BEA Review

Now that BEA is over I thought I’d do an overall review on it and a recap of my past two days. Overall, I just loved my experiences. Meeting all these great authors, editors and bloggers. Seriously an amazing experience.

20130601-204648.jpgI have to say, the BEA app made things so easy. You were allowed to browse publishers, book releases, authors and autograph lists. It was easy to set up my agenda. However, I do wish it was updated. There were plenty of authors that did not appear in the app and I only happened to find them by luck.

20130601-205018.jpg Tahereh Mafi for example was a last minute addition that I was happy to have seen. She was very friendly and although I made it clear I am so Team Warren she refused to give any hints. 😉 And I gotta say, in those few minutes I tried to pry some info out of her, she says we’ll just have to wait and see.

20130601-210721.jpgJulie Kagawa had me reverting right back to groupie mode after having felt desensitized to meeting all these amazing authors. I complimented her on her awesome skills on weaving me around her fingers with her storytelling (in not so many words) and told her what I thought of her ending to The Eternity Cure. Which was pretty desperate to know what happened next. I think what was said after could have been perceived as a threat- that if there was no line I would badger her until she gave me some deets to hold me over. Well she laughed and was a great sport. Definitely pretty memorable for me.

20130601-211253.jpgI also had the pleasure of meeting Richelle Mead. She was friendly but didn’t make too much effort to socialize. With the line she had, she might’ve been feeling the pressure so no judgements. Just saying.

20130601-211627.jpgOkay, Jim Carey has nothing to do with YA but I was such a fan I couldn’t resist…

20130601-212607.jpgKatie McGarry was so great. I loved chatting with her and she was happy to hear what I thought of Dare You To. I should be posting that review anyway now.

Ok. So every time I think of the BEA conference the word that comes to mind is amazing. And while this is absolutely the case I also realize its about that time for me to read the dictionary and find adjectives beside awesome and amazing. 🙂 I had the time of my life and am already looking forward to next year. And I definitely have some great giveaways planned so stay tuned… You know, once I sort through these two suitcases worth of books.

BEA Day 1 (For me)

I gotta say, I had an absolutely amazing day today. Exhausting, but amazing. I meant to post earlier, but knocked out as soon as I got in. So here’s what I got:

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I’ll be honest. I went in with a little stash expecting to have to pay for my books and was overly excited when I realized they were free. Seriously guys, I think I went overboard. I came home with a little over 40 books and have no clue what more than half if them are about…

20130531-000750.jpgI felt like a total groupie today. I was over excited and begging for extra signed copies and pictures. P.S. Kendare Blake was awesome.

20130531-000912.jpgI know I look super dorky, but imagine what Ally Carter thought of me! She was really sweet btw.

20130531-001110.jpgMeeting Veronica Rossi was ultimately humiliating for me. She was super sweet and making an attempt to talk and connect with her readers. Well dumb dumb here froze up and her attempt at conversation was met up with, “I just want a signature.” She clearly felt dismissed and I’ve been kicking myself in the butt all day after that. Definitely made an attempt to be friendlier after that.

20130531-001347.jpgWell that was until I met Veronica Roth. She was very friendly and definitely was making an attempt to hear my rambling. Well until I told her that I did not enjoy Insurgent. Um… You could see the light leaving her eyes… Yet she was still friendly and nice. She said that she’s excited to see what her readers think of Divergent’s final book.

20130531-001722.jpgLauren Oliver was really cool. There was a “no pictures” policy, I tried to take this one on the sly. Sorry for the bad quality.

After this I stopped taking pictures but also met Lauren Kate, Abbi Glines, Linda Lael Miller and a few others.

So, yeah, I felt like a total groupie but had an amazing time. I am looking forward to tomorrow. I have no clue how I’m going to make it home and travel with all of these books but am loving every minute of it.

BEA Bound

Hello Everyone! I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA lately! Thank you for your patience with me and not unfollowing me! Seriously y’all, thanks for sticking with me!

As promised I will be attending the BEA conference. A little late but still excited to be able to attend and enjoy. I hope to have some great giveaways coming soon! Will I see any of you there? Is there any author attending you would like to see giveaways from? Let me know!

20130529-194808.jpgNYC Bound! YAY!

Change on the horizon… Yes- me and politics.

Have you guys come to expect all sorts of post from me? I’m not really sure what each of you will answer to that… But, I’m hoping you guys will bear with me will I delve into a bit of politics.

There is quite a bit of controversy going all over the internet because Amazon purchased Goodreads. Quite a big deal. My first reaction was wondering what would happen to my beloved site with pink slips exchanging hands. Well, if you are within that number, rest assured. Amazon was said to have shared in the vision of what Goodreads was meant to be and plans to leave its original staff in place to continue their work and vision. In fact, as of yet, it seems that Amazons main intention is to enhance recommendations to include Amazon’s database.

Well here is where it gets good. Apparently, after a few hiccups three of the worlds biggest publishing houses (Penguin, Hachette and Simon & Schuster) have joined forces and launched Bookish. Not necessarily like Goodreads… Well maybe a little. It’s just missing the social aspect of it. They are good on recommendations, interviews, author bios, etc. The launch of Bookish seems to have been taken by Amazon to be a declaration of war, prompting them to buy Goodreads. At least that is the insinuation. Well delving deeper into this apparent rivalry, I found a bit of intriguing information.

First, publishing houses around the world have collaboratively had their panties in a bunch and mutually dislike Amazon for making self publishing so mainstream. I’d say there’s a bit of pissing contest going on there. Second, Amazon has been in a bit of controversy and it seems they have an impending lawsuit. What for you ask? Monopoly. No not the board game. They are accused of monopolizing the self publishing industry. *Nodding my head with understanding* Yeah, I get that. Not that I have enough specifics to know whether that accusation holds water, I do however understand why other websites feel they can’t compete with Amazon…

Now, back to Goodreads. There is much speculation of what Amazon will do with Goodreads in the long run. After all, it hardly makes sense for them to be ok with owning a company that sends readers to dozens of websites to purchase their preferred book. As of now, we appear to be safe, from that changing. While being accused of monopolizing the industry, it hardly seems logical to confirm their claims by being the only available retailer across Goodreads.

Well I believe that we have a lot to watch out for. I see changes coming in the Goodreads horizon.

In this new year….

Have you guys noticed my absence this past week? I apologize for that. To make it simple, I was overwhelmed. I was just getting back from a vacation, my oldest was returning to school and then there are a few curve balls life has thrown me. So again, sorry. With my apology being put out there, I wanted my first post of the year to be my blog-olution (blog New Year’s resolution). In warning it will be long and might get a little sappy.

First, a lot has changed in me and in my life since I started blogging. And truth be told, blogging is a lot different for me now than it was in the beginning. At first, I took it easy. I had few obligations in my personal life, I found the the perfect excuse to feed my book obsession (and loved it) and keeping to an every other day schedule while reading one book every other day was fun and easy. I enjoyed writing random stuff that would allow you guys to get to know me and with time, I forgot how to have fun with it.

Lately life has thrown me a few curve balls and the TiffanyLovesBooks has turned into something else. I thank all of you who have stuck with me through all of this and I ask that you continue to stick with me. To be honest my biggest blogging resolution this year is to find a way to make it fun again. To bring back the spice to this relationship… 😉 Haha… But seriously, I have a few ideas (my blog-olution) to make things better for me, and hopefully for you too- things to make it fun again.

So here it goes: first, my posting schedule will be changing. Instead of my every other day, which became very difficult to keep up with, I will be posting three times a week. No specific days, just three times a week. If there are more, then great, but that’s my quota. Next, in all of this brainstorming, I’ve realized that along the way, I lost sight of what I wanted this blog to be when I started it. I have excelled in some areas, like the Author Spotlights but I had so much more planned. Like keeping you guys updated on all the great giveaways that are going on, keep you updated on our favorite authors and stuff like that. Which is the second part of my blog-olution. I won’t lose what I have going now, but I’ll merge what I already have with the image of what I wanted this blog to be. And lastly, those of you who have regular correspondences with me know that I’m an amazing procrastinator, my goal is to be more available.

If you got to this point and read all of the crap above, I would love to hear your opinion. Do you think the changes I have in mind will have a positive effect on TiffanyLovesBooks? We there some changes you would like to see that I haven’t mentioned? Is there anything that you would absolutely disown me for if I changed or got rid of?

The Conscientious Reader

In the spirit of Author Spotlight, which will begin September 1st. I think us readers should be aware of the things we can do to help our indie writers. After all, it is because of readers that any author finds success. But this is especially true for our indie writers.

First, what is an indie writer? Indie writer is synonymous to independent or self published. An indie writer is an author who writes and publishes his/her work but is not backed by a publishing house. What that means is that the writer pays out-of-pocket for everything. Editing, copywriting, publishing- everything.

Eisler defines self-publishing: ‘it means you keep the rights to your book and publish it yourself using distributor/retailers like Amazon, Apple, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, and Sony, typically retaining 70% of the cover price instead of the 17.5% offered by legacy publishers (for digital editions). This isn’t what “most people” mean when they say self-publishing; it’s what everybody means when they say self-publishing.”

Word of Mouth
When you read a book you enjoy, let other people know. Most of the books that I read are because they were recommended to me. So when you read a book you enjoy, be sure to recommend them. Why not tell people via Facebook, Twitter and other social networks as well?

Write Reviews
Be sure to write reviews and let people,on a wider scale know what you think of the book. Give an honest opinion and if by chance you did not enjoy the book or something about the book- don’t be unnecessarily harsh. You can give an honest opinion while not being rude or mean.

Share Review
Most readers research a book and check out reviews in the hopes of not wasting their time or money on a bad book. When you have written your review, post them in as many places as possible. Writers try to get their books to you on as many platforms as possible. So try spreading word of the book by posting said review on websites like Goodreads, LuLu, Smashwords, Amazon, and B&N. Every reader makes an indie writer a little more successful and most people don’t simply buy a book because of a pretty cover.

In conclusion, let’s make an effort to help our indie writers be more successful. Reviews are one of the biggest things to help or hinder an indie writer. There is no publishing house backing them and usually the biggest promotion they get is from their readers. So do your part.

Unmade Bed

Soon after joining the blogging world I learned what memes are. If you already know what a meme is, go to the next paragraph and skip what you might find a boring definition. A meme as defined by dictionary.com is a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes. Let me be honest, when I first read this I still had no clue what the hell a meme was. So I went to a fellow blogger and asked. This is what Kayla said to me: “A meme is pretty hard to explain but it’s sort of like a video, image, or idea passed from one blogger to another. For instance, some popular meme’s are Waiting on Wednesday and Teaser Tuesday. Most blogs do participate in memes and I’m sure you can find them on just about any book blog.” Being that her words were what cleared it up for me, I hope it is enough for you to understand it too.

I found that there are A LOT of great meme’s out there in the blogging world. So I say to myself, “Tiffany, you can create your own meme’s.” So I embarked on a journey to be original. So when creativity struck I made a long list of possible meme’s. *Side note* While I was on this creative streak is also where I thought up my whole Author Spotlight. I even patted myself on the back for this spark of ingenuity. Until I one day decided to google it (I don’t remember why) and found out that it is as original as me saying I just invented electricity. *End of side note* So among that list was the idea for Unmade Bed. A weekly meme where I pay tribute to those impossible-to-put-down books that take over your life. The books that take you prisoner and don’t allow you to do anything productive with your day. The kind of books that are so addictive you call out of work just to finish reading it. (I know I’m not the only person to have done this.)

If you are still wondering what the hell my point is, bear with me. I recently had Dianne raise the question of “What is it about a story that keeps us turning pages and we can’t put it down until it’s finished?” I decided to attempt to discover this answer before I embark on my Unmade Bed meme.

Horror books tend to be an exception with me. As most of you know I am a first class, all the way and not afraid to admit it scary cat. When a book gets under my skin I become paranoid and if sleep finds me I am riddled by nightmares. Needless to say when I start reading certain books I HAVE to finish them. I am too much of a scary cat to live with the horror and suspense. I feel forced to read until a resolution is found.

Other books are a different story. What is it about a book that hooks the reader? I ask myself is it the storyline? Is it the characters themselves? The action? The recurring themes? All of the above?

Well all, feel free to disagree with me but I think I have found the answer. I believe the answer is in the storytelling. How many stories/authors use recycled ideas? Not even. How many novels tend to follow the same storyline and yet one flops and the other doesn’t? The same goes for characters and other characteristics that define a novel. So back to my answer, the difference is in the storytelling. I believe storytelling to be an art. An art that is made unique by the individual.

To give an art comparison: if 50 (random number) artist were told to draw a picture of a specific tree, no two pictures will be the same. Even while being given the same styled canvas to draw on, the same colors, the same types of brushes no two finished products would be the same. Because the brush strokes, the style, the je ne sais quoi- all together are unique to the individual.

So this is the point where I just realized that I’ve been ranting and will attempt to cut it short. Storytelling is an art. It is what makes every novel unique. It is the quality in a book that begs you to stay in bed all day just to finish it. A great author, an amazing storyteller is the cause of an Unmade Bed.

How to Review

Before you make any assumptions, no this not a how to guide for reviewing books. It is simply a question I’ve been asking myself lately.

I’ve noticed the phases I’ve gone through in reviewing books. When I first started reviewing books, a few months ago, I was overly emotional and completely biased in my reviews. Where in hating the ending, for example, I would give the book a bad review. Very juvenile, I know. Which is why I then moved on to trying to simply and only state the facts. However, this led me to my next phase: very boring reviews. It was only recently (just a few days ago) that I realized that there is a median.

When I read reviews, I enjoy an honest opinion. Doesn’t everyone? But the make it or break it for me is a sense of personality in the writing. If I don’t find this I tend to get bored and tend to not finish reading it. Hence, I found my answer. Why can’t I leave my emotions out of my reviews but still instill a sense of me, of my personality.

The point of this post is simply a warning. Warning might be too harsh of a word as this is not a bad thing- I think. Point is you guys can expect to start seeing a difference in my reviews. Please be sure to leave feed back on my coming reviews that way I will know if I am on the right track.

Thank you in advance and I look forward to the feedback.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Reading

So I was recently stalking checking out a fellow bloggers website Ramblings of a Book Junkie. She did The 7 Deadly Sins of Reading and I loved it so much I decided to try it myself. So here it goes:

GREED What is your most expensive book? What is your least expensive book?
A: My most expensive book is Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows by JK Rowling. I bought it at Barnes and Noble. What can I say? I was one of the eager readers dying to get my hands on it.
My least expensive books are free and on my Kindle App. I happen to constantly browse Kindle’s Free Books Top 100.

WRATH—What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
A: Sadly and it pains me to admit: Elle Casey. I love her books. I cannot stress that enough. I tend to be an obsessive reader and happen to see that occur most when I read her work. Which believe me, says something. I didn’t know it was possible to be more obsessive than I already am. Sadly, I am also a passionate reader and I regret to say that she was on the other end of one of my most passionate and angry reviews. Not my proudest moment as a reviewer. However, I can’t take back my angry words….

GLUTTONY—What book have you deliciously devoured over and over with no shame whatsoever?
A: The Harry Potter series. They tend to be my go to books. When I have nothing to read and am riddled by boredom I find myself reading the series.

SLOTH—What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?
A: Dracula by Bram Stoker. I always have the intention of reading it but as a master procrastinator it is always put on the back burner.

PRIDE—What book do you most talk about in order to sound like a very intellectual reader?
A: Native Son by Richard Wright. I read this book in high school- on my own. It felt like the longest book in the world at the time. I was proud of myself for finishing it and is also the book that started the habit of me finishing books I start.

LUST—What attributes do you find most attractive in male or female characters?
A: In a female it is strength. I love reading books that feature kick-your-ass type heroines that are physically strong. But the make it or brake it for me is if the female has inner strength.
When it comes to guys, I tend to fall (book wise) for a guy who loves or wants and has trouble expressing himself. I love when they have trouble expressing themselves but always manage to show their feelings. Actions speak louder than words, right?

ENVY—What books would you most like to receive as a gift?
A: The Kelley Armstrong Darkest Powers series. I really loved it and haven’t gotten the time to purchase them yet. (This is one of the many examples of my procrastinations.)