Reading Christmas Stories!

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You know I love my Halloween stories, but I also love my Christmas ones. Right now I am reading the Christmas at Castle Keyvnor series (which I’ve already posted a couple of reviews for) which I love because they still have the spooky feel.

I’m almost finished with Enchanted at Christmas and then I have one more to go. I have read this all out of order by accident, but the way they are done it’s not a big deal.

I hope the Castle Keyvnor stories will continue after these.

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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.

ARC Review: Separated from My Love (Linked Across Time #7) by Dawn Brower

*This post contains affiliate links which mean I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my dog in sweaters. I only post links for books I love.*

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Separated from My Love by Dawn Brower

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋

Buy Links

AmazonBarnes & Noble | Kobo

Blurb

The love of Trenton Quinn’s life disappeared suddenly. He tried to move on with his life but couldn’t forget about her. When evidence arises suggesting she fell through a time hole he decides to figure out how to follow her to the past and bring her home.

Genevieve Byrne fell off a cliff landing in Regency England and total chaos ensued. Immediately upon her arrival she was kidnapped and held hostage by French spies. Only a miracle would see her through it and she prayed that somehow the love of her life would rescue her. But he never came and she had to find a way to save herself.

After careful research Trenton finds a way to travel through time, but will he be too late to save the woman he loves?

My Review

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.

I was sucked in from the moment she went to the cliff. I loved how many people were involved in trying to find her and how open they were to time travel. When he finally found the way to save her I was not expecting where they landed or the reactions. Everything happened so quickly and I was worried they wouldn’t make it back.

Genevieve thought he no longer loved her or didn’t love her enough when she went to that cliff. She wanted him to be hurt when he found her, but her heart wouldn’t let her do it.

Trenton never really gave up hope on finding her. He had a secret that caused the problems with them and it was one I didn’t expect. I loved that he was not going to give up and didn’t listen to anything she said.

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.

 

Reading Habits and Readabits Tag!

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This week for Random Friday I have two book tags thanks to a post from Jessie at Nerdy Book Life! You can read her answers by clicking the link.

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Reading Habits Tag!

#1 Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I read in my in bed. I turn on the tv for background noise and snuggle in with Abigail who gets belly rubs and paw rubs the whole time.

#2 Bookmark or a random piece of paper? 

Bookmark! I have tons of them all over the house from swag packs and one nice fabric one that I love to use. I’ve never used random bits of paper because they slide out and get lost.

#3 Can you stop reading anytime you want or do you have to stop at a certain page, chapter, part, etc.? 

If I have to stop and can’t finish in one sitting I try to stop half way through the book. I can’t stop during exciting parts and will keep reading until I’m past the parts that I can’t wait to finish.

#4 Do you eat or drink while reading? 

I never eat while reading. I will sometimes drink while reading, but I put my book aside to be safe. I don’t want anything on my books or phone if I’m reading on my phone.

#5 Can you read while listening to music/watching TV?

Yes! I can’t have silence when reading because every little noise catches my attention then. Can’t have people in the room though.

#6 One book at a time, or several at once?

One at a time. They would get mixed up in my head when writing reviews. I may start one and take a break from it to read another like I did with book five of the Outlander series (haven’t finished yet), but can’t go back and forth.

#7 Reading at home or everywhere? 

I can read everywhere if there are no distractions. My reading apps are on my phone and with me everywhere.

#8 Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Silently in my head. I just react out loud to what I read at times.

#9 Do you read ahead or skip pages?

Never! I don’t want to miss anything.

#10  Breaking the spine or keeping it new? 

I try to keep it pretty, but the spine always gets broken. I have small hands and hold the book can be hard at times.

#11 Do you write in books? 

Never! I’m pretty good at remembering stuff. If it’s an ebook I just highlight it.

Readabits Tag!

#1 When do you find yourself reading? Morning, Afternoon, Evening, whenever you can, or all the time. 

Evening! 99% of the time I read at night. I rarely read during the day because I have stuff to do.

#2 What is your best setting to read in?

In a nice cool bed with a snoring dog by me.

#3 What do you do first watch or read? 

So far I’ve watched first because I didn’t know about the book until after seeing the movie or show.

#4 What form do you prefer? Audiobook, e-book, or physical book.

It’s a toss up between ebooks and physical books. I love the smell and feel of physical books, but ebooks take up less space. I never have time for audiobooks because family is usually around and I don’t want to put headphones on.

#5 Do you have a unique reading habit? 

I don’t think so. Maybe that I can read with the mindset of the time period the book is set sometimes to understand things.

#6 Do book series have to match? 

Nope. It doesn’t really matter to me.

Are you my habit twin or do you have interesting ones? Comment below.

 

ARC Review: Three Weeks with a Princess (The Improper Princesses #2) by Vanessa Kelly

*This post contains affiliate links which mean I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my dog in sweaters. I only post links for books I love.*

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Three Weeks with a Princess by Vanessa Kelly

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋💋

Pre-Order Links

AmazonBarnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

Blurb

In Vanessa Kelly’s captivating series, three young women are descended from royalty–in the most improper way. But that doesn’t stop them from pursuing lives rich in adventure. . .

Lia Kincaid, illegitimate daughter of the Duke of York, comes from a long line of notorious women. Raised by her grandmother, formerly mistress to the late Marquess of Lendale, she has little hope of a respectable marriage. But the new marquess, her childhood friend, Jack Easton, would make a very desirable protector . . . if he weren’t too honorable to take her to bed.

It’s bad enough being saddled with a title he never desired. Now Jack must resist the beautiful woman he desires far too much. Duty calls, and he is duty-bound to choose a wealthy bride. But then Lia makes another outrageous suggestion: asking Jack to devise some tests to find her the perfect paramour. Tests that involve flirting, kissing, and other pleasurable pursuits. Tests that, in a matter of weeks, could transform friendship into the ton’s greatest scandal, igniting a passion even duty can’t deny. . .

My Review

*I received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review

Two stubborn people make for great passion. From the start, I knew this was going to be a great story. There were both so stubborn that they would set their minds to something and misunderstand each other at times. I loved the back and forth and how it would erupt into passion. I did not see the twist coming with her friend near the end and how it would turn out. I loved how much family was involved and seeing characters for the first book again.

Lia was so determined to take care of herself and her grandmother that she was willing to follow the same path. Trouble followed her everywhere and sometimes it was very dangerous. I loved how she kept trying to do things and take care of everyone else first.

Jack has never had a problem with Lia or her family because they were like family to him. I loved that when he tried to explain something it always came out wrong and backfired on him. He realized that accepting help is okay and that love is important.

This is an amazing series and has so many amazing characters that I hope to see again.

 

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.

Review: Courting Chaos (Dunaway’s Daughters Book 2) by Lynne Barron

*This post contains affiliate links which mean I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my dog in sweaters. I only post links for books I love.*

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Courting Chaos by Lynne Barron

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋

Buy Link

Amazon

Blurb

What happens when London’s longest reigning rake decides to make mischief?
Born of scandal and raised in squalor, Miss Harry O’Connell turned her back on her feckless, frivolous father and carved out a life for herself in the working-class neighborhood of Wellclose Square. She’s a creature of habit, a stickler for schedules, a keeper of secrets, and a woman adamantly opposed to wasting so much a single minute – let alone a spare shilling – on useless endeavors, sentimental nonsense or impossible expectations.
Opposites attract…
With three men standing between Phineas Griffith and the nearest title, he was perfectly content to float through life on a wave of mistakes, mishaps, coincidences and luck. Two unfortunate accidents and an apoplectic fit later, the new Viscount Knighton finds himself saddled with a decimated estate, a mountain of debt and two sisters in need of launching into Society in tandem. There’s really nothing for it but to woo and wed an heiress post haste.
Orbits align…
An unwelcome visit from the Earl of Dunaway sets in motion a convoluted chain of events that put Harry on a collision course with the handsome fortune-hunter. And wreak havoc with her meticulously managed, precisely timed and exactingly organized life.
Worlds collide…
Phineas cannot afford the luxury of falling in love with a prickly, pragmatic and penniless woman. Harry hasn’t the time or inclination to dally with a charming rake when all her considerable talents are aimed at laying waste to all the Earl of Dunaway holds dear.
And chaos ensues.
Some forces are greater than gravity and some chances worth taking. Can these two star crossed-lovers find the wherewithal to risk it all for a happily-ever-after that defies all odds?

My Review

*I was provided a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review

Opposites really do attract in this case. This one is a bit slow at first, but to fully understand them you need everything that happens in this book. I loved how there was so much bringing them together and they didn’t know it. There are many players involved and they all play an important part in everything. So much happened near the end and I loved what happened with her and her father.

Harry is a different woman and I loved her. She is determined to make her way on her own and is doing it in her own unique way.  I loved her right away because of how she was with her schedule and her sisters. She would do anything to make sure they were happy.

Phineas isn’t your typical fortune hunter. He needed to fix the estate and take care of his two sisters. I loved how when he tried to do or say something it got messed up and ended the wrong way. But once he knew what he wanted he set out to get it and listened when he should.

Random Friday: Behind the Scenes of Easter Photoshoot

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For Random Friday this week, I have a special treat because yesterday we did the Easter photoshoot with Lady Abigail and Lady Claire. Things have been so busy lately that we didn’t know if we would be able to do a shoot or not, but my brother (the photographer) had some down time to do it. As usual, there are plenty of behind the scenes photos for me to share and the final photos will be posted on Colt S Photography on Sunday for Easter.

We didn’t dress them up this time because it was 80 degrees out and even though the photos are done inside it’s hot and hard work for everyone. Lady Abigail did get a new flower for her collar and Lady Claire wore her other collar (that wasn’t as worn looking). These photos show Lady Claire’s silly and hyper personality and Lady Abigail’s love of photos. I only came out with one scratch to my hand from holding treats and it was better than last time in getting both to hold still and look the same direction.

Here are the fun photos:

Review: Sleeping Beau (Fiery Tales #4) by Lila DiPasqua

 

*This post contains affiliate links which mean I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my dog in sweaters. I only post links for books I love.*28269072

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Sleeping Beau by Lila DiPasqua

(also a part of the Historical Hellions box set)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋💋💋

Buy Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Kobo

Blurb

Inspired by the tale of Sleeping Beauty–an erotically charged historical romance novella from the acclaimed Fiery Tales series. One sleeping rake, one scorching kiss, one night of unforgettable passion…

Five years ago, the notorious rake, Adrien d’Aspe, Marquis de Beaulain, was awakened by a sensuous kiss–and experienced a night of raw ecstasy that was branded into his memory.

Years later, he spots his mysterious seductress–and this time, he has no intention of letting her go…

**NOTE: Originally published in the AWAKENED BY A KISS anthology.

My Review

*I received a copy of Historical Hellions which includes this book from one of the authors in exchange for my honest review

Normally I don’t like ones at this spice level, but I loved this one. I loved that it was set in France, that there was a small mystery surrounding that night, and a twist at the end I did expect. There is a lot of steam in this one, but enough of a story to balance it out for me.

Catherine had her reasons for what she did five years ago and the memory of that night has stayed with her. Once she told her whole story everything made sense and I loved her.

Adrien is not shy at all about the life he lives, but he is still loveable. There is something about how he wanted answers about that night that makes you love him because it wasn’t for bad reasons.