Valerie Biel Asks Can You Set a Book Someplace You’ve Never Been?

Valerie Biel is the author of the Circle of Nine series. You can find out more about her on her website www.valeriebiel.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. Yes, BUT it’s so much easier to write if you’ve been there. The internet makes it possible to virtually visit nearly every location on the planet, allowing you to experience a place through videos, photos, and other people’s accounts. So much so that you can gather enough pertinent details to use a location you’ve never actually visited as a setting in a book. In…

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Valerie Biel Asks: Would Spring by any Other Name Smell as Sweet?

Valerie Biel is the author of the Circle of Nine series. You can find out more about her at her website, ValerieBiel.com, or by clicking here, see her books here, and read her last post here. Growing up on a farm and in a climate with very distinct seasonal changes, I was always aware of the rhythms of the earth as we progressed through the year--particularly when what often seemed like the never-ending winter finally gave way to spring and the first good-smelling days had us cracking open the windows and shedding our winter coats. You can imagine then when…

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Valerie Biel Asks What Are Your Traditions for October 31 and November 1?

Valerie Biel is the author of the YA series Circle of Nine. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. Perhaps surprisingly to many, October 31 is not just Halloween . . . but to those who follow pagan or wicca traditions it is Samhain (pronounced saah-win or saa-ween), which comes from the Gaelic word “samhuin” or summer’s end. It’s the traditional start of winter and marks the New Year as one of the eight annual Celtic festivals. The Celtic Wheel of the Year plays a predominate role in the…

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Valerie Biel on Binge Reading

Valerie Biel is the author of the Circle of Nine series of YA books. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. I am an expert binge story consumer. I love series in any form—books, TV shows, movies. I’m an equal opportunity binger. There’s nothing better than sinking into a great story with a cast of characters that feels like old friends. At the beginning of the pandemic, I sought out many of my old favorites and found new ones, too. (You can read all about that in a different…

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Valerie Biel asks What Influences Your Reading Choices

Valerie Biel writes stories inspired by Celtic mythology in the Circle of Nine series. You can read her latest post here, find out more about her here, and buy her books here. I once read Under the Tuscan sun in Tuscany while basking poolside in the late-summer Italian sun. Corny? Perhaps. But I wasn’t the only one as I spied the same book cover in Swedish on another lounger not far away. (This was some years ago and later in my stay I moved on to the recently-released Fifty Shades of Grey, which I thought I was stealthily reading on…

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Valerie Biel Asks Who Are Your Favorite Mystery Series’ Sleuths?

Valerie Biel writes the Circle of Nine series. You can find out more about her here. A happy ping told me that my preorder of JD Robb’s latest book arrived on my Kindle today. Shadows in Death is the 51st book in the homicide detective “In Death” series set in futuristic New York City written by Nora Roberts as JD Robb. Eve Dallas kicks butt by day (and by night) and always catches the murderer. It doesn’t hurt that she gets to chase suspects with her gorgeous, billionaire Irish husband at her side. The rest of the recurring cast of…

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DOWN THE RESEARCH RABBIT HOLE

AUTHORS BECOME EXPERTS ON THE MOST INTERESTING THINGS: By Valerie Biel We’ve all heard the jokes writers make about what trouble they’d be in if someone they know dies mysteriously and their computer search history was examined. I imagine that a group of writers focused on mystery, suspense, and thrillers like The Blackbirds would be particularly suspicious! But no matter the topic, writers are diligent researchers, often to the point of becoming an expert in areas that might surprise people. With that in mind, I asked my fellow Blackbirds what unexpected areas they’ve become experts in due to their writing…

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