Welcome, returning and new readers alike, to Curiosity Quills’ weekly foray into the wild lands of book review sites! Review blogs are well established by now as one of the best and most popular routes by which readers find recommendations for good quality books in the endless slush pile of new and otherwise unknown authors.
This is word of mouth, made grand and far-reaching by the power of the internet age, and in this column we will spotlight a different blog each week to talk about what they review, how and why, helping you find new places to scour for awesome books.
CQ: To start us off, tell us a bit about Book Lovin’ Mamas, and what new readers of your site might expect to see.
Book Lovin’ Mamas is a Book Review Blog Site that Anna and I created so we could keep up with ALL the books we read. I decided one day that it would be easier and much more fun to have another reader to put together a blog. We both read pretty much the same genre. Two Stay at Home Moms with children who run our lives during the day, but at night and whenever we have free time we enjoy reading, typing up reviews, sharing our passion and love for the books we read, and also helping out authors/publishers get their books out there to the public (by guest posts, interviews/giveaways). Our main focus is to make the blog as fun as possible and very informative to anyone who wants to find out what book to they should read next. We enjoy what we do. It takes us way from reality for a while and who doesn’t like that once in awhile.
CQ: Who are your favorite authors – both lifetime friends and ‘flavour of the month’?
I have a bunch of favorite authors: Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, Laurell K. Hamilton, J.R. Ward, Terry Spear and the list could go on and on. I’ve met some amazing self-published authors lately, who have inspired me to write my own book(s) eventually (when I have time… probably when my girls are teenagers). Elise Marion, Robin P. Waldrop, Krista D. Ball are just some who I can’t wait to read what they write next. “Flavor” of the Month will have to be Kresley Cole because of her latest “Lothaire” release…Although, she should be my Flavor of the Decade. I love every book she has written. She’s one Author who I would love to actually meet in person one day.
CQ: What was your hidden gem of 2011 – the book you hadn’t been heard of till an author/publisher asked you to review it or a friend shoved a copy under your nose?
CQ: Have your reading habits, either how and when you read, or what you read, changed since you became a Mum?
Yes, it definitely changed since becoming a Mom of two girls. It was much easier to read when I only had one child, but after having my 2nd daughter last Fall, my reading has gone on the back burner. I mostly read when my oldest is in school and my littlest one naps. I also sleep deprive myself (not much though) on weekends so I can at least finish 2-3 books in a weekend, maybe more, depending on if the book keeps me interested.
I still read my usual romance books. I will never give that up.
CQ: In a similar vein, do you find that the way you read books had changed since you started reviewing, now that you have to record a book’s strengths and weaknesses for a review?
No, not really. I always shared strengths and weaknesses even without reviewing a book on my blog. I started out reviewing books on my own blog when I wanted to keep up on what I was reading. I was reading 20 books a month at first. I found typing up a review made it easier after awhile. I’ve always analyzed books from beginning to end, even when it was only in my head.
CQ: There’s quite the variety of romance and erotica on your ‘genres accepted’ list. Is there a limit to steaminess in erotica, or is it all fair game? Is there a line between erotica and porn?
I used to have a problem with erotica until I came out of my comfort zone last year and decided to try it out. My first real Erotica was written by Jeffe Kennedy and ever since I can’t get enough of the genre. There is no limit to steaminess. If it keeps my interest…believe me I will continue reading it. I even had my husband reading a few paragraphs from some erotica books so he could figure out why I was smiling all the time. Now he wants me to read even more and he wants to read them too to get ideas.
CQ: Do you cross-post to other sites (GoodReads, Amazon, Shelfari etc) and what are your opinions on these kinds of sites?
I definitely cross post to Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I love sharing my reviews on those sites. It actually helps out the author a lot. I actually make sure to tell the publisher/author before they even ask, I will definitely post my review to any site they want to help publicize their book for them. I’m always willing to help them out in anyway I can.
CQ: How many review requests do you receive in the average month? What really grabs your attention in a query, and what earns the email a one-way trip to the deleted folder?
What grabs my attention in a query, is for example…I had a actual author who read my intro and though it was amazing I had time to read books after doing my duties as a Mom, Wife, Photographer, etc. I replied to her and said nothing was going to stop me from reading books. I’ve been addicted since I started reading as a child. She also requested a book from a Mom… so of course I had to read/review it for her. I have never read a mystery book with a Mom as a main character.
CQ: And finally, use this space to give a shout-out to one of your own favourite book blogs.
Under the Covers Book Blog… I found them one day while surfing the web and absolutely adore those ladies. They have a Thursday Meme, Dirty Little Secret, that broke me out of my shell. I used to never share secrets, like the questions they ask… but I found out it’s all about having fun. It’s great to know there other bloggers out there that love books like I do.
So, wish both FranJessca and Anna good luck with their new venture!
If you’d like to see your own blog or favourite review site in the Spotlight, email me at Verity@CuriosityQuills.com.