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It's Follow Friday with book bloggers! Say Hello to Becky from Momma Says to Read: http://mommasaystoread.booklikes.com/
When was the very first time you thought “Books. I cannot live without them!”?
Oh, gosh, I’ve had a love for books since those first Little Golden Books that my mom read to me as a toddler. I can remember finishing a book and absolutely needing to go to a bookstore for my next read. Thankfully, with Kindle, I always have another book ready to go.
How did your blogging adventure start and what are your impressions so far?
Actually, blogging started with Amazon. I was one of the many that got hit with a review ban and having all past reviews suppressed. Reading and reviewing is something that I enjoy doing and I’ve found so many new authors to enjoy from review programs. So, during the two-month battle with the elusive Community Reviews Team at Amazon, my daughter suggested a blog. Honestly, I was resistant at first. Seriously, who was going to read my blog? Once I started, I found that I really enjoy the blog and when I see the numbers on views, I get excited. So, I suppose you could say that blogging turned out to be a happy surprise for me. I never thought I would like it so much.
Do you read one book or several at the same time?
Typically, I read one book at a time, but if I’m having trouble getting into a story or just not enjoying it, I have been known to lay it aside and start something else. I do go back and finish the laid-aside book. I’m somewhat compulsive about that – Once I start a book, I have to finish it, even if it takes me awhile.
You write “I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.” What’s the process for writing your book reviews?
It’s pretty simple, really. I pick books to read and review the same as I’ve always picked books – if it sounds interesting, I’ll read it. I always start a book with the idea that I’ll like it and very often, I do. When I finish a book, I take some time to think about how I feel about the story – that takes longer for some books than others, but I never just finish and immediately write the review.
Regardless of how I feel about the book, I don’t bash or attack the story or the author. I always try to be respectful, but I will be honest. If there are plot holes, if the story jumps around too much, if it’s repetitive, etc. I notice those things and even if I like a story, those distractions will be mentioned in my review. Similarly, if the book is labeled as a bad boy romance, I expect a bad boy. If it’s an Urban Fantasy, I expect solid world-building and the supernatural. If it’s a sports romance, I expect to see something of the actual sport. Telling me that the main character plays football, but no other mention of the sport does not make it a sports romance. Those mislabels are a particular pet peeve of mine, and you can bet that when I find them, you’ll see them in my reviews.
That line from my blog is pretty much how I am with everything. I don’t mince words, but I do respectfully give my honest opinion. I am passionate about books and reading and that often comes out in my reviews.
You’re an editor. How does your profession affect your reading life and your book picks?
Honestly, it doesn’t. I still have the same favorites and will continue to read them. I have a handful of authors that I watch for the next release and buy it as soon as it hits the shelves – John Sandford, Jim Butcher, JR Ward, Gabi Moore, Mary Abshire, Casey Hagen, Stella Starling (just to name a few).
I do ask for a synopsis of any book before I agree to edit. If it doesn’t sound interesting to me, I don’t take it on. To be effective as an editor, I do have to actually read the story and if I don’t think I’ll be interested in the story, I don’t feel like I can do it justice.
What are your favorite genres? Why are they special?
That’s a hard one! I love several genres and will read almost all of them. I do stay away from Sci-fi, aliens, that kind of thing. They just don’t interest me.
My favorite genres really depend on my mood at the time. I love dark romance and psychological thrillers, but after reading something dark, I tend to go to something light and humorous, so usually a RomCom. I also love anything to do with the supernatural, particularly Urban Fantasy.
As far as what makes them special, if a book pulls me in, makes me feel things, and keeps me turning pages, it’s special. The genre is irrelevant at that point.
Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?
I suppose any story that excites me. I’ve been a member of Gabi Moore’s ARC team for a while and when I get a new email with ARC in the subject line, I get excited before I even open it. The same with Mary Abshire. Of course, those are among my favorites and I never have a problem recommending them, but the same goes for any book that I truly enjoy.
I’m also a huge fan of a good series and when I find one, I quickly recommend it. Heather Myers’ Slapshot series, John Sandford’s Prey series, and Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, and JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood are just a few of my favorites.
What are your three favorite book covers?
Brooke Kinsley’s Jewels and Panties series has some beautiful covers, and the fact that they give no hint at the darkness within always intrigues me. (There are seven books so far and I love them all.)
This one from Allyson Lindt is a recent favorite. I’ve always loved Wonderland and this cover quickly caught my eye.
Gabi Moore’s Heart of Darkness cover is another favorite. The book is also a favorite of mine and that cover goes perfectly with the story.
I don’t know that I could necessarily narrow it down to my three favorites as I have so many, but those are the ones that I thought of first, so I guess you could say that they are among the top favorites.
How do you decide what to read next?
I keep a calendar to keep track of release dates and if it’s an ARC, I always try to read and review as close to the release date as possible But, my next read also greatly depends on my mood at that moment. I often scroll through my TBR list and see what catches my eye. If there’s a new release in a favorite series, then that is usually the next book I’ll start reading, especially if it’s something I’ve been anticipating for a while.
What’s the new release you’re impatiently waiting for right now?
That would have to be Brooke Kinsley’s newest addition to the Jewels and Panties series. The last one ended in a cliffy and I’m dying to see what’s next.
What’s your reading spot? We’d love to see the photos :)
One spot? That’s funny! My Kindle goes everywhere with me, and I do mean everywhere. That little text to speech option is perfect for me. If I’m busy (gardening, sewing, cooking, etc), I grab my earbuds and listen, so I don’t really have a “spot” other than my Kindle is always at hand.
If you could meet one literary character, who would it be?
That one’s easy! Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. I absolutely love that crazy wizard. Of course, it would have to be in a wide-open space. If you’re familiar with the series, then you already know that Harry is hell on buildings.
Ebooks or paper books?
I resisted the eBook idea for a while. There’s just something about holding that book in your hand. But, when I finally broke over and bought a Kindle, I was hooked. Literally, thousands and thousands of books right at your fingertips! I was like a kid in a candy store.
Your favorite quote?
I have several from favorite stories, but one of my all-time faves is about books rather than from a book.
Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)
We’re currently getting ready for a move and all of my “friends” are lovingly packed in boxes, ready to go. There are about 50 of those boxes – we’re a family of six, all readers, and we all have our own favorites that we just can’t part with!
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See you next Friday!