Introducing Elyse!

I was contacted awhile back by Elyse, who was looking for recommendations for historical romance, but when we got to chatting via email, I learned that Elyse is a former bookseller who reads just about everything, and she's a marvelous reviewer. So she'll be appearing (poof! LIKE MAGIC) hereabouts with reviews of romances and romance-like publications (which are often really romances). Here's a little more about Elyse: 

I've always loved to read. I was the kid who sat outside at recess reading the Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley High rather than play kickball with the other kids. When I was in high school I started writing for the student newspaper because writing as almost as fun as reading. As you can imagine I was very cool and popular.


I found my first romance novel, A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiss, in a box of books in our basement. I haven't looked back since. I still have a special place in my heart for Woodiwiss despite all the BS in her books. I also started reading Harlequin Presents in high school, hiding them inside other books so I could read them secretly. I still love all the secret baby/ revenge marriage/ amnesiac-secretary-mistress nonsense they have to offer. 

I got a degree in English with the intention that I'd teach. While I was in college I worked at an awesome mom and pop bookstore which is where I met my husband. I worked for that independent bookseller for about 5 years before they went out of business. Somehow instead of going on for my PHD I would up working in the transportation industry, which is where I am today. I work out of the virtual office as a strategic account manager for a speciality intermodal equipment company (we make stuff so stuff can come off of boats/trains and then go to Wal Mart or Target or wherever). I've had reviews printed in Booksense 76 (Independent Bookseller monthly recommendations/buying guide).

I travel a lot, and split my time between home, the corporate headquarters of various customers, and rail yards and ports (which are always in super sketchy neighborhoods–ever been to South Kearny, NJ? It smells like cancer).


My hubby and I both love to read, to travel, and he likes to cook which is good because otherwise I'd live on diet Coke and Pop Tarts.

My favorite authors are:



Jill Barnett
Kathleen Woodiwiss
Edith Layton
Maya Banks
Sophie Jordan
Lucy Monroe
Sarah Morgan
Caitlin Crews
Maisey Yates
Victoria Dahl
Janet Evanovich
Sarah Mayberry


I read a lot of mysteries and non-fiction too. Basically I should just sign over one paycheck to Barnes and Noble each month.

First of all, South Kearny does indeed smell funky, but I've always likened it to either burnt Pampers or burnt pb & j. 

Welcome Elyse! 


General Bitching...

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  1. 1

    Welcome, Elyse!

    My husband works in a similar industry…and yeah…the neighborhoods where he works are very interesting in a brownfield moonscape sort of a way. In an I-don’t-want-to-get-out-of-my-car-after-dark sort of a way, even though I can’t imagine there are any living beings there after business hours. Besides the Sopranos and the Sons of Anarchy maybe (hmmmm…).

  2. 2

    Welcome, Elyse! All too many of us here are familiar with the “just sign over the paycheck to the bookstore” life.  At least within the Bitchery you get virtual tea and real empathy. No one outside of the readers’ world truly understands why those books keep piling up on our TBR shelf, so we’re glad to have you aboard.


  3. 3
    Karenmc says:

    Elyse, it’s great to have you join the community. We’re always ready to read new reviews and hear fresh voices.

  4. 4
    Darlynne says:

    Welcome! I look forward to reading your reviews (and am one reader who thinks a crime novel review is just the thing). Any hints on what’s first up for you?

  5. 5
    Jamarleo says:

    Welcome Elyse!  I’m psyched that you have Janet Evanovitch on your best of list.  Romance and mystery run neck and neck with my choices, so I’m eager to see what you’d recommend.

  6. 6
    Lara says:

    @Darlynne- I second the crime/ mystery review thing.  I have yet to find a mystery blog that feels like this one.  Someone needs to start a branch- smart bitches, dead people, perhaps?

  7. 7
    Vicki says:

    Yes, we need a Smart Bitches, Dead People. And has anyone figured how to read all the books in your TBR before it’s time to sign over the next paycheck to the book/nook sellers?

  8. 8

    Elyse sounds awesome! Welcome!!!

  9. 9
    The Other Susan says:

    Diet Coke and Poptarts – the Breakfast of Champions!

    I’m not pointing a finger – I’ve been known to eat coffee ice cream or frozen yogurt for breakfast.  Hey, in the summer it’s *hot* where I live – even in the morning.

  10. 10

    Hi Elyse! More reviews – yay! – my favorite part!

    And your smell comments remind me of a very formative childhood memory. Driving from rural Ohio up to Ontario in the late 70s, we’d pass through Detroit… I used to mock gag, cover my nose, etc at the smell from all the plants. My mother was furious! “That’s the smell of good American jobs! That’s the smell that keeps your Didi working and put me through college, young lady, so you just don’t get above yourself!” Never forgot that, and found myself using something similar on my own kids (although that was at a farm – which is the smell of MY childhood).

    Hey, my captcha is ‘federal61’ as in ‘1961 was one year after the first major federal environmental law – the Clean Water Act – passed.’

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