Buddy Read – Sleep Donation

Book Lair is doing a buddy read of the book Sleep Donation, by Karen Russell.

It is a quick 110 page read available on Amazon for $3.99.
The readers intend to start on August 5th. As usual, everyone is welcome to join!

Please click the cover to access the buddy read topic and check out the synopsis below.

Sleep Donation
by Karen Russell

Synopsis:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Swamplandia!, and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, an imaginative and haunting novella about an insomnia epidemic set in the near future.

A crisis has swept America. Hundreds of thousands have lost the ability to sleep. Enter the Slumber Corps, an organization that urges healthy dreamers to donate sleep to an insomniac. Under the wealthy and enigmatic Storch brothers the Corps’ reach has grown, with outposts in every major US city. Trish Edgewater, whose sister Dori was one of the first victims of the lethal insomnia, has spent the past seven years recruiting for the Corps. But Trish’s faith in the organization and in her own motives begins to falter when she is confronted by “Baby A,” the first universal sleep donor, and the mysterious “Donor Y.”

Sleep Donation explores a world facing the end of sleep as we know it, where “Night Worlds” offer black market remedies to the desperate and sleep deprived, and where even the act of making a gift is not as simple as it appears.

Consumption

Title: Consumption

Author: Heather Herrman

Genres: Horror | Paranormal

Length: 288 pages | 4712 locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 2.5/5

Premise:

John and Erma are going through a rough patch in their marriage. While moving across the country for John’s new job opportunity, they get stranded in small town Cavus due to Erma’s car breaking down. Most folks seem very nice and friendly, while others… There is just something off about them.
Something evil has been awakened. Can John and Erma survive? Can the other townspeople?

Review:

It took me a while to get into the book. First of all, it took me a while to figure out there were two characters besides the body on the floor, because I found the names so similar, Grady and Graham.

Other than that, I thought it was just me not being able to focus but there was definitely something about the prose, which continued later on. It’s that thing where the author tries to give you clues to what will come later but it is just too confusing and you know you should be paying attention and remember all this for later because it sounds mysterious and important, but there isn’t anything to hold on to just yet, you know?

Then I started getting into the story and slowly wanting to know what happened to the characters, even though I could not relate to them much because there wasn’t much background on who they were. But I think anyone, even single people like me, can relate and sympathize with a struggling marriage.

I enjoyed the suspenseful atmosphere immensely, how some people sounded sane but you just knew something was wrong with others. And there were ones who were just naturally kooky, part of their charm, like Anita. Ah, gossipy Anita. She made me smile.
The monsters scared the hell out of me, especially because part of them was still human. They sounded so horrific and yet so real. There was gore but also psychological horror and it was all very palpable and gripping. Definitely my favourite part of the book – not knowing if the character was infected and, if so, what would come out of their mouth next.

However, some things brought the enjoyment and therefore the rating down for me.

I have to start by stressing that I was not a fan of the blurb comparing this book to Stephen King’s work. First of all, SK is unique. He is my favourite author, always has been and probably always will be. I still have not found anyone whose capability to weave a supernatural story out of the mundane, as well as the writing style, amongst many other things, even remotely resembles his. Maybe Peter Straub or Neil Gaiman come close but sorry, not Heather Herrman. Yes, I get a vibe of something like Desperation, but still, come on, it’s Stephen King we are talking about here.
And it’s not even about this horror genius alone – this has happened to me very recently with Luckiest Girl Alive, which got compared to Gillian Flynn’s work. Luckily, I had never read anything by said author, but I noticed this made several reviewers lower their rating. You see, while this may seem like a genius marketing strategy, I for one think not, and obviously others agree. It makes the author sound amateurish and have feelings of grandeur while trying to compare themselves to such established authors – not to mention that the reader will constantly be comparing the two in their mind as they read, and therefore end up not appreciating the book for what it is.

Now, regarding the story itself, here are the main issues I had with Consumption:

I felt misled a couple of times, like right at the beginning. He stood before her undressed, and she saw that his skin was much too pale to be called “healthy”. (…) “The condom,” she said, hating herself for saying it. Now I don’t know about you but I honestly thought the guy was sick with AIDS or something equally bad. Turns out she just didn’t want to have a baby. Go figure.

While I loved the way the author kept me on edge, particularly at the end of the chapters, I was disappointed that there were sometimes no resolutions to what she set up. I get that we need to wait – that’s what suspense is all about – but leaving things unfinished is very disheartening. For instance, a chapter ends with Star seeing a woman in the backseat of her father’s car. What did she do? At the very least, what did she think? Her dad and her were supposed to have dinner shortly, was the woman supposed to stay in the car all that time? She wasn’t curious at all? I don’t buy it.

And what about the feeders not being able to see Star when all hell broke loose, what was up with that? And who the heck was The Feeder’s sister?? I don’t want to say I finished the book with more questions than answers but it was still enough to feel cheated out of a full experience.

Erma and John, particularly Erma. Quite frankly, she annoyed the heck out of me most of the time I was reading about her. Main moments when she seriously pissed me off:

When we come to present day narrative, both of them have thoughts about divorce, or at least have a clear sense they have hit a point of no return. Then John starts being patient with her and in a better mood over all for no apparent reason and she suddenly wants to have his baby? The exact reason why they grew apart? Just like that.

I kept feeling she did not know her husband at all. Erma was surprised that John had left without seeing her first, but that was just John. You never could tell what was going on in his brain. Come on. What kind of couple is this?

Going back to the baby matter, why on earth did she not tell him of her daddy issues?? He is her husband! She knew how much he wanted to be a father and the only reason she gives him as to not want a child with him is ‘look what the world has become, there is no way I am bringing a child to this world’? And I am supposed to sympathize with this person?

Her whole family speech and how the whole group is different from ‘them’. It was beyond sappy. And no, just because a couple of characters said it was ridiculous does not make it ok. It’s like the author was trying much too hard to tell the reader that this is not your typical apocalyptic story because her characters are so different so it’s much more special than everything else out there.

The horror/paranormal premise. We are told that The Feeders steal our bodies and use the evil that is already in us to be born. They feed not just on flesh but on the evil within us. How the heck can a kid have evil inside?? A toddler?! And Lucy, the very first victim. We are told she was basically an innocent 14-year-old kid and yet she gets possessed, not her rapist? Sorry, doesn’t make any sense to me. Oh and speaking of which, what the heck happened to her baby? There was no mention of it at all.

I felt there wasn’t much character development overall. We were told some stuff about each of them but I never really related to any of them. Javier going from a good-hearted, hard-working young man, infatuated with a sweet, shy girl, to a raging, blood-thirsty axe-wielding killer after having found out his mother and daughter killed was the most striking one. It’s like he didn’t grieve at all.

Kids adding an extra ‘ed’ at what felt like every single simple past tense felt fake and got annoying pretty fast.

All in all, there was plenty of good things in this book. It is a good horror book, with some innovative aspects, while others were not new at all, like the whole getting stranded in the middle of nowhere due to car issues beginning.
Some things were predictable, others not so much, and some were just plain shocking – usually the case when children are involved.

It’s an entertaining read; I just feel that it could have been a lot better polished in key aspects. At some point, I wasn’t that interested anymore because I was never very engaged in the story. I guess I like my horror with a bit more work in plot and character. Obviously, that is not a requirement for everyone, so I do recommend it to horror fans.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Jul 23 to Ju 27, 2015
GR Review

Devil’s Daughter (Lucinda’s Pawnshop, #1)

Title: Devil’s Daughter (Lucinda’s Pawnshop, #1)

Author: Hope Schenk-de Michele, Paul Marquez, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff

Genres: Fantasy | Paranormal | Romance

Length: 300 pages | 5452 locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 3.5/5

Premise:

Lucinda manages a very special pawn shop, that only people who are at a moral crossroads can see and feel drawn to enter.
She is the Devil’s Daughter, but is she really like him?
When someone very special enters her life, Lucinda wonders if it is time to make a radical change, and be the rebel her mother intended her to be.

Review:

Heads up: this is going to be a short and probably odd review.

Did I find Devil’s Daughter extraordinarily original and mind-blowing? Nope.

Was the world building insane? Not really. It was interesting, sure, but not very elaborate. Some notions were not that clear to me, like what exactly the Between was and why some beings could change it, and I thought that the ward thing was an easy way out of situations which really could not have been fixed in other ways, for instance.

Were the characters incredibly well-developed? Not so much. Lucinda is supposed to be the daughter of Lucifer and Eve, though I did not really get much of a sense of a millenia-old creature. And Nathaniel was supposed to be this being who no one could really tell what he was thinking, his face never, ever shows emotion, and yet he had a couple of lines which seemed a tad out of character, particularly the humorous bit about a match made in Hell. There were definitely a couple of questions that Lucinda asked him that I don’t get why wait millenia to do it.

So why the 3.5 stars, even rounded up? Quite simply, because the story carried me away. It is obviously a plot-driven book and that is ok. Even with its flaws, it made me want to keep turning the pages and find out what came next. All the characters were interesting in their own way, the powers were cool, the premise reminded me a bit of Stephen King’s Needful Things and the sheer idea of Satan only being able to influence people but not force their will has insane possibilities, and I do think it was explored well in the book. It was very intriguing and interesting to watch how his plans came together, even if I did not get closure for several of them.

I wasn’t happy about so many things being left unanswered but I understand it – after all, this is only book 1 in a series. But I still had a great time reading Devil’s Daughter, and I would definitely like to know what comes next.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Jul 19 to Ju 22, 2015
GR Review

Random Chat: What Is a Good Review?

What makes a good blurb?

Step up, take a seat, make yourself at home and let’s chat!

Thanks to Chris, I came across this post. The author of it writes about what it is like to be on the other side when dealing with a review – as an author instead of a reader. I have often wondered what that would be like, so figured it was time to post about it and see what you fine folks think.

Today’s random chat is:
WHAT IS A GOOD REVIEW?

First of all, regarding the post I linked, I agree with most of what the author wrote, except for his ‘golden rule’:

One last thing (and this is a “Golden Rule,” as far as I am concerned): If you can’t give at least a 3-star rating for a book, on a scale of 1 through 5 (or, in academic parlance, a C), then it’s best not to post a review at all. My rationale for that is that anyone who devotes anywhere from six months to a couple of years writing a book, deserves, at a minimum, a passing grade of C, or a 3-star rating for their effort alone. Anything less is an insult, and that violates the “no personal attacks” thing.

I have to say that, as a reviewer, I found it difficult not to take offence when reading this. As far as I am concerned, everyone is entitled to share their opinion as long as it is done in a civilized manner, with no intent to offend or hurt anyone. Every single time I have given a 1 or 2 star review, I can honestly say that is what I have done. At least tried my best to; obviously I will be annoyed at wasting my time, but it is never personal. To me, reviewing a book is exactly the same as reviewing any other product. I will state what I liked, what I did not like, and why – period.
So reading that what I take such care to do – so thoroughly explaining why I did not like a book -, putting me in the same bag as all those This book sucks!!! sort of opinions and whatnot is insulting and constitutes as a personal attack is incredibly disappointing, to say the least. I can honestly say I have never tried to hurt an author’s feelings – on the contrary, more often than not I will say that just because this book did not work for me that does not mean other people won’t like it -, and I can surely say the same for the incredible amount of fine reviewers I have met since I started reviewing the books I read.

Now I would like to stress that I am not posting this with any intent of bashing this author; as I said, I did agree with most of his post and I think he makes great points. It’s just that I believe several people may agree with the part I quoted, and so I wanted to both have my say and find out what other people think about this.

While I can understand why an author would say something like this, as far as I am concerned, two main things:

1) Not everyone that takes 6 months to a couple of years to write a book should have done it. Not everyone can be a writer. Just because you put a lot of effort into something does not mean it is good. If it’s your passion, fine, go ahead and do it, and always try your best, but you should have no expectations. That goes for pretty much anything in life, in my opinion.

2) You are never going to please everyone. While another person loved a certain thing, someone else will hate it. That happens with every single thing in life! I am not going to feel offended because, say, someone did not like my cooking. Should I make it personal just because I put so much time and effort in it? Hell no. I may be disappointed, but so what? I know some people will say that is not the same, and they will be right, but the principle is the same: take it and move on. That’s life.

Let me start with the obvious: Personal attacks are pointless and only speak ill of the reviewer. However, a low rating does not mean that a review is bad, if it is well explained and justified. As far as I am concerned, all authors need to be prepared to receive 1 and 2 star ratings as much as 3, 4 and 5 ones. Giving a low rating is not a matter of rudeness or lack of respect, but of honesty. If we didn’t like the book, then we will not give it 3 or more stars just for the sake of not hurting the author’s feelings. It is a matter of respect towards the other authors whose work we have read and thoroughly enjoyed.

Now, onto what makes a good review.
Again, this is a matter of personal opinion so, if you think differently, please don’t be offended.

I see a lot of reviews where roughly 80% of the text describes in detail what happens in the book. That is not a good review in my book. I don’t want to know what happens in the book, I want to discover it as I go. If the blurb does not give a good idea of the book, then summarize it. Briefly. Only enough to get a clear picture of what one can expect from it.

I do, however, want to know what feelings and thoughts the book awoke in the reader. Did he or she like it? If so, why? What did they think of the writing? Was it easy to follow the story, did it flow well? Were the characters multi-dimensional, and could you see them grow throughout the narrative? Is the world well-developed? Were the plot twists predictable? Did the reader experience any emotions? If so, which?
I want to know those things in detail so that I can know if I would enjoy the book or not. Often times, the issues that the reviewer had with the book are things I would find annoying myself, so that’s when I know if I would like it or not and that is what will ultimately help me decide if I will get the book – not because I know the story beforehand.

Something that should be obvious – NO SPOILERS!!. The very least people can do is clearly tag them (I do that by changing font and background colour, so people who want to view spoilers will have to highlight the text). Please, don’t give away major plot twists. It totally ruins the experience.

And that’s about it, other than not writing something too big, but I am guilty of that myself. I do proofread and edit my texts several times before posting, but everything seems important for one reason or the other. Because of what I wrote above, I think some things will appeal to one reader more, other things to different readers.
I guess low rating reviews will naturally be longer, since I try my best to explain why I am giving it.

Anyway, I try to do these things in my reviews, though I will be the first to admit I may not always succeed. Not on purpose, though!


With which points of this post do you agree and disagree with?
What do you feel makes a good review?
What do you think I should do differently in my own reviews?

Please share your thoughts in the box below!

The Well

Title: The Well

Author: Catherine Chanter

Genres: Contemporary | Dystopia | Magical Realism | Mystery | Thriller

Length: 400 pages | locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 2/5

Premise:

Ruth returns home, after having been in custody, to The Well, the only place on the country where it still rains, while everywhere else is going through intense drought.
She is traumatized by the death of her grandson, and even more so by the fact that everyone, including the ones she loves the most, seems to think she did it.
It is up to Ruth to find out what happened to Lucien, but can she do so in such a frail state of mind?

Review:

It took me a while to get into this book and, to be utterly honest, to stay with it.

First of all, I was confused because I had read in the synopsis our main character was viewed either as a witch or a saviour, so for some reason I thought the story took place long ago. Then I started seeing references to all sorts of current things, and when Ruth’s narrative goes back in time I realized that her world started out just as our own and it can be considered present day.

I also could not connect with the main character, and that stayed with me throughout the book. I never got a clear idea of what she felt. As a narrator, she would just go I did this, then that, then that. I wanted to do this and find that, etc. It was a cold narrative, devoid of feeling.

Then I started getting comfortable, even with the cold narrator. I could see something like this happening in our world and, more particularly, in my country since, here in Portugal, it has been raining less and less each year. When you have what other people want, you begin to see the worst in them, let alone if it’s something they actually need.

My favourite thing to read in this novel were precisely the effects of the drought in people; I only wish there would have been more of it. In the book, when people realize the drought is not something temporary at all and that The Well is getting more and more prosper while everywhere else is deteriorating, things slowly degenerate and people get mean out of desperation. Ruth and Mark’s dream slowly turns into a nightmare.
I enjoyed reading stuff like petrol going up 120% and bars closing up because drinks were too expensive, because it felt so real – I really wished there would have been more of that, of how the rest of the country was dealing with the drought, and what theories there were to why it only rained at The Well.
I also did not get why there were not more attempts to try and get The Well’s water from the people around them, if it was that precious. Instead people basically scowl at Ruth and Mark because how dare they. So on one hand I get the idea that things are really bad because of the drought and the next, well, not so much.

Overall, I found the way the mysteries were presented very intriguing and the innuendos drove me crazy in a good way, but the way the resolutions were delivered not so much. They took ages to arrive, and sometimes they didn’t at all.

The writing too dense, lyrical and flourished. Often times, I would not know what was going on at all. Ruth would go on these weird ramblings that seemed so pointless to me – and they could have been engaging, if they allowed me to get in her mind, but being so devoid of feeling I just struggled to stay with the story and my mind kept travelling to other places. I have to say I did go to bed much earlier thanks to this book because the letters would just start dancing after a few lines, and therefore ended up getting more rest, so that’s good. In a way, at least.

The dialogues also did not help at times, because they would go like – a character’s line, then a reply, then a character’s line, then Ruth’s thoughts, then another line… At times she would go on and on, and then say ‘I said that much’. Ok, so I know she said her thoughts out loud, but exactly how much of it?
Other times, I didn’t get what she said at all, if anything. Example:

Ruth: “They’re down in the dip.”
Someone else: “I know that, but what do they believe?”
Ruth: Good question.
Someone else: “Do you think they’ll stay long?”

So… What did she reply regarding that question on what they believe, as the ‘good question’ bit was an inner monologue? It doesn’t seem plausible that she said nothing and the other person would just move on to the next question, right? I don’t know…

There were some things I didn’t get, like Boy warning Ruth about taking her meds, that if she doesn’t they can force her via patch or injections. And yet, when she trashes the place it seems that there are no consequences, not to mention several other things which clearly show she hasn’t been taking them. I also still do not get the chronology of Ruth getting pregnant with Angie and marrying Mark. The whole getting married thing was presented as if Mark doing the right thing, as in marrying the girl he knocked up, but if it wasn’t his kid in the first place, why describe it like that? In the beginning it is mentioned that Lucien was 7 years old when he died, and the rest of the book refers to him as being 5; I suppose that, this being an ARC, this will be fixed.

Most of all, I thought I would be diving into a book packed with emotion. This woman lives in the seemingly only place not affected by the worldwide drought, she is psychological unstable and everyone thinks she killed her grandson – even she isn’t sure that she did not. And, in the end, there was just a lot of poetic prose about anything and everything, and I could not feel much at all. Not even towards her daughter. We are told she is an addict but, again, where is the motherly ache and grief towards her child turning into that? The helplessness of not being able to bring her out of it, of the wasted years? Even some guilt in feeling she could have done something to prevent it? The rare times anything of the sort is mentioned, I felt they were just thrown in there because the reader was expecting it, but they did not feel real to me at all.

So we are supposed to be reading about a mentally unstable woman who doesn’t seem to be much at all besides utterly void of any emotion, as a woman, mother and wife. I can tell the cult drove her to it, but not exactly how. She seemed to be such an intelligent woman, and I could not tell at all why she even fell for it in the first place. I also could never tell what exactly their ‘worshipping’ consisted of, other than frolicking in the water. Most of the time she seems very lucid, and even aware that she is being manipulated, but then we are hearing about her having delusions – even in present day, after all has been said and done – and I have no idea where that came from.
I was also disappointed that the secondary characters were so flat. I have read books told by the main character where that did not happen, but in this one it’s all Ruth, me-me-me.

I did not even get much closure at all. The mystery of Lucien’s murder was beyond predictable, especially after a certain point, just not the specifics of it; I didn’t even get if the allegations towards Mark were true or not, especially with a handful of scenes where it really could be either way; nor why it only rained at The Well, which was what got me interested in the book in the first place.

I have to admit that, most of the time, I was very bored reading this book. It’s like it could not decide what it wanted to be. I was actually pretty excited in the beginning, reading about the effects of the drought and this magical land which seemed to have been spared of it all. Then the effects of all that psychological pressure on Ruth and Mark, which put a toll on their marriage. The cult thing was clutter to me, and the murder mystery stretched on for ages. I felt that it took me a small eternity to finish the novel because I just did not feel engaged with the story and it seemed to drag on and on and on. Even the plot twist was not dramatic at all, and the ending itself stretched on for pages and pages, utterly unnecessary!
I was so disappointed at said ending. When I turned the last page and there was nothing else, I was like… That’s it? This is how this character redeems herself? Is this supposed to give me hope that she will be happy one day? Instead of trying her best to make amends with her husband and daughter, she turns her back on them and starts from scratch? Is this really how a character plagued with guilt goes about handling it? She spent the whole book driving those who she supposedly loves away, and that’s how it ends, more of the same? So disappointing.

If you don’t mind a slow-paced book (and there can be very good slow-paced books) and not getting much closure, then you can enjoy this book, because it does have some good things, especially the world building and all the nuances at what is coming ahead. But do keep in mind that this is more of a psychological journey and a murder mystery, not a paranormal story at all. I guess I feel I was misled a bit. Even without the paranormal aspect, I could have enjoyed this book because I have read others of the kind. You may enjoy it very much, there are loads of very high rating reviews out there. In the end, it was just not for me.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Jul 10 to Ju 18, 2015
GR Review

The Blogger Recognition Award

I would like to thank Josie at Josie the Bookworm and Raven at Dreamy Addictions for nominating me for this award.
Their blogs are amongst some of my favourites, and I definitely recommend that you visit and follow them!


The Award


The Rules

1) Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to. Do some digging if you must! Find those blogs. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.
2) Write a post to show off your award! Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers. Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog. List who you’ve nominated in the post.
3) Make sure to also attach the award itself! (You can do this by right-clicking, saving, and uploading the image above).
4) Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them. Provide a link to the award post you created.
5) Provide a link to the original post on Edge of Night. That way, anyone can find the original guidelines and post if needed, and we can keep it from mutating and becoming confusing!


Original Post

Click here to view the original post.

Quote from it:

Blogging has changed our world. Like the Internet as a whole, it’s changed the way we communicate, exchange information, and simply how we spend our time. People of all kinds, from nearly any country, of nearly any social or political status, can create a blog and work their way into having a dedicated readership, or just experiment with the freedom it gives. Celebrities, world leaders, your next-door neighbors, ordinary citizens—every single one of us has the chance to be heard. To be part of a global community. This is the blogosphere, the blogging world, and each individual blogger helps to make it what it is.

So, why not celebrate this wonderful thing? No, I’m not talking about a special day, month, or year dedicated to blogging. I’m not even talking about celebrating blogging. I am talking about celebrating the bloggers themselves. Because, without them, such a diverse, free and fun thing wouldn’t exist.

Now, how shall we celebrate? With an award, of course!


About Ana’s Lair

Ana’s Lair began without many prospects. Initially, it was only supposed to be a place where I would post my reviews, which I already put up on GoodReads.

When I got into Negalley, I noticed having a blog could influence whether my requests got approved or not, so I figured, why not?

I was browsing a blog, I don’t know whose anymore, and it was a WordPress blog, so this became my platform out of pure coincidence.

I clicked the sign up button out of curiosity, browsed all the themes, fell in love with this one at first sight and created it just for fun.
Initially, the blog was called MistLuna, as that is usually my nickname online, or just Luna.

Soon enough, I was copy pasting my reviews from GR, but I never really intended to develop the blog much further than that. I didn’t and still don’t have any html skills, which limits me a lot.
Boy, did that change. I found a couple of people willing to help me with the ‘coding’ and then there’s, of course, our best friend Google. In a short amount of time, blogging became one of my favourite things to do, almost as much as reading!

So I changed the blog’s name to Ana’s Lair. It has become my little niche, where I share my opinion about other things besides book reviews. Those are still what you will find here most often but, over the course of these roughly 5 months, my blogging interests have certainly broadened. I also enjoy posting movie reviews, videoclips from time to time, and other random stuff.
I created a new feature called Random Chats to discuss all sorts of things that appeal to me and believe others may enjoy talking about, and am already thinking of new things to implement in the blog.

Most of all, I love sharing my opinion, meeting people from all over the world, and receiving feedback from everyone. I have been lucky enough to only have had kind words posted here. Folks are just so nice!

It has been a blast, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

At times, I am not going to lie, it’s hard work keeping the blog active. Everyone goes through periods where they are just not inspired to write. It is difficult to come up with something. As I mentioned in another tag, the way I deal with that is by writing up rough drafts whenever an idea pops up, work on it over the course of whatever time is required for me to feel good about the post, and publish it when I feel I have not posted in a while.


Advice for New Bloggers

I have only been blogging for 5 months, so am in no way an expert…

There are, however, a few things I would like to mention:

  • Most often than not, beginnings are difficult. It takes time to get views and followers. Do not get discouraged!
  • If you are not blog savvy as me, experiment! Create a draft and play with all the buttons. Don’t be afraid to explore all the options and reach out for people to help you get started. If you don’t know how to do something, ask! Folks are really nice in the blogosphere, someone is bound to come and help you.
  • Reach out to other people. If you take the time to visit other blogs, like, and comment on the posts, sooner or later they will be curious about you and visit your blog as well.
  • Write about what makes you passionate. Never write for obligation. It’s a sure way to make you lose interest.
  • Most of all, have fun! If you have fun while blogging and take the time to connect with people, sooner or later your blog will succeed.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you decide to do this tag, even if I have not nominated you, please post the link in the comment box so I can check out your answers!


My Nominees

  • Geoffrey @ High Tea Dreams
  • Cristina @ Tiny Obsessions
  • Candice @ Wondrous Reviews
  • Cátia@ The Girl Who Read Too Much
  • Amanda@ Amanda’s Nose In A Book
  • Laura @ Snazzy Books
  • Analee @ Book Snacks
  • Yvo @ It’s All About Books
  • Tiffani @ The Book Venom
  • Maren @ The Worn Bookmark
  • Ashley @ Socially Awkward Bookworm
  • Kristi @ Hidden Staircase
  • Tamara @ Orange Pond Connects
  • Daniela @ Books To Get Lost In
  • Nicole @ The Bibliophile Chronicles