25 Get to Know Me Questions

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I haven’t done a get to know me in awhile so I figure Random Friday would be a great time for it!

1. What is your middle name?: Marie. I’m a 90’s baby.

2. What was favorite subject at school?: History and Science. I loved doing experiments but lost interest as I got older. I have always loved history and love to research everything.

3. What is your favorite drink?: I drink 7UP 95% of the time. I rarely drink caffeine because of my sensitive stomach, but when I do it’s Coke or Barq’s Root Beer.

4. What is your favorite song at the moment?: Anything Randy Travis or George Strait. I only listen to country music and mostly classic country.

5. What is your favorite food?: Hmm. This changes all the time, but something I always love is pickles! I will even make a pickle sandwich.

6. What is the last thing you bought?: The last thing I bought was a little ball and puppy treats for my new puppy.

7. Favorite book of all time?: I can never pick one. Anything by Darcy Burke, Ava Stone, Erica Monroe, and Christina McKnight.

8. Favorite Color?: Purple! I love purple if you can’t tell by the colors on here.

9. Do you have any pets?: I have a cat and a dog. Claire is a tortie cat and Queen of the house. Wren is a Morkie Poo puppy that hops like a bunny. Here are their pictures.

 

10. Favorite Perfume?: My favorite perfume at the moment is Black Opium by YVES SAINT LAURENT

11. Favorite Holiday?: Halloween! I love an excuse to dress up and do makeup. Plus love the spooky factor.

12. Are you married?: Nope, and I don’t care.

13. Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: I haven’t but wish to travel one day.

14. Do you speak any other language?: I only speak English fluently, but I am learning French and Italian. I know some Spanish and Latin and I understand a tiny bit of Galic (thanks to Outlander).

15. How many siblings do you have?: I have a younger brother.

16. What is your favorite shop?: My favorite place to shop is Amazon because I can find anything there. Clothing would have to be Factory Connection.

17. Favorite restaurant?: That’s a tough one, but Zaxby’s would be the winner followed by Arby’s.

18. When was the last time you cried?: The other day from laughter thanks to Wren.

19. Favorite Blog?: I have many favorites and can’t name just one.

20. Favorite Movie?: My favorite movie right now The Man from Snowy River.

21. Favorite TV shows?: Now, this can be a long list and I will probably forget something. Outlander, Poldark, Victoria, Call the Midwife, NCIS, NCIS New Orleans, Game of Thrones, Murdoch Mysteries.

22. PC or Mac?: PC

23. What phone do you have?: I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

24. How tall are you?: 5’3″

25. Can you cook?: Yes. Do I like to cook? Nope. I have to be in the mood to cook.

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Solar Eclipse Party 2017!!!

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Today was the solar eclipse! It was amazing and we had our own little party in the backyard. The excitement was just bouncing off of my brother and infecting the rest of us. Claire was the only fur baby really looking outside during it and didn’t know what to think of it when it suddenly was darker. Abigail paid no attention and was watching tv, but did come outside right after to enjoy the change in temperature. Below are some of the photos from my Instagram where I caught Colt in action and check out my profile for more photos and a video. Check out my brother’s blog Colt S. Photography tomorrow for his photos and follow his Instagram for a preview later today.

How to Get Your Book Accepted for Review on My Blog or Any Blog

 

Capture“How to get your book accepted for review?” this is a question that I hear from both authors and bloggers because it affects both sides. So I thought I’d put together my personal tips for getting a book accepted for review on my blog. These can help on any blog you are looking at.

1. Check out the blog to see if it’s a good fit for your book.

I can usually tell when someone has gone straight to my contact page and gotten my email. The books usually don’t fit my blog at all and it’s sent directly to my email and not through my request form. Looking around a blog first can help your chances a lot because you can get an idea for what they like to read (genres, what authors they like, etc). That way you don’t waste time sending a request and being rejected because the book doesn’t fit the blog. I’ve had to say many times that my blog is for historical romances only when answering a request because I like to give a reason.

2. Check their review policy.

My review policy will give you tons of info on how my blog works and has the form to request a review. It explains my rating system, what genres I accept, what I won’t review, what I like in books, what formats I accept, where else I post my reviews. It will help you know if your book is a good fit too and answer many questions you might have like if I will accept a book with a deadline for review. 99% of book blogs have these to save you and themselves time in the long run. If they have a form on that page it’s the best way to request a review so your message doesn’t go to spam or get lost in their inbox.

3. Make it personal when contacting them.

If you make your message personal it makes your chances higher for being accepted. Especially if you’re not sure your book fits my blog and you can send me the request with the message or on my regular contact page. It really does help if you use my name and/or include something that you noticed on my blog to get my attention. I accepted a book for review that didn’t fully fit my blog (was a historical romance, but with time travel). I accepted it because the message included was personal by using my name and talking about a post I had done on TV shows I love. Many bloggers are the same way because you make a connection with them on something and they take another look at your request. About me pages usually have the blogger’s name (may be their real name or how they like to be referred to when contacted) so you know how to addressee them in your message.

4. Double check your info and message before sending.

I know it’s easier when contacting multiple blogs to copy and paste the same message (I do it), but double-check things before sending. I’ve been called totally different names (like Ashley instead of Kelly) and even had my blog called another blog’s name. This can at times hurt you because it can seem like you don’t know who you are contacting or that you are contacting every blog you see when you don’t correct it. This falls into #1 and #3 too. If you fill out a form check your info to make sure it’s correct. For example, I ask for websites so I can link to the author’s site in my review, but when something is off in the site listed on the form (a letter missing, weird icon added or misspellings). I then have to find the site myself and make sure it’s the right one and that it’s not a scammer. You don’t want a blogger to link to someone else’s site or call you a different name because the info was mixed up.

5. Remeber they have a schedule for their blog.

If you have a deadline for the review give enough notice and be mindful of the blog’s schedule. I usually can move things around if they book has a deadline, but I have a schedule that not only includes reviews but also tours, blasts, spotlights, and blitzes that I can’t move. If you need a review right away and it’s a busy time for my blog I may have to pass and will explain this. Pretty much every blog has a schedule like this so like in #2 check policies beforehand. If you don’t have a deadline be prepared for it to take time to get to your book because most blogs read in the order received if there is no deadline. Some also stop accepting books for a time if they have many to read and don’t want you to be waiting a long time. Many ARC readers also like to include buy or preorder links so that can delay a review if those aren’t available yet.

6. Don’t write them off if they don’t accept.

There are many reasons for bloggers to not accept a book so don’t write them off when it comes to another book. If your book was turned down due to the genre or it wasn’t something they weren’t interested in don’t loose hope. If you write in different genres that are accepted or have another book or series check back because it might just be accepted. I may not be into one book, but might be into another by the same author for many reasons. Bloggers tastes change so check back to see if they open up to more genres.

7. If you have questions ask.

If you’re not sure about you book fitting the blog, want to get to know the blogger first, or have questions just ask. That’s what the regular contact form or email is for and it’s not a waste of time. I love answering questions and getting to know an author even if they don’t submit a review request. If your book fits a blog, but you aren’t fully sure (like it’s a historical romance, but also something not listed) and don’t want to submit a request. Then reach out, introduce yourself, and ask questions and talk about the book. That book may be something they have never read before or never knew about and are glad you reached out.

8. Don’t send a book file in your first contact and be friendly.

Sending a file right away without asking first is the fastest way to be turned down. Always contact or submit a request and have it accepted before sending a file. I will not touch that file out of fears of viruses since we have never talked before and you have not asked. These kinds of contacts usually include wording along the lines of “Here’s my book and I need it reviewed by this date”. Wording like that doesn’t help at all even when not including a file. Being friendly will always help you in the long run. Most bloggers are the same way when it comes to files and being friendly.

The Myths and Realities of Romance Readers

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It’s Random Friday and that means it’s time for another topic that has been on my mind lately. This week is the myths and realities of romance readers. There is a backstory to why this has been on my mind and I’m going to share that. As a romance reader and writer, I get many different reactions that range from happy to crazy looks when I say I read and write romance, but one recently sparked this post.

Backstory: A guy said he loved to read too and when talking about book genres he proceeded to say romance novels were stupid, but that he would love to read what I have written. Now this conversation was on Facebook and like all my social media it says that I read and write romance and he had to have read my page to know I am an aspiring writer so he saw that I was a romance lover.

This conversation reminded me of all the myths that surround romance readers. So here are some myths vs realities that I have encountered.

Myth #1. They are full of sex 

many people believe all romances are full of sex and X-rated so they are turned on by them and shouldn’t be talked about.

The Reality: There are many levels of heat in romances ranging from only chaste kisses and no mention of sex to many full open door sex scenes that are explicit. Everyone has their preferences to the heat levels they read and many read them for the stories and not to be turned on.

Myth #2. They give unrealistic standards for men

This is another one that many believe. They think that readers develop unrealistic standards when it comes to men from reading romances and that the men are always perfect.

The Reality: Most of the men in romances are not unrealistic or perfect. There are bad boys, damaged men (although a hate the term damaged), some that try to be perfect, and some with secrets. They do give many woman higher standards, but mostly in regards to how they should be treated and respected.

Myth #3. They are fairy tales and couldn’t happen in real life

Another thing many believe is that romances are fairy tales that could never happen in real life at all. Perfect lives and no real problems for the characters or only one thing to over come.

The Reality: Many of the stories mirror real life with the problems and obstacles to over come. Some authors are inspired by their own stories or other real life stories. There are no perfect lives and easy rides to finding love. Who wants to have a boring perfect life.

Myth #4. You need a real man in your life

Another myth is that every romance reader is a single middle aged woman with no life and need a man. Or they are in a loveless marriage and need to escape into books.

The Reality: Readers come in all ages and with different relationship statuses. Many readers and writers are very happily married to the men of their dreams that are like some of the characters in romances. Some are single but have active lives with and without a man. They don’t live in houses with just cats.

 Myth #5. You have marriage or sex on the brain

If you read romance you either have marriage on the brain and it sends some men running. Or you are obsessed with sex and that’s all you want from men.

The Reality: For most readers, this is not true. Just like reading a sci-fi book doesn’t make you want to be an alien or being a wedding planner means your obsessed with weddings and being married (believe me, it doesn’t). Like in myth #1 there isn’t always sex in romances.

Myth #6. Romance readers are only women

All romance readers are women and there is nothing in them for men. Men would never touch a romance novel no matter the sub-genre.

The Reality: There are men that read romances. Look in any large romance Facebook group and you will probably find a few. Many are in the western groups and actively talk about the books with others.

Myth #7. Romances are only about a man and woman

Romances always feature a man and woman as the couple and never show any LGBT couples or anything considered taboo.

The Reality: While straight couples are usually what you see. There are romances that feature LGBT couples and even romances with three or more people in the relationship. There is something for everyone.

Bonus myth about writers.

Myth #8. If you write romance you are obsessed with sex and your husband must love reading your books.

Writers are obsessed with sex and that’s why they write it. That because all writers are women then their husbands love to act out scenes and read their books.

The Reality: Many don’t write sex scenes at all in their books. Also, many that are married will tell you that their husbands or wives (there are men that write romance and not all female writers are married to men and vice versa) don’t ever read their books. They are also asked about acting out scenes all the time and the answer is usually no they don’t act them out.

 

That it for the myths. Do you have any to add to the list? feel free to comment below or join my Facebook group to chat more about this.

 

A Day in My Life as a Book Blogger

A Day in My Life as a Book Blogger

Since I’m still reading the second book I mentioned on Monday I thought it would be fun to give some insight to my life as a book blogger. Every day is a bit different so I will talk about what happens the most and a bit about how busy I’ve been.

Mornings: Now all my mornings start pretty much the same way. I wake up (late morning) with Abigail (my little dog) and no one talk to me until I’ve had something to drink (7Up) and have had a few minutes to get fully awake. I am a night owl (got to read those books) and not a morning person so it takes me a bit to get started. I spend the morning checking Facebook and any notifications from Twitter or Instagram then it’s on to emails. I have to check my personal email which is usually full of junk but I need to check for anything from the review crews I’m a part of and I hate a full inbox. My blog email always needs to be checked for review submissions and blog tour invites or anything else blog related because I don’t like to leave people waiting for a reply.

Afternoons: After I eat lunch is when I usually start anything I have to do that day. I don’t schedule many blog posts in advance so I usually write them the day of posting unless it’s a blog tour post, I’m ahead on my reading, or I know I will be out that day. That doesn’t mean I only work on it three days a week. I work on blog stuff (not just mine) pretty much every day from answering emails to working on behind the scenes stuff and trying to keep on schedule with my blog and my life. The beginning of this was a bit crazy because I had a doctor’s appointment (I hate going) and because I have anxiety about going I didn’t read the night before so I didn’t have to rush home and work on a post (one was scheduled to post for me). When I’m not writing a review, post or email I am looking at book stuff and planning out the next week’s posts and putting them in my blog schedule which has been three or more reviews the last few weeks because of review crews and submissions that I don’t want to leave the authors waiting on them (I hate to wait so why make others wait).

Evenings: Are partially rest time. I put the computer away before eating super and then spend the evening with my family watching favorite shows and talking. I still answer emails that I get as long as it’s before I go to bed and I’m not busy. Like I said I’m a night owl so I don’t really have a set time I go to bed, but I read almost every night unless I’m tired or it’s really late because I can’t alway be up until 3am reading (I’m guilty of doing it many times). Depending on the book I can read a whole book in one night, but some night I like to take the time to watch YouTube videos instead of reading (shocking right) so that I don’t get burnt out on books. Book burn out is real and I try to avoid it by having small breaks from reading.

Well, there is a day in my life as a book blogger. I hope you enjoyed the peek into it.

Back To The Normal Routine

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I am back to my normal routine and schedule with the blog after a month of reviews. I have a lighter schedule this month with books that need to be reviewed so there will be more writing updates and other posts this month so I thought I would start off with giving some updates!

Update #1 My writing!

I didn’t win at NaNoWriMo which I wasn’t aiming for and I came very close to hitting my own goal, but holiday stuff got in the way. I have been applying myself to my writing since then and I’m getting there a couple of thousand words every time I sit down and write. My brother has become the person I bounce things off of when trying to figure something out and if it makes since. His science knowledge comes in handy with some details like how I will kill someone and if it’s possible.

I somewhat know how I’m going to end it and some of the in between, but I still have to fill in some places. My characters are still leading on where they want things to go and how they will act. My Heroine surprised me by being very bold in a scene, but in a good way.

Continue reading “Back To The Normal Routine”

Special Post: One Year Old! Blog Anniversary!

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Today marks one year since I decided to start my blog! When I first started I didn’t know what I was really going to do with it and didn’t actually post anything until the 14th because I was working on how I wanted it to look. My first few posts  were my fur babies, nail polish, and Christmas themed. They were all spaced out and not very good looking and I still wasn’t sure about what I was going to blog about. Then one day I realized I should blog about books and here I am 103 (including this one) posts later!

There have been changes in the year since I started. I have a new logo, changed the color scheme, have a schedule for posting, added author assistant services, and few other things that you probably have noticed. It has taken time to learn and get used to everything, but I am loving it every step of the way.

I have connected with some great authors, bloggers, and aspiring writers like myself through blogging. I am looking forward to the next year of reading and writing.

What I Do When I’m Not Reading

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Yes, there are times that I don’t have a book in my hands I know it’s shocking. Lol. You already know I write and post a million photos of my fur babies, but there are other things I do and I’m going to tell you about them.

I love to do crafts and currently have a few projects that are waiting to be finished. I do hand embroidery and my reason for learning to do it was because of historical romance. I loved reading about the ladies doing it and the designs they did. I love to paint and it is also somewhat inspired by historical romance too, but I started doing it for fun as a kid.  I crochet and if you follow me on Instagram then you have seen the Outlander inspired fingerless gloves I’ve made and the dog clothes. Something I don’t do often, but love is sketching and I have done it since I was little.

Something else I do when I’m not reading is I play with hair and makeup. I love to do vintage hairstyles or at least try to do them, but I also love to put different colors in my hair for fun. I love makeup and seeing what looks I can create with it. I love learning new ways to do it and the same with nail polish. My family will tell you I am addicted to painting my nails.

I spend a lot of time on YouTube watching all kind of videos from vloggers to hair and makeup to movie clips and music videos. It’s a great way to relax at night and have a good laugh depending on the videos. I use it to learn things too especially when crocheting a new stitch or a hairstyle.

I have also started virtual assisting as a job. I realized it could give me the freedom to write my book and read while working from home or where ever I am that day.

Happy Halloween! Fur Babies Photo Shoot Outtakes

Halloween is my favorite holiday so of course, I need to make costumes for my fur babies. I pet my sewing skills to the test this time by actually sewing a full costume for Abigail. I had to have a nod to historical romance by making her a little saloon/dance hall girl outfit. I hand sew everything so it took about a week for me to sew it, but it was fun and kept my hands busy. I went easy with Claire’s fairy costume since this is her first Halloween and I wanted to be able to use it again and we didn’t know how well she would take to being dressed up. She didn’t mind being dressed up at all, but holding still for photos was a challenge for her even with treats and knowing to say please by sitting (she has been taught to sit).

I call these photos the herding of flying squirrels because if one held still the other didn’t even though Abigail is the best at being a model she got annoyed with Claire jumping over her and not having as much space as we usually have to sit due to a different backdrop.

Photos are courtesy of Colt S. Photography and the full shoot will be on his blog Monday morning! There is a bonus shot of the back of Abigail’s costume.

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Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day everyone! I hope everyone has a great day. My whole house has been sick since last week and it got me late late week, which is why there was no Random Friday Post. I spent most of Friday sleeping with a horrible sore throat. I don’t have a writing update or what I’m currently reading today, but hopefully will feel better by Wednesday for a throwback review post since I haven’t gotten any reading done.