In the Reviewer Spotlight: Tara Chevrestt

Welcome to the Reviewer Spotlight, where dedicated book reviewers share their thoughts on reading and reviewing historical fiction! Today's guest is Tara Chevrestt!

Why do you read historical fiction?
     I want to learn something while I am entertained. I also think I was born in the wrong time.
What are you reading now?
     The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
What makes a great read for you?
     Strong women facing difficult situations and making the most of it and themselves.
What’s your biggest turnoff?
     Heaving bosoms, straining cocks, fainting women.

Where do you stand on the fact vs. fiction debate within the genre?
     Historical fiction is fiction. You are allowed to play with the facts. However, when writing about real people, don't make it ridiculous. Example: Don’t have Joan of Arc having sex with the King of France. Come on, now. LOL
Are there any subjects that are overdone?
     Tudors, the War of the Roses. Sick to death of all of them.
Are there any subjects you’d like to see more of?
Do you read any of these historical fiction sub-genres: mystery, inspirational, fantasy, romance? Why or why not?
     Mystery: Sometimes. I find most mysteries rather unoriginal and too predictable so it's not a favorite genre. Inspirational: No. I'm not eager to be converted. Happy to be a Heathen. Fantasy: No. Too far fetched. Romance: Yes as long as there is more story than sex and no heaving bosoms/straining cocks.
What’s the last historical fiction book you read and loved?
     The Angel Makers by Jessica Gregson
What’s the last historical fiction book you read and hated?
     Day After Night by Anita Diamant
What’s your favorite time period to read about?
     1700s. Lots of pirates then.
Who are your favorite historical fiction authors?
     Christina Courtenay, Victoria Hislop, Elizabeth Chadwick
How often do you read?
     Everyday, every break, in the bath, on the treadmill…
Do you read print books, ebooks, or both? Which is your preference?
     Both, but I prefer print, especially with the longer ones. I think it takes longer to read on the kindle.
Do you have a favorite place to read?
     Bed, under the covers, with my dogs around me. J
Where do you post your reviews?
     LibraryThing sometimes, Amazon sometimes, Goodreads all the time, and my blog occasionally.
Do you write a review for every book you read?
     Yes, I do. If I DNF it, I leave a few sentences about why I didn't finish.
Do you read other reviews of a book you’ve read before you write yours?
     No. I don't want to risk putting someone else's words in my mouth. I only read reviews to determine if I want to read that book or not. Then AFTER I have read and made an opinion and wrote a review, I will sometimes compare, but never while actually reading it or pondering my review.
Do you read your friends’ reviews of books you’ve also reviewed? If so, do you find that your thoughts tend to be similar or dissimilar?
     I do and I find our thoughts are usually different. It's fun to compare.
Do you have any pet peeves about book reviewing in general?
     Please, please, please do not reveal every single detail of the story.
Have you ever stopped following someone because of a review they’d written?
     Yes, or because they complain about a critical review for one of their own books. No class.
Where do you think readers can find the most trustworthy reviews?
How much weight do you give to reviews when choosing whether to read a book?
     A lot, but I tend to look for the lower rating ones. More honesty there, usually.
What do you like best about being a book reviewer?
     Free books! LOL

Thanks for stopping by, Tara!
Check out Tara's blog,
Book Babe, and stay tuned for more Reviewer Spotlights!


  1. Thanks, Jenny! It was fun to do this. :)

  2. This is a very good review. I liked the questions you asked Tara. Good job Tara!

  3. Great post! Loved the response to the question "biggest turnoff" :-)

    Thanks for bringing Tara's blog to my attention. I'm going over to check it out now.

  4. Great interview and I agree with almost everything. I don't have a problem with "heaving bosoms, straining cocks" so long as they don't overwhelm the story :)


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