That Time When Shelley Played 20 Questions

Gizmo’s Reviews, ran by Shelley, is one of the first blogs I followed when I just started blogging. If you’re unfamiliar with the blog and its owner, Shelley’s a formidable reader and reviewer. I believe Shelley reads 1.5 books a DAY and we’re talking about full length novels here. Anyway, I’ve been asking Shelley to guest post for the longest time and finally I managed to strong arm her. Enjoy this very candid Q&A.

20 Questions

1. Describe yourself in one word that’s not bookish related.  Serious

2. What’s a typical day for you like?  HA! OK, you asked! I get up, feed the roaring hair ball that is my cat, check my email, check twitter (both accounts), figure out what I’m going to read for the day, perhaps write a review if I missed one, eat a power bar, read, sneak a nap, feed the cat a snack, read, check out if anything good is on TV that night, check twitter, again, read, check email. spin, cycle, and repeat.

3. If you can only eat one food forever what would it be and why?  Oh, god, you are such a meanie! Well, OK, how about pizza which is totally ridiculous since I spent 8 years working for Domino’s as a driver, assistant manager, and manager. However, have you ever noticed the different varieties of pizzaout there?

4. Share with us a picture of your cat, Gizmo, and tell us a bit of something about him.  (Sorry, no picture) <–My cat, aka Gizmo, is 8 years old, and my reason I still have any sanity left. He's annoying, playful, lovable, a bit on the crazy side like me, loves to sleep on my lap, my recliner, my chest, in the closet, & wrapped up in blankets. Loves to go for rides in my car.

5. Ultimate pet peeve.  Without offending anyone? Holy crap that’s hard. Liars who lead you into a dark cave, and then abandon you there without food, water, or a light source to find your way out. I’m talking about friends who smile to your face, while stabbing you in the back, and then try to find ways to lie out of what they did to you.

6. Book you so regret reading and why?  Anything after Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #9) which was the end of my love for this series.I really was into this series. I loved Anita, I loved the fact that she kicked ass, and took names, then all of a sudden, she turned into a sex fiend who sleeps with anything with 2 legs. I respect those who continue to read the series, but please don’t ask me to read it again. I’ll refuse.

7. An author you have a love relationship with and why?  Wow, so many. Among those I adore are Jennifer Estep, Cecy Robson, Amanda Carlson, Jenn Bennett, Faith Hunter, Kristen Painter, Amanda Bonilla. I love the series they’ve written. I love that they are approachable, have a sense of humor, and I have never, ever, had any of them go on the cray cray side stalking bloggers, or screaming about reviews.

8. A book that you will never touch with a 10-foot pole and why?  Anything in the genre of BDSM, Erotica. Anything by Kathleen Hale, and like I said above, Laurell Hamilton. Hale has issues, and hopefully finds help. Hamilton has lost me as a reader when she went all BDSM on me. I’m just not into BDSM all that much, so, I don’t read, or take requests for them.

9. Book you’ve reread so many times?  Sorry, I don’t normally do re-reads. I have like 800 books on my kindle, another 2-300 on my shelves that publishers have sent to me but never read.

10. What’s the number 1 item on your wishlist now?  Get healthy, and try to continue to live life under my terms, and not doctors.

11. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?  Potato Chips. Ok, this is like totally lame, but it’s the truth. You know the commercial where they say you can’t just eat one of them. TRUTH! I love Parmesan Cheese Chips from Target!

12. Coffee or tea?  Sweet Tea

13. Where’s your dream destination? Tuscany, Italy. Been to Italy, but only the southern parts of the country.

14. Favorite part in the male anatomy.  Sorry to say that I don’t think about a male anatomy. I think of whether or not the person is misogynistic, has a great personality, is respectful, perhaps even served his country.

15. If you can dip in the lady pond, who would you swim with and why?  I’ve already dipped into the lady pond, but I wouldn’t mind doing so with (if they swung from my side of the plate) Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Gina Gershon.

16. Random fact about you.  I love alternative rock & roll, especially from the early 90’s.

17. What do you dislike most about blogging?  The lack of comments on my reviews; the lack of feedback on whether or not I’m doing good or not; those who think they have the right to preach to you from their pulpit even though they have been around less time than you have.

18. Favorite time of the year.   Spring, into Summer. I can open my windows, take my cat for a walk, and drive to the beach 15 minutes away

19. Author, dead or alive, that you’d want to meet and the first question you’ll ask him/her?  Author would be Kristen Painter. Question would be if she is a descendant of the Amazons. I say this because Kristen is one of the tallest women I’ve ever met, not including me!

20. Impart words of wisdom with us.  “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”

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Neyra Suped Up: Intrinsical by Lani Woodland

Series: The Yara Silva Trilogy 1

Format: eBook
Release Date: August 20, 2010
Publisher: Pendrell Publishing
Genre: YA Fantasy

Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn’t want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist’s attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn’t going to go quietly

It had been such a long time since I’ve stayed up/spent all day just reading. I loved INTRINSICAL the first time I read it, and I loved it just the same this time around.
Sixteen year old Yara Silva’s first day at her new elite boarding school turns haunting when she notices a dark mist attack another student. The moment she has been dreading her whole life has arrived, her Waker abilities have surfaced. She, like the women in her family, has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. And no matter how hard she will try to deny it, Yara will soon come to realize she cannot run from destiny.
The first thing about INTRINSICAL is that it is such a light hearted read; it’s easy to get lost in the story. Follow it up with a strong protagonist, a little bit of romance, out of body experiences, an evil spirit, a sixty year old curse, and it’s impossible not to enjoy. I loved that the romance aspect of the story doesn’t become the focal point. It develops as the days go by and you get to watch Yara and Brent know each other as well as develop as characters. Yara is still a teenage girl, but she grows mentally and that is always an important factor for me when it comes to YA MC’s.
That being said, I do also believe INTRINSICAL comes with its flaws. Like for example, the Waker gene, or trait. Now that I think about it I am a little confused as to why Yara couldn’t see her ghostly companion until after she was able to astral project–leave her body. I’m only curious because Vovo, Yara’s grandmother, goes around town like the crazy lady talking to ghosts. I’d assumed that anyone who was a Waker would be able to see spirits as well. I hope this gets explained a little further in the next book. There’s also the “curse” aspect of the story which gets explained, but was a bit of a letdown for me.
Otherwise though, I enjoyed INTRINSICAL in its entirety. The boarding school and it’s creepy undertone, along with the side characters that helped connect you to the MC and feel like you could relate to what she was going through. I’m more interested in finding out what else Yara and her family can do with these Waker abilities and what new ghostly surprises await.
Book Website | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Neyra
Neyra is a book blogger on sabbatical. She’s currently moonlighting at Talk Supe 
because Braine needs help. 
Add her: Goodreads | Facebook

Guest Blog: Brandee Bookworming on CD Reiss

Brandee Price aka Bookworm Brandee has become one of my favorite bloggers. I have yet to meet her, and I do want to meet her someday, but I can tell that she and I will click in more ways than one. 

Now in the blogosphere, we always moan and groan about our TBR’s and how following each other’s blogs doesn’t help in keeping it down. In fact blogging exponentially increases our book obsession, purchases, and hoarding potentials via reviews and recommendations. 

Thanks to Brandee, I have CD Reiss’ books on my stack now and her passion for Reiss’ books is affecting and very influential. Read up and hopefully Brandee manages to convince you too!


Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | @BookwormBrandee | Bloglovin


I was late to the party with CD Reiss. I’d heard of her, of course. She’d been highly recommended to me – and by one of my favorite authors. But I didn’t pick up one of her books until Kick appeared in the Bend Anthology. Kick…yeah, it’s quite a read. I was so very impressed that Ms. Reiss could take a subject that’s so raw, gritty, and so far outside of my comfort zone and make it beautiful. Then she weaves in these characters that, quite frankly, make me uncomfortable, combining it all to make such a compelling story I couldn’t put it down. So since Beg, the first installment in Reiss’ Songs of Submission series was also included in Bend, I *had* to read it as well. And I was hooked…I’m a Reiss addict.

Reiss has a way with words. She can paint such vivid images with her prose that it’s akin to watching a tv program in my head. And that’s important since she wrote her SoS series to mimic a television serial. She’s got a knack for it – probably because her background is in screenwriting. 🙂 She created this family of characters that is fascinating. They have this shiny image they publicly uphold but privately they have many deep, dark secrets.

Reiss creates compelling characters. I may not have anything in common with them but I’m immersed in their world and invested in their lives. Even her antagonists are the kind you love to hate. Also, she tells a riveting story that includes drama, suspense, mystery, romance, and sex. Yes, the lady does creative sex. But it meshes so well with the story.

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you that CD Reiss is a must-read author. I’ve not caught up in the Songs of Perdition series or even started the Songs of Corruption series. But I *know* I’m going to love them and I can’t wait!

I hope so too, Brandee! Thanks again for taking time off caring for your warrior granny to write this up. Luv yah, beech! 


Don’t forget to check out & follow BOOKWORM BRANDEE as well as CD Reiss’ books!


CD Reiss is a USA Today and Amazon bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up, she’s at the well, hauling buckets.

Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere, but it did embed TV story structure in her head well enough for her to take a big risk on a TV series structured erotic series called Songs of Submission. It’s about a kinky billionaire hung up on his ex-wife, an ingenue singer with a wisecracking mouth; art, music and sin in the city of Los Angeles.

Critics have dubbed the books “poetic,” “literary,” and “hauntingly atmospheric,” which is flattering enough for her to put it in a bio, but embarrassing enough for her not to tell her husband, or he might think she’s some sort of braggart who’s too good to give the toilets a once-over every couple of weeks or chop a cord of wood.

If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.

Stalk Christine!
Website | Facebook | Goodreads
Pinterest | Instagaram | @CDReisswriter

It’s The Brazen Babes!

Today’s guest bloggers are way way special to me because I’ve been “with” these two since almost the beginning. Back then Ana and Sharonda have their own blogs, Beach Bum Reads and Salacious Reads, respectively and we’d sign up for the same blog hops, reading more or less the same books, and feeding each other’s blogs via comments and views on a regular basis. 

Then Ana got busy with school so she kinda dropped off the sphere and would do The Walking Dead recap posts with Sharonda when zombies are in season. And because these two have amazing chemistry together, they then decided to start a new blog called
BRAZEN BABE REVIEWS! 

So without further ado…


Welcome back to TALK SUPE guys! So what should we expect from BRAZEN BABE REVIEWS?


Sharonda: This blog is really about Ana & I coming together as bloggers to give folks a lil piece of both of us. This is a review blog, a book review blog. But we also will be reviewing movies, TV shows and just having conversations about different things whether it be book related or not. 

Ana: Pretty much what my girl Sharonda said. We’re bringing ourselves to the table. What you got in our own blogs is what you get here at BRAZEN BABE REVIEWS


Is BRAZEN BABE REVIEWS going to be the same with the now defunct, Salacious Reads & Beach Bum Reads?

Sharonda: hmmm, good question. You know when I wrote my good bye note over at Salacious Reads, I pretty much stated that much wasn’t going to change in how we did things. But you will see us doing more posts together, like Tuesday Jams & reviews…you know things like that. I mean, for example…Ana is a gamer, so you will see her possibly update how she’s doing on a game she’s playing right now. Me, as some of you know, I’ve been doing more and more video review posts, so you will probably see a tad bit more of that. Ana? 

Ana: Yeah.. soooo Sharonda pretty much has it all down pact. Everything will stay the same and our review styles won’t change, but there will be a few combined posts. 

LOL @ Ana is a gamer. Awwwh my co-blogger knows me so well. Luuurve you giiirl! 


Oh that’s an interesting mix! I know gamers but haven’t really got the hang of it. What sort of shenanigans should we expect in BRAZEN BABE REVIEWS since you all went so wholesome back there *snorts*. I know you two’s got something up your sleeves!

Sharonda: LOLS, oh we can’t really spill the beans. But you know just talking to Ana via messenger, I feel that we have this almost kind of same warped personalities, like we’re kindred spirits, except you know…I’m the old lady one, LMBO! So, IDK guys..you might come across some strange things on some days BUT we will always be respectful, but damn sure funny. 

Psh, I feel “old” myself although age ain’t nuthin’ but a number right?

Ana: haha. giiirl you know you ain’t old ♥♥ But, yes we won’t be spilling any beans but you can expect some great things from us in the future. And we really are kindred spirits. So far we’ve agreed on just about everything as far as the blog is concerned. If we could publish a book with all our conversations I’m sure you’d be laughing for daaaays. 

I can only imagine, your convo about The Walking Dead is always hilarious!


Do you have favorite genres?

Ana: Ahhh. As far as authors go, it’s very limited and I don’t really have a fave at this moment. But if you’re a follower of mine, then you know I’m a die hard romance fan. Anything with romance and I’m in. #RomanceJunkie 

Romance is always a safe bet.

Sharonda: Well, if you followed me on SR..then you know my go to genre right now is interracial romances and why? Because I love the the sense of forbiddeness in the stories. Especially the historical romance ones. Just the thought of two people coming together and fighting for their relationship…their love because the world tells them that the can’t be together because of they’re different (skin color, social status,etc)? G!rl, sign me up. I’m down for it. I love when I’m reading and folks are fighting for their relationships and I feel that IR/MC romances give you that RAW and at times with no filter. And I love historical romances, but me?

I like it with just a lil more of a erotic feel too it. I don’t want the old stuffy “Oh Brett” and faint ones, no (remember that, LOLS). I want mines with the females that are NOT so innocent to the world. Because honestly, just think about it. The hard times that folks faced back in the day, like really how many innocents to you think there were? We had women that had to become “grown” at early ages, like 12 and 16. So no, this woman doesn’t want to read about virgins. 

I feel you, I always say there’s no such thing as “YA” back in the day. Once you get your period, sometimes even before that, you’re shipped off somewhere.


Sharonda: And as for my favorite authors, in IR/MC of course Sienna Mnyx and KoKo Brown. You want a authors who can write in different sub-genres and keep you coming back?, then you want to pick their books up. Sienna, I discovered a while back and just started swallowing up her books. KoKo Brown, I just discovered…but man oh man! I’m liking what this woman is writing. As for historical romances, Natasha Blackthorne and Jess Michaels are my tops. Natasha and Jess give you strong female characters in times when we were suppose to be these weak, useless things. I love just about everything N. Blackthorne has written…no lie. And Jess, I just discovered as well…but she is becoming a fan favorite. All of these authors are on my auto buy list. 
FUN FACTS!
Ana: I’m a gamer. My IG name for most games is Miss Vishous (P.S. No one ever asks me why did I spell Vishous wrong – sigh… they just don’t know. If you do know what it is message me on FB – the first person to do this will receive a $5 amazon gift card) 
Oh I think I know! Do I qualify?!

Ana: I dislike comedies (movies) but people tell me I’m funny…. it’s weird, I know. 
Are these supposed to be book related? LOL… I’m not as artistic (drawing wise) as my buddy, Sharonda, but I do draw a mean palm tree! And I’m not shy to show it! wooot. xD 
Where’s the palm tree?!
Sharonda: I work at B&N, but don’t tell anyone that. Tired of folks only wanting to be my friend because I work at a bookstore, LOLS. First thing out their mouth is, what discount do you get? or I just wrote this book, so…. like really… o_O
Hmmm… Sorry to hear that… so about that employee discount…we’re supa friends right? #kiddingnotkidding
Sharonda: I just learned how to “really” cook. Yeah, cooking is not my favorite things. And I hope to find a chef boyfriend one of these day 😀 I draw, not professionally. And no I cannot show any pictures. I’m kind of shy like that :0

I enjoy cooking too! I actually enjoy it more than eating, making food is as therapeutic as eating it. And yes, I want a man that can cook too! Someone who looks like either Bradley Cooper or Chef Ludo.

Thanks for gracing TALK SUPE today ladies! As for you Supies, please check them out and follow them. These two are funny!


SharondaPic.gif

Sharonda | Sexxy Blogger




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Ana | Miss Vishous

Cocktails with The Page Girls



April and Jasmine from
The Page Girls here. We’re so pleased that Talk Supe gave us a spot today to chat with you a bit about one of our favorite topics: celebrating friendships–and how cocktails come into play.


Braine here… I’ve never been a big cocktail drinker, I do shots though, however I’m trying to be more of a lady so I thought this is PERFECT! Anyway, sorry to interrupt… go on…


April: When we first started The Page Girls and knew that we were going to be stressing girl talk, books and cocktails, I was so excited because to me, that’s like a perfect girls’ night in. I remembered all these Tuesday nights back in college when my roommates and I were like, “Well, we have a 8AM lecture tomorrow, but we have stories for each other and we need to unwind, so what do we do?” Three plastic cups. Bottle of wine. Boom – story time. I was twenty-one back then, so the lack of proper glassware was permissible.


Braine again… yeah, I feel ya. Tumblers, mason jars, as long as it can hold liquid it’s fine. *starts eating peanuts*


Jasmine: Eventually we graduated from plastic to actual wine and margarita glasses. And our stories started to cover workplace romances and the perils of being thrown under very large buses. Though I still find myself drinking out of plastic cups sometimes. Shh, don’t judge me…I don’t like doing dishes. 

April: The glassware definitely grew with us as we went from college kids to women, but the girls’ night drinks always served as the jumping off point for pouring our hearts out.

Jasmine: And pour we did! It’s so important to be able to be open with other women. I truly treasured the comfort and understanding that surrounded me in those moments. I don’t have a sister, so for me it was wonderful to be part of a group, a sisterhood of women sharing their experiences, dreams, and fantasies. Girls’ Nights are the best.


Interrupting y’all’s chatter again. Yeah, just saw this awesome quote the other day on IG that said: ALCOHOL! Because no great story started with someone eating a salad! *crickets*


April: Definitely. The first time I realized my best friends were my best friends was when I had the most mortifying boy problem that I wasn’t sure I wanted to tell anyone (we won’t repeat it here). But I couldn’t keep it to myself so I spilled my guts to them, they laughed their faces off, then got down to business and helped me figure out what to do to fix everything. And since then, they’ve always been the girls whom I tell my more scandalous, juicy or shameful stories to. Besides The Page Girls. I can’t help but admit to things I normally wouldn’t admit to when I’m writing.

Jasmine: I love writing with The Page Girls. It’s a place for women to come together and have meaningful and sometimes silly discussions. I think it’s a nice mix of everything. We tell stories, our experiences, and gush about all the things that make our hearts blaze with passion. Sometimes it’s books that we love or the fictional men that we fantasize about. Anything goes and our passions change. We just wanted to have a place were we can sort through it together.

April: It’s like girls’ night in with ladies from all over the world! I couldn’t be more grateful.


Awesome! I need more girlfriends who can drink. My circle is filled with breastfeeding mommies… and I hate changing diapers!




The Page Girls is a new online magazine published by five friends (April, Jasmine, Cecily, India, and Emily) with an emphasis on cocktails, books, and female friendships. Every week, The Page Girls publish an issue of short stories, cocktail recipes, book reviews, and personal essays, all centered around themes like The Craziest Thing I Did For Love and LYLAS (Love You Like a Sister).

From July 21-25, The Page Girls is celebrating its first official “birthday week,” which means a giveaway every day plus other goodies. Visit their site to join the celebration.



Sign up for The Page Girls’ weekly newsletter to get notified about new issues, and be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Audio Books 101 with Hot Listens

Audio books are getting more and more popular these days. I’ve tried listening to a few but for some reason I can’t muster the same focus as I have with a traditional or ebook. 

Unlike print books, there are more cogs involved in listening and liking an audio book. Aside from the story, I think the narrator’s voice is important and as I am fond of reading fantasy, I take offense when names and other jargon is mispronounced.

Then there’s the whole Audible thing. How does the membership work? How do I get deals? How does credit work? See I’m lazy/a dunce so I decided to go ask an audio book expert and enthusiast, Loupe of HOTLISTENS, to give me the basics.


The ins and outs of audible.com


audible.com is a seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment, information, and educational programming on the Internet. Audible sells digital audiobooks, radio and TV programs, and audio versions of magazines and newspapers. Through its production arm, Audible Studios, Audible has also become the world’s largest producer of downloadable audiobooks. On January 31, 2008 Amazon.com announced it would buy Audible for about 300 million. The deal closed in March 2008 and Audible is now a subsidiary of Amazon.

Audible is a must-have for an audiobook junkie, like us at Hotlistens. It has the largest selection of audiobooks available for download that I have found on the internet. With a membership, it is also pretty inexpensive compared to buying individual downloads or CDs.


There are a couple of different membership plans you can do with Audible.  There are two different month-to-month plans where you get either one or two credits per month.  Each credit is worth one audiobook (for most books, I’ve never seen one that is more, but there are some out there).  With this program, you pay each month and the costs for each book is either $11.48, if you get two credits per month, or $14.95 if you do just one credit per month. These are a month-to-month deal and you can cancel at anytime.

Audible also has annual membership, where you can purchase all your credits up front.  This is great if you are a beginner and need to build your library, but it will also be hard on your wallet up front, though cheaper in the long run.  You can do 12 credits, for $12.46 each, or 24 credits at $9.56 each.  This is the best deal if you can afford to drop the $229.50 in one lump sum.



Audible also gives you extra benefits besides the credits.  You can rollover credits, so you don’t have to use them in the exact time allotted, but they do limit how many you can rollover depend on your package. You also get a discount if you want to purchase books over the amount of credits that you have, a 30% discount off the regular Audible price. If you use all your credits, Audible will usually offer you a deal to purchase three additional credits at a decent price (the emails don’t list the price and it has been a while since I’ve used all mine up).

Audible also offers many special sales for members only.  They do a lot of Buy One, Get One or Three for Two sales, but you have to use credits for those. There are also the $4.95 sales, where they put select books on sale for, as the sale is called, $4.95.  I’ve picked up a ton of new books and found new authors this way.  Lastly, they have sales, where if you purchase 4 regular priced books in one month, you get a $10 credit to your account.  This isn’t every month, but I think they do it about twice a year.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000827761


Lastly, and this isn’t just for members, is when you purchase a Kindle version of a book with Whispersync, you can then purchase the audiobook from Audible at a discounted price.  The price of the Kindle ebook and audiobook will vary, but I’ve frequently purchased the Kindle version and then the audiobook and saved a credit because it was cheaper.  This is especially true if there is a Kindle sale.  I saw one recently, the Kindle ebook was $1.99 on sale and then the audiobook went down to $1.99 too.  Of course, I had just purchased this book, but luckily, it was during the $4.95 sale, so I was only out $0.95, so I wasn’t too disappointed.  I’ve gotten where I’m purchasing less through Barnes and Noble and more on Amazon for this reason alone.


How to use Whispersync


      




Happy listening from Hot Listens 

http://www.hotlistens.com/ 
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I hope this 101 helped those of you who are thinking of trying or converting to audio books. On that note, can you give me recommendations? Who is your favorite narrator and which book should I listen to first to ease me into listening rather than reading?


Carmel Talks: Things That Makes a Read Rabid

So excited to have fellow blogger and newly minted virtual tour organizer, Carmel, of Rabid Reads, on the blog today. I’ve been following her book review blog for quite some time now and have heeded to a few of her recommended reads (which always worked for me, BTW) and really enjoyed the content of her reviews and other discussions. 

What works and doesn’t work for you in as far as werewolf/shifter series are concerned? 

Each author’s approach to the various key werewolf elements that make up a furry series can be extremely different, and most writers choose to focus on a few canine specific traits rather than the animal as a whole. As a general rule, my favourite aspect of shifter fiction is the alpha (sometimes alpha couple) because this character is the epitome of what it means to be the top dog. I can’t say for sure where the dominating personality that’s prevalent throughout the paranormal genre originated, but if I had to hazard a guess, it would be the wolf. So, the next time you are mooning over your latest fictional crush, remember to thank this ultimate alpha, because without him your man-candy wouldn’t be what it is today!

Being the top dog isn’t just about being the strongest or the most assertive within a pack; it’s also about putting your family first, doing what’s best for the group, and making tough choices. The alpha werewolf is personally responsible for the survival and well-being of every single member under his care which makes this character one of the most complex and difficult to master in any shifter series. And, when an author does manage to successfully capture the very essence of what it means to be the leader of a pack, it is something truly magnificent to behold.

I have a love/hate relationship with the mate bond that can be found in pretty much every werewolf book ever published. I adore the concept of everyone having “one” fated partner, and when done right the connection between two soul mates has the potential to turn even the biggest cynic into a hopeless romantic. However, this is where things get tricky, and why insta-love is also one of my biggest pet peeves; too many authors have difficulty grasping this concept and take shortcuts which usually result in a lack of chemistry and just an overall non-credible relationship. Paranormal Romances are especially guilty of this mistake because each installment usually revolves around one central couple that changes from book-to-book which means that the writer only has one novel to convince readers of the authenticity of their characters’ connection.

Another crucial element in furry series that’s often times overlooked is the wolf POV. I absolutely love experiencing a story through canine eyes! In my opinion, when your character has two sides to his/her personality, it’s extremely important to demonstrate that by ensuring that there are at least a few scenes or chapters that are told from the animal’s perspective. Nothing annoys me more than an author who omits their protagonist’s other half. I read werewolf fiction specifically for the primal bits so when a writer somehow manages to “forget” what their character is —that’s a HUGE oversight on their part.

The pack is yet another aspect of this genre that I adore; I like the idea of having a family that would die for you—one that has your back no matter what. I love it when an author incorporates detailed shifter mythology into their world-building, and pack hierarchy and dynamics are huge parts of that. And, last but definitely not least on my long list of werewolf must-haves are primal sex scenes. I’m sure you all are familiar with the saying “to fuck like animals”, well in this case it’s actually true! I’m also not opposed to the occasional furry romp, but I do have to draw the line at bestiality. That’s just too out there, even for me!



Ultimate Rabid Reads


Bitten by Kelley Armstrong is of course, my all-time favourite werewolf book, but The Women of the Otherworld isn’t a werewolf series which is why it didn’t make this list. But, if you only ever read one shifter novel, this one should definitely be it!



Riley Jenson Guardian series by Keri Arthur: I read these books before I ever even started blogging, so the fact that they remain in the number one spot after all of this time is a testimony in itself. Arthur nails all of her wolf-y elements while still delivering top notch action, mind blowing sex scenes, and a story that’s in a league of its own.



The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater: Whenever I get asked for werewolf book recommendations, this series is always at the forefront of my mind. Stiefvater’s beautiful lyrical writing style is mesmerizing, and the relationships between her characters are downright magical.



Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs: I brought up the mate bond earlier in this post, and no author does it better than Briggs with Mercy and Adam. This series’ plot lines never disappoint and the shifter lore is first-class.



A Wolf’s Pride series by Cat Kalen: This author has mastered the art of writing from a wolf’s POV; her heroine is unforgettable and her story telling is without equal.
Naked Werewolf series by Molly Harper: You can never go wrong with a book by this author; her sense of humour is unmatched and, if you’re tempted to go the audiobook route, you won’t find a narrator more suited for her quirky characters than Amanda Ronconi.


If you want even more recommendations, see my top 10 werewolf books of 2013 & 2012.

Thanks so much for having me on Talk Supe, Braine, writing this post was a great refresher on the many reasons as to why I love werewolves!

Carmel is the owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. I also offer virtual assistance to authors and webmaster services to bloggers. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

Stalk Carmel!
Rabid PR offers a wide range of administrative, editorial, marketing and technical support services designed to meet the individualized needs of authors, both published and pre-published.

Services include: social media account management, newsletters, street teams, virtual book tours, blogger to WordPress transfers, review requests & coordination, scheduling, graphic design, code & template tweaks, internet marketing, beta & proof reading, media kits, market research, and more.

Carmel Talks: Things That Makes a Read Rabid

So excited to have fellow blogger and newly minted virtual tour organizer, Carmel, of Rabid Reads, on the blog today. I’ve been following her book review blog for quite some time now and have heeded to a few of her recommended reads (which always worked for me, BTW) and really enjoyed the content of her reviews and other discussions. 

What works and doesn’t work for you in as far as werewolf/shifter series are concerned? 

Each author’s approach to the various key werewolf elements that make up a furry series can be extremely different, and most writers choose to focus on a few canine specific traits rather than the animal as a whole. As a general rule, my favourite aspect of shifter fiction is the alpha (sometimes alpha couple) because this character is the epitome of what it means to be the top dog. I can’t say for sure where the dominating personality that’s prevalent throughout the paranormal genre originated, but if I had to hazard a guess, it would be the wolf. So, the next time you are mooning over your latest fictional crush, remember to thank this ultimate alpha, because without him your man-candy wouldn’t be what it is today!

Being the top dog isn’t just about being the strongest or the most assertive within a pack; it’s also about putting your family first, doing what’s best for the group, and making tough choices. The alpha werewolf is personally responsible for the survival and well-being of every single member under his care which makes this character one of the most complex and difficult to master in any shifter series. And, when an author does manage to successfully capture the very essence of what it means to be the leader of a pack, it is something truly magnificent to behold.

I have a love/hate relationship with the mate bond that can be found in pretty much every werewolf book ever published. I adore the concept of everyone having “one” fated partner, and when done right the connection between two soul mates has the potential to turn even the biggest cynic into a hopeless romantic. However, this is where things get tricky, and why insta-love is also one of my biggest pet peeves; too many authors have difficulty grasping this concept and take shortcuts which usually result in a lack of chemistry and just an overall non-credible relationship. Paranormal Romances are especially guilty of this mistake because each installment usually revolves around one central couple that changes from book-to-book which means that the writer only has one novel to convince readers of the authenticity of their characters’ connection.

Another crucial element in furry series that’s often times overlooked is the wolf POV. I absolutely love experiencing a story through canine eyes! In my opinion, when your character has two sides to his/her personality, it’s extremely important to demonstrate that by ensuring that there are at least a few scenes or chapters that are told from the animal’s perspective. Nothing annoys me more than an author who omits their protagonist’s other half. I read werewolf fiction specifically for the primal bits so when a writer somehow manages to “forget” what their character is —that’s a HUGE oversight on their part.

The pack is yet another aspect of this genre that I adore; I like the idea of having a family that would die for you—one that has your back no matter what. I love it when an author incorporates detailed shifter mythology into their world-building, and pack hierarchy and dynamics are huge parts of that. And, last but definitely not least on my long list of werewolf must-haves are primal sex scenes. I’m sure you all are familiar with the saying “to fuck like animals”, well in this case it’s actually true! I’m also not opposed to the occasional furry romp, but I do have to draw the line at bestiality. That’s just too out there, even for me!



Ultimate Rabid Reads


Bitten by Kelley Armstrong is of course, my all-time favourite werewolf book, but The Women of the Otherworld isn’t a werewolf series which is why it didn’t make this list. But, if you only ever read one shifter novel, this one should definitely be it!



Riley Jenson Guardian series by Keri Arthur: I read these books before I ever even started blogging, so the fact that they remain in the number one spot after all of this time is a testimony in itself. Arthur nails all of her wolf-y elements while still delivering top notch action, mind blowing sex scenes, and a story that’s in a league of its own.



The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater: Whenever I get asked for werewolf book recommendations, this series is always at the forefront of my mind. Stiefvater’s beautiful lyrical writing style is mesmerizing, and the relationships between her characters are downright magical.



Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs: I brought up the mate bond earlier in this post, and no author does it better than Briggs with Mercy and Adam. This series’ plot lines never disappoint and the shifter lore is first-class.



A Wolf’s Pride series by Cat Kalen: This author has mastered the art of writing from a wolf’s POV; her heroine is unforgettable and her story telling is without equal.
Naked Werewolf series by Molly Harper: You can never go wrong with a book by this author; her sense of humour is unmatched and, if you’re tempted to go the audiobook route, you won’t find a narrator more suited for her quirky characters than Amanda Ronconi.


If you want even more recommendations, see my top 10 werewolf books of 2013 & 2012.

Thanks so much for having me on Talk Supe, Braine, writing this post was a great refresher on the many reasons as to why I love werewolves!

Carmel is the owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. I also offer virtual assistance to authors and webmaster services to bloggers. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

Stalk Carmel!
Rabid PR offers a wide range of administrative, editorial, marketing and technical support services designed to meet the individualized needs of authors, both published and pre-published.

Services include: social media account management, newsletters, street teams, virtual book tours, blogger to WordPress transfers, review requests & coordination, scheduling, graphic design, code & template tweaks, internet marketing, beta & proof reading, media kits, market research, and more.

Viviana on Joining & Running Virtual Book Tours: Not All Tour Co’s are Created Equal (#mustread for self-pimping authors)

Early this month I Gushed & Griped about the pros and cons of joining book tours. Of course it’s from a subjective standpoint and I can only share thoughts and experiences I’ve personally had and can’t speak for anybody else. 

I thought it would be a great idea to invite a virtual book tour organizer to volley some thoughts with us and get their side of the story. 

Viviana is the owner of Enchantress of Books Blog Tours and she’s one of the better organizers. Not only that but she’s a blogger too so her view on the matter straddles both worlds. On top of that she’s also offering some pretty good tips to authors who are thinking of doing paid tours. So bear with us, this post is pretty juicy.


Hi! My name is Viviana Izzo and I am the owner of Enchantress of Books Blog Tours. I’m still a blogger and I do partake in other companies’ blog tours. However, I found myself in a similar boat as Braine and many other bloggers. I was (and frankly, still am) frustrated that I had to hunt down the tour organizer to get the material in a timely manner. Or receive multiple emails because the information was ‘trickling in’ instead of sending everything in one email. Oh and the media kits! Jeez, many were horrible, missing information or the organizer didn’t send the images separately from the word document. So I had to spend even more time, copying the image to my Publisher program to then save it as an image so I could upload it to my blog! 

Needless to say, when I started my blog tour company, the first thing I decided to do was to ensure I didn’t do the things that frustrated the bejeezes out of me as a reviewer to my tour hosts. For me, this is my business and I do take it very seriously. It’s not a hobby or something I do half-assed. There has been a growth spurt in blog tour companies lately. This is both good and bad. First, good as this proves that there is a business need for this particular type of service. Now, for the bad – not all tour companies are created equal and not everyone is good at this kind of stuff. Some companies have been around for a while, but that doesn’t mean they are professional nor know what they are doing. It’s not just about inviting bloggers to host the author. This is a marketing and promotional service that blog tour companies are providing. You have to be organized (as a business, you’re not just doing one tour at a time, you have several all at once or overlapping) and ensure things are running smoothly and keep your cool throughout the entire time! The focus should be on how to promote the author in the best and most effective way possible. The point is to make the author and their book stand out not your business

I thought I’d outline just a few key things to both authors who are thinking about hiring a tour company and bloggers who host. 

AUTHORS! Things to consider when hiring a tour company:


Don’t hire more than one company for a tour to promote the same book at the same time!

Sure, you don’t want to have all your eggs in one basket, you want to grab the largest audience possible!! You want to get your name out there!! I get all that!! However, hiring multiple tour companies to design/organize your blog tour can back fire. Why is that? For one, many bloggers host for a variety of touring companies. You run the risk of tours not being full. You’re time is being divided into multiple different companies that do things differently and of course the multiple guest posts and interviews you will have to complete. 

In fact, it’s the policy of some companies, that you will not book a tour with another company and theirs at the same time.

If you are going to hire different companies, spread the tours out to ensure you have constant visibility for a certain length of time. 


 The badge and banners
  1. Are they showcasing your book or filling it up with clutter? Or worse yet, self promotion?
  2. Are they attractive and enticing? 
  3. Are they easy to read? 


As an author, you should consider the badge and banner of your tour as an advertisement. Bloggers will be posting these on their websites and social media outlets to announce your tour and promote your book!! If you can’t easily tell what you’re displaying, then it’s not helping you with marketing your book. 

As a tour organizer, your commitment is to the author and to ensure that you are providing them with the BEST service and this includes the graphic art work. If you are not savvy in that department than hire someone! Don’t skim on this because I will tell you that as a blogger, if the badge or banner is ugly, is not easily read, does not showcase the book, etc., I WILL NOT sign up for the tour. I worked hard to make my blog look nice and professional! That badge and banner is a reflection on your business. If you don’t produce a good looking badge or banner, what else is going to lack? 


Pricing

You’ve heard the saying; you get what you pay for, right? Well, this is true with blog tour companies as well. The price may be “great” (meaning low) but what does that truly mean and what are you getting for that price. 


Things to consider:

Level of services 

  1. How hands-on are they? 
  2. Are they easily available for your questions and concern?
  3. What information do they provide you with for the tour and the duration of the tour
  4. Do they manage the giveaway? If so, how? 
  5. What exactly are they doing to ensure maximum visibility for your book?

Tour Hosts

  1. How many tour hosts do they have?
  2. Is there a variety within the hosts? (i.e. not only YA or PNR, but a nice mix of bloggers)
  3. Are they active? 
Yes unfortunately, I’ve bloggers sign up for tours and then they don’t post for weeks or even months. 

Bloggers: Yes, it takes time to set up a post when done right! Yes, you’re doing this for free! THANK YOU!!! Now, with that being said, you are getting something in return. Actually, you’re getting lots of things. As a blog tour host you’re getting:
  • Traffic (views) on your blog
  • ARCs  – for those that may not know, an ARC is an advance readers copy of the book. Yes, there may be some typos and there may be a slight tweak here and there from the final printed book, but basically, not only are you getting to read the book BEFORE it’s released, you’re getting it for FREE! Yes, yes, you will spend time reviewing it, but let’s not kid ourselves, we as bloggers sign up to review a book because we’re interested in it and sooner or later, we would have had to purchase the book in order to read it. 
  • Increased followers on your social media outlets
  • Networking – yes, you’re getting to know other bloggers and even authors! You’re getting your name out there and soon enough, you’ll have that moment when you get that “recognized’ for the review you did or for your blog/website! 
  • Material to post on your website! Authors provide you with either a guest post and an author interview. Tours even include promotional spotlight and while some may grimace or refuse to host this type of post, it’s still material being provided for you to include. 

So please, do not try to make out as if you’re doing this as a favor with no benefits to you at all. 

READ and REVIEW the media kit!! This is extremely important as it does have all the information you will need to include in the post as well as provide you with answers to questions you may have!  If you signed up for an Author Interview, don’t have the tour organizer have to hunt you down to get your questions. Send them ASAP to ensure that nothing slips between the cracks on your end and that the organizer has enough time to provide the author with to complete it. This in turn, ensures you get it back in a timely manner as well! Oh and when participating in tours, provide the organizer (whether it’s a company, publisher, publicist or author, etc) with the permalink to your post asap and include your blog’s name in the email.  

Also, if you’re provided with the HTML Code for the post (I provide my hosts with this for the “essential” part of the post), don’t just copy/paste it and not check it!! Not everyone’s site is the same so check to ensure the post (information) fits within your column! This is especially true when things like graphics and scroll boxes are included.  Adjust when and where needed! If instructions on how to adjust the scroll box isn’t included, either reach out to the organizer or to quote Lucas Wolf from Emily Snow’s DEVOUR Series “Google is your friend” so Google it!! While the organizer is providing  you with the html code to make things easier, it’s still your responsibility to ensure everything is correct and this includes being able to read what’s on the post and that YOUR website looks good! 

As a host, you’ve committed yourself to ensure that your post is published on time and includes everything that has been listed in the media kit as essential! Neither the Authors nor Tour Organizers should have to hunt you down to find out why your post isn’t live on the date you’re scheduled to host! We know nothing in life is certain (except death and taxes of course), so do NOT relay on the fact that you “scheduled” the post in advance. It’s technology and things happen! Check your post in the AM of the day you’re scheduled for. That’s your responsibility! With this being said, we know stuff happens, please let us know in advance if you are unable to post something on time! 

When participating in a blog tour, not only are you committing that you will post when you are scheduled for but that you will include everything you’ve been asked to post within ONE post. DO NOT separate the “essential” parts of the post (this is included in the media kit) from what you are scheduled for, i.e. review, guest post, author interview, etc.  The tour isn’t about you. It’s all about the author and the book they are promoting. Also it’s about the readers! 

I had one blogger get upset (they separated the posts into two) when I politely asked them to combine the two into one post. They stated that they do this to provide the reader with the option of reading either one or other and that they had linked them to one another. Uhm, actually, you’re making the reader click multiple times and that’s just frustrating.  Additionally the posts were not linked and there was no reference of the blog tour on the ‘main’ post. Bottom line, we’re here to show case the author and their work, the reader will still choose which part of the post they will or not read. Make it easier for the reader by having everything in one place and one click away! 

Here is something that is important and I can’t say enough about!! Make sure your website is nicely organized, clean and looks professional! Yes, this may be a hobby for you, but you’re putting yourself out there, let what you’re presenting be the best! This is especially true and important if you’re signing up to host authors! You wouldn’t want to have people visit your house and have it be a mess, would you?  

Braine brought up several great points and I agree with all of them with regards to tour companies and I will second it and add a few points as well! 

  • Use BCC! Do not include everyone in the TO field. While many of our emails may be ‘out there on the world wide web”, let’s keep everyone’s privacy in consideration. Also, you don’t want your tour host to scroll down 200 email address to get to the body of the email. 
  • You’re inviting bloggers to host the author on their tour, do not assume they will accept and send everything in the invite email if they didn’t sign up for the tour. 
  • The blog tour is an event. Think of it as such, when you send out the invitation to the bloggers!! Provide them with all the information they will need to make the decision to join the tour! This includes: 
    Tour Dates
    Book Title
    Author’s Name
    Book Blurb 
    Cover (granted, sometimes, the tour company may get hired prior to the cover being reveal, but if you have it, include it.) 
    Goodreads link (allows blogger the opportunity to look into the author a bit more to see what else they may have written)
    Genre 
    Sign up form link
  • Ensure the media kit includes everything the host will need for their post! This includes the following:
    What the post should include
    Book blurb
    Giveaway information – Use rafflecopter!! Make everyone’s life easier!!! Having the blogger choose the winners based on the comments isn’t efficient and that adds responsibility to each host. Keep everything together and ensure visibility to the tour with the giveaway enteries. Use the rafflecopter giveaway widget to promote the author and help them gain more followers
  • Time post should be live/published by (BLOGGERS – there’s a reason for this and it’s to ensure max exposure for the author. IF the time is set to 4am EST then that means 4am EST not PST or whatever time you’re living in. Do the math and post at the time requested). 
  • Badge, banner and book cover
  • Book Purchase Links 
  • Author Bio, picture and social links
  • Do not send multiple emails to the hosts unless absolutely necessary!
  • Attach all images individually for ease of uploading to blog

Okay, so this is longer than I had originally anticipated, however, seems like there was a lot to say and share. Authors, please do the research and check out the tour companies before you hire them. Remember, you are getting what you paid for!! Get references! Bloggers, thank you for continuing to support the authors and each other!! This is a wonderful community of readers, authors, reviewers and bloggers! 

If you’re a blogger and wish to become part of the Enchantress of Books Blog Tours team by becoming a host, please sign up here

You can stalk me, sorry, I mean follow me at 

I hope this post has given all of us some perspective especially for self-published authors who are planning their own marketing. Viviana pointed out some pretty good stuff which you should take into consideration before signing up and paying someone to pimp your work for you.


Viviana on Joining & Running Virtual Book Tours: Not All Tour Co’s are Created Equal (#mustread for self-pimping authors)

Early this month I Gushed & Griped about the pros and cons of joining book tours. Of course it’s from a subjective standpoint and I can only share thoughts and experiences I’ve personally had and can’t speak for anybody else. 

I thought it would be a great idea to invite a virtual book tour organizer to volley some thoughts with us and get their side of the story. 

Viviana is the owner of Enchantress of Books Blog Tours and she’s one of the better organizers. Not only that but she’s a blogger too so her view on the matter straddles both worlds. On top of that she’s also offering some pretty good tips to authors who are thinking of doing paid tours. So bear with us, this post is pretty juicy.


Hi! My name is Viviana Izzo and I am the owner of Enchantress of Books Blog Tours. I’m still a blogger and I do partake in other companies’ blog tours. However, I found myself in a similar boat as Braine and many other bloggers. I was (and frankly, still am) frustrated that I had to hunt down the tour organizer to get the material in a timely manner. Or receive multiple emails because the information was ‘trickling in’ instead of sending everything in one email. Oh and the media kits! Jeez, many were horrible, missing information or the organizer didn’t send the images separately from the word document. So I had to spend even more time, copying the image to my Publisher program to then save it as an image so I could upload it to my blog! 

Needless to say, when I started my blog tour company, the first thing I decided to do was to ensure I didn’t do the things that frustrated the bejeezes out of me as a reviewer to my tour hosts. For me, this is my business and I do take it very seriously. It’s not a hobby or something I do half-assed. There has been a growth spurt in blog tour companies lately. This is both good and bad. First, good as this proves that there is a business need for this particular type of service. Now, for the bad – not all tour companies are created equal and not everyone is good at this kind of stuff. Some companies have been around for a while, but that doesn’t mean they are professional nor know what they are doing. It’s not just about inviting bloggers to host the author. This is a marketing and promotional service that blog tour companies are providing. You have to be organized (as a business, you’re not just doing one tour at a time, you have several all at once or overlapping) and ensure things are running smoothly and keep your cool throughout the entire time! The focus should be on how to promote the author in the best and most effective way possible. The point is to make the author and their book stand out not your business

I thought I’d outline just a few key things to both authors who are thinking about hiring a tour company and bloggers who host. 

AUTHORS! Things to consider when hiring a tour company:


Don’t hire more than one company for a tour to promote the same book at the same time!

Sure, you don’t want to have all your eggs in one basket, you want to grab the largest audience possible!! You want to get your name out there!! I get all that!! However, hiring multiple tour companies to design/organize your blog tour can back fire. Why is that? For one, many bloggers host for a variety of touring companies. You run the risk of tours not being full. You’re time is being divided into multiple different companies that do things differently and of course the multiple guest posts and interviews you will have to complete. 

In fact, it’s the policy of some companies, that you will not book a tour with another company and theirs at the same time.

If you are going to hire different companies, spread the tours out to ensure you have constant visibility for a certain length of time. 


 The badge and banners
  1. Are they showcasing your book or filling it up with clutter? Or worse yet, self promotion?
  2. Are they attractive and enticing? 
  3. Are they easy to read? 


As an author, you should consider the badge and banner of your tour as an advertisement. Bloggers will be posting these on their websites and social media outlets to announce your tour and promote your book!! If you can’t easily tell what you’re displaying, then it’s not helping you with marketing your book. 

As a tour organizer, your commitment is to the author and to ensure that you are providing them with the BEST service and this includes the graphic art work. If you are not savvy in that department than hire someone! Don’t skim on this because I will tell you that as a blogger, if the badge or banner is ugly, is not easily read, does not showcase the book, etc., I WILL NOT sign up for the tour. I worked hard to make my blog look nice and professional! That badge and banner is a reflection on your business. If you don’t produce a good looking badge or banner, what else is going to lack? 


Pricing

You’ve heard the saying; you get what you pay for, right? Well, this is true with blog tour companies as well. The price may be “great” (meaning low) but what does that truly mean and what are you getting for that price. 


Things to consider:

Level of services 

  1. How hands-on are they? 
  2. Are they easily available for your questions and concern?
  3. What information do they provide you with for the tour and the duration of the tour
  4. Do they manage the giveaway? If so, how? 
  5. What exactly are they doing to ensure maximum visibility for your book?

Tour Hosts

  1. How many tour hosts do they have?
  2. Is there a variety within the hosts? (i.e. not only YA or PNR, but a nice mix of bloggers)
  3. Are they active? 
Yes unfortunately, I’ve bloggers sign up for tours and then they don’t post for weeks or even months. 

Bloggers: Yes, it takes time to set up a post when done right! Yes, you’re doing this for free! THANK YOU!!! Now, with that being said, you are getting something in return. Actually, you’re getting lots of things. As a blog tour host you’re getting:
  • Traffic (views) on your blog
  • ARCs  – for those that may not know, an ARC is an advance readers copy of the book. Yes, there may be some typos and there may be a slight tweak here and there from the final printed book, but basically, not only are you getting to read the book BEFORE it’s released, you’re getting it for FREE! Yes, yes, you will spend time reviewing it, but let’s not kid ourselves, we as bloggers sign up to review a book because we’re interested in it and sooner or later, we would have had to purchase the book in order to read it. 
  • Increased followers on your social media outlets
  • Networking – yes, you’re getting to know other bloggers and even authors! You’re getting your name out there and soon enough, you’ll have that moment when you get that “recognized’ for the review you did or for your blog/website! 
  • Material to post on your website! Authors provide you with either a guest post and an author interview. Tours even include promotional spotlight and while some may grimace or refuse to host this type of post, it’s still material being provided for you to include. 

So please, do not try to make out as if you’re doing this as a favor with no benefits to you at all. 

READ and REVIEW the media kit!! This is extremely important as it does have all the information you will need to include in the post as well as provide you with answers to questions you may have!  If you signed up for an Author Interview, don’t have the tour organizer have to hunt you down to get your questions. Send them ASAP to ensure that nothing slips between the cracks on your end and that the organizer has enough time to provide the author with to complete it. This in turn, ensures you get it back in a timely manner as well! Oh and when participating in tours, provide the organizer (whether it’s a company, publisher, publicist or author, etc) with the permalink to your post asap and include your blog’s name in the email.  

Also, if you’re provided with the HTML Code for the post (I provide my hosts with this for the “essential” part of the post), don’t just copy/paste it and not check it!! Not everyone’s site is the same so check to ensure the post (information) fits within your column! This is especially true when things like graphics and scroll boxes are included.  Adjust when and where needed! If instructions on how to adjust the scroll box isn’t included, either reach out to the organizer or to quote Lucas Wolf from Emily Snow’s DEVOUR Series “Google is your friend” so Google it!! While the organizer is providing  you with the html code to make things easier, it’s still your responsibility to ensure everything is correct and this includes being able to read what’s on the post and that YOUR website looks good! 

As a host, you’ve committed yourself to ensure that your post is published on time and includes everything that has been listed in the media kit as essential! Neither the Authors nor Tour Organizers should have to hunt you down to find out why your post isn’t live on the date you’re scheduled to host! We know nothing in life is certain (except death and taxes of course), so do NOT relay on the fact that you “scheduled” the post in advance. It’s technology and things happen! Check your post in the AM of the day you’re scheduled for. That’s your responsibility! With this being said, we know stuff happens, please let us know in advance if you are unable to post something on time! 

When participating in a blog tour, not only are you committing that you will post when you are scheduled for but that you will include everything you’ve been asked to post within ONE post. DO NOT separate the “essential” parts of the post (this is included in the media kit) from what you are scheduled for, i.e. review, guest post, author interview, etc.  The tour isn’t about you. It’s all about the author and the book they are promoting. Also it’s about the readers! 

I had one blogger get upset (they separated the posts into two) when I politely asked them to combine the two into one post. They stated that they do this to provide the reader with the option of reading either one or other and that they had linked them to one another. Uhm, actually, you’re making the reader click multiple times and that’s just frustrating.  Additionally the posts were not linked and there was no reference of the blog tour on the ‘main’ post. Bottom line, we’re here to show case the author and their work, the reader will still choose which part of the post they will or not read. Make it easier for the reader by having everything in one place and one click away! 

Here is something that is important and I can’t say enough about!! Make sure your website is nicely organized, clean and looks professional! Yes, this may be a hobby for you, but you’re putting yourself out there, let what you’re presenting be the best! This is especially true and important if you’re signing up to host authors! You wouldn’t want to have people visit your house and have it be a mess, would you?  

Braine brought up several great points and I agree with all of them with regards to tour companies and I will second it and add a few points as well! 

  • Use BCC! Do not include everyone in the TO field. While many of our emails may be ‘out there on the world wide web”, let’s keep everyone’s privacy in consideration. Also, you don’t want your tour host to scroll down 200 email address to get to the body of the email. 
  • You’re inviting bloggers to host the author on their tour, do not assume they will accept and send everything in the invite email if they didn’t sign up for the tour. 
  • The blog tour is an event. Think of it as such, when you send out the invitation to the bloggers!! Provide them with all the information they will need to make the decision to join the tour! This includes: 
    Tour Dates
    Book Title
    Author’s Name
    Book Blurb 
    Cover (granted, sometimes, the tour company may get hired prior to the cover being reveal, but if you have it, include it.) 
    Goodreads link (allows blogger the opportunity to look into the author a bit more to see what else they may have written)
    Genre 
    Sign up form link
  • Ensure the media kit includes everything the host will need for their post! This includes the following:
    What the post should include
    Book blurb
    Giveaway information – Use rafflecopter!! Make everyone’s life easier!!! Having the blogger choose the winners based on the comments isn’t efficient and that adds responsibility to each host. Keep everything together and ensure visibility to the tour with the giveaway enteries. Use the rafflecopter giveaway widget to promote the author and help them gain more followers
  • Time post should be live/published by (BLOGGERS – there’s a reason for this and it’s to ensure max exposure for the author. IF the time is set to 4am EST then that means 4am EST not PST or whatever time you’re living in. Do the math and post at the time requested). 
  • Badge, banner and book cover
  • Book Purchase Links 
  • Author Bio, picture and social links
  • Do not send multiple emails to the hosts unless absolutely necessary!
  • Attach all images individually for ease of uploading to blog

Okay, so this is longer than I had originally anticipated, however, seems like there was a lot to say and share. Authors, please do the research and check out the tour companies before you hire them. Remember, you are getting what you paid for!! Get references! Bloggers, thank you for continuing to support the authors and each other!! This is a wonderful community of readers, authors, reviewers and bloggers! 

If you’re a blogger and wish to become part of the Enchantress of Books Blog Tours team by becoming a host, please sign up here

You can stalk me, sorry, I mean follow me at 

I hope this post has given all of us some perspective especially for self-published authors who are planning their own marketing. Viviana pointed out some pretty good stuff which you should take into consideration before signing up and paying someone to pimp your work for you.