book blogs

Saturday Night Author Fever #4 with Rachel Lynn Solomon

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Rachel Lynn Solomon. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Rachel, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

My debut novel, YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE, will be out next year from Simon Pulse! It’s a dual POV YA contemporary about twin sisters who receive opposite results from a genetic test for Huntington’s disease. It contains protagonists who are practicing Jews, a complex sister relationship, all-consuming first love, and a lot (I think!) of moral gray areas.

I love 70s music! My mom is a huge disco fan, so I grew up around that, but as a teen, I started getting into new wave. There’s something so exciting as a teen about discovering music for yourself, digging back through the decades to find what moves you. The Cure is my favorite band, I imagine because my angsty teenage heart related to their gloomy, poetic lyrics. I also listen to a lot of David Bowie, Blondie, and The Clash.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #3 with Shira Glassman

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Shira Glassman. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Shira, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

I’m a queer/bi Jewish violinist living in north central Florida. I’m best known for my fluffy queer fantasy series, but I also write f/f contemporary romance (usually equally fluffy) and the occasional SFF erotica.  I’m a gigantic nerd whose listening material is primarily classical music (and old-timey folk to fill in the cracks), so I’d have to think really hard about which pop songs I like even came from the 70’s to begin with! I mean, the first thing that comes to mind is the amazing soundtrack of Star Wars, and then the musical Sweeney Todd. Oh! I can say this. When we performed a medley of songs from Saturday Night Fever last year at the Mother’s Day concert, I thought it sounded really good with full orchestra because that kind of music already has a heavy string presence. That was pretty fun.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #2 with Marie Meyer

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Marie Meyer. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Marie, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

I am a middle school teacher by day and a romance author by night. I have a husband and two awesome daughters, whom I love spending time with. I love 70s music! I’m dating myself here, but spent a couple of years in that decade!

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Book Playlist for How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Hey, galaxy travelers! Today I’m here with another book playlist for you guys and it’s one for the amazing book How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake. If you guys didn’t know this already, I’m in love with How to Make a Wish and if you want to you can read my review here. The story about Eva and Grace is one that will pull you and it will make you feel a wide range of emotions from beginning to end. If you want to listen to my interpretation of How to Make a Wish you can do so through my playlist.

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The playlist only has 10 songs and I worked really hard on finding the perfect ones (I redid this playlist about two times just to get it right). I really hope you’ll like the songs I chose. I tried to make the playlist take you on the same journey as the book does. I hope this playlist will give you similar feelings as the book did. If you haven’t read How to Make a Wish yet, you can add the book on Goodreads and buy the book on Amazon and Book Depository.  You can listen to my playlist down below or on Spotify and YouTube.

Will you be listening to the playlist? Have you read How to Make a Wish yet? What did you think of it?

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Zodiac Recommendations #12 Capricorn Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to my twelfth and last week of Zodiac Book Recommendations. Every week I’ve recommended books for one of the zodiac signs, starting with Aquarius and ending with Capricorn, after chronological order. This week I have three book recommendations for Capricorn.

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The earth beneath you is the element of Capricorn, and it’s the one you should embrace this week with my book recommendations. Like every other zodiac sign, the Capricorn have their strengths and weaknesses, and with these qualities in mind I have tried to find suitable book recommendations. I hope that whoever you are, whether you are a Capricorn yourself or someone who knows a Capricorn, you’ll enjoy these book recommendations.

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For the Zodiac sign Capricorn I’m recommending the following books,

The books I’ve chosen are ones that I think celebrate Capricorn qualities in one way or another. I hope you’ll love these books, and maybe even find a new favorite. Thank you for staying with me throughout this recommendation series, if you missed a zodiac sign or want to see them again, then you can see all of the previous recommendations here.

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Zodiac Recommendations #11 Sagittarius Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to my eleventh week of Zodiac Book Recommendations. Every week I’m recommending books for one of the zodiac signs, starting with Aquarius and ending with Capricorn, after chronological order. This week I have three book recommendations for Sagittarius.

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This week we are embracing fire, the element of the Sagittarius, the one that they carry inside of them. Like every other zodiac sign, the Sagittarius have their strengths and weaknesses, and with these qualities in mind, I have tried to find suitable book recommendations. I hope that whoever you are, whether you are a Sagittarius yourself or someone who knows a Sagittarius, you’ll enjoy these book recommendations.

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For Sagittarius, I’m recommending the books below,

The books I’ve chosen are ones that I think celebrate Sagittarius qualities in one way or another. I hope you’ll love these books, and maybe even find a new favorite. Check out my book recommendations for the other zodiac signs too. Next week I’m doing Capricorn, see previous recommendations here.

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The Book Blogger A to X Guide For Beginners and Veteran Bloggers

Hey everyone in the galaxy! Today I have a post for you all that I haven’t really had before, a guide. A while back I had my first blog anniversary and with a deadline the same week, no special celebration really happened. However, it got me thinking about what I can bring back to you guys after having been a book blogger for over a year now and so this book blogger guide was born. It is just as much for beginners as it is for veteran bloggers. To summarize, it’s basically just some tips, tricks and reminders for all of you book bloggers out there among the stars. I hope you’ll find it helpful.

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A as in Advanced Review Copies, ARCs.

It’s sort of fitting that ARCs is the first thing we’ll discuss in this guide. Most book bloggers want advanced review copies to read and review early on their blog. There are multiple ways to go about this, some easier than others, but I’ll try to give you my best. If you are a beginner my advice is to start on a website called NetGalley. This website is easy to navigate and easy to get started with. You simply sign up, write a bio and start requesting advanced review copies. When you just start out it can be hard to get approved for books since publishers tend to look at statistics of how well you send in reviews for books you’ve been given (but you’re new and don’t really have that). However, a good idea is to keep on requesting books anyway and also checking out the “Read Now” titles since anyone can read those. Eventually, you’ll get approved and be able to get a higher percentage on your profile. Out of all of the ways to get ARCs, I think this one is the easiest, especially if you’re just starting out.

There are of course other ways to get advanced review copies as well: directly through the publisher, through authors contacting you or through Edelweiss+. I have not used Edelweiss a lot to request books, and truthfully they’ve not yet accepted any books for me there, however, I keep on trying anyway. Edelweiss also recently updated their website, and if you’ve used the website before (unlike me), then I can imagine it’s an adjustment. However, I really like the new layout and think it’s pretty easy to navigate after playing around for a while. Their customer service is great and you have nothing to lose by trying to request ARCs there as well. A secret I’ve read about which can up your chances of getting accepted on there is to crosspost your reviews on Edelweiss. Unlike on Netgalley, you can upload reviews on Edelweiss for books you haven’t received an ARC for. Just search for the title on the home page (most titles both old and new are on there) and upload your review once you find the book you’re looking for. That way publishers can easily see your work on the website and it might make them more inclined to accept you in the future.

As I mentioned earlier, you can also get ARCs through emails in two different ways. The first way is that authors or publishers find your blog, like your reviews, and email you with a review request. You can’t do a lot to help with this except blog continuously and make sure it’s easy for people to find where they can contact you. Usually, the bigger your blog gets, the more review requests you get. However, you can also contact publishers yourself. There are lots of bloggers who have written about how to go about this, a simple Google search will help you. However, I have a few quick tips for you. If you know of a book you want to read and review early you first of all need to find out which publisher the book has. After that, go to their website and find the appropriate imprint and person to contact. Usually, they make it very clear who to contact, but a safe bet is the marketing department or similar. Then you just send them an email with information about yourself, the book you want to request and which format of you book you are willing to review. That’s about all I know when it comes to Advanced Review Copies.

B as in Blog Hopping.

If you want to make friends, get more traffic, and read what other book bloggers write about then one thing I really recommend you do is blog hopping. If you’re a beginner that phrase might be new to you but what it means is that you go from blog to blog (you hop between blogs) and read, and comment on, other bloggers’ posts. If you have WordPress a simple “like” on a post can be enough to show appreciation of it but to truly get to know more bloggers then commenting is the way to go. Something I personally want to get better at is just setting a specific time of the week just for blog hopping since I tend to easily forget to do it. Either way, it’s really fun to interact with others who do the same thing as you do and see what creative posts they’ve come up with. To make book blogging more fun and interactive blog hopping is the way to go.

C as in Consistency.

If you run a book blog I think consistency is something that’s good to remember. Consistency means different things depending on the posts you publish but basically, it’s all about trying your best to keep your promises to your readers. If they expect you to post on Mondays then try to do that to the best of your ability (however, you’re only human so it’s not something to get stressed about, just think about).

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D as in Diverse Books.

If you are in the book community then you need to know about the organization We Need Diverse Books.  The organization’s mission is, according to their website, “Putting more books featuring diverse characters into the hands of all children.” You can read more about their vision, mission and their definition of diversity here. I believe in the importance of marginalized readers being represented in books. For too long, books have had nothing but white, straight and otherwise privileged characters in books with either no diverse characters at all or just token characters that exist not to give representation but to fill a quota or to further the white characters’ growth through their misery, death or otherwise problematic subplot. Diverse books enrich our world, the book community, and marginalized readers’ lives. If you are a book blogger, my advice to you is to read as diversely as you can. You can do that in so many different ways, but my tip is to look at people that have recommendation lists for books that represent different minorities. Make sure to broaden your reading list to include a large variety of identities and intersections. You can find a broad list of diverse recommendations on We Need Diverse Books’ website here. I also have a few Goodreads shelves with recommendations. Here is my shelf for books with authors of color, books with LGBTQIA+ characters, and Jewish characters. However, these lists are in no way complete or the only books to read if you want to read diversely. If you want help to read more diversely you can also participate in #DiversityBingo2017 which was started by a group of people on Twitter. All of the information about this book challenge and the people who started it can be seen in their graphic. To see book recommendations for the challenge you can search for the hashtag on Twitter. Multiple bloggers have made recommendation lists for the bingo challenge. There is always a way to read more diversely and you should aspire to read books that represent the world the way it actually looks like and represents people who are everywhere around you in the world.

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Zodiac Recommendations #9 Libra Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to my ninth week of Zodiac Book Recommendations. Every week I’m recommending books for one of the zodiac signs, starting with Aquarius and ending with Capricorn, after chronological order. This week I have three book recommendations for Libra.

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Since we are talking about Libra this week, I hope you’re embracing the air around you so that you can take in the element of the sign. Like every other zodiac sign, the Libra have their strengths and weaknesses, and with these qualities in mind I have tried to find suitable book recommendations. I hope that whoever you are, whether you are a Libra yourself or someone who knows a Libra, you’ll enjoy these book recommendations. May at least one of these books help you channel your inner Libra.

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The books I’m recommending this week, in the name of Libra, are the following,

The books I’ve chosen are ones that I think celebrate Libra qualities in one way or another. I hope you’ll love these books, and maybe even find a new favorite. Check out my book recommendations for the other zodiac signs too. Next week I’m doing Scorpio, see previous recommendations here.

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Review of My Year of Epic Rock by Andrea Pyros

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1361263_large.jpgMy Year of Epic Rock by Andrea Pyros

Publication Date: September 2, 2014

Genres: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Music, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: Amazing allergy rep, a cute gang of kids who all play in a band together, and calling out mean girls.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: If Life Was Like a Song.

Nina Simmons’ song would be “You Can’t Always Eat What You Want.” (Peanut allergies, ugh). But that’s okay, because as her best friend Brianna always said, “We’re All in This Together.”

Until the first day of the seventh grade, when Brianna dumps her to be BFFs with the popular new girl. Left all alone, Nina is forced to socialize with “her own kind”–banished to the peanut-free table with the other allergy outcasts. As a joke, she tells her new pals they should form a rock band called EpiPens. (Get it?) Apparently, allergy sufferers don’t understand sarcasm, because the next thing Nina knows she’s the lead drummer.

Now Nina has to decide: adopt a picture-perfect pop personality to fit in with Bri and her new BFF or embrace her inner rocker and the spotlight. Well..

Call Me a Rock Star, Maybe.

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“Bringing my EpiPen with me everywhere I went was like having a stupid pimple that never went away! Besides, like I was going to have the guts to stab myself with a giant needle in the leg if I ate something I was allergic to anyway. Wouldn’t I bet too busy barfing or fainting or something else awful to be my own doctor?”

I’ve had severe allergies since the day I was born, and it hasn’t really been easy or fun most of the time. Having allergies can be extremely lonely, and pretty scary too, especially when your allergies can kill you in a matter of minutes. This book is a book I wish I had when I was younger. We all know that representation matters, and as I read My Year of Epic Rock it was as for the first time someone else had all the same fears and quirks as I did about my allergies.

Thank you, Andrea Pyros for giving a peanut allergic girl like me a book where I got to laugh, cry and just enjoy a whole gang of kids with different allergies just being themselves. No one dies in this book, the squad is all supportive of each other and to be honest having a band called The EpiPens is the most genius idea ever. I honestly hate my Epipen but I can’t go anywhere without it, and Nina just totally gets that, among other things like kissing and eating at a friend’s house. Nina’s mom also reminds me of my mom, which honestly makes me cry all over again. Because yes this book made me cry multiple times. I’ve never had anyone truly understand what I go through on a daily basis, and this book just hits right where it hurts.

All in all, what I wanted to say is this, if you are looking for a cute book about friendship and a group of kids starting a rock band together then pick this book. There are middle school crushes, lots of fun parts with all of the gang, and characters that feel completely genuine. The book community needs more books with main characters that have allergies, and if nothing else will convince you, I hope you might pick this book up to spread awareness about allergies. I know I will recommend this book to anyone that listens as I scream into the void. I want allergic teens to have what I didn’t.

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Sunshine Blogger Award

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Hi everyone, I hope you’re having an amazing day! I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award a few months ago by Holly @ Nut Free Nerd and I finally came around to writing this post. Thank you Holly for the nomination, it was so kind. I hope you all enjoy this post, and my answers!

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  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the eleven questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate eleven blogs to receive the award and write them eleven new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

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1. What’s your biggest source of motivation when it comes to blogging?

Amazing books and other bloggers to be honest! I blog because I love books, and I want to get to know other bloggers too. I mean getting to know other people who love books as much as you do, reading their posts, and them reading mine is just the greatest feeling.

2. What inspires you?

Everything. I like to take inspiration from my day-to-day life as much as possible, and bring that into my life and blogging.

3. Out of all of your posts, which one is your favorite?

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