Sunday, September 11, 2011

Funday Monday- September 12, 2011

It's Funday Monday and we need new stuff to keep wandering minds occupied.

First a little naughtiness... not that kind romance readers.

4.) Perpetual Kid- Whether you work from home, occupy the 9-5 shift or just want to send something to a critique partner. Perpetual Kid has a ton of awesome items. A friend turned me on to this site and let me say that her and I both got stuck on here for hours finding ways to spend our money. There was a lot of giggling involved too.

3.) Whine at 9 - Recently a twitter friend turned me onto this blog. It's all about complaining and actually has audio podcasts that you can listen to. There's even a call in number where you can provide your own whine. I haven't used the number yet, but am putting it on my reserve list. So between the blogs and audio clips you'll find plenty of stuff to amuse you and who knows some of the whines may boost a little creativity.

2.) Fantasy book reviews- In the search through the blog-o-sphere I've been trying to locate a good fantasy book review site. So far my search has turned up a few results and I have mixed feelings about them. Regardless, if you're a fantasy genre fan then these sites may be of interest for your next money spending endeavor.
Fantasy Book Critic- extremely detailed reviews.
Fantasy & SciFi Lovin' News & Reviews- Reviews on more than just fantasy including movies, graphic novels, etc.
Fantasy Book Reviews- This covers YA fantasy only. The great thing is that the provide detailed opinions and at least describe if a book may have content that parents don't want their children to read.

1.) Ashley March is on a blog Tour!- Alright! Everyone knows I'm a sucker for historical romance. Yes...I am. Anyhoo, Ashley March's latest Romancing the Countess is out now and she has started a massive contest/slash blog tour. The link has more info. She's blogging about this book just about everywhere, and let me tell you from personal experience it's worth talking about. I'll have a review up soon. The grand prize is 50 romance books... if you can handle the challenge.

I'm sure you noticed only 4 exciting things this week... but if that's all there is then *shrugs*.
Enjoy the Monday!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Writing Profession Series-- The Book Reviewer

And we begin again! I've been a little lax the past couple of weeks without a blog post for the series. Let's just say my day life and nightlife have been a little hectic.


This week it's all about The Book Reviewer. The elusive men and women that read books and then offer their humble or not so humble opinon about the contents. As most readers know, I review books, but I figured I would get a different voice to provide the knowledge. My voice is heard all too often here!
So, I brought in twitter friend and fellow The Season reviewer Jamie or as most know her on Twitter @jamielynn831  

This lovable gal does more than just review, as she has many talents of course. But she humbly agreed to give the lowdown on reviewing, even though I may have badgered her a little teeny-weensy bit, scouts honor. Without additional preamble here we go:
When I first started out as a reviewer my original thought was “This isn’t going to be so hard.” Well, I was wrong. Writing reviews is hard work. I can’t tell you the amount of times where I sit there and type “This is a really, really good book. You should read it.”
Obviously, that is not going to pass as a review but that’s how I feel sometimes. Nevertheless, it’s your job as a reviewer is to articulate the reasons you liked or disliked the book. And remember, no two people are going to have the same reaction to a book. A book that I think is utterly fabulous someone my think it’s the worst book ever written, and believe me, people will tell you when they think you are wrong.
Now, yes reviewing is a job. And unless you are lucky enough to be working for a newspaper or a magazine then you’re not getting paid. Well, not in the monetary sense. The whole reason I got into reviewing romance was because of my love for reading romance novels. I spent a ridiculous amount of time at the bookstore buying books and it wasn’t until I received my first book in the mail to review that it hit me. I was getting these books for free and I didn’t have to send them back. All I had to do was give my honest opinion of the book.
The main thing about being a reviewer is being yourself and finding your voice. Everyone has a voice: writers, journalist and even reviewers. Find what works for you and own it. Read other people reviews, use them to find what you like and what you don’t. As you start to review more your voice will find it’s way out.
I owe a lot to Beverly Kendall and The Season for Romance. Not only did Bev give me a chance at writing reviews but she as also helped me find my voice.
If you’re thinking about reviewing I say go for it! The best part is that there is no wrong way to review, just be honest.
There it is, the illustrious job of a book reviewer. Like Jamie said, unless you hook up with the mags and newspapers the job doesn't provide monetary gain, but you do receive tons of free books. There is the opportunity to also read fav authors way before the book is released; which is A++ in my opinion. Another reward is finding your voice and building writing skills. You start to look deeper at books and stories, which builds your ability to edit and critique. A Book Reviewer has to analyze creative work vs. technical work, and a book review position can build the abilities of those wishing to write or those working on a novel.

Big...Big Kudos to Jamie for stopping by and sharing her experiences and knowledge. If you would like to read Jamie's reviews of course you can stop by The Season. Jamie also has a blog where she shares reviews of books and other tantalizing info! Check it out here!  And she's one of the host's for Romance Lately.

My question for you: Do you review? Do you want to? Why?

Monday, September 5, 2011

'Wake me up when September ends'

In honor of Labor Day a little Rosie!

This is new for me.... planning. I recently discovered I'm a pantser. Learned something new. I don't plan when writing and there's a name for that. Pantser. Funny, I plan everything else-- dinner, activties, my daily schedule (somewhat).

I've decided as my schedule gets busier I should plan. Planning means commitment. Planning means that I'm setting deadlines, goals, and putting effort into what I want to do. *You're saying "Get to the point!"*

Point is I'm going to starting having some sort of announcement on my blog for what's coming up each month. Ha! I'm forcing myself to commit to posting on a better schedule then just putting a schedule in the sidebar, which will be changing FYI.
Let us begin---> September is a month that already a few days in I want to end, like the Green Day song! Since I can't sleep through the month I'll try to make things exciting.

-First up I'll have reviews for 2 independent publication books otherwise referred to as self-pubbed.

-I'm going to keep trying my hand at Monday Funday posts with the blogs to check out, contests, and other web joy.
-Don't forget the Writing Profession Series-- I want to keep that one going, as there are a million more writing jobs to learn about. I've got the Book Reviewer and I'm hoping to follow up with a Screenplay writer and Ghost Writer.
-There will also be some posts about other blogs I've stumbled upon in more detail to help sway you to the other side. These blogs may deal with writing and maybe not. Life is about enjoying new experiences... for example who knew that PB&J is better with sliced strawberries and banana. I didn't until today!
-Finally a smattering of other book reviews for books that I read outside of my reviews on The Season; including Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum by Stephen Prosapio.

P.S. This post will replace 1 of my Funday Monday posts, but oh well! I'll be back next Monday with some contests and other things to check out!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Reading List for August 2011

Let's just say I didn't repeat July's success this past month. I won't bother making excuses, as I really don't have any. I'll just get right to it!

1. Dash of Scandal by Amelia Grey *
2. Much Ado About Vampires by Kate MacAlister *
3. Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle
4. In The Arms of a Marquess by Katharine Ashe *
5. A Night To Surrender by Tessa Dare *
6. Home Before Dark by Susan Wiggs *
7. Bride for Real by Lynne Graham *
8. Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum by Stephen Prosapio **
9. The Unquiet Anthology by J.D. Robb, Mary Blaney et al. *
10. From Dirt to Diamonds by Julia James *
11. Daring by Dee Davis *
12. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
13. Delaney's Shadow by Ingrid Weaver
14. The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley
15. Bound by Blood by Amanda Ashley *
16. Pride & Passion by Charlotte Featherstone
17. Desired by Nicola Cornick

*Review available or upcoming on The Season
**Review available or upcoming on Examiner

Of course there are a ton more books in my TBR pile. Months ago before I started reviewing I never thought I would have a TBR pile, simply because I go through them sooooo quickly. Surprisingly I'm amassing one between personal pleasure books, books I'm reviewing, and others that just stumble my way. Of course my appetite is insatiable and I'm always looking for the next gem to spark my interest. So feel free to share yours with me. I'm open to suggestions and willing to try different things. *That sounds a little awkward*
Anyhoo... suggestions for books are looked highly upon-- for review or just to read a tasty morsel that you absolutely love.  
I'm thinking of something fun contest wise to do in a couple of weeks. It's about time I rewarded all of you that keep coming back to read my drivel lol!