Bloggers Made of AWESOME: Shannon @ River City Reading

bloggers made of awesome

Shannon at River City Reading is a blogger I noticed as she was interacting with 2 bloggers who I totally respect and admire. Seeing Shannon interacting with them gave me a good feeling about her- and I have not been disappointed! Her blog is smart- it’s a blog I can sit and read for hours.


Bloggers Made of AWESOME: Shannon at River City Reading

Shannon- when did you begin blogging?

February 2013, so I’m still just a baby blogger.


How did you come up with the name River City Reading?

I wanted to make a connection to Richmond, VA, the city I live in and love. Richmond calls itself the River City – so River City Reading was born!


What are your thoughts on blogging today in an ever-changing book-ish world? Are blogs helping other readers connect with good books?

Sometimes I wonder if my reviews are only reaching other bloggers or if they actually get to the more casual reader, but every once in a while there will be a great confirmation that I am helping to connect a reader with a book.


When you are not blogging (or reading!)- what do you like to do?

Working, reading and blogging definitely take up a big chunk of my time, but the rest of it goes to spending time with my husband and dog.


Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

I’m incredibly guilty of judging books by their covers. I’m very easily won over by pretty covers and can just as easily turn down a good book with a bad one.


Do you have a #literarycrush?

I don’t find myself crushing on characters, but every once in a while I’ll get a little swoony over an author!


What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

I’m really excited about The Last Days of California by Mary Miller, Careless People by Sarah Churchwell and The Quick by Lauren Owen.


In your opinion, what book has been the best book you have read  in 2013?

Definitely The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I’m still thinking about those characters and feeling jealous of everyone else who gets to read the novel for the first time.


You have a beach vacation planned. What are the 3 books that you must bring?

Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things and two new books. I very rarely re-read, except for the books I’m constantly dipping in and out of like Strayed’s advice columns.


Are you an e-book or tree book lover? Or does it not matter?

I love both equally! I usually have one book of each type going at the same time.


What has been your most liked (or shared) blog post? Why do you think it was so popular?

Book Blogging Survey Results We had so many people participate in the survey and it was just a topic that piqued so many interests.


If you could have dinner with any author (dead or alive) who would you pick? And why?

George R.R. Martin, because I totally want to pick his brain about EVERYTHING related to A Song of Ice and Fire. Did you think I would pick someone highbrow? I’m going for practicality. There are things I need to know.


Shannon, what genre is your favorite?

General contemporary fiction, but I have a soft spot for Southern fiction (specifically Southern Gothic)


As a blogger, what advice would you give to a new blogger or a person who wants to begin blogging?

I still feel too green to be giving much advice, but I would encourage everyone starting out with book blogging to jump right into the community as quickly as possible. Comment and participate without comparing yourself to others too much and you’ll realize how fun and supportive everyone can be.


Want to connect with Shannon? Visit her blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and follow her on Bloglovin!

Bloggers Made of AWESOME: Lisa @ Books in the Burbs

bloggers made of awesome

Lisa and I are relatively new Twitter buddies. We started chatting some in 2013, talking about blogger things, why our Netgalley approval rating wasn’t at 80%, and more. Lisa is fun and charming- and her blog is cute as a button.



Bloggers Made of AWESOME: Lisa @ Books in the Burbs

Lisa- when did you begin blogging?

I started blogging in December, 2010. It’s hard to believe that I have been blogging over  3 years!!


How did you come up with the name Books in the Burbs?

I wanted a name that reflected who I was and what the blog was about. Living in the suburbs means different things for people, but for me, as a woman-it means to me: married, busy mom, kids, driving kids to their activities, minivan, dogs, etc. So, I thought it was a good word to use. I love books, so I started playing with it, and it evolved into: Books in the Burbs.

What are your thoughts on blogging today in an ever-changing book-ish world? Are blogs helping other readers connect with good books?

In the 3 years that I’ve been blogging, I have noticed a huge change in the world of books!! Before, to read a review about a book, readers were limited to print reviews in magazines. However, with the internet, readers have turned to everyday people, who blog their opinions on books read. Bloggers don’t have to be politically correct or cautious about what they write, because their job isn’t at stake over a bad review. There is a high level of trust between bloggers and their readers, and the reading world is taking notice.

Bloggers have the opportunity to connect authors with readers, without having to travel anywhere. Authors and readers can connect via Twitter parties, FB chats, interviews, and guest spots. It’s a fantastic way for authors and readers to connect in ways that weren’t always possible before blogging.



When you are not blogging (or reading!)- what do you like to do?

I usually have non-reading time when my daughter is at school, so this gives me an opportunity to meet up with friends for lunch, shopping, and getting manicures/pedicures (which I love!). It’s also my time to connect with close friends and family, because I find that human connection is so important to me! I think my kids would agree, as they get snuggle attacks when they get home from school!

Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

What?!? You haven’t read Pride & Prejudice???? I LOVE that book!!! I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, so that’s a book that is a must read for everyone! LOL! My literary confession would be that I haven’t read any Harry Potter books, even though people rave about the books. I don’t have any desire or interest in them, so it’s not a series I have even considered reading.

Do you have a #literarycrush?

Mr. Darcy, of course! He’s the romantic character that charms Ms. Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice. See…you have to read the book! 😉


What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

Oh, there are so many great books that are continuously being released. I love Sarah Jio’s writing and am looking forward to her book, Goodnight June. I’m also a huge fan of Julie Klassen and can’t wait to read: The Dancing Master. There are a few more, so I’m really excited about 2014!



In your opinion, what book has been the best book you have read in 2013?

Oh, that is sooo hard!! Because of the different genres I read, it’s hard to just pick one. The first one that comes to mind is: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. It’s not very often that I carry a book with me to the dinner table, but with that one, I just couldn’t put it down. Then, after I finished the book, I had to reread the last couple of chapters!! It was a storyline that stayed with me for days!

You have a beach vacation planned. What are the 3 books that you must bring?

1. Definitely the Holy Bible-NLT version. I don’t know why, but I always carry it with me on vacation. Opening it up and reading verses just lets me know I’m not alone and His peace covers me.

2. Anything Jane Austen. She’s my go to author and I love reading her books when I’m in a reading slump.

3. Anything that I’m needing to write a book review for that month! LOL! I’ve got to keep my reading up, even when I’m on vacation! 😉

Are you an e-book or tree book lover? Or does it not matter?

I’m definitely an e-book lover! I love the Nook Glowlight and Kindle Paperwhite because the backlight is not as harsh as the ipad. AND-the charge holds for a very long time. With the amount of reading I do, I have to charge about every 10-12 days. I do love paperbacks, but I find that when I’m reading them, more people will stop me to ask what I’m reading than when I’m reading an e-book. Because that’s a pet peeve of mine-to be interrupted while reading-I definitely like the privacy an e-reader provides. However, the biggest reason I love e-books is because I know I’m a book hoarder and having everything on an e-reader hides that secret!

You are a member of She Reads- an organization that helps women find great books. What is the experience like- helping authors get the word out about books and connecting women with great books?

I love being a member of She Reads. I was hugely honored to have been asked to join the team, and just feel like I’m a part of a really awesome woman’s club. Everyone is so friendly and helpful, and the books we get to read are a-m-a-z-i-n-g! I love how a book of the month will get so much publicity that the Twitter and Facebook feeds blow up with that particular book and author!! It’s a great opportunity for authors to garner a lot of exposure and for them to have reviews on so many fantastic blogs.

What is a book that you LOVED that did not get great reviews?

I had to look through my Goodreads book list to see how each book was rated overall. One that was quite dramatic of a rating: Between You & Me by Emma McLaughlin. I gave the book a 5 star rating, but the overall rating is a 2.87!! It’s a huge variation and I’m not sure why it didn’t get the positive recognition it deserves!

Do you have advice for book bloggers who are just starting their blogs?

1. Don’t hold back-create your blog!! Look at other blogs, read them, and from there-figure out your style. Otherwise, you will be overwhelmed if you wait and see and how you want to format your blog. It will change anyway, as you streamline your blog, so getting started is the hardest part!

2. Buy your domain name!! Nothing is more of a bummer than when you choose a blog name, only to see that someone else already has it.

3. Reach out to other bloggers and network with them. Book bloggers are so helpful, resourceful, and extremely supportive. We all love books and love sharing what we know. So, reach out and don’t be alone!


Want to connect with Lisa? Visit her blog, Facebook and Twitter!

**Editor’s note: Not reading Pride and Prejudice has been a previous #literaryconfession of mine from 2012. I did read it and enjoyed it!



Bloggers Made Of AWESOME: Krysta @ Pages Unbound

bloggers made of awesome

The last Bloggiesta that I participated in- I worked my butt off on my blog. Creating new things. Cleaning the blog up. NETWORKING. This is when me and Pages Unbound crossed paths! Pages Unbound is run by 2 people (Krysta and Briana) and they love to blog (plus read!) This AWESOME post is from the perspective of Krysta as Briana had been getting the opportunity for other interviews- and they want the blogging world to know them as a unit- but also as their own personalities! I was happy to oblige and give Krysta some bloggy love! Psst.. Just in case you missed it- HERE is an interview Pages Unbound did on little ole me!


Bloggers Made of AWESOME: Krysta @ Pages Unbound

Krysta- when did you begin blogging?

Briana and I began our blog in May 2011, so I’ve been blogging for about two and a half years now!

How did you and Briana come up with the name Pages Unbound?

We threw around quite a lot of names, but Pages Unbound seemed to capture the spirit of really taking apart a book to look at how and why it works. I also think it reflects the magic of books—how they sometimes seem to come alive in a way you might not expect.

What are your thoughts on blogging today in an ever-changing book-ish world? Are blogs helping other readers connect with good books?

Blogging is a really exciting experience because it exposes you to a world I think many avid readers still do not know exists. It can be fun getting ARCs from publishers and things like that, but the real draw for me are the connections I can make both with authors and with other readers. I’ve read many books I might never have heard of if it were not for the blogging community. If I tend to agree with a blogger about what constitutes good literature and what books I think are good, I am definitely more willing to try a title I’ve seen reviewed on that blog, even if it is not a genre I typically read.

When you are not blogging (or reading!)- what do you like to do?

I like to watch movies, bake, and try to teach myself foreign languages. I think if I got lost in Italy at the moment, I could ask for the train station and maybe buy a newspaper. That’s totally useful, right?

Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

I’ve never read The Iliad or The Odyssey. And I’m completely ashamed of myself.

Do you have a #literarycrush?

I don’t really have a literary crush. When I see a really great character, I want him to get together with his destined literary crush!

What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

All of them! I am trying to get through my complete Shakespeare, however, so that’s my number one goal for 2014!

What is a book (or 2!) that you’ve read and LOVED- but did not get positive reviews?

I can’t think of any book in particular, but I do have a fondness for novels that oftentimes have a bit of a sentimental element to them—A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter, for example. Though that’s a classic and well-beloved by many.

In your opinion, what book has been the best book you have read  in 2013?

No contest—Dante’s Divine Comedy. But John Freccero’s commentary Dante: The Poetics of Conversion was a close second. The two just go together.

You have a beach vacation planned. What are the 3 books that you must bring?

J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Chaim Potok’s My Name is Asher Lev, and something light and fun. Maybe a Jessica Day George book or a fairy tale retelling.

Are you an e-book or tree book lover? Or does it not matter?

I love paper books! The weight, smell, and texture of the book are all a special part of its bookishness.

How do you find other blogs to read? Recommendations of other bloggers?

I mostly find blogs when people come to comment on our blog. As for recommendations, there are so many great bloggers out there. I really like Simoa’s blog at, though. She talks about Pixar films, classic movies, and the always wonderful Audrey Hepburn.

Pages Unbound has a feature IF YOU LIKE. What is your favorite thing about this feature?

I like that it is the perfect feature for me! Whenever I read a good book, I want to know where I can find more books like it. Unfortunately, the recommendations generated by algorithms on various websites are often not close to what I want. You sometimes need the human element to discern what books have the same feel and spirit and that’s what we provide.

What is a book that you’ve wanted to read, but just haven’t found the time?

For years I’ve wanted to read Shelby Foote’s classic Civil War trilogy, but each book is about 800 pages and I never made it past the first few battles. But this upcoming year will be the year! (That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.)


Want to connect with Pages Unbound? Visit blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Bloggers Made Of AWESOME: Ashley @ Closed The Cover

bloggers made of awesome

I heard about Closed The Cover from a fellow blogger that I sing the praises of regularly (Hi Rebecca @ Love At First Book!) and after emailing Ashley- I fell in love with her straight-forward, no-nosense ways. I’ve participated in SEVERAL tours with different tour groups and fellow bloggers- and while I wouldn’t  say  I have a favorite- I do like when a blog tour coordinator makes you feel welcome and appreciated- which Ashley does in SPADES. She tweets and uses Facebook to support her tours- not only for the authors, but for the bloggers that are participating. Ashley is BIG PICTURE person- she doesn’t just think about next week- she’s got plans for next year!

Bloggers Made of AWESOME: Ashley @ Closed The Cover

Ashley- when did you begin blogging?

When did I begin book blogging or when I did I begin blogging? I began blogging in general in 2007 on a general WordPress blog about anything and everything. Eventually I realized my poor beloved husband was becoming bored to tears with my constant chatter about books and I decided to create a book blog. Now I talk a little and blog a lot about books! I started book blogging in 2010 but didn’t begin blogging as Closed the Cover until the end of 2011.


How did you come up with the name Closed The Cover?

It was tough. I wanted a blog name that associated with books but I wanted to avoid a lot of the commonly used words and phrases. A quick Google search told me there were a lot of book blogs using the words “bookworm, book, novel” and the term “avid reader” so I wanted something different. One night my husband said to me, “Have you ever realized that when you finish a book you don’t close the cover, you slam it?” I opened the book back up and gently closed it then said, “There. I “closed” the cover.” The light bulb went off and my blog name was born! It also seems fitting to me since I do talk about books after I’ve “closed the cover.”


What are your thoughts on blogging today in an ever-changing book-ish world? Are blogs helping other readers connect with good books?

I definitely thing blogs help readers connect with good books. It’s funny because I follow a few bloggers that I never agree with on books. I actually watch their blog for books they criticize and then I pick those books up because I know I’ll love them. Different people love different things, you know? There’s actually a blogger I follow who I seem to always agree with on books. I’ve picked up books I would have never looked twice at after reading that he liked it.


When you are not blogging (or reading!)- what do you like to do?

Surprise! I’m also a martial artist. 🙂 I’ve earned up to my 2nd degree brown belt in Okinawan Kenpo Karate and I’m a trained staff fighter. I fight with a 5” burned bamboo bo staff. I’ve been doing it now for about 11 years. No one would ever think it of me when they meet me or talk to me but other than reading it’s probably my greatest love (not including my husband or puppies of course).


Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

Great Expectations is the only Charles Dickens novel I have ever read. Isn’t that shameful? I’ve never read any of his other works even though I know the stories. I can even quote lines from the books because they are so well-known but I’ve never actually sat and read them myself. Great Expectations is also one of my favorite novels which makes it even more surprising that I never pursued other Dickens’ novels.


Do you have a #literarycrush?

Actually, I don’t. I read so much history, historical fiction, memoirs, autobiographies and biographies that it’s hard for me to develop and literary crushes. I read a lot of WWII fiction and they discuss Nazi’s and German politicians. I just finished two books about the JFK assassination. I just read a lot of book that don’t really lend themselves to literary crushes or book boyfriends.


What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

ALL the books! I actually read a lot of indie authors and I have the tendency to just grab books on a whim. I never really know what is coming out when or what the next big anticipated release is so it’s hard for me to get excited about future books. Sometimes I discover a new book, love it, rave about it, then find it was published in 2010. It’s just how I read. I know I have a lot of books on my to-read list that I will get to in 2014 but the pile is about 3 dozen books deep and I’m too lazy right now to look through it. 🙂


What is a book (or 2!) that you’ve read and LOVED- but did not get positive reviews?

Hmm…I don’t know. It usually goes the other way for me. I usually find myself disappointed in a book but then look to find it has GREAT reviews from other people. I find myself feeling like, “What am I missing??” It happened to me with An American Bride in Kabul, Rise of the Governor and In the Company of Secrets.


In your opinion, what book has been the best book you have read (so far!) in 2013?

Ahhh! How can you choose?!!! ONE book? That’s mean. I can tell you a book I read and really loved was The Iranian Scorpion by William Peace. It’s a terrorism thriller and it seems that almost no one has heard of it. It’s really good. I also loved Of Blood and Brothers: Book One by E. Michael Helms. It’s a Civil War fiction and I love war fiction! On another note, I just finished I Am Malala about the girl who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for standing up for the right for girls’ education. It’s a pretty great book too.


You have a beach vacation planned. What are the 3 books that you must bring?

Well, I live near the beach so this is kind of a regular weekend for me. I like to read light-hearted books on the beach – ones that aren’t going to be heavy or complicated. If I could choose three right now I would take A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn which I loved and two books from my to-read list: Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back (it’s about the baseball player Josh Hamilton) and Beyond the Western Sun by Kristina Circelli.


Are you an e-book or tree book lover? Or does it not matter?

It doesn’t matter. I don’t take my iPad to the beach so I prefer tree books for outdoor reading and eBooks for indoor reading. I donate a lot of the paperback books I receive through Closed the Cover to the Friends of the Library program here locally which supplies youth programs, prison books, women’s shelters and homes for the elderly. Since I can’t donate eBooks I require a $5 donation to the literacy Room to Read for any eBook submissions to Closed the Cover. As far as my reading goes, I can read either one and enjoy it. I have no preference.


How do you find other blogs to read? Recommendations of other bloggers?

I meet a lot of other bloggers on Twitter. I also will Google for reviews of books I’ve enjoyed and then follow the blogs I find that also enjoyed that book.


Closed The Cover organizes blog tours for authors. Do you have tips or recommendations for other bloggers who might be interested in one day being a blog tour organizer?

It’s a lot of fun but it’s a lot of hard work if you want to do it right. For one, it’s important to remember that the tour is about the author and the book not about you as the blogger or organizer. I hate when I see tour posts that emphasize the blogger who organized it more than the book itself. I’ll see banners and buttons for the organizer but only a small book cover for the book itself. I find that frustrating. I put special emphasis on making sure that the book and the author take priority. I also never restrict the number of stops on a tour. The goal is to get the most exposure possible. All I could tell someone who wanted to organize tours is this: Be organized. Be honest. Be fair. Remember – this is about promoting books not about promoting yourself.


What is a book that you’ve wanted to read, but just haven’t found the time?

I’ve wanted to read the entire Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay. There are about 7 books in the series which is a big time commitment. I’ve read the first one but I haven’t had time to read the others yet.


Want to connect with Ashley @ Closed The Cover? Visit her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Bloggers Made Of AWESOME: Lori @ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

bloggers made of awesome

Several months ago, when I was first starting to get into participating in blog tours- I was participating in Cozy Mystery Reviews blog tours- an awesome site ran by Bella. Unfortunately, Bella had to take a step back from organizing blog tours- but happily, Lori at Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book stepped in. Lori’s tours are fun and she gets quite a many good cozy books. Plus, if there is a problem- she’s quick to handle it!

For all those and many other reasons- Lori is Made of AWESOME!


Lori at Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book: Bloggers Made of AWESOME

Lori- when did you begin blogging?

December 31, 2009. It was my New Year’s Resolution.


How did you come up with the name Escape With Dollycas?

 I started my blog on Blogger as Dollycas’s Thoughts. I loved the tropical scene backgrounds and they looked like a place I would like to escape away to and sit on the beach with a good book.  That evolved to calling myself Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent.  When I moved the blog to WordPress in October 2010 I wanted and needed a new name and the same friend that suggested I start blogging said I need to use the Escape tagline I was using as the blog’s name. She was right!


What are your thoughts on blogging today in an ever-changing book-ish world? Are blogs helping other readers connect with good books?

I have made so many friends through these blogs. I look to them for recommendations and hope they are looking to me. I know I have convinced quite a few to try my favorite cozy mysteries. It is also wonderful to connect with the authors.  Growing up before the internet the authors were almost as much of mystery as their books.  They were a picture on the book jacket with their biography and sometimes there was not even that.  As the world continues to change and authors are self publishing more and more they look to bloggers to help promote their books.


When you are not blogging (or reading!)- what do you like to do?

Play with my grandkids!!! Watch Green Bay Packer or Wisconsin Badger Football or NASCAR Racing – Matt Kenseth #20 is my favorite driver!


Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

 I love mysteries, especially Cozy Mysteries but I have only read a few Agatha Christie novels. I want to read them all but just haven’t been able to squeeze them in with all my review reading.



Do you have a #literarycrush? 

 Wow, that is one I have to think about. It would probably be Sherlock Holmes.  Love the movies and have read most of the stories. Plus because of the movies the character is so easy to picture while reading.


What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

Catching up with all my cozy friends means many new books. Missing  You by Harlan Coben.  Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival by Jennifer Chiaverini



In your opinion, what book has been the best book you have read (so far!) in 2013?

 Pelican Bay by Jesse Giles Christiansen.  The trailer drew me in, the cover was eerie and I was not sure about it at first because it was getting mixed reviews. Then my husband read it and said “this is not like the mysteries you like to read, but I love it! You really need to read this book.” And I was so glad that I did.  I found myself totally immersed in the book. It was the best story I have read in years. My whole review is here:


You have a beach vacation planned. What are the 3 books that you must bring?

Anything by Agatha Christie, The newest Stephanie Plum to make me laugh, & the newest Harlan Coben.

But really I read at home all the time, if I were at the beach I would want to enjoy it so much that I was too tired to even read. Play all day, party in the evening, catch a little sleep and repeat until I had to go home.


Are you an e-book or tree book lover? Or does it not matter?

 I love the feel of a real book, the way it smells, there is this happy feeling as you open each new book. If I had not had a friend give me my first Kindle I don’t know if I ever would have made the leap. The only thing I like better on my Kindle is that there is none of that frustration of the words falling to deeply into the book binding. On some paperbacks you really have to bend the book because the words get too close to the crease.  On the Kindle there is no binding and no crease but sometimes there are major formatting issues.  So I guess I would say I am a tree book lover and an e-book friend.


Lori- you organize/host  a ton of blog tours as well as review books. What advice would you give to someone who was looking to start organizing blog tours?

 First of all it is fun but is so much more work than I ever imagined. So much has to happen before the first stop and then you need to make sure everyone posts on the date they were booked for. Some tours run so smoothly but then there are those that seem to have mountains of obstacles.  There will be days you love it and days you want to throw in the towel and think “what have I gotten myself into?” Thankfully there are more good days than bad. I just caution anyone thinking of doing it that there is a huge time commitment and something not to be taken lightly because the authors, bloggers and publishers are counting on you to deliver the best tour possible.


What book character would you love to be your best friend? And why?

I could never choose one. All the places we travel in the cozy world all the characters seem like friends, it would be wrong to choose just one.  But if I had to choose… maybe Sid from Leigh Perry’s new series. We all need a Sid. You have to read the book to find out why!


Hosting a dinner party and can invite 8 different characters from books- who do you invite?

Olivia Limoges – Books By The Bay – Ellery Adams

Tori Sinclair – Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries – Elizabeth Lynn Casey

Tricia Miles – Booktown Mysteries – Lorna Barrett

Isabelle “Betts” Winston – Country Cooking School Mysteries – Paige Shelton

Lila Wilkins – Novel Idea Mysteries – Lucy Arlington

Miss Marple – Miss Marple Mysteries – Agatha Christie

Jane Eyre – Jane Eyre Chronicles – Joanna Campbell Slan

Lula – Stephanie Plum Series – Janet Evanovich – She would have us laughing non-stop, well maybe not Jane and Miss Marple, but it would be a blast. 


Want to connect with Lori? Visit her blog, Facebook or Twitter!




Update on Bloggers Made of AWESOME (where’s the AWESOME been?)

bloggers made of awesomeDear Readers of Traveling With T:

You may or may not know that over the summer I started blogging about Bloggers Made of AWESOME- fun, informal interviews (think the kind of interview where 2 ladies would sit with a glass of wine- shooting the breeze about fun topics in the book-ish world).  Why did I start this? I wanted to show off my bloggy friends! I wanted to show the things that made me love their blog to the world (and I wanted to get to know them a bit better!)

Plus, most everyone likes to have their 15 minutes of fame (not saying that by being featured here you are famous- but you get the picture- most everyone likes to have a spotlight on them- and especially their blogs!)

So I worked hard. I contacted bloggers that I really liked. Blogs that I adored. And the response was always great! The interviews were fresh and charming and tons of wonderful! After a bit, I started expanding my pool of AWESOME-ness (and that worked out great, too!)

To the point of the post: It’s been a few weeks since an AWESOME post has been posted. And so here’s the question I know you readers of Traveling With T have been asking yourself:




The short answer is: The AWESOME is coming! We’re back in session this upcoming Wednesday. The longer answer was that I got behind on my searching for AWESOME blogs. For emailing people. I have almost 10 new AWESOME blogs lined up- and I’m shaking it up even more. Most blogs that were featured were more in the women’s fiction review category. I found an YA blog that I really like- and want to make sure to include blogs that are either mixes of genres or focus on different genres as well- because we all need a shake-up and to see what life is like on the other side of the fence- it makes for great discussion and comments!

Lastly, from now on (or until I have to change it) AWESOME will be a bi-monthly post. The other 2 Wednesdays of the month will have a variety of topics- maybe bloggy tips, maybe an extra review or 2, a giveaway- it’ll just be kind of dealer’s choice (and I’m the dealer, baby!)

Hope to see you next week- when the AWESOME comes back to Traveling With T!



Traveling With T

Bloggers Made Of AWESOME: Helen @ My Novel Opinion

Another AWESOME blogger! Helen @ My Novel Opinion is a relatively new blogger, but I started seeing her reviews popping up here and there (mainly because we like a lot of the same books). I started checking her blog out and liked what I saw.  Read on to find about #literaryconfessions and is Helen a book shelf kind of girl or not?


Bloggers Made Of AWESOME: Helen @ My Novel Opinion

Helen- when did you begin blogging?

I started blogging at the beginning of April this year, so I’m relatively new.


How did you come up with the name My Novel Opinion?

Lots and lots of brainstorming! I wanted to incorporate books and thoughts/opinions into the name so I opened a word document and started going through the thesaurus. One option was The Book Hoarding Magpie since I treat books like shiny objects that I just have to have and then never get rid of them. I like that ‘novel” has the double meaning though – it fits well!


What are your thoughts on blogging today in an ever-changing book-ish world? Are blogs helping other readers connect with good books?

I think that blogs absolutely help to connect readers with good books. It now only helps new and upcoming releases but also older books. I just recently read and LOVED Looking for Alaska by John Green as a direct result of the adoration of many book bloggers!


When you are not blogging (or reading!)- what do you like to do?

Usually spending time with my children, husband and puppy.


Do you have any #literaryconfessions? 

I’ve never read anything by Austen or any of the Bronte sisters, it’s actually quite shameful!


Do you have a #literarycrush? 

I’ve never really thought of this! You had me going through my Goodreads list to try and recall if there ever has been one…maybe John from Nicholas Spark’s Dear John, and that may or may not have something to do with Channing Tatum playing the part in the movie 😉


What books are you looking forward to reading in 2013?

Well 2013 is almost over, but there are still a few books which I am looking forward to being published: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, Sycamore Row by John Grisham and The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks.


In your opinion, what book has been the best book you have read (so far!) in 2013?

Of those published in 2013 it has to be The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty or Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman. Otherwise it would be 11/22/63 by Stephen King.


You have a beach vacation planned. What are the 3 books that you must bring?

3 books that I have yet to read (I seldom reread books), they would have a beach/summer theme. Or something lighthearted by a favorite author Sophie Kinsella, Lisa Jewell or Cecelia Ahern.


Are you an e-book or tree book lover? Or does it not matter?

I was against ebooks for so long, I felt like I was cheating on paper books but I am now well and truly converted! I love my Kindle and probably couldn’t live without it (I know right) but it is just so convenient and lightweight for those mammoth 1,000+ page books! But I still love real books, and will always buy them and read them. I don’t really think it matters which you prefer as long as you are reading…it’s the same words!


Do you stack your books on the nightstand or are you more of a bookshelf person?

Definitely a bookshelf kinda girl. My husband would go crazy if I had a stack lying around on the nightstand. It’s bad enough when I have a few lined up on the coffee table!


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