show kindness towards one another and encouragement. The world will be a better place for it.

This week at Layered Pages, I have created several posts but would like to take this time to highlight my review, I See You by Clare Mackintosh. This book was a highly interesting read for me. I love to explore the human mind and how we face things in life due to affliction. I’m also a sucker for a good mystery! When a writer leaves me guessing until the end…then you know you have stumbled across a great story.

Currently I am reading several books! What else is new! *laughing* I really can’t help myself. My enthusiasm and love for reading knows no bounds. Ha! I’m hoping to finish up a buddy read today that and read a few pages from Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister and hoping to start, The Magdalen Girls by V.S. Alexander. Then there are the research books I am constantly buried in for my story of the Reconstruction of the South. An American Civil War story I am working on.

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girl-in-disguiseGirl in Disguise by Greer Macallister:

For the first female Pinkerton detective, respect is hard to come by. Danger, however, is not.

In the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the streets of Chicago offer a woman mostly danger and ruin-unless that woman is Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective and a desperate widow with a knack for manipulation.

Descending into undercover operations, Kate is able to infiltrate the seedy side of the city in ways her fellow detectives can’t. She’s a seductress, an exotic foreign medium, or a rich train passenger, all depending on the day and the robber, thief, or murderer she’s been assigned to nab.

Inspired by the real story of Kate Warne, this spirited novel follows the detective’s rise during one of the nation’s greatest times of crisis, bringing to life a fiercely independent woman who’s forgotten triumphs helped sway the fate of the country.

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Here is a few of my fellow book bloggers highlights for the week! Be sure to check them out. These bloggers are so dedicated to their craft of sharing stories and a big support to the book world. I highly recommend you follow their blogs.

Erin’s cover crush this week over at Flashlight Commentary really stood out to me. Click here to check it out! The fact that the woman in the cover is holding a cup of tea and birds flying from it is just stunning and so dramatic!

Heather at The Maiden’s Court has a fantastic review of The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman here. I have this book on my shelf and would really like to find some time to read it!

Magdalena over at A Bookaholic Swede and I have like minds about our thrillers. Check out her review of Very Important Corpses by Simon R. Green here. I have this on my review shelf and hoping to get to it next!

Holly over at 2 Kids and Tired Books shares with us a review of Snow Angles, Secrets and Christmas Cake here. I don’t know about you all but I love it when bloggers do a wonderful job in getting you in the spirit of the holidays and Holly’s blog fits the bill.

Colleen over at A Literary Vacation shares with is an Audiobook review of The Cryptic Lines by Richard Storry here. This story looks really appealing and a great gothic mystery which I would love to dive into!

Jenny at Let Them Read Books shares with us a Blog Tour Q&A & Giveaway here of A Song of War by the talented H Team! I am dying to get my hands on a copy of this book!

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indieBRAG has two exciting holiday guest blogs coming up for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Be sure to stay tuned into their blog and meanwhile check out the home pages for great reads and other guest posts from their Honorees! Click here for the website.

Thank you for visit Layered Pages and have a marvelous weekend! Happy reading!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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Confessions of a Book Blogger

Keep calm and blog on II

On February 2nd I blogged about how Authors should support Book Bloggers and gave some tips of the trade. Blogging isn’t always easy and takes a lot of time and effort. I am a firm believer it takes both the author and the blogger to work together for support of each other’s medium on social media.

Today, I am going to talk about how book bloggers should support authors in their endeavors. Bloggers and Authors lead such busy lives and it’s not always easy to be in contact with each other. We are always pulled in so many different directions. In many ways, I like to think that bloggers and authors have like minds in creativity and structure. We are in constant need of nurturing that creativity. But before I get carried away on that thought, let’s get back to bloggers supporting authors.

Check list for supporting authors:

  1. This is the most important so I’m adding this first. DO NOT troll an author. Do NOT. I’ve seen bloggers use their platform to bash and harasses authors-for whatever reason-and I have zero respect for that. Like I said on my other post to the authors, if you have a disagreement, do not further engage. And that means, do not smear their name on a public platform. Now, I don’t need to go into the reasons why you should not harass authors. You should be smart enough to figure out why. I hope.
  2. When an author sends you books or bookmarks, be sure to give them your thanks. I even blog about it at times or share on Facebook what I received. Not only do authors like that but so do readers!
  3. I get flooded with so many request from authors to be featured on Layered Pages. Sometimes, emails get lost or there are just too many to get to. This year I made a promise to myself that I would do my best to respond to everyone. Now, I know there are authors who send out spam emails and we have learned to ignore those. But really try to be gracious in answering emails.
  4. Reviews: It’s a bloggers job to give an honest analysis of books we review. It does not mean that you down right insult the author. Give constructive reasons why you did not care for the book. Don’t just say, “I did not like this book, I don’t recommend it.” If you are going to write a review stating you did not care for the book, state why but be respectful.
  5. I like to come up with creative ways in supporting authors on Layered Pages. Every year you blog, try to come up with some new ways to feature the authors you love. This year, I have come up with a few new series. Stay tuned for those. Authors are jumping on them! Its going to be exciting!
  6. Follow and interact with your favorite authors on social media. This helps attract more attention to their books and what can be more exciting than getting to know the writer of your favorite stories?!
  7. We are not the author’s every day readers. We are a book reviewers and professional readers. Most of us are anyways… Let’s behave accordingly.
  8. Authors put their heart and soul into their stories, lets show them our gratitude and keep encouraging them to bring us more wonderful stories. Without them, we would be lost.

Check out my good friend and fellow book blogger’s post on The Author/Blogger Relationship!

Stephanie M. Hopkins