Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Sleeper by Lexi Blake


When Neil’s past catches up to him, Kelsey must choose between her new family and an old love…

With tensions rising between the Council and demonkind, Kelsey finds herself investigating a series of murders that threaten the fragile truce between them. If she can’t stop these killings soon, they could ignite a fire sure to burn the supernatural world down.

Unfortunately for her, Kelsey’s problems don’t stop with a pile of dead halflings. Her connection with Marcus is frayed at best, and Gray hasn’t been heard from in months. Her only semblance of peace comes from a new man in her life. When Gray storms back into the picture, her love life goes from incredibly complicated to apocalyptic.

Just as Kelsey begins to unravel the mystery, the forces of Heaven decide to take an interest in her actions. Outclassed with these powers in play, Kelsey knows that one misstep could leave the human and supernatural worlds in ashes.    


Amazon | iBooks | Google Play | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Kobo


    “Your Highness, please back away. In fact, it would be best if you left the room altogether.” Felix put himself between me and Roberts. “Kelsey, I need you to push her down. Push her back down for a few moments. Marcus will be back soon and he’s going to take care of you. Being around those angels unsettled you. I don’t know if you noticed, but at the end of the meeting, your ward fell off. You didn’t have it on when Oliver shook your hand. He’s unbalanced and now you are, too. It’s like a contagion for someone like you. Oliver’s illness has called up your inner wolf and she’s angry.”
“Perhaps if I touch her,” Henri began. “I’m an academic. I don’t have the same connection she has with Marcus, but I might be able to help.”
“I’m not unbalanced.” It didn’t matter that my hands were shaking and they had been ever since I’d left the angels behind. “I’m going to talk to the wolf whether you like it or not. He’s been handling silver. It’s the only reason his hands wouldn’t have healed. Even then, a couple of hours would have done it. Unless the freaking silver he held came straight from Heaven. What about it, Roberts? How did you spend last night?”
The wolf was shaking his head. “I don’t know.”
That wasn’t an answer I was willing to accept. I was about to explain that to everyone when Chad stepped up and got in my face.
“I’m taking him out of here now,” Chad explained. “You’ll let me or we’re going to have trouble.”
I was ready for trouble. I was fairly sure I grinned, the idea of fighting a vamp lifting my spirits high. For the first time in what felt like hours, I went still. “You’re not going anywhere.”
Chad turned, his shoulders squaring, and I felt the world begin to bend around me. Chad belongs to one of the rarest classes of vampire—the magicians. As far as I knew, he was the only one walking the night at this time. He could form illusions so real you could taste food, feel imaginary rain on your skin, utterly believe whatever he wanted you to believe. I’d come up against him before. I might be one of the only people in the world who could see through him.
“It won’t work,” I said calmly as reality seemed to go dark and I heard the hissing of snakes all around me. “Do you not remember what happened the last time you pulled this shit on me? It took three tranqs to take me down. I don’t think you have those on you today.”
“I won’t need them.” Chad lifted his hand and the world shifted.
“Holy shit,” Casey said, climbing up on his desk. “What the fuck is happening?”
Snakes were happening. They were crawling from the woodwork, twitching and hissing my way. The fibers of the carpet beneath my feet lengthened and formed more snakes until they were a menacing mass, threatening everyone in the room.
Well, except for Chad, who had lifted his husband into his arms and prepared to take him away.
I let my wolf loose a bit. She knew this was all an illusion. That primitive part of my brain that Chad was accessing, the lizard brain that merely wanted to survive, was taken over by the wolf inside me. The alpha wolf didn’t want mere survival. She wanted to dominate, and that meant seeing past fear, trusting her instincts over what her eyes perceived.
The minute I opened the door, I felt her surge through me.
“I’m not letting you go. I can’t. I’m conducting a murder investigation, and I believe your boy here just became my prime suspect.” My hands twitched, eager for a fight, and I realized how long it had been since Marcus and I had thrown down.
Too long. Remember that whole thing about needing sex or violence to feed my inner wolf? Well, she was hungry and there was a whole lot of violence in Chad’s eyes.
I welcomed it. I could feel the need rise like a wave threatening to engulf me. This was why I had a trainer in the first place.
I gritted my teeth because Chad turned on his power. I could feel those fucking snakes climbing my legs and sinking their fangs into me. I refused to pay any attention to them despite the fact that I ached to rip the fuckers off me and toss them aside. To do that would have given the magician more power. If I bought into it, if I took my eyes off the only thing in the room that was real, I would end up like Casey, who was screaming like a girl.
“Let me pass, Hunter,” Chad said.
I stood my ground like the good Gandalf I was. Except I kind of wanted to shove my nonexistent staff right up old Chad’s ass, and then we would see if he sent snakes my way again.
The anger rose, rapid and quick, a flash fire coursing through me. I didn’t even realize when I had reached for the fireplace poker. All I knew was it was suddenly in my hands and I was going to use it. I could see myself shoving that piece of wrought iron right through his heart. It wouldn’t kill him. I would need wood for that, but then again, I didn’t want the fight over so quickly.
I raised the poker, ready to start.
“Stop it, both of you.” Donovan stepped in between us, but I didn’t care at that moment. I hadn’t felt this way in forever, not since Marcus had taken me in. I hadn’t been so out of control that I didn’t care who I hurt as long as I got to hurt someone. I would fuck up Donovan, too. All that mattered was seeing blood, feeling bones crush.
“You see, I told you she’s far gone and I can’t fix her anymore. I’ve called Gray and he has an idea of what to do,” Marcus was saying.
I wasn’t listening.
I started to bring the poker down Donovan’s way, but I was stopped in mid swing. A hand held my wrist, an arm going around my middle and hauling me back against muscled flesh.
“Stop it,” Trent growled in my ear. “You stand down right this second.”
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Blog Tour Book Review: Light Of The Spirit by Lisa Kessler + Giveaway

Author: Lisa Kessler
Series: Muse Chronicles #4
Audience: +18
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 18, 2017
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: Author
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The gods never sleep...

As the mortal vessel for the Muse of Comedy, Lia Youlos lights up every room with laughter and smiles. But there are darker forces at work, and they want to snuff out her light forever.

Cooper Hanover is a hardworking paramedic who healed Lia after a fire, but something happened that day, something medical science couldn't explain. And if he doesn't figure out how it works soon, the next healing could kill him.

Lia's smile and sharp wit tempt him to love again, and he's not going to let anyone, not even the gods, take her from him.

The Prophecy - "Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse."

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

You guys!!!! This series keeps getting better and better! I finished this book about two nights ago and I have so many questions and a bit of a book-hangover.

Lia is the vessel of the Muse of Comedy and she is insanely funny. She is a sunny person, one that I'd love to have in my life, because she just made me smile the entire time I read her scenes. I liked her determination and her honesty towards Cooper. She knew what she wanted from a relationship with him and she wasn't even considering accepting anything less than what she deserved and less than what she was willing to give. I loved that about her.

Cooper was an interesting fellow. Up until now the Guardians have been guys that can protect the muses and, from what Hunter and Reed, two other guardians, have discovered, men that have similar characteristics to the lovers of the original muses, and Cooper certainly fits the bill, but he also has a little something more, something that I wonder if it will come up in the future, maybe towards the final battle (that I desperately hope it will be years before it comes!). He has a pretty ugly past, and I was truly sorry to see him in so much pain.

There were a lot of interesting developments in this book. First, we get to see a muse from an older generation, which is a very, very interesting and I believe also important. Because there are questions there that need answering, about the muses in general and about the differences between generations. There's also a new enemy on the rise, and I feel like this might be a very dangerous and scary foe.

The pacing was great, I read this book in one sitting. I love where the story is going and I cannot wait to see what happens next. I have so many questions, burning questions, that I hope will get their answers in the next few books. If you haven't yet started reading this series, what are you waiting for? It is a must read.




When the first song came on, he took her hand, walking her over toward the small arcade. He stopped in front of a Dark Knight pinball game.She raised a brow. “I didn’t take you for a Batman fan.”
“I’m full of surprises.”
She wet her lips. “I like surprises.”
He dropped in quarters and stepped behind her, his lips brushing her neck just below her ear as he whispered, “Lucky me.” Cooper straightened up with a spark in his blue eyes. “Let’s do this.”
Lia’s heart was pounding with a heady mixture of arousal, adrenaline, and a hunger for victory. She’d never had this much fun on a date, and they just got here.
She pulled back the plunger and launched the silver, metal ball. Her eyes tracked its course underthe glass as it bounced around, lighting up bonuses. She hit the ball with the flipper, squealing as it sailed back up into play.
The rest of the pizza parlor faded away as her focus narrowed to the game. She nailed the ball again, but out of the corner of her eye, Cooper lifted his shirt to wipe his forehead, exposing abs that would make even Batman jealous.
“What are you—” Before she could finish her sentence, the ball slipped past the flippers and intothe hole at the bottom. Her jaw dropped. “You cheated.”
He shook his head, looking far from innocent as he pulled his shirt back down. “I was just wiping the sweat off my forehead. You’re really good at pinball.”
The twinkle in his eyes gave him away. Two could play that game.
She stepped aside, giving Cooper the player-two spot. He tugged the plunger back, and let silver ball go sailing. The digital score soared higher and higher. When he was within ten thousand points, she picked up her mug and fished out an ice cube, tracing her lips with it while she watched the ball under the glass.
Suddenly it zipped right between the flippers. She lifted her gaze to find Cooper gaping. “Okay, that was playing dirty.”
She grinned, popping the cube into her mouth. “Oh please, have you not seen yourself shirtless?”
He chuckled, shaking his head and stepping aside to make room, his voice a rough growl. “I’ve never been jealous of an ice cube before.”
“All’s fair in love and pinball, right?” She yanked the plunger back and sent the ball sailing back into play. She racked up the points, making contact with the ball three times before Cooper moved behind her, his big hands sliding possessively up her back to knead her shoulders.
The damned ball vanished into the hole between the flippers, and she didn’t give a rat’s ass. Lia’seyes drifted closed, and she relaxed into him. “So unfair.”
He leaned down close to her ear. “Want me to stop?”
“Oh gods, no."
His chest vibrated as he chuckled. “My turn, right?”
“Yes.” She sighed and stepped aside.
Cooper took over, hitting the buttons on the sides of the machine. His forearms were tight, strong. She’d never been turned on by games before, but damn. She was going to have to grab the pizza to go.
When his score neared hers, she slid her hand under the back of his shirt, tracing her fingernails up his back. A muscle in his cheek clenched as he struggled to keep his eye on the ball.
She pressed against his back and whispered, “I need you.”
He turned around and wrapped her in his arms. “’Bout damned time.” He fused his lips to hers, his tongue sliding into her mouth, teasing her senses.
He broke the kiss with a breathless chuckle. “I’m getting really sick of being interrupted.”













Lisa Kessler is a Best Selling author of dark paranormal fiction. She’s a two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also won the PRISM award, the Award of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award, the Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion, and an International Digital Award for Best Paranormal.

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

When she’s not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, and has performed with San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Author Q & A: Jessica Prather

Hey fellow booklovers! I had the chance to interview the wonderful Jessica Prather, author of , and it was a lot of fun. So, without further ado, please welcome Jessica on my blog.

Hi Jessica! Welcome to my blog!

Hi Ruby! It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me!

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hmmm... I’m a Colorado native who moved to Utah a few years ago. I have a beast of a dog named Avery, who’s as weird as I am. Even though I’m super lactose intolerant, I really like cheese and ice-cream (not together, though). When I’m not writing, you can find me drinking coffee, reading, or someplace in the wilderness! 

Q: What inspires you to write?

I’ve always had a passion for literature, so writing’s always something I’ve been interested in. I do read a lot, and sometimes that’ll inspire ideas.

Q: Describe your book in one sentence.

Nothing is ever as it seems!

Q: What was the hardest and the easiest scene to write?

Oooh this is a tough one! I don’t know if I’d call them the easiest, but my favorite scenes to write were the battle scenes. I love confrontation *evil laugh*. I also really enjoy backstories, which is weird, but I love anything that has to do with the history of a character. It’s fun to see what motivates them, what makes them human, you know?

The hardest scenes were probably some of Kenadee’s darker moments, which I can’t share without giving things away. Her and a few other characters really hit rock bottom. It’s hard to see that happen!

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?

There are so many! F. Scott Fitzgerald, Maggie Stiefvater, Leigh Bardugo, Jeffrey Eugenides, Donna Tartt, Markus Zusak, John Steinbeck and J.K. Rowling to name a few!

Q: What comes first in a book for you, the characters or the general story?

It really depends. With TTC, the plot came first. Kenadee used to be a whole different person and sort of developed through time. But on another project I’ve been working on for a while, the characters came first. I think it really just depends on the story and what pops into my head.

Q: What are your must-haves for when you write a book? What does a regular working day look like for you?

It changes quite a bit. I’m a person that needs a pretty set work schedule. I usually try and get up early in the mornings before I go to my day job. I slacked off this summer and haven’t been able to get back onto it, but I used to get up at six, make coffee, and write until it was time to get ready for the day. Sometimes I’ll write late into the night too, if I get really caught up in it! 

Q: What other projects are you working on?

Right now, my biggest priority is TTC 2. It’s due in a few months, so I’ve been figuring out where to take Kenadee next. I’ve also had a few other ideas I’ve been gradually working on. Maybe once TTC 2 is in, I’ll be able to give them more time!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Thanks so much!


In a country ravaged by years of war, plague, and death, witches and wizards are blamed for the state of the world and hunted by the U.S. government. Kenadee Coria was only a young girl when her brother was taken prisoner for having magical powers.

Now sixteen years old, Kenadee discovers she too has magical powers and must face the facts: the government is watching, and they have plans for her. She’s given a deadly mission and an impossible ultimatum: the lives of a hidden group of magic refugees, or the safe return of her long-lost brother.
Add to Goodreads

Connect with Jessica

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Release Day Blitz:Seducing Sin & Tempting Fate by J. Kenner, Dee Davis, Kathleen O'Reilly

These bad boys are going to raise a little hell … Jack. Nick. Marcus.

Sexy, seductive, and so good looking it’s practically a sin.

They’re the baddest of the bad. The illegitimate sons of Satan, who have managed to make love, raise hell, and milk life in a manner worthy of their heritage. Until the day the devil himself needs to name his heir, and crafts a series of tests to see which one is worthy to be the next ruler of Sin City.

The mission? Each son must complete a task that is designed to stretch his mental, physical, and emotional powers to the limit.  The prize?  The Keys To Hell.  The problem? Three strong, enticing women who are just as determined to ensure that the men fail.

And at the end of the day, Jack, Nick, and Marcus may learn that it’s not the key to their father’s kingdom they want … but the key to a woman’s heart.



Bad girls need love, too…

Lucia. Jezebel. Lola.

Three bold, beautiful and sexy women who just happen to be Lucifer’s daughters.  And daddy dearest is desperate to retire. On the heels of their brothers’ failures, the devil is putting his faith in his daughters. All they have to do is successfully complete the challenges he sets before them.

Surely one of his daughters will win the keys to the Kingdom.

But even the most devilishly determined women can find themselves thwarted by that most debilitating of weaknesses. The single most powerful human emotion of all—love…



julie-j-kenner-author-photoJ.Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.
Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit.
JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A five time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy). Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development with AwesomenessTV/Awestruck.
Her books have sold over three million copies and are published in over twenty languages.
In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.


Dee Davis has a BA in Political Science and History, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. During a ten-year career in public relations, she spent three years on the public speaking circuit, edited two newsletters, wrote three award winning public service announcements, did television and radio commercials, starred in the Seven Year Itch, taught college classes, lobbied both the Texas State Legislature and the US Congress, and served as the director of two associations.
Her highly acclaimed first novel, Everything In Its Time, was published in July 2000. She's won the Booksellers Best, Golden Leaf, Texas Gold and Prism awards, and been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Holt and two RT Reviewers Choice Awards. To date, she has written twenty-two books and five novellas, including the Random Heroes Collection and the A-Tac series. She's lived in Austria and traveled in Europe extensively. And although she now lives in Connecticut she still calls Texas home.

It's such a strange twist of fate that I ended up as a writer. I swore up and down that I would never write, but everyone always shook their head and said, "Kathleen, you're going to be a writer." As fate would have it, they were right, and I wasn't (don't you hate that?)
My favorite part of writing is creating my characters. I fall in love with everyone in each book, and it's pure magic when it all comes to life.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blog Tour Book Review: Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis

Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #4
Audience: +18
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: September 26th 2017
My Rating: 4 cups
Source: Avon
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Meet cute...

Run for the hills—temporarily. That's Colbie Albright's plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie's so over it that she's under it. She's also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she's pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won't be a stranger for long.

Make merry...

Spence's commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn't have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot chemistry—he's got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself... just because she's gorgeous and a great listener just because she gets Spence immediately doesn't mean he won't be able to let Colbie go. Does it?

and hope for a miracle.

Now the clock's ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Avon in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

I've been slowly but surely getting in the mood for seasonal books lately, and Chasing Christmas Eve fits the description perfectly. This was my very first Jill Shalvis book, and let me tell you, I really really liked it.

I really loved the characters in this book, not just the main ones, but all of them. Colbie is such a kind woman, a talented one, but one that doesn't really know how much power she has inside of her. I oftentimes felt as if she didn't really appreciate how strong she was, and how much she really deserved happiness, and I thought that taking a little vacation, a break from her day to day life is the first thing she ever truly did for herself, aside from writing. She slowly opens up to Spence, and once she does, it was easy to understand why she's not aware of herself as much as she should be. I was sad for her, especially towards the end of the book, when her mom dropped a pretty big shocking truth in her lap. And throughout the book I realized that while she's not so different from Spencer, she's seen by the people in her life as weak or someone who needs to be taken advantage of, which made me super mad for her.

Spencer is the hot nerd type, which is probably one of my favorite types of heroes. He's letting his family history rule how he lives his life, and unfortunately he doesn't know how to stop doing it. That is until he meets Colbie. As I said before, he's really similar with Colbie in how focused he can get, and how willing he is to help people, but unlike her, most people around him protect him instead of take advantage of him. And the people who do use him aren't don't pretend to care for him. It was interesting to see this play out throughout the book. I liked the relationship he has with Eddie, and I love to see how the history of that relationship unfolds as the story goes on. Spence is a guy that really doesn't give himself much credit, and I liked seeing how his friends stood up for him. He's a pretty loyal friend, and I liked him.

As I said, I enjoyed reading about the other characters as well, and it wasn't until I got to the end of the book that I figured out that this book was part of a series, which made me insanely happy.

The book is fast paced, and I managed to read this book pretty fast. As I said before, the fact that it's the 4th installment in a series wasn't an issue, because I was able to read it without having any previous knowledge of the other characters and their stories. There were tons of funny moments, let me tell you! There were a few big, climactic moments in this book that made me realize that sometimes people can be truly generous with others without realizing what drives them to do that. And I thought that was a really interesting thing.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book, and since it is part of a series, I'll definitely check the other books out. Also, for my first Jill Shalvis book, I'm in love and kind of kicking myself for not trying out her books earlier. Definitely check this book out, whether it's for the Christmas spirit, the romance, the humor, or the life lessons you'll find in it.



New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Connect with Jill

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday Chatter #19: Things I Struggle With As A Blogger

Wednesday Chatter is a weekly feature at Ruby's Books where we'll be talking about anything and everything related to books and reading. Click here if you want to see what we talked about in the previous weeks

WARNING: Some bad words might be used in the following post. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Today's post is a bit strange for me to write, not because it's too personal, but because I've never actually tried to put any of this into words. I've always assumed it was just me that has to deal with this, and just rolled with it, because that's what I've always done in situations in which I'm uncomfortable, just smiled through it all, hoping no one notices. I've decided however that it's in my best interest to admit these things, especially since I've been proven quite recently that in most of these cases, I've kind of... well, exaggerated is a too strong word, but let's just say it's in the vicinity of that. So, without further ado, here's stuff I struggle with as a blogger.

crowley list

  • Being the black sheep
This one I've talked about before, about how I hate writing negative reviews, ant it's still one of my biggest issues to date. In over 7 years of book blogging, this hasn't changed. And it's not just because of the fear of backlash from authors or their fans. It's also because I genuinely hate writing a review where I can't even give the book a 2.5/3 stars. I feel like that idiot that points out all the wrong stuff, without having actually tried to do the thing I'm criticizing. It gets especially difficult when the book in question has a huge fanbase, in which case I feel like I've either missed the point of the story completely, or I just didn't read the same book. 

I know that I've wrote a similar post where I said I planned on changing that, and try to write more negative reviews, or at least the ones with less stars, but it's truly hard, people. Even worse is trying to write a review for books I DNFed, because then I'm confused. What do I even say? "I stopped reading at page xxxx because I was bored"?? That sounds mature and accurate. This is especially hard when seeing all those convos on Twitter between other bloggers going on an on about not trusting reviewers that don't write negative reviews. Which, I kind of understand, but it still makes this difficult.

I am thinking about making mini-reviews for the negative ones. Maybe then I'll feel less guilty for not writing them and/or gain more trust since I have constructive criticism? I don't know.
  • Starting the conversation
You might not realize this about me, but I wasn't always this shy, quiet creature I am now. I was actually a pretty outgoing kid, able to struck up a conversation with just about anyone, and that includes strangers. Then teenage years happened and with that came bullying and with that came...me not wanting to talk to strangers, basically avoiding situations in which I could stand out. Which makes me seem like I'm some kind of bitch, which is not always true.

crowley bitchface
I swear this is just my thinking face!

I'd like to think I'm more of an anxious puppy-faced human, but I may be biased.

crowley smile

Regardless of why I went from full-on extrovert to a strange case of social introvert, I get closed up when having to interact with strangers. Just to give you an example, it took me about 3 weeks after I started working before looking some of my coworkers in the eye and start up a conversation with them. Cut to a year after, and I'm the one pestering them all day long, making jokes and being "one of the group". It takes me a while to find my courage to interact with strangers, which gets me to blogging.

If you want to be noticed, not for all the ARCs, not for the review copies, not even for the mentions in the Advance Praise pages of a book, but just to be in that situation of "Oh hey, so you're this person" or "Oh, I just talked to x blogger", you have to talk to people. I think in my 7 years of blogging I've actively talked with less than 10 people. BECAUSE EVERYONE SEEMS COOLER THAN ME AND WHAT AM I DOING HERE? Twitter chats help a lot, because that's how I got to talk to most of the bloggers I'm having convos with, and, strangely enough, Instagram stories

Now don't think this is me trying to get sympathy pageviews or whatever, because it's not. I'm just trying to explain why, even after all this time, I'm still kind of one of the smallest bloggers out there. 

Also, I'm always kind of scared of bothering someone. So let's say I start up a conversation with someone. And then the second. And then the third. If I get to the fourth conversation that started because I was the first one to reach out, I'm thinking maybe this person doesn't want to talk to me. So I just don't insist.

Which brings me to my next point.
  • Actually getting in touch with authors, publishing houses, editors, agents and the like
Sites like Netgalley and Edelweiss, PR companies that send out emails whenever they have new upcoming blog tours are amazing. They save my blog more than they realize, because that's how I get most of my review copies. It takes a lot of courage to actually get in touch with people that are in the industry, and I find it even more difficult than actually getting in touch with other bloggers. 

Most authors that I'm friendlier with are authors that have written to me, which is still exciting, because they wanted to have some kind of connection with my blog, which feels amazing. Only then do I feel comfortable enough to talk to them, because then I feel like I already know them in some way, shape or form, and it's not as awkward for me.

This doesn't mean I suffer from ARC envy, because it's not. Hell, I'm super happy when I see book reviewers receiving packages from publishing houses, because: 1) I get to learn about upcoming books, and 2) I get excited for those books because people that I trust are excited for them. Also, ARC envy is just stupid, the book is going to come out anyway, so come on people, priorities! But I do get a tad bit sad because that just means, in my tiny little brain, that they're cooler than me. Which, again, is debatable. 

PS: I never started my blog with hopes of getting free books, I started it as a way to practice English and because no one liked the books I did and I wanted to talk about those books, and blogging was the only way I could think of to do so.
  • Not comparing my blog with others
And the above issue brings me to this one. I've been giving this advice to tons of people who want to start blogging, to do their thing and not compare themselves to others, and you know what they say, it's way easier said than done. And I'm not talking about page views, followers, signal boosts or how friendly they are with people in the publishing industry. I'm talking content here, guys. Namely, discussion posts.

Side-note: I remember one of the first blogs I saw about 8 years ago, it was on Wordpress, and I think it was called something similar to "Shut up I'm reading" or something catchy like that. That blog was all about reviewing books. No memes, no features, no tags, no nothing. Just reviews. Then, as the blogging community started growing, it seemed like it wasn't cool anymore to write as many reviews. I get it, because if I'm going to write a review a day, that means I'd have to read more than 300 books a year, which I could probably never pull off, so you have to pace yourself.

But back to discussion posts. Those are the worst for me to write, present post not included, because every subject seems to have been already talked about. And it's difficult to say "Oh yeah, so what, I'll just write about it because I feel strongly about this and I want my opinion to be known, even if it may be similar to what someone else said". And if it's not something that I've seen other bloggers talk about, the same tiny evil brain goes "well then it's not something fun or interesting or engaging", so I just let it go. Then there's the 1% of ideas that I have that make me sound like the meanest bitch on the planet, because it's about stuff I don't like, much like with my Parents & YA discussion post. 

I need to stop thinking about it so much, and just be me.

bloody crowley
Okay, so maybe I won't start shouting I'M BLOODY RUBY, but you know, the sentiment counts

ironman sigh

Okay. So here's the thing. It's almost therapeutic getting these things out. Doesn't mean I'm not scared of what you guys might think when you get to the end of the post and maybe think about commenting (*wink*nudge*nudge*), but it's nice to be honest about this. I have no clue if others are the same way as me, maybe they are, but it's nice to think that maybe somewhere on the planet of blogging there's at least one such confusing creature as me. These are basically the things I'm struggling with when it comes to me being a blogger.

Let's chat: What are you struggling with as a blogger? How do you deal with it? And if you don't have such issues, what is your secret and teach me your ways.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...