Category Archives: Ramblings

Top 10 books I read in 2017

I can’t believe it’s already 2018! Last year was a little chaotic for me. It seemed like there was always something going on, and my reading/blogging took a hit because of it. Thankfully, I was able to talk my sister, Jodi, into coming on board and helping me review for the blog. She loves to read and has a different genre preference than I do. She likes more Stephen King and paranormal books, whereas I like romance novels. So, it’s been great having her help out because she will be adding a little something different to the blog.

While I never did meet my Goodreads goal for the year, I did read a little over 100 books. So, I am not too upset with my reading from last year. While there were a lot of duds for me, there were also some really amazing books that I read last year. A few of which surprised me. I just want to take a moment to highlight some of my favorite reads from last year.

 

Top 10 books I read in 2017

 

Haven by Mary Lindsay [review]

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

 

 

The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren [review]

It’s been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.

Liv Arias thought she’d never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs…

 

 

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent [review]

When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

 

 

Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne [review]

A healer who cannot be healed . . .

When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.

A soldier shattered by war . . .

Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.

Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.

This smart, sweeping fantasy with a political edge and a slow-burning romance will capture fans of The Lumatere Chronicles and An Ember in the Ashes.

 

 

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen [review]

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

 

 

Ride Wild by Laura Kaye [review]

Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders…

Wild with grief over the death of his wife, Sam “Slider” Evans merely lives for his two sons. Nothing holds his interest anymore—not even riding his bike or his membership in the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. But that all changes when he hires a new babysitter.

Recently freed from a bad situation by the Ravens, Cora Campbell is determined to bury the past. When Slider offers her a nanny position, she accepts, needing the security and time to figure out what she wants from life. Cora adores his sweet boys, but never expected the red-hot attraction to their brooding, sexy father. If only he would notice her…

Slider does see the beautiful, fun-loving woman he invited into his home. She makes him feel too much, and he both hates it and yearns for it. But when Cora witnesses something she shouldn’t have, the new lives they’ve only just discovered are threatened. Now Slider must claim—and protect—what’s his before it’s too late.

 

 

Trust by Kylie Scott [review]

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

 

 

Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle [review]

He lost his mentor.
He lost his K9 partner.
He almost lost his will to live.
But when a ruthless killer targets a woman on the run, Theo and his new K9 companion will do whatever it takes to survive—and save the woman neither can live without.

Grieving the death of his partner, Theo Bosco has no room in his life for distractions. Though his instincts scream that he should avoid Juliet ‘Jules’ Jackson, he can’t seem to stay away. It doesn’t help that Theo’s new K9 companion has fallen head over paws with Jules’s rambunctious family.

Or that when he’s with her, Theo finally knows peace.

When Jules rescued her siblings, whisking them away to the safety of the beautifully rugged Colorado Rockies, she never expected to catch the eye—or the heart—of a cop. Yet as Jules struggles to fight her growing attraction to the brooding K9 officer, another threat lurks much closer to home…

And this time, there’s no escape.

 

 

Master Professor by Tara Sue Me [review]

Students are begging to be held after class…

Andie Lincoln is madly in love with Terrence Knight–her childhood friend-turned-Hollywood’s newest golden boy. But he’s a Dominant and wants her trained as a submissive before he’ll consider a relationship with her. He enrolls her at the RACK Academy with strict instructions for her teachers: Do whatever you need to, but don’t take her virginity.

Fulton Matthews, the director of incoming students, is enthralled by Andie. Though he questioned her enrollment at first, watching her discover her submissive nature is hotter than his most intense fantasy. Under his control, her sexual awakening brings him to his knees.

Yet they can go only so far. Andie belongs to another, and Fulton is bound by a contract that strictly forbids relationships between teachers and students. But when Terrence comes to collect his prize, Fulton discovers it’s not easy to let Andie go. . .

 

 

Written in Red by Anne Bishop [review]

No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

 

 

What were some of your favorite books from 2017?

 

 

Some of my favorite holiday movies

‘Tis the season to be running around getting last-minute stuff done before the holidays. While Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday, I am not a fan of all the stress that goes along with it. It doesn’t help that all my friends and family are three time zones away from me. So, I have to purchase and order stuff way in advance so that I can wrap it and ship it out in time. Craziness I tell you. However, while the weeks may be non-stop between various errands and last-minute post office runs, I always make sure to veg out on the weekend and watch some of my favorite holiday movies. Ironically enough, this book blogger does not read holiday books… and I’m sure there are a ton of holiday romances out there. I just like my movies. Plus, if I’m being honest with your guys, I’ve been trying to read the same book for almost two weeks now. 🙁 Not because it’s bad or anything, I just don’t have time to sit down and read. So, movies are definitely my thing.

 

While I don’t read holiday stories, I do feel like I still get bookworm points for watching the Harry Potter saga every year. We always start watching the movies around Halloween time, and then slowly watch a movie every weekend up until Christmas. I’m not overly sure when it started but it’s been a thing of ours for the last handful of years. All I know is that it’s the perfect holiday series to watch because they incorporate the holidays into the films. So, while it’s not a movie that revolves solely around Christmas, it does have mention the holidays, and they open presents… so that has to count for something, right?

 

 

We also watch Elf every year. I mean, how could you not? It’s a story about a human baby who crawls into Santa’s bag of presents while Santa is putting presents under the tree. He travels all the way to the North Pole (where they realize that there’s a stowaway on board) and is raised by the elves. When he’s an adult, he decides he wants to meet his real father and makes the journey to NYC to find his dad. Let’s just say that things don’t go quite as planned. To me, there’s no better holiday story out there. It’s funny, endearing, and it never fails to put me into the holiday spirit. Plus, The Mister loves everything Will Ferrel is in, so this is an absolute must for us every year.

 

 

Another must for us is Four Christmases. While The Mister is a huge Will Ferrel fan, I seem to love any movie Vince Vaughn is in. Then you add Reese Witherspoon into the mix and you have a really great duo. If you don’t know about the story, it’s essentially about this couple who instead of going home for the holidays, they make up this crazy lie about volunteering in some third world country when they really go on an exotic vacation. However, due to bad weather, all flights are cancelled and they are strong armed into going to see their families for the holidays. Both of their parents are divorced… and their families are a bit dysfunctional and crazy, which makes for some hilarious moments. The Mister and I have even used their code-word “Mistletoe” when we are out and about, and one of us has had enough and is ready to get out of there without outwardly saying so.

 

 

And last but certainly not least, one of my all time favorites is White Christmas. I used to watch this movie with my parents when it would play on the TV every year around the holidays. So, when I got married and moved away, I made sure I had the movie on DVD so that I could watch it every year like I did growing up. It’s just a classic. The story revolves around two old Army pals (who are now big entertainers) who come across their old commanding officer (who runs a snow lodge) while on break for the holidays. The only problem is… there’s no snow. Needless to say, there are no visitors staying at the snow lodge when there’s no snow. With money being tight and the future looking grim for their old commanding officer, they decide to put on a Broadway show at the lodge to attract people to visit. There are a couple of surprises thrown in there for him and let’s just say it’s kind of emotional. I cry my eyes out every time they line up in their old uniforms and sing “The Old Man”. Gah. It guts me every time… but they are happy tears. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about.

 

 

Oh wait! I forgot to mention our actual Christmas day tradition! So, a couple years ago, when The Force Awakens came out, a couple of friends of ours asked us if we wanted to see the movie with them on Christmas morning. The Mister and I had nothing going on and hadn’t seen the movie yet so we decided to go. I’ve honestly never been out and about on Christmas before. Usually I stay inside, play with my new gifts, stuff my face with food, and watch movies. So, it was a whole new experience going out to eat and going to see a movie on Christmas day. The following year, we were just hanging out around the house when The Mister randomly tells me he wanted to see the new Star Wars movie. He really liked going on Christmas day the past year and wanted to do it again. It was fun, but our friends weren’t able to come out with us, so we just wound up going to see the movie and then coming straight home. Since The Mister has declared this our new Christmas thing, I got together with our friends and we looked for a fancy movie theater, the one with recliner seating, and was able to find one that still had seats available on Christmas day. Seriously, who knew Christmas was the day to see Star Wars? We are clearly not the only ones who have made a tradition out of this. Anyway, it’s a relatively new tradition here, and one that is reliant on Disney cranking out a Star Wars movie every year right before the holidays. But as long as they keep on the same schedule, we will have a fun Christmas day tradition. 🙂

 

Anyway, those are our Christmas movie traditions. There are so many holiday movies out there though. What are some of your favorite holiday movies to watch this time of year?

 

 

 

Do you write reviews for books you don’t finish?

When I first started the book blog, I finished every book I read. I think it was partially because I was excited to be given books to review, and I was also just getting back into reading and was devouring every book I came across. However, I got burnt out real fast and soon decided that it wasn’t worth pushing myself to read a book that I just wasn’t into. Basically, if I’m bored while reading it, and am loath to pick it back up after putting it down for a break, I give it the heave-ho. There are just way too many books out there to spend it on one that just isn’t for me. However, do I still turn around and write a review on the book I just gave up on reading? If I have something to say about the book, then the answer is yes, and here’s why.

A lot of times a do not finish for me just left me feeling “blah” and I don’t have anything to really write because the book didn’t leave me feeling anything. When that happens I just move on. However, there are times when a book snags my attention but still just isn’t for me. Even if I don’t love a book, or didn’t finish it, I still want to try to share it with you guys. Let’s face it, we aren’t always going to like the same books. There are many huge fandoms over books that I just don’t get. So, I realize that even though I may not be feeling a particular book or story, you may love it. So, even though I don’t know how the story ends, I can still share the book with you and maybe explain why the book didn’t work for me. Sometimes the reasons I list may be things that ping your interest. One thing I always try to be in my reviews, even when I don’t finish them, is respectful to the author. They worked hard on that story and that is their baby. I’m not here to knock it down or anything. I just want to share the book with you guys. Heck, there have been one star and do not finish reviews that I’ve read on some of my favorite book blogs that made me pick up a book… and I really enjoyed them!

So, yeah, if I have something to say about a book to give you guys a sense of what it’s about and why it didn’t work for me, I’m going to write a review. We’re aren’t going to love every book we read and we aren’t all going to love the same books. So, the book I am unable to finish may be a book that you can’t put down.

 

To all my book blogging friends out there, do you write reviews for the books you don’t finish?

 

 

 

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Blogging is not as easy as you would think. I have a food blog that I started many years ago but it is nothing like Book Sniffers Anonymous. I only post recipes when I have something to share and I only started it so that I could share recipes with my family and friends without having to send out multiple emails. So, when I decided to start BSA, I thought it would be the same, low key thing as Holy Cannoli Recipes. I was sorely mistaken. I mean, I could still have the same slow, on my time, posting schedule but you can’t really do that when you are accepting review books and taking part in tours. Not to mention that there’s a huge difference between spending a couple hours in the kitchen cooking up a recipe, and spending a couple of days reading one book. So, it’s safe to say that BSA takes up a lot of my time. It’s even more true considering that this blog is a one woman show. I don’t have other bloggers coming in and helping me out by posting, reviewing, or doing social media. Which is why some things fall through the cracks and I’m not always active on all the social media sites. I just don’t have the time to read, post, stop by my favorite blogs, make sure my social media sites have the latest review link uploaded, cross post reviews on bookseller sites, and post multiple pictures on Instagram every day. Heck, I’m lucky if I get one picture in a week on there. I just don’t have that kind of time. Seriously, how do some of you guys do it?

One thing I recently did was convince my sister to help me out on the blog. She’s a big reader and I figured if I could have her help me out with reviews, that would be some weight off my shoulders. If you’ve been with me from the start, you may have noticed that I have had a couple people help out over the years. I actually started the blog with a very good friend of mine. However, her life started to get really busy and she didn’t have the time to work on the blog with me and I felt bad that I was pestering her about reviews. After that I enlisted my best friend from back home to help out with reviews. She has a completely different reading preference than I do. She would read more self-help and non-fiction books and I loved having her on here to mix things up. But again, she was climbing the corporate ladder at work, buying a new home, and really just didn’t have time to read any more. So, I’ve been chugging along just trying to keep my head above water when I decided to practically beg my sister to help me out. Thankfully she said she would come on board and I’m really happy I was able to persuade her to help out. So, you will be seeing reviews pop up from time to time from Jodi. She doesn’t have any social media handles yet but if she decides to set something up, I will be sure to include them on the website. 🙂

 

I am curious though, for those of you that have book blogs, how do you guys manage to keep up with your blogs?

 

 

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A crazy month and a rough week

 

 

I know I’ve been a little quick here over the last couple of weeks and I promise to pick it back up and stop by and visit everyone very soon. My parents flew out for a visit and they kept me rather busy during the two weeks they were here. It was my father’s first time visiting California, so there were things he wanted to do and see before they flew back home. We drove up to Santa Anita racetrack and got to see the horse races there. We went to La Jolla Cove to not only check out the pacific ocean but to also see the sea lions. The Backstreet Boys came into town for a summer concert and I took my mom to see them. My dad even came with my mom and I to a local winery village… and he doesn’t even drink. Needless to say, I was rather busy while they were here.

 

 

Not only were my parents out for a visit but on their last day here I lost one of my furbabies (Weeble) suddenly. Some of you may remember Weeble from previous posts when she was diagnosed with cancer. We thought everything was fine, she even had a full check up with blood panels done recently and everything was looking great. However, on Monday morning I found her and realized that my little book sniffer was no longer with us. We’re not sure what happened or why she passed. So, bear with me for the next week or two. I’m slowly trying to get back into the groove but the inspiration to post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and comment on other blogs just isn’t there right now. I hope that with the holiday weekend coming up that I will be able to get out of this funk and get back to work on BSA.

 

 

 

 

 

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Why That Book?

Today I’m going to be talking about what makes me pick up the books that I do.

We’ve all heard it, don’t judge a book by it’s cover… but it’s so hard! I mean, they’re right. Some covers I’ve fallen in love with and the story within them weren’t my thing. Then there were covers that were lacking, in my opinion, that I absolutely loved! So, it is true that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but at the same time, that’s the first thing you see. So, I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say the number one thing that draws my attention when at a bookstore or browsing books online is the cover. The cover art is the first thing I see and I either instantly hate the book because the cover doesn’t jive with me, or I am in love with the book and then proceed to look at the synopsis.

However, there have been times where the cover hasn’t tickled my fancy but I notice the author and it gives me pause. Like most bookworms, we tend to be loyal to our favorite authors. I’m well aware that authors, at least the traditionally published ones, do not really have a say in the covers/titles/synopsis of their books. They write the material within and the publisher wraps it up in a pretty little package for the readers to enjoy. So there have been times where a cover has turned me off but the author themselves drew me back in.

Another thing that may grab my attention is word of mouth. If I hear about a book enough on the blogosphere, chances are I’m going to pick it up. That’s happened to me a bunch of times. I wasn’t blown away by the cover, the synopsis left me iffy, and I didn’t know the author. However, I kept hearing about these books over and over and over. Finally, I gave in and decided to give them a chance. Turned out that I’ve fallen in love with the majority of the books I’ve read this way. Maybe it’s because I went in with low expectations and a clean slate as to what to expect. All I know is that I’ve learned to listen to my fellow bloggers and readers when it comes to what they recommend and talk about.

And last, the biggest thing for me that sells me on a book is the synopsis. Ultimately, I’m not getting the book for the cover art or so that I can say that I have “so-and-so’s” book on my shelf. No! I get it because I want to read the material within all that good stuff. While the cover art is always a plus, and books with pretty covers get featured on my shelves by having their covers facing outward, it is not all there is to it. Sadly, a lot of book tend to get overlooked when I’m browsing the shelves in a store because I see the cover first and unless it catches my attention I skim over it. However, when it comes to blogging and getting review requests, I’m forced to kind of read the synopsis first and look at the cover second. Regardless though, even when it comes to my favorite authors or a gorgeous cover, I still read the synopsis and that helps me determine if I’ll read.

 

What makes you want to pick up a book and read it?

 

 

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Love-a-Thon: A Little Bit About Me


This weekend I’m taking part in the Love-a-Thon hosted by Alexa Loves Books, The Novel Hermit, Super Space Chick,  and The Daily Prophecy. The Love-a-Thon is an event dedicated to spreading positivity and love. It’s time dedicated to visiting other bloggers/Instagrammers/BookTubers, leaving a comment or two, making new friends and fostering positivity among the members of our amazing community.

 

Now that we got what Love-a-thon is out of the way, I’d like to take a moment to tell you a bit about myself. Many of you know my story but for those of you who don’t know who I am, my name’s Kristin and I’m currently in the SoCal area. I love reading anything with romance in it. So, with that being said I read young adult, new adult, contemporary, historical, paranormal, fantasy, and urban fantasy novels.

When I was a kid my mom would bring me to the library every week to get new books to read. However, once I started school and had literary classics jammed down my throat year after year, reading sort of lost it’s appeal for me. I actually didn’t get back into reading until about seven years ago when I finally gave in and gave Twilight a shot. I had a bunch of friends who wouldn’t stop telling me to read it. So, I got a copy of the book from my local library and quickly read the saga within a handful of days, and I haven’t looked back since. I didn’t actually get into book blogging until a year later. I stumbled across a book blog one day and realized that there were a lot of books out there that I had no idea existed. Since I already had a food blog [Holy Cannoli Recipes] I decided to create a book blog so that I could share new books and authors with my family and friends back home. Book Sniffers Anonymous is actually a mash-up of two names (book sniffers/bibliophiliacs anonymous) for a book club that a friend and I had been contemplating starting before I moved away. However, the book club idea fell through and each of those names were already taken on Blogger, so I mushed them together and got Book Sniffers Anonymous. I’m not too upset about the outcome because I couldn’t imagine my blog being named anything else.

While the blog is my main focus, I do like to chat with other readers on Twitter and Facebook. I just recently opened an Instagram account and have been having fun both checking out all the amazing bookish photos as well as sharing some of my own.

 

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I Love Twilight!

 

 

 

I am a fan of Twilight!

… there, I said it. You may be wondering why I’m randomly shouting about my love of Twilight on the blog. You see, I’m sick of this stigma the series has. I used to be afraid to say that I enjoyed the books because so many people look down on it. At one of my book club meetings, somehow the discussion came up about them and I had to point out that I actually LIKED the books. They will always hold a special place in my heart because they are actually what got me into reading. I hated having books crammed down my throat in school. So much, that I hated reading and didn’t read anything more than a grocery store magazine… for years! Then after many people badgered me about reading this new phenomenon taking over, I gave in and decided to give it a try. I devoured the series within a week. Which then sparked my interest into reading, which ultimately led me to start blogging about books.

 
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Random Ramblings About 2016 and My Top Ten Books From the Year

Well, 2016 is almost over and all I have to say is thank goodness! This year was crazy, and while I had some good times, I also had a lot of stress. Depending on how long you’ve been following the blog, you may or may not know that I moved this summer. We only moved an hour away from our old location but we made the move because the Mister’s job relocated him to a new office and that office was an hour away… in horrible city traffic. It was taking him at least two hours to get home every night. So, we decided to pack up our stuff, in the middle of the summer heat, and move. I’m pretty sure we moved during a heat wave. Anyways, that was brutal and not something I ever want to do again. Mainly because the Mister refused to drive the massive moving truck we got, which mean lil ol’ me drove that behemoth. And let me tell you, the people in SoCal do not like to use their garages or driveways for whatever reason. So I had to maneuver this thing through small residential roads with cars lining both sides. It was not fun.

 

One thing I LOVED about 2016 was the fact that I finally got to go to RT convention. I’d been following it for years watching it bounce all over the map but never making it to my neck of the woods. Then, when they announced it was going to be in LA, only a six hour drive for me, I bought a ticket and went. I had a blast. Granted at the time I was wondering why anyone in their right mind would do this year after year. I mean, it is stressful and oh so overwhelming. You had multiple classes, parties, and panels going on at the same time, then you only had like ten minutes to rush to the next event. However, if it was a party, there were people lining up for it like an hour in advance. So, there were a few times where I got in line for something only to not make it in, not get a goodie bag, or not get a seat. It was all about sitting in lines for parties. Which was the fun part because you got goodie bags with books and author swag. Plus, those goodie bags were reusable tote bags (which I love!), AND most of the time it was a way to interact with your favorite authors one-on-one. Not going to lie to you though, the most rewarding thing I found were the panels. Sitting in a small room while you favorite author, or maybe even an author you’d never heard of before (happened to me a lot since my roommates and I were mixing our schedules together), and you got to listen to how they created something that thousands of people now read. Anything from, how to write humor, where it comes from (lot of it they take from personal conversations), how to write a steamy scene that’s believable, how to co-author a book when you don’t even live in the same state, how to write suspense, how to write sports romance when you are not in fact a pro-athlete. I mean, there was just so much behind-the-scenes stuff I learned that I honestly found that to be the most rewarding.

 

I could go on and on about all that happened this year behind the scenes and that would probably explain why I’ve been a bit absent here and there. 2016 has been poppin’ and while I’m sad to see it go, I’m ready to see what 2017 has in store. However, I would like to take a moment to list some of my favorite books that I read in 2016. I mean, this is a book blog after all. I have to talk about books. 😉

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How do you follow your favorite blogs?

ramblings12

 

I’m curious how everyone follows their favorite blogs. There’s so many ways to follow a blog nowadays that the possibilities are kind of endless. That is, as long as your blog is signed up for that particular website/network. You can subscribe via email, follow the RSS feed, follow via Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and the list goes on.

I try to limit the website/platforms I sign up for because there’s just no way I can follow/participate on them all. So, for me, I follow blogs via Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I never sign up for email subscriptions because between the spam, my personal emails, and the blog emails, I would feel way too overwhelmed if I got bombarded by tons of emails a day.

 

I use Facebook to keep in touch with all my family and friends back home, so I like that I can also follow blogs/authors on there as well. It’s kind of a one-stop-shop for me. However, as we all know, Facebook has gone downhill and it no longer likes to show everyone the feed from the pages they’ve liked unless they interact with the page on a regular basis. I know this because I rarely get any interaction on my page and when you compare it to the number of people that follow the blog on there, the numbers just don’t add up. I also asked my sister, who follows my blog on FB, if she was seeing my posts and she had never seen a BSA post on her feed…Ever. So, she went to the page, liked a few posts, and now she gets the latest updates from my page. It’s also a bit wonky that whenever I like a page I have to hover over the “Liked” button on the page and edit the notifications for that page to make sure I actually get the page’s updates on my news feed. So, that’s why I don’t just solely follow my favorite blogs/authors on Facebook.

 

 

I also like Twitter because bloggers and authors usually posts short updates about their day, what books they are reading, pictures of where they are, and also link to their latest posts. Twitter is more of my chatting platform to talk to everyone. I personally use it for both blog and personal aspects. I try to keep my posts book related but sometimes I go off topic and will talk about things going on that day, post pictures of something interesting that I caught on camera, and then also post links to my blog posts.

 

 

Then of course I have my trusty Bloglovin feed that is strictly for me to go through all the blogs I follow. This is primarily how I follow a blog and comment on their posts. I just like that I can put the blogs in specific categories. Since I’m a foodie, I also follow a lot of food blogs. So, it’s nice to be able to click on a tab and only get the post updates from a certain set of blogs instead of getting them all at once. Plus, Bloglovin only shows you the website’s latest posts. It’s not a social network where you can chat with people. Another thing I like is that I’m a visual person, and Bloglovin doesn’t just list the latest posts from the blogs you follow. It will show you the top/featured pictures on the post, the title, and a snippet of the post itself. So, I’m able to cruise through posts and see what everyone is posting and a lot of the times a picture will snag my attention and I click to the post in order to read more, even if the title isn’t something that would normally hold my interest.

 

 

I actually just recently opened an Instagram account. I was honestly getting tired of all the ranting, complaining, and political stuff I was seeing on Twitter and I kept hearing about how calm Instagram was. So, I decided to make an account and share bookish photos. I can see why everyone loves this platform because I’ve spent quite a bit of time scrolling through all the pretty pictures on there. I’m completely new at Instagram so I haven’t really spent a lot of time searching for people on there. I kind of just stumble across other book lovers and follow them. Probably after the holidays, I will sit down and search for authors and other bloggers on there so that I can follow them on the Instagram platform.

 

Now, I’m not saying the other platforms are bad, it’s just I feel like, for me, that’s more than enough for me to connect with readers/bloggers/authors. I actually fought getting an Instagram account. Primarily because I don’t have a smartphone and uploading a picture on there is a bit more lengthy than just taking a picture on my phone and loading it up. I actually have to take a picture on my camera, load the picture up on my desktop, then transfer it to my dropbox account, and then fire up the Mister’s tablet, and then upload the picture onto Instagram from there. Which is why you won’t find me blasting Instagram with photos. I know there are a lot of other ways to follow blogs/authors, it’s just that these are the platforms that I use. They are not right or wrong. They are just what works for me. However, I would like to know…

How do you follow your favorite blogs/authors?