Monday, 19 January 2009

Guest Blogger - The Book Queen



This week guest blogger is another book reviewer, who likes to have her fingers in a lot of pies as well. I met her on Librarything and have been following her blog and all the other places she frequent (which so happens to be all the places I frequent as well).


According to The Book Queen "I am, in fact, participating in a few different challenges this year. On LibraryThing: 999 challenge, Paranormal 999 Challenge. On Shelfari: 100+ challenge, Reader's of Romance Book Challenge. It's a bit hectic, remembering to update all of them, but at the same time, I like organizing and keeping my books that I've read so far and plan to read in a list like those." 


She has a quiet quality about the way she reviews. She not only lets us, the readers know the positives and the negatives, about a book,  but any author worth their salt will be able to go back to the drawing board with their next project with a clear idea of what worked and what didn't work.


Some of my bulging TBR books are from her recommendations and so far she has not steered me wrong.


I am quite chuffed that she has agreed to join me today. Please welcome The Book Queen.







1.Why do you Blog?


Honestly, it was something that I started spur of the moment this past summer!

I've always loved to read, of course, and I enjoy talking about books (both the good ones and the bad ones) with other people, but usually I've just limited the discussions with fellow friends and the occasional person I'd talk to on the various Website I'm on. But as I got more into entering contests, mostly for ARCs, and sometimes winning them through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program, I realized that maybe I should start blogging about the books, posting my reviews and thoughts there instead of just on LT, helping to spread the word as far as what books to run out and buy and which ones a person should probably just skip completely.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Since July '08, I've been trying to keep my blog up to date and fresh, most of my posts have been reviews on books, and a few posts talking about various contests and fun things going on at other blogs. It's not much, and it's definitely not the most technical or entertaining blog, but I like to think that I still give a few people good recommendations and maybe the occasional laugh. :)



2. What is your specialty area? Why did you get into it?


I try to read books from all genres, but I usually stick with what I love the most: fiction. It doesn't matter the form, really, whether it's a romance, a fantasy, a mystery, just as long as it is some sort of fiction. I can't stand reading a lot of books about real life. Personally, when I read, I like to escape the real world and submerge myself in another one, so why should I pick up a book that it based on all the things I look at and hear about daily? Nothing against non-fiction, of course, and I have read more than a few NF that I loved, but I'll always be a fantasy girl at heart.



That said, most of my reviews fit into the follow genres: Romance, Fantasy, and/or Teen Novels.


So far, I've hit more on romance books in my reviews, mainly because my TBR pile is almost entirely made up of them. I can't help it-- I'm a sucker for them, a helpless romantic at heart! But I would like to try expanding and reading books from other categories.


As far as why I started reviewing those kind of books, well, it's mainly like I said before-- I'm obsessed with my romance and fantasy, and even though the point of a review is to point out both the good and the bad things about a book, I tend to slip more towards the good things. I read and review a lot of books that I know ahead of time I will probably enjoy. Partly because, duh!, it's a book that I will probably end up loving at the end and partly because it's sometimes easier to write a nice review about a book that you actually have something positive to say about it! Okay, so I'm a bit lazy about my reviews, choosing a book that will end up being 'easy' to write about, but that's just how I am sometimes. Of course, if I find a book that I hated, or at least had problems with, I have no problem voicing those opinions, even if it is only that, an opinion.




3. What were some of the best and the worst for 2008?





This is a hard one! Partly because I hate picking favourites (Though I'm not against picking least favourites!), and also since a lot of the books I've read this year did not come out this year, which may make my lists a bit... short. However, I will do my best!



Bests (In No Particular Order):









  • ~Noah  by Jacquelyn Frank
  • ~Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
  • ~The Courtship Series by Nicole Jordan
  • ~The Darkness Chosen Series by Christina Dodd
  • ~The Lords of the Underworld Series by Gena Showalter
  • ~ Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione
  • ~ Shadow Magic by Cheyenne McCray
  • ~Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian
  • ~The Song by Jean Johnson
  • ~The Immortals After Dark Series by Kresley Cole
  • ~The Breeds Series by Lora Leigh

  • Playing Easy to GetA Hunger Like No OtherNo Rest for the WickedWicked Deeds on a Winter's Night
    Dark Needs at Night's EdgeDark Desires After DuskKiss of the Demon KingNot That Innocent

  • Worst:  



    Okay, so let me explain: Since I haven't read a whole lot of new releases this year, I have a very limited pool to draw from. And since out of that limited pool of 2008 released books that I have read, I did not read any that I would label as 'worst', this list will have to be empty. I don't believe I had any books (released this year, of course) that I gave less than 3.5-4 stars to! This could mean that I am easy on my rating system, or that it's just hard for me to find a book that I do not like. Either way, I have no complaints about 2008 books that I did read. Maybe if you asked my this question next year, and I read more current releases, I could give you a fairly long list. Oh well...


    4.As we are the voice of the masses and what difference do you think we make.

    Although a person's opinion is just that, an opinion, many people base their choices on other people's thoughts. Really, it's because of this that we do what we do, reviewing books and sharing our thoughts with others.



    Sometimes, the only way that someone finds a new favourite book is if someone else recommends it or gives them a little nudge towards it. In the same breath, this method is also used to warn people away from a book.



    So, basically, we have a fair amount of 'power' on the blog-o-sphere. No, we aren't commanding anyone to read or not to read something, but we are there to offer suggestions and discussions, which in turn can make others go out to buy the book.



    Personally, I like introducing someone to a new author or genre of books that they might never have tried other wise. I also realize that for some, reading out blogs and reviews are just entertainment, and they take our opinions with a grain of salt. (Wow, I never thought I'd start saying 'old' sayings like that! I guess I've been around a lot of older family members this past month, and they must have rubbed off on me a bit. LOL) I'm okay with that-- an opinion is just an opinion, not some golden rule that you have to follow. If you want to trust our word and pick up the book, that's great, if not, that's fine too. As long as you read what you like, it doesn't matter to me.



    5. What do you wish to do this year for your blog?



    I would like to change my lay out and make my blog more appealing, more eye catching. I'm not sure what I'm going to do to make it that way, and honestly I don't even know if I'll ever accomplish this, but it's on my list, and I'm going to start working on it in a few weeks. I look at other blogs and see all the work and time and effort that has been put into creating the posts and the graphics and links and then I look at mine and I think 'Wow, am I really that lazy?'. Of course, it's not all laziness, a lot of it is because of lack of time or resources. For example, I know of a few blogger's that like to make their own graphics through Photoshop or Illustrator. I've worked with both programs before, and had fun doing it, but I do not own either program on my home computer, so I stick to pictures either from my own camera or off of the Internet.



    Besides the lay out, I'd also like to improve on my writing, both reviews and regular posts. Clean up my grammar and mistakes more, make it both 'proper' but still captivating, or at least as captivating as I can hope to be. Besides the quality of the writing, I'd like to work harder on posting more often, and maybe for more than just review after review. Sometimes, the most interesting conversations I've joined on other blogs had nothing to do with books! LOL. That's all I'm going to say about that, but I would like to incorporate more fun and games.





    I'm trying to find more ways to get ARCs of books, so that my blog is not full of reviews only for the older releases. I'm not sure how or where I plan on getting these ARCs from, but I'm looking in to it. I'm jealous of some fellow blogger's who receive dozens of ARCs in a single month to review, while I may be lucky to receive one every couple months, either from LT's Early Reviewer's Program or some contest or another. Maybe as my blog grows, I'll be able to get more books. One can only hope, right?





    Last, but not least, I've been thinking of trying to add a contest to my blog, maybe not weekly or monthly like some, but at least a few times a year. IF I get a contest up and running, it would be for a book that has (probably) already been released and will have to be limited to US residents only. Sorry, but I'm not rich, and sometimes shipping just in the country is not the cheapest thing in the world. Right now I have a few duplicate books in my pile that I can't take back because I don't know where I got them from and I'm thinking that they would probably be the prize(s) in my first contest.



    6. What is the best thing about having a blog?




    Honestly, it's just the thought that I can share my love of books with other readers through one Website, one that I have control over. And the fact that there are others out there that actually read what I write, even just once, doesn't hurt either. A bit selfish of me, really, but there it is.



    7. Knowing that you have a following, how do you feel? How do you keep our interests?


    I touched on this briefly in the last question. It's good to know that even if I'm not a famous author or anything, I'm still able to catch a few people's attention with my writing (Though sometimes I wonder why on Earth anyone would want to read my posts. Usually this thought crosses my mind while I'm editing and revising a post. Thank God for things like Spell Check!). But no, really, I enjoy having a following, though mine is only a mini one (3 people, YEAH!) right now. One is better than none, of course. :)





    As far as keeping their attention, well, that doesn't always work out on my blog! But I do try to do reviews of more current books, popular ones. I usually work on bringing more than just my opinion to the posts, I try to turn it into the beginning of a discussion, both for the book and for other things, so that if someone comments, it can go on from there. Talking about current contests and events going on at other blogs, new releases and authors, things like that, are also some other tactics I use. Sometimes they do not work, but I try. I'm always open to suggestions though, so if anyone wants to leave a comment about what they'd like to see more (or less) of, feel free. I promise, I won't be offended! :D



    8.While blogging gives away a piece of our identity - do you feel you have changed (become more adventurous / more aware) since blogging.




    Hm... well, sometimes I feel like I don't give enough away in my writing, but I'm use to being more of a solitary person, quiet and shy, and posting personal information about myself all over the Internet has never been my thing. I stick with the basics, and if a person asks and I want to tell them, I might give out more, but other than that, no way! So I'd have to say that blogging hasn't changed me much. Although, I have got into a few bitch fights with a certain member on another Website I visit, something I normally wouldn't do, so maybe blogging has changed me a bit? Although, I have to say she started it for no reason and I was fairly polite at first. But you can only insult and annoy me so many times before I bite. Just a warning... :) I'm nice, but I can snap and have a temper/attitude that you wouldn't believe!




    9. The age old question - boxers, brief, pantaloons, breeches or commando



    Ooh! I guess it just depends on the guy in question.


    I'm not huge on tightey-whites (briefs), but on the right guy, they can be pretty sexy.



    Boxers are almost always a 'yes'. They cover, but still hint at what's below. And the way they hug the thigh? A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! However, sometimes they do tend to get in the way....Damn them!



    Pantaloons and breeches are also okay, but I prefer them on my historical heroes only.



    I saved the best for last: commando. Though it may seem a bit nasty in theory, when it's the right guy and you just want to get to him, the best choice is always au natural. Nothing binding, covering, or getting in the way. It's like the Scots, joking about what they were under their kilt? I wouldn't object to that! Mmm...Highlanders! Oops, sorry, starting to drool/day dream there.



    On the other hand, if it is some pudgy old guy walking down the street, I'd rather not know that he is going commando. **Shudders**.

    10. Fantasy Man...


    If you've seen my profile, my question is:

    Why can't there really be a 'tall, dark, and handsome' Perfect Man out there for all of us? And why can't he be: A) a

    Highland Warrior from the 17th century, B) a sexy **But not evil** vampire, OR C) Both?

    That pretty much sums up my fantasy man! Unfortunately, I don't believe I'll be lucky enough to be transported back in time to find a Highland Warrior and my friends have had to tell me, repeatedly, that vampires are only fiction. SIGH. So, since I can't have my fantasy man, I'll have to settle for someone else.

    So far, I haven't found him, but hey, I still have time! I would like to say that he could be 'plain' and I'd still love him, but I can't promise that. Face it: Society has been brainwashed into believing that attraction, based on body image and looks, is more important than what's on the inside. Luckily, most of us realize that this is not right, and look for more than just a sexy man, but it usually takes us a few trial and errors and maybe even a couple relationships to figure this out.


    I don't want a man that has more brawn than brain, and I don't want to spend the rest of my life with someone who's  personality is dull or doesn't fit mine. I'm not asking for someone that matches me point for point, that would be boring, but I want us to have something in common, hopefully a couple something's. In the long run, after getting to know the guy, I'd make my decision based more on what he's like on the inside rather than how he looks on the outside. As long as he loves me, and I love him, I'm happy.


    And, okay, I forgot to mention one more important thing: he has to know how to kiss. Among other things, of course. :D I'm willing to tutor, but there has to be potential there, I can't magically create passion out of thin air, you know! If only,





    Find The Book Queen here:


    2 Speak To Me:

    Erotic Horizon on 20 January 2009 at 23:08 said...

    Thanks you to The Book Queen for joining me, as my guest blogger.


    The_Book_Queen on 22 January 2009 at 01:17 said...

    Any time. I enjoyed doing it. Keep up the great work with your blog!