#BookBlogWriMo Day 21 – My First Reviews and Thanks

21 my first reviews

#BookBlogWriMo Day 21 – #FlashbackFriday – My First Reviews

To say they were rough was an understatement. I posted my first review for The Devil Wears Prada and was really proud of it. Actually, I thought I nailed it on the first try. Thank goodness for awesome commentors, though, because I learned I didn’t give enough detail and reasoning. Sure, I can tell you how I felt about something, but the why and examples are also very important. One thing I need to remind myself frequently is that I don’t need to put so much pressure on myself to write a review. If I don’t have much to say, they I shouldn’t force it; I say my piece and then I’m done. If I have a lot to say, then readers beware! Some of my reviews can end up quite lengthy.

My next reviews definitely improved: Complete by Lindy Zart and Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 21

I am thankful for clear, star-filled skies and full moons.

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#BookBlogWriMo Day 15/16 – My Favorite and Least Favorite Things about Blogging [and Thanks]

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#BookBlogWriMo Day 15 and 16!!

So, I was out of pocket all day yesterday, thus you have a two-in-one post!!

My Favorite Book Blogging Things

  • Getting to read – Well, I’d hope this was one of my favorite things about this process, otherwise doing it would be silly!!
  • Meeting new people – I’ve met so many great authors and bloggers through this process. Having the chance to become an editor for one of those authors was even greater and that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have this blog. They’re something great about being a part of this community; we all understand the addiction.
  • Discovering new favorite authors and books – Oh my. My Kindle has SO many great books on it. I’m always finding new great books on BookHub and through book tours and recommendations.
  • Free books – Ah, does this really need explanation? This is a wonderful perk.
  • The opportunity to do what I love – I went to school for English and Journalism, so I’m happy to be able to put that to good use. I enjoy doing this. It’s fun, productive, and educational.
  • Having the chance to read books before release – Another great perk! It’s what I’d imagine going to a movie premier would be like – just without the celebrities and photo ops!

My Least Favorite Book Blogging Things

  • It can get expensive – Oh yes. Once you get hooked on an author or book series, stopping the chain of purchase is very difficult.
  • Over booking – This is so easy when there are so many great opportunities to review so many great books. I’ve recently taken a look at my methods and cut back a bit so I can get my ducks in a row.
  • Not having enough time to read everything – The plight of all major book worms.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 15 and 16

I am thankful for great friends. It’s always wonderful to look forward to fun get togethers with friends [and family.] Friends are the family we get to choose for ourselves.

I am thankful for public transportation. Sure, driving is great – but public transit allows for decompression time!

#BookBlogWriMo Day 13 – My Review Process and Thanks

review process and thanks 13

#BookBlogWriMo Day 13 – My Review Process

Going into this whole book reviewing thing, I knew I needed to come up with some sort of process, but I didn’t know where to start. Instead of creating some step-by-step, I just let it flow. That’s important. Don’t let someone else tell you how to do it, just feel it out and do what comes naturally. This is my process… Continue reading

#BookBlogWriMo Day 12 – Advice for Newbie Bloggers and Thanks

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#BookBlogWriMo Day 12 – Advice for Newbie Bloggers

  • Make sure you have the time to dedicate to blogging. It’s such an easy “hobby” to lose track of and forget about.
  • Come up with a theme of some kind. I am a book blogger, but I will begin dabbling in other things at some point. I used to be a writer, so I’m hoping to bring that back out again. Some people have cooking blogs, some have scrapbooking, some have parenting advice… the list goes on and on.
  • Decide if you want to write for an audience or write for yourself. This will give you focus instead of being all over the place.
  • Join Facebook groups that have to do with your theme. I am a part of The Book Blogger’s Resource on Facebook and this page has helped me immensely as I’ve decided the path I want to take this blog.
  • Don’t try to do too much at once. It’s so easy to get caught up in the fun of signing up for blog tours and things (especially as a book blogger), but you are one person. If you are starting your blog with multiple people, plan it out. I do this alone, so my time is far less. Keeping a planner helps keep everything in line.
  • Schedule posts in advance. Or at least try to plan out what you want to post about. This is something I’m working on improving. It’s a work in progress. 🙂
  • Network – there are so many people out there who do what you do, do what you want to do, and can help you grow. There are great friends to be made, as well. I’ve met so many wonderful people through this blog that I wouldn’t have originally.
  • Stay true to you. If you don’t want to post about a specific subject or market certain product, you don’t have to! I don’t post certain things on here even though I know it will bring in more of an audience. It’s just not my thing. If you want to gear your blog to only cooking desserts, well power to you! If you only want to do cover reveals on your blog and you will NOT post reviews, go right ahead. 🙂 You do you, kid.
  • For the love of all that is loved, please check your spelling and grammar. There is nothing less sexy than a poorly produced post.
  • Keep a journal – either a real one or in your phone – to plot down ideas for posts. I used to find myself coming up with great ideas, but didn’t have anywhere to put them. Now I have Little Red – my mini journal that I keep track of everything in, from book reviews to blog post topics to story ideas.
  • Try to post at least once a week. This was something I struggled with and that’s why I try to sign up for a blog tour a week. I tend to lag behind a bit or hit a slow patch, but I’ve been adjusting. Looking back, I’d definitely have planned out some more posts in the beginning before I launched. Non-blog life does get in the way, of course. That’s ok. You don’t HAVE to post a certain number of times, but it’s better if you want to have consistent follows.
  • Do what you love so that you love what you do. If not, then what’s the point?

30 Days of Thanks – Day 12

Today I am thankful for journals. I’ve always had one, ever since I was little. I started collecting them a few years ago and haven’t stopped. I’m picky about my journals because I want to make sure they have a purpose in my collection. Sometimes I write in them, sometimes I give them away as gifts, and something they just sit there like something beautiful on my journal shelf. Journals are a wonderful place to jot epiphanies, keep your secrets, water your ideas, and keep the brain juices flowing. They’re a friend to look back on after many years, and they’re an enemy when you don’t want to remember. They’re small enough to tuck away until the time is right, and they’re a lifesaver. They’re that thing your little sister tries to find under your mattress to read your deepest adolescent secrets, and they’re the thing that you can trust when you’re little and don’t know who to turn to. They’re what you tell your first crush to and they’re what you throw across the room when you’re really angry. Journals are pretty awesome. Unless there’s an angry wizard soul hiding in one… then you’re in trouble.

#BookBlogWriMo Day 11 – My Top Ten Posts and Thanks

#BookBlogWriMo Day 11 – #TopTuesday – My Most Popular Posts of All Time

I have actually never used this feature on my blog before, so it was really interesting to see what posts have accumulated a following and what ones aren’t as popular. Here are my top ten posts so far. My blog has only recently begun gaining more traffic as I’ve been posting more, but I’m excited to see what has been doing well.

#10 C: The Four C’s to a Great Book and a Successful Review From Me – 4/4/2014 – 22 views – This is actually one of my favorite posts on this blog. It pretty much spells it all out – what I review and what it takes to get a good rating from me. I have received some great feedback for this post and it’s a great reference for authors and other bloggers who are looking for ideas on a reviewing system.

#9 Blog Tour: Book Review + Giveaway – Inevitable Detour by S.R. Grey – 10/10/2014 – 22 views – Blog tours are always great traffic drivers.

#8 Book Boyfriends and Lady Loves – Updated 2/6/2014 – 23 views – Ah, another one of my favorite posts on this blog. I haven’t updated this in a while, so I’m due for another few lovely fellers and ladies.

#7 #BookBlogWriMo Day 1 – The History of My Blog and Thanks – 11/1/2014 – 26 views – Self explanatory. From just a few days ago!

#6 Book Review: From the Wreckage by Michele G. Miller – 7/9/2014 – 29 views – For those who don’t know, I am Michele’s editor. This is awesome. Beyond awesome, really. I met Michele through my blogging, joined her street team, then the rest is history. I started editing for her on the third book in this series – All That Remains. This series is awesome and Michele is a phenomenal author.

#5 A Little Bit About Me and My Love For Books – 3/7/2014 – 32 views – This post has a whole lot of information about me in interview-ish form. Worth checking out if you’re interested in learning more.

#4 Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger – 2/27/2014 – 37 views – My first ever book review! Not really a huge fan of the book, though. Ha!

#3 My First Rafflecopter Giveaway – 10/24/2014 – 50 views – Another milestone! Hoping to do a huge giveaway in January when my blog hits one year!

#2 Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway – #Nerd by Cambria Hebert – 11/3/2014 – 51 views – Part of a blog tour, #Nerd was a fun read and I’m excited that the next book will be coming out soon. 🙂 If there’s a tour for that one, I will definitely be participating.

#1 Blog Tour – Review – Unlit Star by Lindy Zart – 10/10/2014 – 95 views! – This is one of the most incredible books I have read. When I go into the search stats for my blog (aka, how people found my blog and posts) many of them have been searches for “Unlit Star” and the various characters and plot points within. I’m always on board for Lindy Zart’s book tours, as she’s one of my favorite authors.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 11

I am thankful for all of those military men and women – past and present – who put their lives on the line each day.

#BookBlogWriMo Day 10 – Memes I Plan To Meme and Thanks

memes i meme thanks 10

 

#BookBlogWriMo Day 10 – Memes I Plan To Meme

Memes are pretty great, and I will admit that I love to take part in them. Personally, I love Teaser Tuesday, Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday. I do plan on having more fun posts like these on my blog, Facebook page, and Twitter soon.

Memes I Want To Meme More

#TeaserTuesday

Authors get to share teasers of the covers, upcoming releases, and other works in progress. This is always fun.

#TakeoverTuesday

Authors or other bloggers get to take over my Facebook page or put up a blog post on my site.

#ThrowbackThursday

Sharing old posts, reviewing books that have been around for a while or were my favorites growing up, old pictures, anything that’s a throwback.

#FreebieFriday

Well, this is exactly as I’ve shared – books that are currently free on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc. I’ve done this in the past and love it. If you belong to sites like BookBub, you can have information like this delivered right to your email!

What are some of your favorite memes?

30 Days of Thanks – Day 10

Today I am thankful for weekends. I love my weekends and I can always count on them at the end of a rough week. I enjoy being able to spend time with my family, my husband, my pets, my books, and even my homework. To move at my own pace is nice every so often. Besides, weekends are the perfect reboot time. Ah, weekends. Too bad they aren’t longer. 🙂

Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway – Beneath the Scars by Melanie Moreland

Beneath the Scars
By: Melanie Moreland
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format of Book: E-Book
Steam: Lots of it.

*I received free ARCs of Beneath the Scars from Xpresso Booktours in exchange of an honest review.

Synopsis

The sound of the ocean, the crash of the waves as they kick up against the sand and rocks—these are the only sounds Megan Greene wants to hear. She wants to leave the rest of the world behind, and find some peace.

The offer of a private house on the beach, set in a small town in Maine, is perfect. Time to think—to be by herself. It’s all she wants. It’s the escape she needs.

Until she stumbles across the painting that seems to echo her own chaotic mindset.

Until she meets the unfriendly artist behind the stormy painting and discovers his secrets.

All Zachary Adams wants is to be left alone. His canvases, and the unending scope of the ocean and sand, are his life. They direct him—fill his hours. Bring him focus.

Until she enters his life.

She dredges up memories of the past—the haunting images he has hidden for years; the fears he has never shared.

A story he keeps buried below the surface.

Can she make him see what he is missing? Can he trust her enough to believe?

Together they embark on a journey where their pasts collide and threaten to tear them apart.

Will their fragile bond hold or wash away with the ebbing tide?

Welcome to my stop on the Beneath the Scars Blog Tour! Below is my review AND a pretty awesome giveaway! Click on the image at the bottom of the screen for the rafflecopter! I have also included my Facebook page for this blog – go follow me there. 🙂
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The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 3.5/5 Stars
I appreciated Megan‘s character; she was working through things, but continued to strive for interaction. She is compassionate, understanding, and (at times) a bit too forgiving. I applaud her persistence, but if anyone ever treated me the way Zachary treats her… well, heck no! Zachary is hiding from his demons, a story that’s interesting from the get-go. I found the characters in this story to be well developed, but I’d loved to have seen more of Megan’s backstory. We get a little bit, but more would have been even better.

I also liked that each of the smaller characters played an integral role in the story – they may not be around as often, but they are each important. And the dogs… Elliot‘s breed was captured perfectly!

Dialogue – 3.5/5 Stars
I really liked the dialogue in this story. It was very in depth and true to each of the characters. Of course, a lot of it was angsty, but that drove the story quite a bit more than simple, emotionless words would have been fruitless.

Plot – 3.5/5 Stars
The idea of this story reminded me of a certain Disney movie. I’d hate to say it here for fear of giving any small plot details away, but from very early on as I was taking notes while reading I have “reminds me of [movie]”.

The plot was done well, but there were a lot if time jumps that woul have been nice with more detailed story – some of the jumps were perfectly placed, though. I also wish there wasn’t so much of an emphasis on the steamy content – I appreciated that it wasn’t sordid detailed, but wanted even more story to drive the plot.

Regardless, the plot of this story was done well and developed. I like that Boston was a part of this, as well. We don’t really make our way into many newer books anymore. 🙂

Visual Imagery – 3.5/5 Stars
I loved how vivid the paintings in this story were; I felt I could see them, especially Tempest. There are wonderful little moments of description, such as the little specks of color in someone’s eyes or the defining physical characteristics of different characters, that were a well done plot device. I always appreciate being able to read a story and see it.

Ending 3/5 Stars
Without giving anything away, the ending was done well. A great close to this stand alone novel.

Total: 17/25 Stars

Goodreads: Follow This Link
Purchase:
–Amazon: Follow This Link
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AUTHOR BIO
Melanie Moreland lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her husband and fur children. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

Known as the quiet one with the big laugh, Melanie works for the sporting teams of a local university. Her (box) office job, while demanding, is rewarding as she cheers on her team to victory.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and somewhat challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties and socialize, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in writing a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines, to her even more inspired tales, for all to enjoy.

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Author links:
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Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway
  • 4 ebooks of Beneath the Scars (INTL)
  • 2 signed Paperbacks of Beneath the Scars (US/Canada only) with book marks
  • 1 package of Into the Storm/Beneath the Scars Paperbacks with bookmarks – both signed (US/Canada only)

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