Reader Spotlight

Blog name: The Suspense Is Thrilling Me
Your name: Chelsea Humphrey

Let’s start with your origin story - how long have you been blogging about Mystery & Thrillers, and why did you start?

Technically I have only had my blog since May of 2016, but I have been reviewing books on Goodreads since September of 2015. I’ve always had a deep love of reading; after my second child was born I wanted to find something I could do for “me time”. I started writing reviews and found it so enjoyable that I knew I had found something special. Eventually, I had some wonderful authors like Mary Kubica, Angela Marsons, Emily Carpenter, and James Renner offer to back my blog and help me get it off the ground with some interviews and giveaways. I’ll never forget their kindness; the fact that they believed in me before I could believe in myself is what got me started and loving the world of blogging!

Are there particular subgenres that you prefer or find more interesting at the moment? Are there any trends that you are excited to see come or go?

I am a huge fan of the psychological thriller! That has always been my #1 go to if I’m stuck in a rut. I’m also partial to crime thrillers/police procedurals; I have recently discovered a new liking for medical thrillers and even a few political thrillers. I think I speak for most readers in the genre who would like to see the “Gone Girl” craze disappear. I adored that book when I first read it; I found it very unique and original for the moment, but once the floodgates opened to all the similar books that style got old quickly. My dream is one day to be able to pick up a psychological thriller with no mention of the word “Girl” in the title or a blurb. I’ve really enjoyed this recent trend of stories being told out of order; All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda was so unique in the fact that we discover the story backward, from end to beginning.

Your review style is very engaging - you take away something different from each book and bring in your own knowledge. For example, in a recent review you gave readers a heads up about possible triggers in the book, and in another you praised an author for his honest depiction of the struggles of parenthood, and you pull in additional information about the author and publisher, and giveaways/events that readers may not know about. Can you describe how you formulate your reviews and what you’ve found works the best for yourself and what resonates with your followers?

Thank you! To be honest, I had to play around with formatting and what I wanted to include in my reviews for months before I found a set “go to” standard. For instance, I have followers from all walks of the reading spectrum; some are fellow reviewers/bloggers, some are aspiring/current authors, and some are just fantastic readers looking for an honest review to help them narrow down that ever growing To Be Read list. I always like to include publisher, author, and series/genre information, as some readers aren’t sure where it falls in a series and some fellow reviewers need that information to request review copies easily. I try to always be constructive in my reviews, as there is no need to be cruel. A book is a project that someone has worked on for many months, sometimes years. I do try to include information that might be helpful to a reader on deciding if a book is for them. In the mystery/thriller genre, there are a number of triggers that might affect someone poorly and be a book they likely shouldn’t pick up. Graphic violence, rape, murder, and abuse of humans and/or animals can be common in these types of books, so I like to point out (in a spoiler friendly way) if these types of triggers make an appearance in a book. I do post many reviews as I read an average of 4 books per week, but I also like to mix things up with other types of posts as well. My favorite posts are author interviews that include giveaways; many publishers/authors have been so generous and just all around awesome by providing everything for those types of posts. I have heard from numerous readers and winners of the giveaways that they were able to find a new-to-them author that is now a favorite they might never have found otherwise. It’s a win for everyone involved! I love nothing more than promoting books for a debut author and spreading the word on their fabulous new story.

Aside from your reviews, you have a variety of different features on your blog – which is your current favorite?

While I thoroughly enjoy all the excerpts, reviews, cover reveals, and interviews/giveaways, I think my favorite current feature is my weekly wrap-up that occurs every Friday. I try to include what I’m currently reading, books I’ve won in various giveaways (thank you Goodreads!!!), and book mail from various publishers/book buddies. I have a few blogger/reader friends that we mail each other books we weren’t able to get our hands on, and all my friends/family know me as the crazy book peddler because I give away all my books (except the special signed ones) once I’ve finished reading them.

Which upcoming book(s) on NetGalley are you the most excited about reading and recommending to your followers? And are there any covers on NetGalley that you’re loving?

I’ve recently been approved for Wintersong by S. Jae Jones (and that cover is GORGEOUS!), Dark Water by Robert Bryndza, Bloodlines by Angela Marsons, and Tell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall- all books I’ve been anticipating for months now! I can’t wait to review these because I can already tell you I’ll be pushing all four heavy. One that I haven’t read yet that just went up is The Nightwalker by Sebastian Fitzek; the cover is gorgeous and the blurb has me hooked.

Wintersong    Dark Water   Bloodlines   Tell Me No LiesThe Nightwalker

Lightning Round!

Your blog in two sentences:

The Suspense Is Thrilling Me focuses heavily on the Mystery/Thriller genre, but also includes reviews of Women’s Fiction and YA. It’s growing quickly and I couldn’t be more pleased with it’s success!

Your favorite character in a book or series:

Isabel Spellman in the Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

Your favorite 2 publishers for Mystery & Thriller titles:

Bookouture and Minotaur Books

And to finish off our interview, if you could go on a road trip with any author, dead or alive, who would it be, and where would you go?

There are many, but a top pick would be Harlan Coben. I feel like anywhere would be an adventure with him, but NYC would be a blast, and I hope he’s as funny in real life as he is in his books.

Thanks so much Chelsea, for spending time with us and answering our questions!
Please make sure to check out The Suspense Is Thrilling Me and more Mystery & Thrillers available on NetGalley! 

Would you like to nominate your blog, or a blog you admire, to be featured in our Blogger Spotlight series? Fill out this form!

*Interviewed by Tarah Theoret


Indie Next List

November edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the November Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles:

Nicotine: A Novel by Nell Zink (Ecco • 9780062441706)

Mister Monkey: A Novel by Francine Prose (Harper • 9780062397836)

Cabo de Gata: A Novel by Eugen Ruge, Anthea Bell (Trans.)(Graywolf Press • 9781555977573)

The Terranauts: A Novel by T.C. Boyle (Ecco • 9780062349408)

Inheriting Edith: A Novel, by Zoe Fishman (William Morrow Paperbacks • 9780062378743)

The Loved Ones: A Novel by Sonya Chung (Relegation Books • 9780984764846)

Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live by Peter Orner (Catapult • 9781936787258)


NetGalley Author Interview with Lis Wiehl

In her latest Newsmakers thriller, New York Times bestselling author and Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl weaves a taut and chilling story. The Candidate is packed with political intrigue and media manipulation as the lust for power turns deadly indeed.

The Candidate

Request It!

Pub Date: October 4, 2016
Mystery & Thrillers
Published by Thomas Nelson

See More of Their Titles

How far will a candidate go to become president? Erica Sparks—America’s top-rated cable-news host—is about to find out.

Mike Ortiz is a dynamic war hero favored to win the White House. Standing by his side is his glamorous and adoring wife, Celeste. But something about this seemingly perfect couple troubles Erica. Is Celeste really who she seems? And most importantly, what really happened in that squalid Al-Qaeda prison where Mike Ortiz spent nine months?

But more than the nation’s future is at stake. Erica’s relentless search for the truth puts the life of her preteen daughter Jenny in danger, even as Erica’s own dark past threatens to overtake her.


Cover Love

We’ve rounded up covers we love, and we hope you will too. We’ve also gathered all of your cover votes from this month, and your most loved cover is. . .Heartless by Marissa Meyer!

Click on each cover to read the full description, request (or wish for) the title, and “Like” the cover if you haven’t already. If you’ve read these titles, don’t forget to share feedback with the publisher and with your friends and followers.

Tell us in the comments below, which covers you’re loving right now, and they could be included in next month’s Cover Love!


Reader Spotlight

Blog name: On Starships and Dragonwings
Your name: Anya

Let’s start with your origin story - how long have you been blogging about Sci-Fi & Fantasy books, and why did you start?

I started the blog in 2010, so six years, time flies! It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I started blogging about sci-fi and fantasy books because I wanted to try out blogging in general and realized that books were the thing that I would never get tired of! It’s worked so far I guess :).

Are there particular subgenres that you prefer or find more interesting at the moment? Are there any trends that you are excited to see come or go?

I try to switch between subgenres every book so that I don’t get bored with any one. I’ve found that my preferences don’t align with elements special to any particular subgenre, but more what makes books excellent no matter their subject: strong voice, unique world, beautiful writing, etc. In all subgenres though I’m seeing a trend of authors working hard to bring in mythology from places other than Western Europe and I love that. Since I tend to be more interested in new-to-me magic and monsters and worlds, stories that pull in myths I’m not familiar with are exactly what I’m looking for.

Can you describe the Sci-Fi & Fantasy community? Is there anything unique amongst those contributing to and interested in this genre that perhaps isn’t a characteristic of other literary communities?

Like any community, the Sci-fi and Fantasy community is far flung and varied of course. There is an interesting split between those who read predominantly young adult versus adult sci-fi/fantasy though. I feel like I cross between those two groups of speculative fiction readers and am always trying to push books from the other age category on to readers. Something that has been under close scrutiny lately is diverse representation in sci-fi and fantasy: if you have elves and aliens, it shouldn’t be hard to also have humans with different skin tones and sexualities. Recent outspoken groups against representation seem to have largely united our community to start fixing the problem in response. I’ve always found the sci-fi and fantasy book blogging community to be exceedingly welcoming in part because we’re mostly made up of the nerds and outcasts that often didn’t fit in growing up. We know what it is like to feel excluded and want a space where no one has to feel that way.

Do you have a particular approach to writing reviews for books? Has your style evolved over the years, particularly since becoming a blogger?

When I was writing my very first couple of reviews, I tried to write them as paragraphs waxing lyrical about the book for thousands of words. Then I realized that I both didn’t like trying to write that way and didn’t particularly enjoy reading those reviews. That’s when my bullet-list review style was born! I had always taken notes of the things I wanted to discuss on a post-it note with bullet points and decided to try keeping that format and just expanding a bit where it was appropriate. I’ve stuck with that review style because I really do think that it helps my readers quickly figure out if they’d like a given book and because it makes writing reviews so much easier for me. There are times when I want to break out of that pattern a bit, and at those times I do, but I always find myself coming back to bullet-lists of pros and cons.

Which upcoming book(s) on NetGalley are you the most excited about reading and recommending to your followers? And are there any covers on NetGalley that you’re loving?

RoseBlood by A. G. Howard is absolutely gorgeous and I’m excited to see a new series starting in that world so that I can jump in without having to catch up (always so much to read!). I’m also excited to see Wake of Vultures up on NetGalley to request in the lead up to the sequel Conspiracy of Ravens and HIGHLY recommend both!

RoseBloodWake of VulturesConspiracy of Ravens







*Lightning Round!*

Your blog in two sentences:

Just a grad student geeking out over books. Find your next sci-fi or fantasy read here!

Your favorite character in a book or series:

Just one???? Cress from Cress by Marissa Meyer!

Book you’d like to see made into a movie or tv show:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone







And to finish off our interview, if you could have coffee (…or something stiffer) with any author, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

Anne McCaffrey! The Dragonriders of Pern was my first fandom and I dreamed of visiting her in Ireland before she died.

Thanks so much Anya, for spending time with us and answering our questions!
Please make sure to check out On Starships & Dragonswings and more Sci Fi & Fantasy books available on NetGalley! 

Would you like to nominate your blog, or a blog you admire, to be featured in our Blogger Spotlight series? Fill out this form!

*Interviewed by Tarah Theoret


NetGalley UK’s Top Ten Books, November 2016

In terms of fiction, November is probably the most exciting month of the year – with familiar names and brand-new voices up against each other in the pre-Christmas melee. This could easily be the strongest top ten we’ve had in 2016, and one that should give you plenty to review, recommend and champion as the year draws to a close.

Ian Rankin needs no introduction, but this new Rebus mystery is one of his very finest and is a must for everyone interested in how crime has become one of the most vital areas of fiction right now. Zadie Smith returns with her first book since the superb NW, and Swing Time confirms her as the best writer of her generation. There’s also new novels from Orange Prize winner, Linda Grant, and Stef Penny who won the Costa Book of the Year – with novels we can’t recommend highly enough.

Lastly, a quick shout out for Small Great Things – which some of you might recognise as a book that was initially released with no title or author name, simply called #readwithoutprejudice. It’s classic Jodi Picoult, and a terrific read. Enjoy requesting!

Book of the Month

Rather Be The Devil
Ian Rankin
UK Edition

Ian Rankin’s novels are gloriously readable, compelling affairs – but their deep understanding of a compromised and corrupted society means they are mysteries more concerned with motive and human nature than with simply whodunnit. Rather Be The Devil is a perfect example of Rankin’s art, as John Rebus fights the ghosts of his past and the ghouls of his present. 

Forty years have passed since the unsolved murder of Maria Turquand, but her death still weighs heavy on Rebus – though the recent escalation in a turf war, which may or may not involve old enemy Big Ger Cafferty, is perhaps of more concern. With skill and dexterity Rankin weaves these strands into a devastating narrative of twisted power, deep-rooted violence and bitter rivalries. Brilliant.

The Dark Circle
Linda Grant
UK Edition

Linda Grant has won a loyal following and huge critical acclaim  with her beautifully written, often darkly humourous and elegantly constructed novels. The Dark Circle is a peerless example: an impeccably realised, often deeply affecting novel set in the drab dawning of 1950s Britain. Sent to a tuberculosis sanatorium in Kent, twins Miriam and Lenny encounter a bewilderingly wide group of characters within the sterile walls. But when they discover a cure for TB is tantilisingly out of reach, desperate measures are required.

Small Great Things
Jodi Picoult
Hodder & Stoughton
UK Edition
US Edition

The twenty-fourth novel from Jodi Picoult is a timely, intricate and thought-provoking exploration of race, prejudice and justice. Told from three different points of view – Ruth, an African-American midwife; Kennedy, a white lawyer; and Turk, a white supremacist – Small Great Things takes us through a tragic event and its aftermath. Ruth is told by the hospital that she must not touch Turk’s newborn son. But when she is alone and the baby suffers cardiac distress, she is put in an impossible situation – one that will change everyone’s lives forever. 

Swing Time
Zadie Smith
Hamish Hamilton
UK Edition
US Edition

It’s been almost sixteen years since Zadie Smith’s iconic debut, White Teeth, was published and in that time she has proved herself to be one of Europe’s most persuasive voices. Swing Time is Zadie Smith at the very height of her powers, a rich, insightful and stunningly written tale of friendship, ambition and where, ultimately, we belong. At its heart is the relationship between two young girls obsessed with dancing – though only one has the talent for it. Their friendship, forged in motion, remains in flux, until sometime in their early twenties it abruptly ends…

Cut to the Bone
Alex Caan
Worldwide Edition

We think this might be the first crime novel to feature a Vlogger at the centre of the mystery – and this is a very modern take on the classic twist and redherrings of a thriller. Ruby is a rising star of YouTube and a heroine to millions of teenage girls. Then a video emerges of her pleading for her life. With the world’s media – both traditional and social – watching her every move, DI Kate Riley is under pressure to crack a seemingly impossible case while the videos just keep coming. Stunningly tense. 

Under A Pole Star
Stef Penney
UK Edition
AU Edition

Stef Penny’s debut novel, The Tenderness of Wolves was one of the big surprises of 2006 – winning both the coveted Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year and the Costa Book of the Year. Ten years later she returns with another chilly and evocative historical epic. Against the backdrop of the North Pole Penney weaves an irresistible love story, a compelling look at the dark side of the golden age of exploration, and a mystery that Flora, returning one last time to the North Pole as an old woman, will finally lay to rest.

No Virgin
Anne Cassidy
Hot Key Books
Worldwide Edition

From the author of the critically acclaimed Looking for JJ comes a powerful, harrowing and important exploration of trauma and recovery. Stacey is the victim of a devastating sexual attack. She does not feel able to go to the police, or talk about it to anybody other than to her best friend, Patrice. But Patrice will not let it slide, and insists that if Stacey will not go to the police, then she must write down everything. No Virgin is Stacey’s story – one told with authority, empathy and understanding.

The Evenings
Gerard Reve
Pushkin Press
UK & EU Edition

Voted the greatest Dutch novel of all time by The Society of Dutch Literature, The Evenings finally gets its first English translation – some sixty years after its first publication. A true masterpiece of outsider fiction, Reve’s novel features ten nights in the life of Fritz van Egters, a disillusioned and disenchanted young man pounding the darkening streets of post-war Amsterdam. A unique, undefinable novel of wit, grace and intelligence that English speakers can at last enjoy. 

The Smoke Hunter
Jacquelyn Benson
UK Edition

Feted by the likes of Stephen Leather and Scott Mariani, Jacquelyn Benson’s explosive debut novel has drawn comparisons with both Indiana Jones and Lara Croft. London, 1898. Archivist Eleanora Mallory discovers a map to a legendary city. But is it the key to unravelling an ancient mystery or a clever hoax? Compelled to find out, Ellie journeys to Central America and with maverick archaeologist Adam Bates, ventures into an uncharted wilderness where peril and danger awaits them.

The Easy Way Out
Steven Amsterdam
UK Edition

Steven Amsterdam draws on his experiences as a palliative care nurse in this absorbing novel exploring one of our age’s most thorny ethical questions: that of euthanasia. Evan is a nurse – a suicide assistant. His job is legal – but as he helps one patient after another die, Evan pushes against the limits of the law – and his own morality. The Easy Way Out is a brilliantly funny and exquisitely sad novel that gets to the heart of one of the most difficult questions we could face: would you help a loved one die?


Indie Next List

October edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the October Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site

If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie Next list via NetGalley, and receive special access to new galleys via the Digital White Box program. Sign up today!

Additional Indie Next titles:

News of the World: A Novel, by Paulette Jiles (William Morrow • 9780062409201)

Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear … and Why by Sady Doyle
(Melville House • 9781612195636)

Mercury: A Novel by Margot Livesey (Harper • 9780062437501)

All That Man Is: A Novel by David Szalay (Graywolf Press • 9781555977535)

The Kept Woman: A Novel by Karin Slaughter (William Morrow • 9780062430212)

The Life-Writer by David Constantine (Biblioasis • 9781771961011)

Library Reads

LibraryReads List

October 2016

LibraryReads has announced the top ten books available in October that librarians across the country love. You can request or wish for the featured titles below on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the LibraryReads site.

If you are a librarian, you can nominate titles for the LibraryReads list via NetGalley – learn more here!

Additional LibraryReads Titles:

News of the World: A Novel by Paulette Jiles
(William Morrow • 9780062409201)

News from NetGalley

CBA and NetGalley Announce New Partnership and Member Benefit Program

CBA, the leading association for providers of Christian products, and NetGalley today announced a joint initiative to give Christian retailers quicker and wider access to digital galleys of forthcoming books from over 20 Christian publishers –including HarperCollins Christian, B&H Publishing, Baker Books, Barbour Publishing, David C Cook, and many more.

By adding their CCBA_logoBA member ID to their NetGalley profile, Christian retailers receive a prominent CBA badge that will allow publishers to identify them as key influencers. Publishers can then approve requests for review copies more quickly, add CBA members to their auto-approved lists for access to all new books, and invite them to review new books first.

“This partnership will help Christian retailers remain competitive by giving individual employees within Christian retail establishments fastest and earliest access to new books,” said Curtis Riskey, President, CBA. “Of course many stores receive print galleys, but digital review copies give booksellers an additional format for reading; provide copies for more employees within the store; and give retailers access to a wider array of books. We are pleased to be working with NetGalley to ensure that CBA members are prominently recognized.”

Fran Toolan, NetGalley’s CEO, added, “Often physical galleys are available in limited quantity or for top titles only. This partnership will help individual retailers within CBA stores access more books earlier, improving their recommendations and purchasing decisions for the store. We look forward to helping CBA members sign up for the service and look forward to expanding this partnership in future.”

NetGalley has long had similar programs in partnership with the American Booksellers Association (ABA), American Library Association (ALA) and the Booksellers Association (BA) in the UK, and NetGalley offers an ongoing discount to publishers who are members of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA). Professional readers – reviewers, bloggers, media, librarians, booksellers, and educators – can register for free at to request titles, or be invited to view titles directly by publishers. There are over 320,000 NetGalley members worldwide.


Publisher’s Perspective: Why Reviews Matter


DBG-Logo-2014Dina Sherman is the School and Library Marketing Director at Disney Book Group and joined us during our live-webcast (which you can watch here) to give a few examples of how you help books succeed.

Reviews matter because they. . .

Help convey the content of the book

First, and on a very basic level, you help convey the content of the book to potential consumers (this can inspire an initial interest, or create another impression). Perhaps your interpretation is different from the publishers, and resonates with your followers.

Help build excitement in-house

Your reviews can help build excitement for a book within the publishing house (which may influence more marketing or sales efforts)

Foreign book rights
It can influence rights, like Movie & TV rights and foreign book rights

Influence award nominations
Your enthusiasm can influence award nominations and inclusion on lists

Encourage relationships
They can help foster relationships between reviewers, publishers and authors

Influence book purchases
Which is fairly obvious, but always important

Influence cover designs

Galley covers are rarely the final cover, and publishers do look for what response they are getting.
Does it reflect the book’s content/tone/theme? Does it feel too young or old? If there are consistent comments that come up, they can be brought to meetings with designers and editors.

Inspire sequels and spinoffs
Maybe a lot of reviewers were really drawn to a supporting character, or subplot that that publisher now wants to build off of.

Identify new audiences
You can help identify new audiences for the book – maybe the publisher wasn’t aware that this book resonated with a particular group of people who share the same interest.

Your reviews can also influence what acquiring editors will go on to publish – they can look at key themes or values in reviews of new books to help decide what readers want to see next.

Success Stories

With the sometimes overwhelming amount of information and media available today, you are breaking through the noise by reaching out to publishers directly to tell them what is important to you, as a reader. Your reviews are certainly influential, but perhaps you don’t always see what that influence looks like. Here are some concrete examples of books where NetGalley reviewers’ quotes played a big part in building excitement, buzz, and sales.

Code Name Verity

“Probably my favorite NetGalley review of all time was for Code Name Verity.  It was an in-house favorite (OK, let’s be honest, an in-house obsession) from the first time we read the manuscript. We talked about it all the time, shared it with every person we met, but couldn’t quite sum up our feelings.Then came this wonderful reviewer*, who wrote, “Suck it, Hemingway.”  Exactly! It became our rallying cry and we would say it in meetings whenever we were trying to express our feelings about the book. It certainly helped us keep pushing to get it out into the world.”

* Written and submitted by Katherine Montgomery, educator



Every Last Word



Every Last Word was an in-house favorite YA novel. The team decided to put together a preview mailing to help build buzz. They were able to reach out to NetGalley reviewers and take quotes from their NetGalley reviews to put together a sheet of rave reviews. This praise really helped get people excited for the book!



These Broken Stars


These Broken Stars was voted “most likely to be hand sold” on NetGalley. It was a new author team, and some bookstores were unsure about stocking it. Reviewers on NetGalley loved it, which helped a buyer convince an account to carry the book, and the whole series, in their bookstores.




All-in-all, publishers want to know what readers think and respond to, and you’re helping them do that. Your reviews and constructive feedback can help a publisher and/or author make adjustments to the cover or content before on sale (we’ve personally seen this happen as a direct result of reviews from NetGalley members, and it changed the course of the books for the better.)

Publishers know that reviewers on NetGalley do not hold back – you are honest, and constructive and very thoughtful when sharing your opinions with them. You take your book advocacy very seriously, and in turn, publishers are more inclined to take you seriously as early influencers.

You can view Disney Book Group titles on NetGalley here to request and review. Check out the webcast for more tips and sneak peeks of some of Disney Book Group’s upcoming fall titles.