Who I am as a Reader in 500 words or less

Who I am as a Reader

I saw this idea on a list of ideas and had to try it. I will break mine down into sections.

Summary

I’m an avid reader of historical romance that is addicted to books and loves many authors. I like all kinds from Medieval to westerns and from sweet to steamy. I’m never without a book and proudly call myself a modern-day bluestocking. You won’t find spoilers in my reviews and I keep it honest and real.

My Challenges 

Finding the balance between books and life outside my blog. I can’t always accept a book due to my schedule and life can get in the way and cause me to miss a requested date. I hate writing 3 hearts or less reviews, but I have to be honest. Trying to read all the books and getting burnt out. Not taking time to read for fun.

My Missions

It has always been to help authors spread the word about their books. I want to pull people in just enough so they want to read the book themselves. I want to help end the stereotype people believe about romance readers and stop the shame some feel from reading romance. I want to bring attention to authors that dare to be different with their stories. I want to help new authors find their place in the book world and encourage them to keep going. All authors need to be encouraged to keep it up.

My Values

I believe in staying honest without being harsh. I don’t bash books or authors. I’m transparent about what goes on behind the scenes. I don’t believe in approaching others with offers of reviews just to get a book that I want. I will never promote getting a book from a pirate site. I don’t take on books I’m not truly interested or don’t have time for. Every review helps even in a small way good or bad.

Where I See Myself in the Book World

I see myself as a small blogger that will help any author if I can. I’m not perfect and I’m still learning. I have become known for taking on the books other won’t touch whether it be because it’s a new author, darker, handles tough subjects, is diverse, or anything else that isn’t considered the “norm”.

Advertisements

Literary Book Gifts Review: Pride & Prejudice T-Shirt + Special Offer

Literary Book Gifts Review_ Pride & Prejudice Tee Shirt (1)

Today I have something special for you that is book related. I was contacted by Melissa who runs Literary Book Gifts about her shirts and bags recently. As soon as I saw her site I was instantly in love with her designs! It took me a bit to decide on which one I wanted to buy and show off. What better for this blog than a Pride & Prejudice shirt! be sure to scroll down for the special offer!!!

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Price: 💲💲💲 Quality: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Fit: 😍😍😍😍

I got the XL in Heather Grey and love it! The fit is a little snug, but it does say on the site that they run small and this is the largest women’s size. So I was expecting a snug fit on me. I was worried about the design being stretched across my chest because I’m big busted. It did not stretch or distort one bit on me. The shirt is super soft, well made, and the design is very well printed. The sleeves are the perfect length for me unlike most the do the little cap sleeves that I can’t stand.

The price is a bit on the higher side at $28 for me for one item that I can’t see in person (I’m cheap and on a budget). But I have no problem paying that for this quality shirt and design. I plan to buy more as gifts and for myself.

If you need up to 3XL in women’s or 5XL in men’s thet are available upon request and are being added to the site as soon as possible.

Now the Special Offer!!!

20% off

Melissa has kindly provided me with a discount code for you guys! If you use code SASSYBOOKLOVER20 at checkout you will receive 20% off anything in the store, no minimum, and it can be used unlimited times. —> https://literarybookgifts.com/

If you order share your photos of your gifts and tag me on Instagram @sassybooklover

How My Rating System Works & How I Write Reviews

Add heading (32)

Welcome back!

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of talk about rating systems and reviews. Some don’t understand the process of how someone writes a review and rates a book. So I thought I would explain my process and rating system so you understand me and it may help you with others. Now my Review Policy goes into a lot of detail about what I review and don’t review and how to submit a request. It also explains each heart and kiss meaning. This post is going to elaborate on the ratings and writing of reviews.

My Ratings

I use hearts in place of stars. They mean the same as stars and are just what I prefer to use.  I rate a book on a whole which means that I base it on my overall feeling at the end of the book and how glued to it I was. For example, a book has 4 hearts, but my review looks to you like it should be 5 hearts. There are many reasons it could lose that one heart and usually, it’s in the review as to why. It could be that it was too slow for me, too fast or parts were dragged out. Sometimes it’s because of the hero or heroine just didn’t work for me. At times it can just be as simple as it didn’t leave me wowed, but I still liked it and there’s nothing I can pinpoint to put in the review.

3 heart reviews for me usually have equal positives and negatives in the review. I’m usually split on it where I liked parts but also didn’t like a lot of parts. These tend to be ones that are also affected by my kiss rating, lacking story details, and not liking the hero or heroine for most or all of the story. Too many plot holes without hints of they will be resolved in another book. Many 5 kiss rated books land here if they are mostly love scenes and not enough story for me.

Now my kiss ratings for spice level are going to be different for every reader. What I may consider still on the sweet side others may think it’s too steamy. I use halves at times in my kiss rating because some may be just in between ratings for me. I base my rating on how many love scenes there are, how often they appear and the details in the scenes. These ratings also can affect my heart rating depending on how natural to the story they feel and if they take up too much of the story.

For example, books I give 4 kisses to usually have 3 or more love scenes that are detailed and may have more adult language. The scenes can be close together in books, but they don’t take up pages and don’t take away from the story. They are still natural to the story and characters. 5 kisses usually for me take up too much of the story and the scenes happen too early in a full-length book.

It’s like watching a movie or show and asking myself would I watch it with kids around and would it make my dad uncomfortable. I consider Outlander (the show) to be 4 kisses and it makes my dad squirm and I wouldn’t want kids around for those love scenes. There is full on nudity and nothing is left to the imagination. 3 kisses have nudity but only show from the back and sometimes the side without showing things still. So in a book that would be skimming over details a bit leaving things to the imagination and having 3 or less scenes most of the time.

How I Write My Reviews

When I write reviews I break it into three parts my overall thoughts, the heroine, and the hero. I don’t like to rewrite the blurb or retell the whole story. I try to keep it to the point about what I like without spoilers or going into too much detail. I use the blurb as a guide as to what I can safely mention with more details if needed. My reason is that I want readers to get a taste of what’s in the book with enough detail to keep them guessing. I don’t want to give it all away and a reader not want to read it for themselves because they know what happens. That’s why I say I loved such and such scenes or I didn’t see that coming with whoever. I stay vague so readers will have to read to find out what I’m talking about. If I went into details they would be really long reviews and you wouldn’t have to read the book. I do all that when talking to my brother to organize my thoughts because he’s not going to read the book (and isn’t fully listening) and is being my sounding board.

When I talk about the heroine and hero I talk about their personalities a bit, if I like them, understand them, and some things they do. I do this because I know there are certain types that readers like and don’t like and like to know before buying a book. If a heroine is strong and bold I will talk about that. Same goes for heroes that are misunderstood and come off one way, but change. I don’t go into full details on them but hint at things.

I sometimes add a section about other characters that I loved. How I hope to see them again or wished to have an ending to their story.

I also will include trigger warnings if there is something in great detail and a big part of the story. When I do trigger warnings I still try to avoid spoilers, but I have to mention the specific trigger. I will sometimes praise an authors way of handling a topic if they didn’t use it as an add-in or didn’t ignore the effects it can have. Using it an add-in or treating it as nothing will lower my rating and be mentioned in the review.

I will also praise being historical accurate on things that many don’t even though I understand the reasons for not being accurate with some things. I don’t point out inaccuracies or let them affect my rating unless they are really bad (using modern slag like cool or modern clothing etc).

If you ever have a question about something in a review of mine feel free to ask me by commenting or contacting me.

Where Have I Been & Amazon Troubles

Add heading (28)

Where have I been? I know that’s what you have been wondering for the past week. If you’re not friends with me on FB then you have been wondering why no reviews suddenly. I got hit with a bad summer cold that wore me out and I couldn’t read. I’m talking horrible sore throat for days followed by a bad cough and congestion after that. My mom was hit with Strep so there was the worry about me having that too. I just started to really feel better a couple of days ago, but wanted to give myself a good amount of time to rest.

I had planned to read yesterday and last night for a review today. But I was woken up at 7am yesterday to my mom taking my brother to the ER. He had gotten hit with this cold too, but he got a nosebleed that would not stop and wasn’t a little one. Good news is it was nothing serious but took almost two hours to stop it and most likely due to a sinus infection. The focus was on him for the day and making sure he was okay.

I will have a review for you on Friday.

Now my Amazon troubles. In short, I’ve been banned from reviewing on Amazon. This happened at the same time that I got sick so I’ve been dealing with that too. I contacted them three times before I heard back about why all my reviews were gone and why I couldn’t post any. I was told that elements of my account indicated that I have a relationship to sellers, publishers, and other reviewers. Or that I received compensation for my reviews or requested free or discounted products in exchange for reviews.

Do I have a relationship with these people? Not in the sense of being a close friend or family member. I’ve never met a single one in person. I’m a fan, reader, and blogger. My reviews show that I read the books and aren’t always 4 and 5 star reviews so they are honest too. I have bought many of the books and products I’ve reviewed on my own because I wanted them. Not because I was asked to review them.

Am I compensated for my reviews? No. I would never take payment for a review. I am given books to review, but I voluntarily review them. They are honest reviews which means authors don’t expect glowing reviews just because they gave me the books. The only money I make is as an affiliate and that is very little ( a few cents at a time). That’s not for reviews and is just links I post for things I love.

Have I requested free or discounted products in exchange for reviews? No. I know some bloggers will approach authors and publishers for books they want to read. But I don’t do that as I don’t feel its right to do. If I want to read a book I will buy it if there hasn’t been an opportunity to review through a tour, street team, or author asking me if I want to read it. I do have on my blog that if an author submits a book they need to provide a copy. This is standard for bloggers as we can’t possibly afford to buy every book and we usually buy the ones we love.

What I’m Reading This Week

What I'm Reading This Week (2)

This week I am busy with work so I won’t have three reviews, but I will have at least one. This book will be The Hellion by Christi Caldwell which I have been looking forward to reading. If I’m able to do another review it will be Erica Ridley’s latest book.

Something I’m thinking about starting here on this blog is at the first of every month I will post a list of new releases I’m looking forward to that month. Or If there isn’t any I will post what I will be reviewing for sure that month. That way you can see if there is a book you are wondering about coming up in my reviews.

You can always ask me about a book and I will see if I have reviewed it before or if it is in my TBR list of books I already have and I can review it.

Come Join Me on Facebook!

Sassy Historical Romance Lovers (1)

Come join my Facebook group! I started this group months ago, but have neglected it because I’ve been busy. That has changed! It got a refresher with a new name and look. This is a group for everyone, not just readers.

Authors are welcome to join and post about their books, look for reviewers, host days, post tour signups and just have fun. All historical romances are welcome. We love the ones that dare to be different.

Readers can post too and not just about books. Everyone can talk about shows, movies, facts. Anything historical/romance related. Outlander, Poldark, Victoria and other shows are big right now.

If you would like to join just click this link —–> Sassy Historical Romance Lovers

There are very few rules once you join.

What I’ve Learned from Reading Historical Romance

I'm Still a Proud Modern Day Blue Stocking

If you know me or have been a part of this blog for awhile you know I proudly call myself a modern-day bluestocking. I haven’t posted about that in awhile and since it’s Random Friday I thought this would be a perfect time to do it. You can read more about being a modern-day bluestocking by reading Shamed For Being A Modern Day Bluestocking

I’ve learned a lot of things that have helped me in my life by reading historical romances. A lot of it applies to real life romance and has helped me stay away from guys that wouldn’t respect me.

 You don’t have to say yes to every person that asks you out

By reading I have learned that just because I’m asked doesn’t mean I have to say yes. I will only say yes to the ones I want to and won’t be pressured into it. It’s not always about playing the field to find out what you are looking for.  You need to be interested in them to say yes.

You need to share some views, beliefs, and interests

Yes, opposites attract and that is great in most cases, but you need to be alike in somethings if they are very important to you. I love to read and talk about books and that’s something I would love to have in common with someone, but just them respecting it if they don’t share it is fine. Then I have some views and beliefs that are strong and I need someone that shares them. Being on opposites sides doesn’t always mesh in this case.

You deserve respect at all times

Everyone should be respected at all times. If they put down anything about you from looks to interests then they don’t respect you. I’ve been put down for reading, the types of books I read, not wearing makeup all the time, and many other things. I will not be with someone that does that.

Be you no matter what

You are you for a reason and shouldn’ hide it or change for anyone. If you are very smart don’t play dumb to get someones attention. If you dress a certain way or don’t wear makeup don’t change unless you want to for yourself. I wear makeup when I want to and don’t hide my love of romance and books. Don’t be pressured to change your views, choices, looks, beliefs, or interests.

 

 

25 Get to Know Me Questions

25 Get to Know Me Questions.png

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.

Solar Eclipse Party 2017!!!

stencil.blog-post-feature (10).jpg

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.