Let’s Talk! (Week #28 – 5/10/13)

We’re up to week 28 of Let’s Talk! I haven’t joined in on every week’s discussion, but I’ve been around for most of them. It’s sparked some very interesting and lively conversations and given us all something to think about. That’s always a good thing. Here’s what Smash and Kt have to tell us about the weekly meme.

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

And here’s Today’s Question:

Do you take advantage of Freebies? or Do you think Freebies are a good selling tool for authors and publishers?

I know that there are people on both sides of this fence. I bet you can’t guess which side I fall on? It’s no secret that I take advantage of Freebies on a somewhat regular basis. I admit it, I’m cheap. I am also a read-aholic so I will feed the need however I can without going totally broke. I do not, however, pick up every Freebie that is available just for the sake of acquiring another free read. I usually stick to genres that I know I will like – namely paranormal romance or fantasy.

I do from time to time use Freebies to pick up something from an author I haven’t read before or from a genre I rarely read just to check them out. Which brings me to the second part of the question. Do I think Freebies serve as a good selling tool? From my experience, yes. I can’t tell you exactly how many Freebies have led me to subsequently purchase a book that was either from the series or by the author who wrote it – but the average is fairly high. With all the books out there, sometimes I need a nudge to take a chance on a new author or a new genre. Freebies have helped me find some really great authors that I might not have noticed, especially Indie authors. (I do have to admit that some of the Freebies that I enjoy most are from authors I love who give us some extra little tidbits from our favorite characters in established series from time to time.)

I honestly appreciate every Freebie that is offered and in return I review every book that I read – regardless of the length. I also spread the word to people who may not know about a series or an author to give them a risk-free opportunity to check them out. Sharing the book love is why I’m here after all. ❤

So what about you? Do you take advantage of Freebies? Join this week’s discussion and Let’s Talk!

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Let’s Talk! (Week #26 – 4/26/13)

We’re up to week 26 of Let’s Talk! It’s sparked some very interesting and lively conversations and given us all something to think about. That’s always a good thing. Here’s what Smash and Kt have to tell us about the weekly meme.

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

And here’s Today’s Question:

Do you accept review requests? If not, why? If so, then how many review requests do you get in a month? How many do you accept? How do you balance between review requests and reading your own books? Have you ever gone out of your way to reduce your incoming review books? With so many review books being offered (solicited or not) to book bloggers, have you ever emailed a publicist to reduce the number of books sent? Do you ever feel guilty over receiving these review books that you know you won’t be able to get to knowing other book bloggers could benefit from them? How do you deal? (Thanks, KT and Na)

From the length of this week’s question I’m guessing I should be thankful that I don’t receive a lot of review requests. Most of the review books that I have are ones that I have requested. The handful of requests that I have gotten are either from authors who ‘know’ me or have actually taken the time to look at the books I’ve reviewed and base their requests on genres that they see on my blog. So yeah, I guess I consider myself lucky. For the most part, I’m still reading for pleasure.

That doesn’t mean that I’m not aware of the issue. Even though I’m not overwhelmed with requests, I still handle the ones that I receive with care. I don’t have a lot of scheduling issues on my blog as of now, but when I do receive a request I ask for a time frame. If I have a conflict I let them know and tell them what I can do. It’s worked for me so far but I know that the longer I’m a part of this world the more inevitable the risk of becoming overwhelmed will be.

So what about you? How do you keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed by review requests? Do you still get the chance to read books just because you want to? Join this week’s discussion and Let’s Talk!

Let’s Talk! (Week #25 – 4/19/13)

We’re up to week 25 of Let’s Talk! It’s sparked some very interesting and lively conversations and given us all something to think about. That’s always a good thing. Here’s what Smash and Kt have to tell us about the weekly meme.

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

And here’s Today’s Question:

What is your favorite spot to read? Have you changed your furniture layout to better accommodate reading (i.e. purchasing certain laps or chairs)

I might have a place or two that I like to read. Some of my places are seasonal…. and not just because they are outside. We live in a VERY old house that is in a constant state of reconstruction. (Please keep that in mind when you look at the pics I’m about to post.) We also don’t have a central heating system so the upstairs rooms aren’t heated any more than they have to be during the winter. Therefore, I go where the heat is in the winter and I have free run of several rooms for the rest of the year. Trust me… I take advantage of every nook and cranny.

Chair1Currently, this is my spot of choice. It’s a corner in the same room as our TV but I plug in my headphones and either listen to Pandora or iTunes and get my read on regardless. There are currently 2 bookshelves in this room.

Corner2My next go-to spot is in a room that is in the middle of that reconstruction period I mentioned. It’s not there right now, but there is normally a chair in this corner that has a table with a lamp beside it. It’s nice and quiet and I can usually hide in this corner without being noticed. My husband says he has plans for this room when it’s done which include prime reading locations. We shall see. 😉

Chair2Once the weather gets warm I take advantage of our front porch. Since I live on the Eastern Shore of Virginia I have to fight the bugs, but they usually aren’t a problem in the afternoon. They usually chase me inside around dusk. I also use this spot to work in the afternoon on my laptop. It’s spring and I need to replace the cushions that our dogs decided to ‘eat’, but you get the idea.

Chair3When I get desperate for solitude or need to get away from chatter, I slip into the foyer of our house. That sounds crazy I know but even though we have a chair and a sofa there, no one usually sits around. It’s currently stacked with items that my husband acquired from his parents’ home in Florida, but we’re working on finding spots in our house for all of it.

Chair4Then there’s my office, which is currently the catch all for what everyone in our family doesn’t want in their ‘space’ but doesn’t want to get rid of either. I’ll be switching rooms soon (more on that later) but when I can scramble through all the clutter, this is one of my favorite spots to read. The bookshelf to the right is one of four in the room.

Corner1Given all the nooks and crannies I’ve shown you so far, you wouldn’t think that I would have a ‘dream’ spot, but I do. The room that my husband is currently painting has one of two places in our home that would be perfect for a window seat. It’s been a dream of mine since we bought the house 13 years ago, but I just can’t seem to talk him into it. *sigh*

So what about you? Do you have a favorite reading spot? Join this week’s discussion and Let’s Talk!

Let’s Talk! (Week #24 – 4/12/13)

We’re up to week 24 of Let’s Talk! It’s sparked some very interesting and lively conversations and given us all something to think about. That’s always a good thing. Here’s what Smash and Kt have to tell us about the weekly meme.

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

And here’s Today’s Question:

Do you judge books by their covers? Why or why not?

Well, duh! Of course I do… that doesn’t however mean that I choose a book by it’s cover.. that’s an entirely different thing. For me anyway. I’ve learned the hard way that an amazing cover does not necessarily mean there is an amazing book underneath. Of course it does happen, but one isn’t dependent on the other.

Since I’m a graphic artist, when I look at a gorgeous cover it’s more out of envy than anything else. There are so many talented artists out there and I’d love to be able to create some of the awe inspiring covers that grace those books. *sigh*

Then there are the times that I flip things around and judge the cover by the book. Yeah, I know… the fact that I have a serious problem has already been well established so just humor me here. I’m guessing that I’m not the only one who has done this, right? If not, you know what I’m talking about at least. The author gives you a detailed description of the featured male or female character and you flip back to the cover and realize that whoever is pictured on the front is not him or her. Either that or the artwork, as beautiful as it may be, has absolutely no resemblance to the theme or feeling of the book you’re reading. Maybe I’m too critical or maybe it’s the artist (or hopeful artist) in me but that just drives me nuts. The most recent book that comes to mind is one that I just read and reviewed a few days ago. If you are reading this on my home page I bet you can scroll down and find it. The cover is amazing and he’s exactly like I would picture him except for one defining mark that was for whatever reason left off the cover. Other people have commented on it too, so I’m not the only one who noticed. Other than that though, I love the cover and the artwork is amazing… it’s just not exactly him…. Oh well, I’ve obviously gotten off track here so I’ll stop now. So the short answer here is, yes, I do judge a book by its cover but not in the ‘normal’ way. 😉 Somehow I doubt if that surprises anyone.

So what about you? Do you judge a book by its cover? Join this week’s discussion and Let’s Talk!

Let’s Talk! (Week #23 – 4/5/13)

We’re up to week 23 of Let’s Talk! It’s sparked some very interesting and lively conversations and given us all something to think about. That’s always a good thing. Here’s what Smash and Kt have to tell us about the weekly meme.

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

And here’s Today’s Question:

When you get on the computer, what sites distract you from working on your blog?

The bad part about this question for me is that those pesky distractions not only keep me from working on my blog, but working in general. My computer is my job and it also requires me to be online so getting distracted is something I try really, really hard not to do…. and for the record, more times than not, my will power sucks. *sigh*

So what are the sites that distract me the most. That’s pretty easy to answer considering that all I have to do for reference is to look at the tabs at the top of my browser. Here are the ones that stay open:

  • Facebook – My kids say that I started using Facebook to stalk them…. they may or may not be right about that. There are times that I wonder if I would know anything about what was going on in their lives if I wasn’t on Facebook. (Before you get too concerned about my parenting skills, my ‘kids’ are 27, 25 and 20.) Most of my ‘friends’ on Facebook are people I’ve known for a very long time – face to face friends. It’s fun to make connections with people I grew up with, which I think is why most people use Facebook – or at least why they started. The longer I’m on it though the more of my blogging and author friends I follow. Oh yeah, I also have a business Facebook Page so I do occasionally use it for work…. so that makes the time I spend there totally legit, right? *snickers*
  • Twitter – I have been known to peruse Twitter from time to time. To be totally honest, my time spent on Twitter isn’t nearly what it used to be. It’s not that I’ve abandoned it… not by a long shot. It’s just that I don’t have the time that I used to and it seems like when I can find the time, no one is there. *sigh* I miss my Twitter buds, but when I do get the chance I can spend hours there and not even realize it.
  • Goodreads – I’m finding more and more people, authors, groups and books there all the time. It’s an amazing place to get lost in. I find myself looking at the updates and noticing a book that someone is reading or has put on their shelf. Then, of course, I have to check the book out. Then I have to see what else the author has written that I might want to check out. Then I have to see who else has read the book in question just so I know if it fits into what I usually read. Then…. well you get the picture. Eventually all that snooping around leads me to my next distraction….
  • Amazon – I really don’t have to explain why this page is a dangerous, dangerous place now do I? I didn’t think so.
  • Then there are the places that I don’t necessarily keep open as a tab, but they are usually only a click away. NetGalley is a place that I really need to learn to stay away from, but it’s not gonna happen. There are also various artwork sites that, although I use them primarily for work, I can spend hours looking for just the right graphic or photo. I do get lost in YouTube from time to time, but I can also honestly say that my time spent there is pretty evenly split between tutorials for Photoshop and Illustrator and entertainment. I like to learn new techniques and once I start looking at one another one catches my eye. It’s kind of addicting.

So what about you? Do you have a distraction (or distractions) that keep you from giving your blog the time and attention it deserves? Join this week’s discussion and Let’s Talk!

Let’s Talk! (Week #22 – 3/29/13)

We’re up to week 22 of Let’s Talk! It’s sparked some very interesting and lively conversations and given us all something to think about. That’s always a good thing. Here’s what Smash and Kt have to tell us about the weekly meme.

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

And here’s Today’s Question:

Does your family approve of blogging and reading so much? How do you compromise when they object?

Other than the occasional ‘you have a serious problem’ from my youngest daughter and the more than occasional ‘you really need to get a life’ from my oldest, they really don’t pay too much attention to me and my reading. That may be because I’ve passed my love of reading on to them and if I have any free time at all it’s spent with a book in my hand or my Kindle. It’s pretty much a given. We trade books and talk about them too, which I love. As far as the blog goes, unless I show them something specific, I don’t think anyone in my family has actually visited it and looked around. That’s okay though.

So what about you? Do you have to justify your reading and blogging? Join this week’s discussion and Let’s Talk!

Let’s Talk! (Week #21 – 3/22/13)

We’re up to week 21 of Let’s Talk! It’s sparked some very interesting and lively conversations and given us all something to think about. That’s always a good thing. Here’s what Smash and Kt have to tell us about the weekly meme.

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

And here’s Today’s Question:

Are too many books being made into movies?

I’ve never really thought about it much – about the ‘too many’ aspect anyway. I love it when one of my favorite books comes to life on the screen. Then, like almost everyone else, I lament about how much unlike the book the movie is. When it’s done right though, it’s great.

In a sneaky sort of crazy way I hope that books being turned into books will help get people to actually read those books, especially the ones that I adore. (Harry Potter, City of Bones, Hunger Games, etc.) In a not so crazy way, some of those movies being released that are based on books have made me want to track them down. Some of them have actually pushed me to read the books that I’ve been putting off  (Beautiful Creatures, Perks of Being a Wallflower, etc.) because I HATE to see a movie before I read the book.

So what about you? Do you think that there are too many books making the move to Hollywood? Join this week’s discussion and Let’s Talk!

Let’s Talk! (Week #20 – 3/15/13)

We’re up to week 20 of Let’s Talk! It’s sparked some very interesting and lively conversations and given us all something to think about. That’s always a good thing. Here’s what Smash and Kt have to tell us about the weekly meme.

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

And here’s Today’s Question:

Do you rate a book differently based on the genre? Are there certain genres that you hold at a higher standard? Are there books that will gain an automatic “pass” or overlook of issues just because you love the genre/ type of world? If you don’t rate books, you can answer the questions based on your review criteria.

Wow… talk about a question that makes me think…. Honestly, until I saw this week’s question I didn’t think I played ‘favorites’ and then I started to think…. hmmmm….

Even though I’m an eclectic reader, I have my favorite genres. If we are totally honest, I think we all do. If it’s well written and I can get lost in the either the characters, the plot or the world that the author creates, it’s a read that I will enjoy. Now that I think about it though, I’m probably a little bit more critical of books that don’t fall into my favorite genres. Why? I think it’s because the authors of those books have to do something exceptional to grab me. One of those genres is YA Contemporary. I tend to stay away from them – but when I do read one I expect it to be exceptional. That could be why I’m so picky when I read them and why the few YA Contemporary reads that I have reviewed have received high ratings from me.

On the other hand, I read so many PNR books (my obvious favorite genre) that it has to be exceptional to gain a 5 star review from me. I can easily tell when things work and when they don’t.  When characters are just put into convenient situations to force a match and when things don’t flow the way they should. Be it YA or Adult, I have read so many of them that I don’t just automatically give books that rating unless I feel like they deserve it.

So I guess my answer is no. I don’t play favorites. I had to think about it really hard though. If anything, I think I may be harder on my favorite genre than I am on the others. Why? Mainly because books in other genres have to give me a really good reason to give them a chance in the first place. I read the synopsis well, I see who in my trusted crew of bloggers has read them a little of what they are saying about them and I pick from trusted authors. It may not be fair, but I’d rather be picky than to either not leave a review or give an author an undeserved bad review just because I should never have picked it up to begin with. Hey, at least I’m honest 😉

So what about you? Does a book’s genre pre-determine how you rate it? Join this week’s discussion and Let’s Talk!

Let’s Talk! (Week #18 – 3/1/13)

We’re up to week 18 of Let’s Talk! It’s sparked some very interesting and lively conversations and given us all something to think about. That’s always a good thing. Here’s what Smash and Kt have to tell us about the weekly meme.

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

And here’s Today’s Question:

Do you need romance in your books to read them?

If not, what else “hooks” you?

Absolutely not! *looks over my latest posts, goodreads shelves, NetGalley choices, downloaded freebies and twitter comments* Well, maybe I should put that another way. *blush*

Do I NEED romance in a book to read it? No, not really. I do obviously lean that way however. I still consider myself an eclectic reader despite what my current choices have been. My shelves are full of PNR, UF, Steampunk, Mystery, Horror in both YA and Adult genres, plus a lot more. I honestly don’t read romance strictly for the romance. First and foremost, it has to have a good story line, believable characters that I can relate to and I absolutely love the ones that make me think. Two of the books that I’m reading right now have little or no romance in them at all, and they both fall into my ‘favorites’ category. When romance graces the pages of these books I just consider it an added bonus. I don’t expect it when I pick them up.

Of course there are books that I expect to be loaded with romance, and those more often than not fall into the PNR category. There’s still a lot more to those books as well.

So, what else hooks me? Just about anything! I’ve got favorite authors, favorite series and favorite bloggers whose advice I take whole heartedly. I’m always looking for something new and interesting so you never know what I might pick up next. I’m addicted, what can I say?

So what about you? Are you addicted to romance and consider it a must in the books you read? Join this week’s discussion and Let’s Talk!

Let’s Talk! (Week #17 – 2/22/13)

We’re up to week 17 of Let’s Talk! It’s sparked some very interesting and lively conversations and given us all something to think about. That’s always a good thing. Here’s what Smash and Kt have to tell us about the weekly meme.

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

And here’s Today’s Question:

If you could be part of one fictional family (book or screen), what family would you choose, and why? Would you choose to be a current family member, or a new one? (Thank you, Ashley/The Bibliophile’s Corner!)

Wow… this is a really hard one for me. Mainly because there are so many worlds that I wish I could be whisked away to when I read. Harry Potter seems to be a popular answer to this week’s question and I can totally see that. I’m thinking any magical place would do for me. As far as characters go, there are several families I’d love to be adopted into. I’m more of a sidelines kind of person so I think I’d rather be a new member of the crew. Which books or worlds come to mind? Let’s see…

  • In Harry Potter’s world, the answer is easy. I’d be a Weasley. They are the definition of ‘family’ in my opinion. They’re warm, loving, beyond fair and understanding, fun and just the right amount of quirky.
  • I’d also be lying if I didn’t say that a part of  me would love to spend some time as a member of the Brotherhood household. There’s just something about those males, their females and even the Doggen. Of course when I picture myself there I would probably be a Doggen, but they’re all one big happy family anyway so I could deal with that. Heck, I could probably picture myself as George or Boo and still be perfectly content there. *sigh*
  • Then there’s Gin and company in the Elemental Assassin books. Not that I would want to live in her world for long, it’s just too intense and dangerous, but if I had to spend time there I’d definitely want to be a member of her tight crew. Who wouldn’t want Finn for a big brother?

I’ll stop there, because I obviously could go on forever. Every time I think of another book another scenario pops into my head. Such is the life of a book addict.

So what about you? Have you ever fantasized about being a family member in one of your favorite books or series? Join this week’s discussion and Let’s Talk!