Friday, October 28, 2011

Sneak Peek & Goodies - Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield

Happy Friday! We are celebrating Cheryl Rainfield's upcoming release HUNTED. Since this is a party and we are celebrating HUNTED.. it is only natural that Cheryl and I should give you some goodies. So.. you will find many throughout this post that you can keep and call your very own. We hope you love them and take very good care of them. Let's get this party started!


Let us be the one of the first to hear Cheryl's inspiration for HUNTED..

Now, we can watch the Awesome trailer for HUNTED..

Teen Para Comic Strip

snapshot-teen-para-comic-strip (67K)

Pin Point: A HUNTED Bonus Short Story
Free! Available at Smashwords in your preferred format --> HERE!

snapshot-PinPoint-short-story (4K)

So.. pretty groovy so far, yeah? Well, Cheryl just happens to be pretty groovy! And has given us even more! Check this..

You can read the first 6 pages of HUNTED now! --> HERE!


More Goodies to download (just click the link)

HUNTED Playlist  <--music! love...

Still to come! A HUNTED bonus mini comic book. And for teachers, a Teacher's Guide.

I will list the links below where you can find Cheryl. She is super awesome, so I would check them out if you haven't already. 

HUNTED will be available December 2nd guys! So, here are some links to pre-order. Do it.

Pre-Order HUNTED at Amazon 
Pre-Order HUNTED at B&N 
Pre-Order HUNTED at IndieBound 


Welp, I hope you guys adore all of the HUNTED goodies!  As always I hope you have a wonderful weekend and thank you for stopping by.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Giveaway - Stick by Andrew Smith

STICK by Andrew Smith

I'm hoping by now that a ton of you have bought and read STICK, maybe even stalked Andrew a lotta little bit. Cause, he's totally stalk worthy ya know. Being the hipster that he is. Wearing those Sex Wax Tee's, and custom groovy kicks. Oh. I must not forget his super fly taste in tunes. This is no lie.

If not. I've got the goods. 
Just. For. You.
STICK. Is. That. Good.


The Goodies.
Beautiful Hardcover copy/(s) of STICK
eBook copy/(s) of STICK

The Deets.
1. One entry per person.
2. You must be 13 or older.
3. Giveaway is International.
4. Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. on November 7th

Have fun and good luck to everyone. Play nice. Oh. yeah. To enter the giveaway.
Go ---> HERE! <---

Monday, October 24, 2011

Review - Skid Out (Heavy Influence) by Ann Marie Frohoff

Skid Out (Heavy Influence)
Skid Out by Ann Marie Frohoff

A novella prequel to the Heavy Influence Trilogy about young, reckless love between a rising rock star and his younger muse. Follow their journey through temptation, deception & forbidden love.

17 year old high school senior, Jake Masters, front man of a rising rock band, finds new interest in his younger freshman next door neighbor Alyssa Montgomery. Their relationship breaks hearts; stirs jealousy and band infighting. When they’re brought to new found awareness of body and soul, will rightful boundaries be crossed? Will the right decisions and choices, which are detrimental to the band and its future, be made through the haze of infatuation? Will Jake’s absences on the road lead to another filling his shoes? Jake and Alyssa’s lifelong friendships are strained and tested; secrets are kept, admitted and shared. Family bonds are broken, as others grow stronger. Who knew a first love could cause so many problems? Then again, in their eyes, there are no problems as long as they’re together. In the end, will his new found muse bring down everything he’s worked so hard to achieve or will she inspire positive creative change; that will carry him and his band to stardom. 

Check out the straight-up funky fresh tunes that were custom made for this novella.

My Thoughts:

Okay. So, we have the perfect mix here. Music, high school, California, hot guys -- (bad boys?) hot girls. (good girls?) What else could we ask for? 

In this brilliant novella we get a taste of teens loving music; maybe even getting the big break in the music industry that they have been waiting for. And all the while could there be romance blooming? Right next door. Alyssa is such a young girl for Jake's older eyes. Yet that isn't stopping his mind from thinking about her or his eyes from wanting to constantly look at her. Is this right? Both Jake and Alyssa ask themselves this question. Although, now that the seed has been planted, it certainly can't be dug up and tossed aside. 

Frohoff sets this trilogy up just right with this groovy novella. It's edgy enough for teens to love, mix in music and a possible love triangle in the California heat and who wouldn't want to check it out. On the plus side Frohoff is putting together a soundtrack that goes with each book in the series. Huzzah!

In my opinion this trilogy is going to be a fun ride with a sassy set of alternative punk tunes to go along with it. I can't wait for the next trip in Jake and Alyssa's adventure. If you haven't read SKID OUT.. you are definitely missing out.

Rating = 5 Stars
Received from Ann Marie Frohoff 
EBook edition, 56 pages
Published September 12, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Amplified by Tara Kelly

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we seriously can’t wait for.

Ever since reading Kelly's debut novel, Harmonic Feedback, I've been on the look-out for more of her work and now I only have to wait just a little less than a week.


Check that out! Isn't the cover sexy? If it doesn't speak for itself, then.. 

When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . . . In this fresh new novel by critically acclaimed author Tara Kelly, Jasmine finds out what happens when her life gets Amplified.


Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: October 25th 2011 by Henry Holt and Co.


Don’t forget to leave me a link in the comments and tell me what goodies you’re Waiting on this Wednesday! As always I hope you have a wonderful week and thank you for stopping by.

Happy Reading!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Author Interview - Angela Carlie

Everyone we're going to talk today with the lovely, Angela Carlie about her newest novel LORAMENDI'S STORY.. and a ton of other things! Check it.

1.      Can you tell us how you became a writer?

I started writing. Haha j/k ;) But not really.

I sat down many times throughout my life to write a novel to only get a few chapters written before finding other interests to pursue. Finally, a few years ago, I held the determination to finish a novel and had a first draft done in one month. I haven’t looked back since and now have three novels published and one in the draft state. I’m currently working on a sequel, which is more difficult for me to write than the first book or a stand alone.

2.       How long did it take you to write Loramendi's Story? During that time did you come across any blocks/times that you couldn’t write?

About three years. Loramendi’s Story was my first novel. It was originally titled The Dreaded Dawn. It was a mess, and I re-wrote it several times, set it aside to write other novels, and then came back to it this past year.

3.       What inspired you to write this particular book? Is there a story about the writing of this novel that begs to be told?

There wasn’t a particular inspiration like there has been in my other novels. Loramendi’s Story is just a novel written for pure entertainment. It’s something I’d enjoy reading for escapism and fun.

4.       What is it that you’re exploring in this book?

Loramendi’s Story is the introduction to a series of books called Lords of Shifters. I explore the possibilities of shapeshifting, magic, romance, friendship, and touch on various morals we hold as a society.  The upcoming books will dive deeper into some of those morals.

5.       Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?

Ha! I love all the characters. J If I had to choose, I’d say I like Lord Xifan the most. I can’t tell you why because that would spoil the fun for future books.

6.       Do you have a favorite story to tell about being interviewed about your book?

I believe this is the first interview I’ve had for Loramendi’s Story. I’m horrible at these types of things and an introvert. I’ll be going on a book tour this October with three local YA/Middle Grade authors. I’m sure I’ll have many stories to tell then. Like how I hid behind them while on stage, or how I tripped over the stair and landed face first onto the pen in my hand—stabbing my eyeball out.

7.       What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?

I usually want to hide under a desk when people ask me questions, but I think a good question to ask that hasn’t been asked before would be: What color was the carpet in the house you lived in while in fourth grade? Answer: Salmon

8.       Which authors have been most influential to your own writing?

I love many authors and I try to read and stay current with the young adult market. I believe that the more words I absorb, the more will be readily available to spit back out. If I were to point to one person who has had the most influence over my writing it would be my first critique partner, Gary Corbin. I’ve learned a lot from him and he’s helped shape my style of writing. He writes awesome stories and plays. Several of his scripts have been produced by local theatres.

9.       If you weren't writing, what would you want to be doing for a living? What are some of your other passions in life?

Right now I pay the bills as a licensed massage practitioner and I’m going to go back to school for nursing. Of course I’d rather just win the lottery and travel the world, but I seem to repel luck so I’ll keep working until that happens.

I have a passion for traveling, hiking, kayaking, helping people and animals, and reading. If I could get paid to do all these things, I’d be in Heaven.

10.    If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?

I don’t think I can answer this question. There’s not a book that I could have written or that I’ve ever wished I wrote. I’ve wished for the success that some books have had and perhaps the premise made me envious, but never the writing because writer has such a unique style. I’ve fallen in love with many authors’ writing, but their style isn’t mine. I like my style.

11.    Tell us about the biggest challenges you face in your writing process.

Finding time to write is a huge challenge. With work and a family to care for, writing often gets squeezed into the schedule whenever there’s a blank spot—which isn’t often. Unfortunately, I’m a slow writer and I usually need large chunks of time to get into a good rhythm.

12.    Please list seven random likes; then do the same for dislikes, go way random.

Random Likes (in no particular order):

The smell of an auto mechanic shop. Oil and rubber.
The color of mango meat. Murky orange/yellow.
Laughter. Especially my child’s laugh.
Bathtub Beach on the Island of Oahu on February 26, 2009.
January 24, 1999.
Smooshing my face against a purring, soft kitten.

Random Dislikes (in no particular order):

Dog farts. Especially my dog’s farts.
Addiction. All forms.
Being misunderstood. Especially when feelings get hurt.
The smell of an auto mechanic shop. Oil and rubber.

13.    Is there anything that you’re working on that we need to be looking out for?

I’m currently plotting out the second Lords of Shifters Novel. I hope for it to be available in 2012.

 Thank you so much, Amy, for interviewing me today. If I may, I’d like to give a shout-out to my fellow  Darkside Publishing authors, Karly Kirkpatrick, GP ChingMegg Jensen and DSP's newest member, Magan Vernon. Everyone should check out their fabulous books at Darkside Publishing.

Groovy. That was fun. Right? Now if you would like a way to check out Angela's website our purchase other books of hers, I'll put the links up for convenience. 

Places to stalk Angela:

Another novel that Angela wrote and I highly recommend is; Dream Smashers. Check it out! I promise you won't be sorry.

Thank you, Angela for taking the time out of your busy day to spend with us! We really appreciate it. If any of you have questions for Angela just leave them in the comments and she has agreed to come back and answer them. Awesome, right?

Have a wonderful week.
Happy Reading & Arrivederci

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pay It Forward Blogfest 2011

This blogfest is the creation of two masterminds. Matt from The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment (or the QQQE) and Alex from Alex J. Cavanaugh.

This is how the blogfest will actually work: 

The idea is to introduce everyone to everyone else.
Visit those who’s signed up. Visit those they recommend! If you don’t have time to comment, just follow. Take the weekend to go through the list. You might find some really cool blogs out there.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you like it here and come back again soon. 
 Here is the list of super-groovy blogs that I currently stalk on a daily basis and think you should as well.

The Blogfest begins Friday October 14 at 12:01am. So, get to hopping folks and lets have fun with this!

Have a wonderful weekend.
Happy Reading & Arrivederci

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pay It Forward Blogfest 2011 - Link up

This blogfest is the creation of two masterminds. Matt from The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment (or the QQQE) and Alex from Alex J. Cavanaugh.

I will quote the instructions from Matt's blog on how this hop works.

Here is how the blogfest will actually work:
 The idea is to introduce everyone to everyone else. We want this to be an easy post that allows you to meet and follow as many other bloggers as you can. In your post, we would like you to please list, describe, and link to three blogs that you enjoy reading, but that you suspect may fly under the radar of a lot of other bloggers. Or they can be famous blogs, as long as they're awesome.

But don't stop there! Certainly visit and follow all the blogs that are featured in people's posts the day of the blogfest, but those don't have to be the only blogs you visit. You can visit everyone who enters in on the fun, and signs up on the linky list. In the interest of time you don't even have to leave comment. You can just follow, and come back another time. After all, we all know we don't have time to visit every blog we enjoy every single day.

The Blogfest takes place on Friday October 14 at 12:01 and goes until midnight. So, link up folks and lets have fun with this!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Review - Stick by Andrew Smith

Stick by Andrew Smith
Fourteen-year-old Stark McClellan (nicknamed Stick because he’s tall and thin) is bullied for being “deformed” – he was born with only one ear. His older brother Bosten is always there to defend Stick. But the boys can’t defend one another from their abusive parents.

When Stick realizes Bosten is gay, he knows that to survive his father's anger, Bosten must leave home. Stick has to find his brother, or he will never feel whole again. In his search, he will encounter good people, bad people, and people who are simply indifferent to kids from the wrong side of the tracks. But he never loses hope of finding love – and his brother.

Here's a look at the phenomenal trailer for STICK:

My Thoughts:
Rating = 5 Stars

Wow. Guys. I think we all pretty much know my thoughts about Andrew Smith, right? Kinda on the verge of stalker-ish-ness-ism. (or whatever) Nah. Actually the truth is, Andrew Smith is the very first writer that I've EVER connected with. Yeah, on that level. (I'm not talking to you if you have no idea what I even mean here.) I have read and collected all of Andrew's books and anxiously await the next in line. Andrew's newest release, STICK, (October 11, 2011 Feiwel and Friends) was absolutely no exception. I was willing to hitch a ride all the way to New York, go to Macmillan and beg for a copy if need be. Word must have got around about that and I'm sure those fancy high-rise pubs do not like bloggers just popping in unannounced so they sent me an advance copy. Let's just say the day I received STICK seemed like a dream. I read uninterruptedly until I finished and then with in a couple days I read the entire novel again. Yes. It. Is. That. Good.

When I read STICK I didn't know what to expect. I had hints. I knew it was going to be a difficult book to digest. Then again, if it wasn't, it wouldn't have been written by Andrew Smith. So many issues are covered within this novel. What's so-called normal and what's not, is one of the biggest for Stick. He is faced with the definition of "normal" the entire novel. Are all of these things in his life "normal" just because they have been present in his life?

There is so much happening in Stick's life in such a short time. There's a girl. Emily. She is Stick's best friend. They do everything together. And, there's his brother, Bosten. They used to do everything together but he's gotten older and has strayed off some. In Stick's life there couldn't be two more important people than Bosten and Emily. They mean the world to him.

This story is about two brothers and their love for each other. The struggles they go through, the mistakes they make. Learning how to let go and stand up for yourself. Doing the right things. Doing the wrong things. Loving yourself and loving someone else. And a very long journey to find a way back home.

Andrew makes you love the characters in his books, you feel what they do, you actually understand what they are going through. There were plenty of times that I had tears, times that I was shouting and a couple times I would do a fist pump in the air and say "hell-yeah". I was in it with both boys from the beginning and I was on their side. I felt their pain and joy. I also cried their tears. There were times I would close my eyes and vision an ocean in California just like where Stick learned to surf. I would even imagine the taste of Sex Wax and how wonderful the smell would be. I still listen to the playlist when I get lonely and want to visit the characters.

Andrew has a writing style that is so very unique even though everyone of his books are different from one another. I think what links them all together is the realness of them. For me, it's the wondering "what part of this is real and what part is fiction". I've told several folks that you could give me 10 books with no labels and I would be able to pick out an Andrew Smith book every time. Just by his writing style. No one could duplicate him. It takes a lot of heart and courage to put parts of your own life into words and make that into a story. I admire anyone that can do that. It seems as though Andrew just keeps rocking them out.

Finally. Stick is released tomorrow! I'm going to be giving away a couple copies here, so make sure you check back.. but I'll leave you the links to order the book also.

These are links you can find Andrew Smith:
Ghost Medicine - Andrew's blog
Andrew's website
Andrew's FB page
Andrew's Twitter page

Order Stick - Amazon
Order Stick - Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Guest Post with Joe Lunievicz author of Open Wounds

Cue Music: Enter Cid…
- Joe Lunievicz,

Practicing and teaching yoga helps me write.

One month I chose to teach my classes around the theme of silence. So for a month every class I taught I didn’t play music – not typical of a vinyasa class and not typical of the way I teach yoga. I thought it would help me stretch as a teacher and it would help my students grow.

Some students didn’t notice the lack of music at all – they just noticed something was different. Most didn’t say a word about it. Halfway into the month I got an email from one of my students asking me how much longer classes would continue without music. “I can’t stand to listen to myself exercise,” she said. “I’m a singer and I need music. It’s too painful otherwise.”

It had never occurred to me music could be so powerful to someone. I should have known better. There are times I can’t listen to music because it will make me feel too much and I just can’t at that moment feel anymore – the tank’s full. Other times music makes me soar.

On the other hand although I love music I don’t have to have it. I also like the sounds of the world around me. It’s a different kind of music. Silence is challenging, but I also like it. When I was younger silence was too hard to hear. Now it draws me in. Sometimes I like to hear myself think.  That’s its own sound – one I’m not sure I could put words to.

As a writer I like silence. I rarely write while listening to music and if I do it has to be without voice, without words. They get in the way of me finding my own. I can’t listen to music when I read either. I like the words to make the inward journey by themselves. There’s no right or wrong to this. It’s just the way it is for me. I wonder how it is for others – both writers and readers.

This doesn’t mean there isn’t music in prose. Some prose sings. Read/listen to this by Andrew Smith from his soon to be released novel, Stick:

What would you hear
if my words could         make

And if                                     they
what                   music                     would I

write for you?

It’s the opening lines.

I’m a big fan of opening lines. They tell you what to expect. Sound is important to the novel. It’s key to understanding the main character. This prose sings.

However, I do think about music after I’ve read a book. I come up with theme music for characters, associate the music with them as if the book had been a movie. Who can think of Darth Vader without hearing his theme music?

For my novel, Open Wounds, I have Cid Wymann’s, my protagonist’s,  theme music in my head: It’s Coldplay’s Viva la Vida. The sound of the strings, the cello, and violin do it for me – a hint of old and new, a wistful sound, a sad sound but one that seems to have triumph lacing its lyrics. Listen to the song if you’ve read the book. Let me know what you think.

The following are some books I’ve read recently that are personal favorites that could have great theme music. What songs would you pick for the protagonists?  

  • Christina Meldrum’s Madapple
  • David Small’s Stitches
  • Andrew Smith’s In The Path of Falling Objects
  • Scott Westerfelds Leviathan
  • Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games

Or tell me your favorite book/protagonist and what his/her theme music would be and why.

You can find Joe here:

And, you can even read the first chapter of Open Wounds HERE!

Thanks so much for your time, Joe! We really appreciate you stopping by and taking the time out of your day to spend with us. As for the rest of you, thanks for stopping by and have a terrific week.

Happy Reading & Arrivederci

Banned Books Week Giveaway - Winners

Mr. Random chose:

#46 Erinberry - The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
#203 Uniquely Moi Books - The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
#102 Through The Haze - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#57 Jessica (Frellathon) - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#58 - Tiffany Murphy - Scars by Cheryl Rainfield
#81 Donna (Happy-Booker) - Shine by Lauren Myracle
#217 William Baker - The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

Congratulations to all of you! I've sent an email to everyone already for confirmation. Thank you very much to everyone who participated. There will be more goodies soon!
Pinkie Promise.

As always, I hope you have a wonderful week and thank you for stopping by. 
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Death Cure (Maze Runner 3) by James Dashner

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we seriously can’t wait for. 

The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?


I'm stoked for this one guys! And do you wanna know what makes it even better? Mr. Dashner will be in Atlanta October 30th during The Death Cure tour. Huzzah! Yes, that means I will be buying an extra signed copy for a giveaway. 

Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: October 11th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
Pre-order via Amazon HERE. 
Pre-order via Barnes and Noble HERE.
*Read the first 20 pages of The Death Cure HERE!* 


Don’t forget to leave me a link in the comments and tell me what goodies you’re Waiting on this Wednesday! As always I hope you have a wonderful week and thank you for stopping by.

Happy Reading!

Reviewing and Blogging with Fiktshun

Hi, guys. Today we have another guest. Let's give a super fabulous welcome to: Rachel from Fiktshun. I adore Rachel and her blog so much I thought that I would ask her to come on over and talk with us about her history with blogging and reviewing and maybe even give us some pointers. Check it out!


First, I just want to say thank you to Amy for inviting me to stop by her lovely blog to talk a little bit about my experience with writing reviews. I promise to try not to be too boring, I won’t guarantee that I’ll be successful! 

Reviewing has never been an easy process for me. It’s always been the hardest part of blogging, which is funny, because without the reviews there really wouldn’t be a point in having a book blog. 

Originally I thought I had to follow a certain format for my reviews. In fact, when I first started out I had never read a review - editorial or otherwise - and I had never written one. I didn’t even want to write reviews when I first bought the domain name Fiktshun. 

And shortly after I bought the domain, in May and June 2010, I tried my hand at writing them. And I absolutely hated everything about it. I had no idea what I was doing. I had to search Google for instructions on how to write a review, and tried to follow them to the letter.

It was boring. It felt like writing a book report. I had to keep referring back to the instructions to see what I was missing. I even went online to read a few editorial reviews to see if I was on track.

I had no idea there were book blogs or that bloggers didn’t always follow the format of traditional reviewers. If I had, I might not have given up. But I did. Because I knew I couldn’t possibly be a reviewer. What an awful job that was. Who could possibly want to do that day after day? 

When I decided to give blogging and reviewing one more try - thank you Amanda Hocking - I hated writing reviews just as much. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that a blurb from my review made it onto Amazon and Barnes & Noble and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. 

I wouldn’t say it got better or easier. After several reviews, a friend of mine said they all sort of sounded the same, a little generic, and I was devastated. That’s when I decided I need to re-think my approach. 

I didn’t want to sound generic. I didn’t want to bore readers to tears - not that I really had any readers at the time - but I figured that I would if I kept writing reviews like I had been. I also wanted to add something creative to the review and not just summarize the book.

So, over the next few weeks I began creating my own synopsis of each of the books I reviewed. And I loved it. It was fun! I hated summarizing a book, but a synopsis just came so easily. I would just close my eyes and let my mind wander until it landed on just what I wanted to say. 

By this point I had discovered book blogs, and I learned that a lot of reviewers on the blogs would give their opinions of the books they read. Adding the “I” factor to the review made it more personal for readers. It totally made sense.

While I still couldn’t bring myself to veering completely away from the traditional format, I wanted to add in that personal touch. I wanted readers to know what I really thought. And so I added the “On a Personal Note” section to each review. 

For just a short while they were really short. I’d just say that I loved a book, was blown away by something or was super excited about how things ended. But, as with most things with me, the short didn’t stay short, and the opinions weren’t just simple declarations of love, but long-winded rambles about my feelings toward each book I read.

Fast-forward to today. Reviewing hasn’t gotten easier. It’s actually gotten more difficult in some ways. Finding new ways to express similar feelings about a story is a challenge.There are only so many words in the English language that are appropriate descriptors.

There are many days when I wish I could just switch to the opinion only format and leave off the more formal analysis. But I’m my own worst enemy and can’t just give up on something because it’s difficult. 

It takes me anywhere between two and six hours to write a review. I had one that took me an hour and a couple that took me eight and nine hours to write. But most take me between two and six from the moment I put my fingers on the keyboard and prepare myself to write.

I do envy those whose words come so easily. For me, it takes significant effort to corral my thoughts in the right way. 

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all doom and gloom. I enjoy writing reviews, where I once hated doing so. And I don’t need an instruction sheet to write my reviews any longer. And on those really good days when the thoughts and words just flow, I actually look forward to sitting down to write.

But, what makes it all worth it? What makes those bad days, where I want to pound my head against the desk, a distant memory? It’s the feedback I receive. 

Knowing someone read my review and liked what I had to say, decided to add a book to their reading pile because of my enthusiasm, or introduced them to a new author, makes all the hard work, the struggle and the tears of frustration, worth it. 

No one who has ever tried blogging said it would be easy. But after ten months of consistently blogging and writing reviews, I can honestly say I couldn’t imagine my life without it. 

I don’t imagine writing reviews will ever get easier for me. Each book is different, so each review will be. I still have a lot of room for improvement and I expect my reviews will evolve as long as I continue writing them. 

I have no magic formula on how to do this thing, but what I will say is this:
  • Write only about what you love
It’s not worth it if you’re not having any fun. You have to love what you do or the burnout will come quickly and hit really, really hard.

  • Write your reviews in your own voice - it’s what people want to hear
It doesn’t matter how someone else does it. Your voice matters. Whether you think you’re as eloquent as another reviewer or as critical as yet another, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what you have to say. 

If you choose to change your style do it because you want to, not because of what you think you should be doing.
  • Blog your way - if it’s daily, weekly, monthly or whenever, it’s your blog
Don’t feel obligated to blog every day, or even every week. If you can only blog on occasion then that’s what you need to do. Try not to feel too much pressure (says the stressed out person writing this post). 

Remember, editorial reviewers just have to read the book and submit their reviews. They don’t have to fill the empty spaces with content. They don’t have to learn html coding. They don’t have to market themselves on the various social media outlets. And they have an editor to help them with their grammar.  

*We bloggers do it all ourselves. On our own, with little help from others aside from other bloggers. So just do what you can do and that will be enough.*


Thank you so much, Rachel. We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to hang out with us for awhile. As for the rest of you..

Have a wonderful week and thank you for stopping by.

Happy Reading & Arrivederci

Fiktshun button by parajunkee

Monday, October 3, 2011

What's Not To Like About BBW - 2011

Banned Books Week

So, to wrap up Banned Books Week we are having a guest from one of my very favorite blogs. Please welcome:  Jen from I Read Banned Books ! 

First of all, thank you Amy for having me today! I appreciate you asking and I hope I don't bore your readers to tears.

Just a quick note about me in case you are wondering. I started my blog, I Read Banned Books, two years ago for library school. I graduated a year later and decided that I loved sharing my reviews and book recommendations so much that I would keep it up. Today, I'm happy I did and still keep the theme of intellectual freedom going by co-hosting the Banned Books Week Hop and posting a Banned Books Roundup at the end of the month.

For me, Banned Books Week is a time where we stop and celebrate our freedom to read. Sound cheesy? Maybe, but think about it. We can literally read/listen/say anything we want. Others may not agree, but the point still stands. People get hung up on the word "banned" but I see it as a generalization. If you want to get technical, the US hasn't actually banned a book or any written material in a very long time. When people come along and dismiss the entire idea of BBW because they disagree with the use of the word banned, I get to fuming. I am a very literal person and I like rules, but when a person tries to tarnish the spirit of BBW due to a technicality, I loose my mind. Challenged Books Week and Censored Books Week just doesn't have a ring to it. Stop pointing to your Funk & Wagnalls and move on.

Others don't like the idea of BBW because it should be something we should celebrate every day, not just one week a year. I agree with that. We have Black History Month where we remember and pay our respects to those with African roots and who fought for equality. Should we read and encourage others to read books with African-American characters and themes important to the race all year? Do books on Indian tribes get circulated in a library more during the Thanksgiving holiday than any other time of the year? Both answers are a resounding, yes! Regardless, it is a special time where we stop and bring light on a celebration. I feel the same towards BBW.

The heart of BBW is censorship. Does a school/library/classroom/store purposely not include material based on content? If yes, that is censorship. Let's assume that the material fits within the guidelines of the existing collection. Does a store that sells music not have a record in stock because it contains profanity? Does a teacher not put a book in her high school classroom library because there is drug use among teens? Does a public/school library purposely exclude a book where there are homosexual characters? That is the kind of censorship we are talking about. Not every book belongs in every library - I get that. However, if a book is purposely not purchased or removed because of something they personally do not agree with, that's censorship. And in my opinion, wrong.

The freedom to read means that I can make the choice to read and I support others to make that choice as well. Kids, teens, and adults included. I trust that my neighbors are making reading choices that are suited for their families, and they trust I am doing the same.

Thank you so much, Jen. We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule. As for the rest of you, thanks for stopping by and have a terrific week.

Happy Reading & Arrivederci

I Read Banned Books
I Read Banned Books