Friday, October 28, 2011

the Romantic Fiction Network

Remember Nat from Reading Romances? I conducted an interview with her here! Well anyway, she started a fantastic new social networking site for romance authors and bloggers who love romance books called the Romantic Fiction Network! It isn't just any social networking site.

The Romantic Fiction Network is a "project to bring romance fiction authors, publicists, readers, reviewers, and book bloggers together through a new social/professional network." The site will also feature tons of events that everyone can participate in. 

I'm excited about it...are you? You should be! 

Check it out and sign up for it here !

And check out Nat's very cool and fun blog Reading Romances.




Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Interview with the Maldivian Book Reviewer

Today's interview is with the MALDIVIAN BOOK REVIEWER herself! She is soo awesome and I'm happy for her to be here! Read on below to find out what book she'll never review, her favorite foods, and how low she'd go for a million dollars!

I am so excited since this is the first time I have been asked to do something like this. Thank you for giving me a once in a lifetime opportunity! On to the questions:

How long have you been book blogging?
I started blogging on a whim on July of 2009 to keep track of the massive amounts of books that I read every year. My book review blog is the first of its kind in my country and am proud to have taken the initiative and moved forward with something that is fun and something that I have become addicted to as much as reading!

What is it about romance that just does it for you?
Mmm.. good question. I have been a voracious reader from a young age, back when I didn't even know romance was a genre. But as I grew into my teens I found myself more and more fascinated with the world of romance. Maybe its because of all the emotional upheaval that I go through with romances and of course the hotter than sin heroes that just make it all worthwhile in the end. People scoff at romances saying that its the same thing over and over again in each and every book but for me, romance writers are the true gems of writers because they make something universal i.e. falling in love; stand out and extraordinary by putting two people together and making it work in the most glorious way possible!

So are you a happy ending kind of girl? Do you like it when the guy gets the girl in the end or vise versa?
Oh, I am definitely a happy end kind of girl. That's why I stay away from books that have bittersweet endings unless I can't help it. I have read only two novels with bittersweet endings to-date and all the rest have been happy endings and that should tell something in itself! *grin* 

Hmm...I actually like sad endings. What does that say about me? Hmm... Oh well...

What is your WORST experience when dealing with an author looking for a review?
Well, I haven't had a bad experience per se but I did once accept a book to review, found myself completely restless with how the story was proceeding and had to give up reading half way through. I felt really bad about it but I couldn't review something I couldn't finish reading.

I think it's good to know that you guys have emotions. Most authors thing you book bloggers don't feel anything. Most authors don't even believe you guys are real humans... Anyway...

On your twitter, you say that you are a "TV series ho". If you had it in your power to bring one TV series back on the air if only to take a TV series off the air that is currently on the air, which ones would they be?
I really loved the series Forgotten which premiered on September 2009. The show was aired for only one season and I was really sorry to see it go because I believe the show had great potential.
So I would love to see The Forgotten come back on air once again and if I see another episode of One Tree Hill it would be too soon. *ducks for cover*

*Virtual high five!* I'm so with you on that. I don't even know what One Tree Hill is about. But I do know that it has a lot of winey teen/adults in it that either have very small problems stretched into a whole episode and made to seem bigger than they really are, or really big problems that get resolved way too quickly and don't reflect real life at all. 

How often do you give negative reviews?
I refrain from saying overly negative stuff about books that I review. I try to provide constructive criticism and unless the book falls totally flat for me in every way and turned out to be a HUGE disappointment, I don't give negative reviews. But I do rate my books accordingly based on my level of enjoyment so visitors would know whether I loved a book or not.

What is one genre that you will NEVER consider reading or reviewing?
Autobiography and memoirs

I love how you basically just said you don't care at all about a person's life journey or crappy memories. LOL!

What would make you say NO to a book review request?
I try and entertain as many review requests as possible. And before I do accept them for reviewing I read through the blurb and find out whether the book is of an area of interest to me. If it is I say yes, if not I would have to regretfully decline. And yes, gay romances are a definite NO for me. My apologies if I have offended anyone by saying so.

To each their own.

Favorite food?
This is a tricky one. Since I am from the Maldives, most people wouldn't even know what I am talking about if I start talking about Maldivian cuisine. Basically I love good food! And lets just say a double cheeseburger sounds really good right now.

Please tell us some Maldivian cuisine! I've never met anyone from the Maldives before. Okay scratch that, I never even heard of it. (please don't strangle me. I promise I'm going to do some research on it and tweet random facts about it all day). 
Haha! Well you aren't the only one who doesn't I suppose. But Maldives is pretty famous for its tourism. The beaches here are amazing and if you ever need a vacation you need to come here ASAP! LOL!
That being said, Maldivian cuisine mostly consists of fish though it has become a mix of cuisines of late. So my favorite local cuisine consists of white steamed rice, thick fish paste, very hot chilli, and lime pickle! Add into it some fried drumstick leaves would make it one very yummy dish!  

You are making me soooo hungry right now. That sounds so good and I LOVE spicy food. And I'm going to google pictures of this stuff! 

Do you believe that book bloggers like yourself have the ability to make or break writing careers?
No, I wouldn't go that far. But reviewers do impact a certain group of readers who NEED a book to have received great or good reviews before they can proceed with reading the book. But there are others like myself who do not really care about what other reviewers have to say because I form my own opinions when it comes to books. So yes, reviewers like myself do impact a certain group of readers but I do not think to the extent of making or breaking an author's career.

Most book bloggers have a lot of influence on their followers. Most likely if they give a book a low rating, their followers probably won't buy it. Now imagine if that book blogger has a huge following... YIKES! But good for us...the same can be said the other way around for positive reviews!

What is your schedule looking like right now?
Well, since I work full-time as well, there are certain time constraints with reading and reviewing if work is hectic and busy. Since I have been on leave the last couple of days, I have caught up a lot on my reading. I have around 7 ARC reviews that I have to publish within the next month and around 3 pending review requests which I hopefully will be able to finish off within July as well. This is in between my self challenge of reaching Hawke's story in Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series of which I have read and reviewed book 2 up till now!

You really have a lot on your plate. How do you do it?
Oh well! I guess since I don't have kids of my own yet, after work my time is completely my own. Once I am well into a book, I can snap the head off of anyone who dares intervene *yeah I am ferocious that way*. But sometimes there goes by a lot of days without me being able to read even a couple of pages of a book and I start having withdrawal symptoms. 
Mostly because I love reading, I just find time in between and read. So I don't really think about it I guess. 

What book are you currently reading now?
I just finished reading Man Law by Adrienne Giordano and loved it. Haven't started on any other book yet though there are a couple of good books awaiting my consideration.

Is that one of the books you are going to review or was that a "you time" read?
Man Law is from my ARC pile. I request for ARCs on Netgalley from time to time and get pretty decent reads out of them. And this one was definitely a fun, fun read!

You blog about books but would you ever consider writing one of your own?
*Sigh* That question reminds me of one of my English tutors when I was quite young who encouraged me to write a novel and he of course told me he would help me publish it. Even now, from time to time I think about it but I guess I am just a trifle bit too lazy to open a word document and start typing away!

RIDDLE TIME: Think of words ending in -GRY. Angry and hungry are two of them. There are only three words in the English language. What is the third word? The word is something that everyone uses every day. If you have listened carefully, I have already told you what it is.
Third word: Language?

You think you're so smart, huh!

What are a few things that you wouldn't mind telling people about yourself if it would help better understand your review process?
I have come a long way since I started reviewing books in 2009. Back then, I just read to my heart's content and wrote down everything that I felt and if I was satisfied with the post, I just published it.
But my reviewing process has evolved with time and from using a Kindle to read, I have moved on to using an IPAD because its easier for me to simultaneously read and take notes as I go along. As I read, I jot down how I feel about the characters, the important history/background of the characters etc. which all help me when I eventually sit down to write the review.
For me, I write the review as soon as I am done with reading the book. Otherwise I would tend to forget the important tidbits if I keep it for later. And yes, I bookmark all those pages that contain great quotable material for my review.

If you had the opportunity to commit a crime that you were absolutely POSITIVE you could get away with, what would it be?
I really have no idea! I really am stunned that I can't think of anything!

Or... it's such a crazy crime that you're embarrassed to say it! No need to respond. I get it. I understand.

How low would you stoop for a million dollars?
As low as it requires me to pick up the notes? Haha! Seriously, I don't think I would stoop to doing anything shady for a million or even a billion dollars.Yeah I know, I am boring that way. LOL!

No not boring at all! Scroll up and read this interview and then think again missy!

For authors wanting to contact you, how could they do it? What's your info?
All my contact details can always be found on my website http://www.maldivianbookreviewer.com
And for those who wish to contact me for reviews or just to say hi, you can always drop in a line at maldivianbookreviewer@gmail.com.
And I can be found on twitter @mdvbookreviewer and on Goodreads as well!

Once again Nova, many thanks for the opportunity! This has certainly been a fun experience!

You are so welcome!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


The Great Canadian Blog Hop and Giveaway




Read on for the latest from CHARLOTTE BLACKWELL!


I have never participated in a blog hop, or for that matter I have never even seen one. From June 30th to July 4th I will be taking part in The Great Canadian Blog Hop. This hop is open to everyone, but all giveaways must be open to Canada. I will be giving away a PDF copy of Immortal Embrace during this time. So Stay tuned for more info and postings. On the first day of the hop I will post the other links needed for giveaway entries and to the other blogs involved. I think this will be a ton of fun, I am a Canadian and Immortal Embrace releases on July 1st which is Canada Day do it all coincides with the hop.

If you are interested in participating as a blogger or author there's a link in my left side bar you can follow. Now although it is short notice I would love to do an interview with another author out there so if interested please contact me at... 


Want more information on how to participate in this awesome opportunity? Check out Charlotte's Blog!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Interview with Charlotte Blackwell

Hello Everyone,


Today I am interviewing the FAB Charlotte Blackwell. She is author of the Embrace Series and also blogs! She was even nice enough to let me guest post on her blog! Read her interview to find out about her book series, what she thinks about book bloggers, and what her OCD is!


I would love to thank Ms. Nova Sparks for welcoming me to her blog and giving me this wonderful opportunity to share with all her followers. 

You have let me guest post in the past on your blog, charlotteblackwell.blogspot.com but you are mainly an author. What prompted you to wander in, what some would consider, book blogger territory?
Yes, I mostly concentrate on being an author, and I don't even really consider myself a blogger. With that said I do have a blog that doubles as a website for me. I do my best to post every Monday, and I love having others authors come to share with me and my readers. I am a huge believer in promoting other writers. We all pour our heart and souls into our work and I want others to recognize that as well. Once I get some more time or even just better organized I hope to post reviews for all the new authors I am reading. 

What advantages do you believe book bloggers have?
I think it is great how some bloggers have very reliable followers and it makes it a great place for us author to come visit. Bloggers have the chance to say exactly what they think and to help promote the work of those they believe in. Now of course there's also the great chance to get ARC's as a book blogger. Chances are they/we read a ton and that can add up. With the promise of promo and/or a review, authors are usually willing to provide and ARC, which means free reading for a book lover. How much better can it get?

Will you make it a habit to interview other authors, being an author yourself?
I do hope I can do many more, maybe even make a schedule to post on the blog with a list of up coming interviews.

How about book reviews?
I haven't done any official reviews yet, but I really hope to get the chance to do so. I know I love reviews, if they are good, honest and I can learn from and improve my next novel. 

I feel exactly the same way. I love constructive criticism with book reviews. Some people think I'm crazy but I really love reading reviews from book bloggers that don't like my book. It makes me try harder and strive for something. 

Are you published?
Yes I am, my debut novel Immortal Embrace is out on pre-release now. The official release is July 1, 2011.

Tell us about the Embrace Series?
The Embrace series is a paranormal romance for young adults. It has vampires, witches, shape shifter's, demon's, angel's and other supernatural beings all trying to fit in to a mortal world. Book one Immortal Embrace introduces the reader to the character's, friendships and the love story's with a little bit of excitement. Book two Forbidden Embrace really brings in the action and trouble for the character's, it doesn't stop there either. Book three Mystic Embrace takes us to another POV and the reader gets to see things more from the witches rather than the vampires as the first two books are. So much happens and everything changes for the character's in this book.

Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. I love to hear the upcoming works of fellow authors. Gives us all something to look forward to. 

What is your take on the indie/self publishing world?
I think it is great. There are so many amazing books out there that we would never have the chance to read just because one person didn't like the query letter. Agents and publishers are hard to impress, but that doesn't mean you don't have a great story. Take Amanda Hocking for instance, she is very successful with self publishing. Not everyone will have success like her, but why not try? Even having a publisher doesn't guarantee that you will sell well. With the increase in e-books anyone has a chance at being a best seller.

I've heard of Amanda Hocking. She is really an example of one of those stories that fuels a movement. You can either look at it in a positive or negative way. It seems like everyone wants to be an author now, thinking of it as a get rich quick scheme. That is why a lot of people look down their nose at it. Whether traditionally or indie/self published, people should write books because that's what they LOVE to do, not because they feel they can get rich off of it. 

Do you have a publisher?
I do have a publisher, World Castle Publishing. They are amazing and work so hard for and with the writer. WCP as we call it is writer friendly, she wants the author to have a say in things and works with us every step of the way. There's some great books and authors coming out in all genre's. World Castle is also open to solicited and unsolicited submissions. They are a royalty paying publisher and release trade paperback and e-books world wide.  

Cats or Dogs?
I have two of each, but if I have to choose I would say cats since they are easier to care for. My two huskies and very energetic and like to chew through my furniture and walls. Funny thing is I am very allergic to both cats and dogs.

That's so weird!!! You must be a real animal lover if you go through all that sniffling and sneezing for the sake of your pets. LOVES IT!

Any weird writing quirks?
I need background noise. I usually watch TV while writing, but recently discovered country music really gets my creative juices flowing. I also do most of my work late at night.

We get along in that respect. I have to have a lot of stuff going on in the background, but mostly Roswell (TV show) and music! 

Do you post reviews in online book networks like goodreads, amazon, or Barnes and noble?
I try to post reviews where ever I can. Good reads is really user friendly, and I just love the community there. Reviews are a great way to help get others interested in a book, so I recommend them to everyone.

I actually just started posting reviews. Now that I am an actual published author, I'm realizing the importance of it. 

First thing you did when you woke up this morning?
Vacuumed the house and made a cup of tea.

Oh....a clean freak, huh!

RIDDLE TIME: I am the beginning of the end, and the end of time and space. I am essential to creation, and I surround every place. What am I?
CONFUSING! I am seriously bad with riddles, and this took me so long, but the answer is E. (maybe I shouldn't have admitted to all that.)

DARN! I GOTTA THINK OF SOME HARDER RIDDLES FOR YOU GUYS!!!

I strongly believe that everyone is slightly Obsessive Compulsive. What is one thing that you do that people would consider a symptom of OCD?
Vacuuming, I used to vacuum twice a day but recently cut back.  

What is one genre that you will NEVER read? 
I don't like to say never, but off the top of my head I would say steampunk. Now with that said I have been hearing some great things about this genre and am getting curious. 

I'm hearing A LOT about steampunk and I had NO IDEA what it was until recently. I'm getting curious as well. 

If you weren't an author/blogging, what would you be doing?
I was a nurse, and a child care provider, but mostly I have been a mother. So I think I would have liked to work in the schools as a teachers aid. My youngest goes to kindergarten in the fall and that is when I planned to go back to work. I guess I have new plans now. I will write full time instead.

That is my dream! To write full time. I would LOVE that!

Where can people find you?
I am on facebook, twitter, bloggerlinkedingood reads and probably more I can't think of right now. I hope everyone will stop by and say hi. I love talking with readers and other authors, okay I just love talking. 

Thanks again for having me here and I hope everyone has a great day.

You are so welcome! Everyone, check out Charlotte Blackwell and her Embrace Series

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Most recent review from Nat of Reading Romances


Blood Reaction

Published May 20th 2011 by Foxboro Press
 
Annalice, a single mother and physician, is ready to immerse herself in the mundane chores of her farm as a diversion from her hectic professional life. But she becomes the victim of a home invasion, the supernatural kind. Vindictive and cruel, Asa, a century old vampire, takes brutal control of her life and home. Forcing her to strike a bargain in exchange for her daughter’s life, Annalice must not only accept his presence but also bow to his depravity. Facing threats to her only child, she relies on her skills as a physician to unravel the clues to the vampire’s existence attempting to beat him at his own game.
 
Caught in a race against a genetic timeline, Annalice struggles to survive the Blood Reaction. – Goodreads

ADULT CONTENT AHEAD – SPOILER FREE ZONE
Review:
Attention to my dear readers: This is more of a paranormal suspense than romance, don’t expect the happy, romantic and lovey dovey scenes-  it’s not gonna happen, and you’ll still like it.
I was caught unexpectedly at first when I started reading and it was a first person POV, and in the present. I kind of hoped to see Asa’s POV, but a few chapters ahead, I realized that Annalice is the soul of the pages. I was anxious and curious every time I turned a new page, a feeling that I have been missing when reading a new book.
Asa blackmails Annalice in order to satisfy his needs of blood and lust. It could easily be a story around a vampire raping the poor woman over and over again (warning: there’s only one raping scene and it’s not...

If you want to read more, Check out Nat's blog, Reading Romances 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Interview with Nat from Reading Romances

Today I am speaking with Nat from the Book Blogging site, Reading Romances! She will be talking to us about what makes a good romance novel, her pet peeve when dealing with authors, and Sex in Romance... 



When did you start Reading Romances?
I started it 3 months ago. Seems like it's been so long because it's such a hard job to blog!


You read predominantly romance novels. Are there any genres of books that you will make an exception for when doing a review?
Yes. I believe it's a case by case analysis. Of course, romance is my favorite, but I also like sci-fi, art books..I don't judge a book by its cover, publisher, or even genre. If I like the blurb, I'll read it. I have to focus on romance. That's what the blog is about. But that doesn't mean I won't read other things from time to time.


There are many book bloggers who are also authors on the side. What do you think about that? Are you planning on writing a book anytime soon?
I think it's a great tool to use when promoting their books, getting closer to the audience, other authors etc. It's a place they can use their love of writing to express and say things apart from the books. It's an amazing place to get to know who's behind the book. And no, I don't have any plans on writing a book. I have written one last year, but it was for my graduation project. It's my baby. The funny thing is, I like reading fiction but I wouldn't be able to write it.


How much time do you spend reading books that authors are expecting to be reviewed? 
I review for a few places, so I usually have 3 or 4 books to review per week. I try to read everyday, even if I only have 20 min to read. 


What is your BIGGEST pet peeve when it comes to dealing with authors and/or their books?
 I don't really like when they say, "Oh, and when you finish, post it on amazon, barnes & noble, goodreads(...)". Without even saying "please". I try to do my best to post my reviews out there, but it's not a duty or something I HAVE to do. When I have the time, I'll mirror the review where I can. It's something nice I do for the authors to spread the word about their book.


Have you ever dealt with a really disrespectful author and decided to say "FUDGE YOU" and not review their book?
No, thank god! If they're direspectful I will continue treating them with respect, but I will stop reviewing their book. 


What's your schedule looking like right now? Have a lot of books waiting for you to dive in?
I have a full schedule till the end of July! I didn't count how many, but I read at least 12 books a month.I'll be hosting a few tours and I have some nice books ahead, I can't wait!


Are you ever been offered money to review a book?
No, and I would be offended if that happened.


Phew, I'm glad i didn't offer you that 50 cents!
LOL!


What color are your toe nails?
Grey!


If you weren't book blogging, what would you be doing?
Hmm...I would probaby be reading! LOL. Blogging is a consequece of my addiction, I love it!


What's the last thing you ate?
Chicken!


What is a complete deal breaker when reviewing a book? What would make you rate a book DNF or "Did Not Finish"?
I need to be interested about the story or it won't work. I don't have a "DNF" rating, I will rate the book based on what I managed to read, but I'll state that I couldn't finish reading it and why it happened. I believe that a "DNF" book needs to be rated aswell, sometimes it's a great book but it isn't for me.


What's the lowest rating you have ever given a book? 
I have given a "1 heart" once or twice. I don't like having to do that, but I need to be honest. Usually they're books that frustrated or annoyed me to no end.


Do you get a lot of book review requests for books that you say, "This is total crap!"? How do you deal with that? Do you tell the author that you think their book is crap? Or do you read it and review it as being crap?
The "This is total crap" thing never happened to me, but I've read blurbs out there that are just terrible. I only review books that I believe I'll enjoy. If the blurb isn't something that made me interested I'll politely tell the author that It's not something I would like.


You're so awesome for doing this! Anyway...
Haha, you're amazing!


There is a man about to be hanged in front of a crowd of people. The man that is about to do the hanging tells the people in the crowd that he will not hang the man if someone in the crowd is related to him. One man out of the crowd stands up and says, "I'm related to that man!" The man about to do the hanging asks him, "How?" The man in the crowd says, "Sisters and brothers, I have none. But that man's father is my father's son!" How is he related to the man about to be hanged?
What is this?? Logical excercise? LOL.. He's the guy's uncle? Oh no, he's his dad?


You read romance. What in your opinion makes the perfect romance novel?
It needs to have an amazing chemistry between the hero and heroine, fantastic dialogue and a happy ending.


How do you feel about sex scenes? Can there be romance without sex? Does it bother you when a romance novel has no sex? What makes a really good sex scene?
Sex is a consequence most of the time. When reading erotica, it's the means to an end. It doesn't bother me when there's no sex involved, but the premise of the book can't lead the reader to imagine that there will be sex scenes or it can be very bad for the book. A good sex scene isn't about "what he's doing, what she's doing, where is what", it must focus on the feelings. And of course, it can't be an empty scene, it has to matter and change the relationship between the characters.


Is there a sub-genre of romance that you will never read? For example (even though this isn't technically a sub-genre in my opinion), does it matter to you if it is gay/lesbian?
Suspense is something that doesn't appeal to me. Some people write BDSM as a category, I don't know if it's appropriate, but it's definitly something that needs to be clear to the readers. I don't read BDSM, but gay and lesbian romance are just fine. I have to say that m/m isn't my favorite.


Okay, STUPID QUESTION #1: When people say S&M they mean sadism and masochism?
LOL, yes.


Would you believe I thought it meant Sex and Masks? Or something like that. I could've always googled it!
HAhahaha, that's why google is out there!


What is your opinion about self-pub vs traditional pub?
I believe that traditional publishing will have to change, they'll need to give more power to authors in order to survive. Self publishing has a few problems too, but I think that's the future. You can see it's growing very fast.


What advice can you give someone who is looking into being a book blogger?
It's not easy to blog! You'll spend a lot of time blogging, and less time reading.The first month is the hardest one, but then things get a little easier and you'll have a comfortable and balanced schedule.


How can authors get in contact with you if they want you to review their book?
They can go to http://readingromances.wordpress.com and read my review policy page. From there they can fill out the form or email me at readingromances.contact@gmail.com 

Thanks for the interview, Nova!



You are so welcome, NAT!

*If there are any romance authors out there that are in need of an honest review of their book, do not hesitate to contact Nat from Reading Romances. Just don't offer her any money for it...She'll kill you!*

Follow Nat on Twitter: @readingromances
Check out her blog: http://readingromances.wordpress.com



COMING SOON!!!!!!!!!!

INTERVIEWS WITH...

CHARLOTTE BLACKWELL from charlotteblackwell.blogspot.com

MDVBOOKREVIEWER from maldivianbookreviewer.com


Natasha Larry from paranormalwire.blogspot.com

STACEY O'Neale from yafantasyguide.com


ROBYN from robolobolynsuniverseofbooks.blogspot.com