Archive for the ‘blog post’ Category
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TEMPTATIONS IN A TEAPOT – WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
You are cordially invited to the most charming tea party in the land. Be sure to steep a cup of your favorite tea, and tuck yourself into a comfy chair. Lay out your most vibrant colored pencils and pens because it’s time to indulge. Featuring 50 tea-rrific designs, Temptations in a Teapot offers a delightful interlude to satisfy your creativi-tea: A Victorian tea for four; an elegant lady in waiting; a musical tea with just the right notes; a tea party with kitty; and a royal tea topped with a crown. You’ll discover these and more in this tempting teapot of images brewed just for you.
It was all my friend’s fault. Well, not quite. It was her mother who introduced me to my two first loves: Jamie Fraser (Diana Gabaldon, Outlander) and Sebastian Lord St. Vincent (Lisa Kleypas, Devil in Winter).
It started with one book and then two and then before I knew it I was hooked. I wanted more. I would go to my friend’s house to hang out but my real motive was to talk to her mom so I could get more recommendations. Who was her favourite author? Who was her favourite romance hero of all time? Which historical time period did she love the most? I was brimming with questions. I had discovered historical romance novels and there was no turning back.
Back then (about ten years ago) it was word of mouth that enticed me to try new books and authors. Now, if I’m not sure what to read, all I have to do is Google “romance blog” and there are pages of sites listed. These romance review sites not only offer reviews on the latest romance books, they often feature interviews with authors, live chats, and unique giveaways. From Facebook pages to blog sites dedicated to the many facets of romance in every sub-genre imaginable, if you are a romance reader, chances are there is a blog out there for you.
The Social Influencer
Romance book review blogs are important to bloggers, authors, readers, and publishers. Like a clever eco-system, the interaction between these players produces a benefit for all. With a wide targeted audience reach, romance blogs are able to do what careful research marketing takes months to accomplish, talk directly to the reader.
With countless book blogs online, of varying quality and popularity, there is a lot to choose from, if you’re a reader who has a hankering for romance. Smart Bitches Trashy Books, Romance Junkies and Smexybooks are well known throughout the romance community and have a large readership, which can be as important to book promotion as traditional media, but some of the smaller niche-oriented blogs, like Jessy’s Book Club or Dirty Girl Romance can be very influential as well to a particularly voracious readership.
But this connection is not one-sided. As Smexybooks contributor Mandi states, “I feel like review blogs are only for readers. I don’t expect my reviews to be read by authors or have any influence over authors. If I receive an ARC from an author or publicist, once I agree to review it, from that point on, my review is for my readers only. To be honest with our thoughts, we have to keep the author out of it. That is how we build up trust with our readers and how they can get to know the reviewers and their personal tastes.” As a bridge to the broader romance fiction community, romance blogs connect readers with not just their favourite books, but also to the romance authors themselves and to the larger romance community.
So is there room for another romance review blog?
In one word, YES! Romance blogs do more than just provide reviews; they are a social forum for both reviewers and readers to air opinions, on books, as well as trends and issues in the romance community. The issues might range from who your favourite romance hero is to the problem of book piracy. Romance bloggers blog because they have a passion for this genre and industry; readers follow because they share that same passion. But at the end of the day these romance blogs embrace the notion of a free-flow of ideas and of course, love for the genre. Romance readers are open minded, well-read and voracious. Because of this, there is always room for one more blog.
Although not all romance blogs are created equal, each brings its own unique brand to the market. As long as there is a continuous flow of new books, authors, and emerging sub-genres, there will always be readers craving their HEA with another Mr. Darcy and there will always be room for another book review blog.
Bottom line if you have the passion for the romance genre and love to talk and engage with others about all things romance, then yes, there is room for your voice, your blog.
Thinking about creating your own blog review site? Here are some tips from Smexybooks Romance Blogger Mandi:
Creating a new romance blog is like taking a slap shot through traffic and hoping you hit the back of the net. (Sincet we’re in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, this is my token hockey reference – #GoSensGo) Not to worry, Smexybooks romance Blogger Mandi has some advice to help make your blog a super success.
Honesty is the best policy
When writing your review, Smexybooks blogger Mandi’s formula is pretty simple, there isn’t one. “I don’t think there is necessarily a set formula, but the one thing every reader wants to know when reading a review is: why. Why did I like this book? Why did I not like this book? Once they hear the why, they want to know more details. You can set up the plot all you want, but the readers really want to know the why. I also think it’s important to mention how steamy (or not steamy) the book is, and if there are any important triggers that could upset a reader.”
When it comes to creating a successful blog, “I think you have to have a genuine voice. In my opinion, my readers don’t want to read constant promo or constant five-star reviews. Again, they have to trust the reviewer to be giving them honest thoughts, rather than a five-star review just to make the author/publisher happy. I think that is important for a successful blog. Otherwise, just have fun. Be silly or be serious. Whatever tone that makes the reviewer happy will reflect well on the blog.”
Read and Engage
You need to create a buzz for your blog says Mandi, “Read. It sounds silly, but you have to read. And blog consistently. Get on twitter and chat about books as much as you can. Engage with others – listen to other readers. And be yourself. Be proud of what you read and don’t be afraid to voice your honest opinions.”
So what’s my tip? Have fun.
As my favorite romance author Patricia Grasso told me in a recent interview “Writers do it for love first, and then they do it for money. Like ladies of the night.” Well, so does the romance blogger and in most cases, minus the money. #wink
Ludvica Boota is currently in the publishing at Ryerson University and is an intern at Lachesis Publishing Inc. Prior to her studies, she worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Her most notable experience was working for the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin Ireland, where she was employed as a project officer but was never asked to deliver a baby. Ludvica holds an MBA from the University of Victoria and a B.Com from Carleton University.
When she’s not daydreaming about her next travel adventure, and perhaps her own HEA, she is usually immersed in a romance novel.
Connect with Ludvica on facebook.
What it’s about:
Erik Knight, a small time private investigator, always knew he was different from everybody else. Keener senses, heightened awareness and an enhanced physical strength that could be called upon by his sheer will.
Erik becomes involved with a team of high profile investigators and local police trying to locate a girl who was kidnapped in the middle of a playground amongst dozens of adults and children. None of the adults saw anything and what the children claim to have seen is too far fetched to be believed. The search evolves into a full-scale manhunt into the dark and desolate woodlands of the Hopedale Mountain.
After a lethal encounter and a fatality, Erik, the investigators and police realize that what they’re dealing with isn’t a man and possibly isn’t of this world. What they’re dealing with is a sentient evil that has an appetite for young children.
“Erik!” Shanda whispered in alarm. “Something’s here, stalking the girls. I can’t see it, but I can sense it.”
Erik looked throughout the park grounds, focusing his vision, but he couldn’t see anything. Fifty yards away, the children played unaware of anything but their innocent fun. Erik walked quickly over to where the party was, Shanda following close behind him. As he closed the distance he noticed that his daughter was staring at something and pointing. Erik looked in the direction she was pointing and saw a patch of darkness. His mind shrieked with panic and he ran toward his daughter, screaming for the other girls to leave the park area. The girls looked at the direction Brianna was pointing at and froze. They were terrified, frozen into inaction.
After a quick sprint, Erik was beside his daughter. Several of the other mothers had gone to their children as they all pointed out the closing patch of darkness.
“Get your children back!” Erik commanded. “It wants your children.”
Mothers and children were panicking. Children were crying with fright as the afternoon sun seemed to dim and the temperature in the park suddenly dropped twenty degrees. Brianna hadn’t moved since Erik came by her side.
“What do you see, honey?” he whispered.
Brianna’s eyes were transfixed on the corner of the park. Her finger still pointed in that direction. “It’s a tall man, I think. I can tell that it wants me. It’s calling to me, Daddy. I’m scared. Please don’t let it take me. I can tell it wants to take me.” She screamed in mindless terror.
Erik reached behind his back and pulled his Ruger from its place of concealment. He wrapped both arms protectively around his daughter, his gun pointing in the direction of her finger.
“Bri, point me in the right direction. I won’t let it hurt you. No one is taking you anywhere.”
She gently guided his hands so that the pistol was aiming at the heart of the dark anomaly.
“Daddy,” she whispered, “it’s coming right for us.”
“Go back with Shanda and the others, now!” he told her.
“Daddy, I don’t want to leave you.”
“Go, honey! Please,” he whispered. “Shanda!” Erik shouted, breaking the eerie silence. “Take Brianna.”
Shanda came up quickly and took Brianna. “I can just barely see it, Erik; it’s just like you described. It stopped when you pulled the gun. All the children can see it, but the parents can’t. All they can see is the darkness, and they can feel the cold.”
From behind them, the ponies were shrieking in panic.
“All right, you two, get back!” Erik stood up. He holstered his weapon and began walking toward the darkness.
“I know you’re there!” Erik called out to the inky darkness. “Maybe you can hide from them, but you can’t hide from me!” Erik focused his eyes; concentrating his extra senses on the darkness as he continued forward. Slowly he saw the man-like figure materialize. The figure had stopped its approach and assumed an aggressive stance. Erik paused a scant twenty feet from it and assumed a basic combat stance he used in Kung Fu.
“You can’t have the children!” he shouted, his voice booming above the silence, challenging the being of darkness. “You can’t have my daughter or any other child here.”
The thing responded with silence. Erik finally saw the blood-red eyes looking right through him. He could feel the hatred, the sheer malevolence; yet, now he also felt desperation, a hunger that was beyond his ability to define. The hostility threatened to overwhelm him. Erik fought his own emotions, fought down his own fear and doubt. He knew he couldn’t defeat this thing physically, but he would not let it have his daughter or any other child there, not while he drew breath.
To read some of Greg’s musings visit his writing page on facebook, for several short stories and pithy takes on yard work and homelife.