Bloggers Made Of AWESOME: Samantha March @ Chick Lit Plus

bloggers made of awesome

Several weeks ago, I began participating in blog tours for Chick Lit Plus- thanks to a fellow blogger passing some information on to me. At the time I did not realize that Samantha of Chick Lit Plus was the same Samantha that I knew from She Reads (but she is!) Participating in Samantha’s tours is easy and wonderful for bloggers who want to do more social blogging like tours!

 

Samantha @ Chick Lit Plus: Bloggers Made of AWESOME

Samantha- when did you begin blogging?

I started Chick Lit Plus in 2009.

How did you come up with the name Chick Lit Plus?

I wanted a name that showed my love of chick lit, but I also wanted to include more genres than just chick lit, and I wanted to be more than just a book blog. CLP also features celebrity news, beauty reviews, and health and fitness articles.

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 blogging is just about the coolest thing ever. Not only are blogs helping connect readers to books and authors, but blogging gives bloggers a community, helps them interact with people who love books and reading just as much as they do. It is so thrilling to have chats online or via email with someone you’ve never met, but it doesn’t feel that way because you have so much in common. I think that’s really special.

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

I am a published author and an independent book publisher. My company is Marching Ink, and I also run CLP Blog Tours. I do also have a “real” job, and I worked for my local VA Hospital helping veterans get enrolled into the system. Coming from a military family the job means a lot to me.

Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

This is so embarrassing, but I’ve never read The Great Gatsby! And I’m the biggest fan of that era, so it makes zero sense! Nor have I watched the movie…going to hide in a corner now!

Do you have a #literarycrush?

I’m sure this is a different answer, but I honestly don’t crush on a whole lot of literary characters. Or actors. Or musicians. I’m strange. Talk athletes and we have a different story 😉 But honestly, my literary crushes are the authors themselves. Ann M. Martin of The Baby-Sitter’s Club sparked my interest in reading and writing and creating stories, Francine Pascal continued that with Sweet Valley High, and Emily Giffin’s novels inspired me to start my blog and get serious about writing.

What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

Emily Giffin has a new one out in May I believe, that I’ll be looking forward to!

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

Eek so many! I loved Zoey & The Moment of Zen by Cat Lavoie, but another one that really got me going was The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes.

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

How did you know? My honeymoon will be here in 3 months 🙂 Honestly, this answer is so boring, but I’ll be bringing whatever is on my review docket! But if I could pick and choose, I would like to bring a romance novel, a chick lit, and a mystery – a good range!

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

I enjoy both, but reading on my Kindle is a lot more convenient. It’s easier to travel with, but I’ll never get tired of cracking open a “real” book!

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

I find a lot of blogs online, or from CLP Blog Tours. And I think it’s great to support, share, and comment as much as you can!

Chick Lit Plus 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 harder than it sounds. It’s a full-time job that doesn’t pay like it, and you can lose your patience about twenty times a day. It’s not just finding blogs, it’s communication and organization, and willing to put in the work each day to truly help authors market their books. But if it’s something you truly love doing, it won’t feel like work.

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

The Great Gatsby!

 

Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and celebrity related. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and has two published novels – Destined to Fail and The Green Ticket. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers.

 

Want to connect with Samantha? Visit her website, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, CLP Twitter, and Chick Lit Plus.

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Literary Friday ya’ll……

Today, The Great Gatsby releases. And the people have been excited, the tv has shown the trailer multiple times, and everything’s a-buzz foe The Great Gatsby! In related news, Erika Robuck’s latest, Call Me Zelda, was released earlier this week (I’d like to know who the marketing genius was who saw a prime opportunity to release CMZ the same week as TGG came out in theaters- because that person- that person has their game face on!)

 

1. Deep South Mag has been counting down to Gatsby all week long! Their #literaryfriday is basically filled with Gatsby! So sit back and read and enjoy!

Not enough Gatsby for you? Well Deep South Mag has more: Gatsby Companion Reading List!

Is Zelda more your thing? Deep South Mag has the answer to that as well: Zelda Gets Her Day

2. Amy Sue Nathan and her debut novel- The Glass Wives, has been twirling around the book world for a bit- early readers of The Glass Wives have been tweeting and blogging very positive things about Amy’s debut. When she’s not writing or getting ready for a book launch- Amy Sue Nathan has a website called Women’s Fiction Writers. It’s smart, funny interviews and talks with interesting women (this week alone- she had Wendy Francis, Three Good Things author and Erika Robuck, Call Me Zelda author.

Here are the 3 posts I read this week that I really felt needed to be shared: Three Good Things (ok Many More) from Wendy Francis, Author Natalia Sylvester Says the way to Support Women’s Fiction Is to Keep Writing It, Writing Words and Book Banter with Erika Robuck.

Specifically, pay attention to Natalia Sylvester’s article- women’s fiction is much harder to define than I’ve ever thought- but it needs to be supported. Needs to be bought, read, enjoyed. Natalia has some insightful thoughts.

3. She Reads announced this week that Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline would be the May Book Club Selection. It’s a fascinating book- fast read, interesting characters, and has a historical aspect to it. Join me and others at end of the month as we discuss Orphan Train at She Reads!

Orphan Train: Featured Recipe

May Book Club Selection: Orphan Train

Bookmagnet’s review of Orphan Train

Love At First Book’s review of Orphan Train

The Book Wheel’s review of Orphan Train

Traveling With T’s review of Orphan Train

Want to read more reviews of Orphan Train? Use #srblog on Twitter- and you’ll see tons of reviews!

4. Looking for a non-fiction book to read with a great online book club? Join Rebecca (Love at First Book) and Allison (The Book Wheel) as they read A Train in Winter. Details, sign-up and more are posted already.

5. My #fridayreads is Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman and Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol by Gyles Brandreth. What is your #fridayreads?

6. Looking for books? Like Pinterest? I have 2 Pinterest boards that might interest you! Beach Bag Reads 2013 and The TBR List that Ate an Entire Town

7. ICYMI: 3 reviews I posted this week- Big Daddy’s Rules: Raising Daughters is Tougher Than I Look, Deadly Harvest, and Game Drive

8. And look today for more info about Traveling With T’s online book club- beginning in June!

 

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

Literary Friday ya’ll…

It’s Friday. And it’s 40-something degrees where I live. Whatttt? What happened to my spring weather?

 

1. Deep South Mag and their #literaryfriday- The Great Gatsby (pictures and listening to the soundtrack) in preparation for “Gatsby week”, and other festivals, book-ish things and more.

2. I read and reviewed The Girl Who Married An Eagle by Tamar Myers for TLC Book Tours this week. It’s an interesting book- and worth a read!

3. For Cozy Mystery Reviews, I read Topped Chef by Lucy Burdette. Ya’ll know how I love my cozy books. And I ADORE the character Hayley Snow.

4. All week long at She Reads– the discussion of AND THEN I FOUND YOU by Patti Callahan Henry has been going on- still time to chime in!

My review of And Then I Found You can be read HERE

5. My #fridayreads: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline and Deadly Harvest (A Detective Kubu mystery). What are your #fridayreads?

6. Read about Allison @ The Book Wheel’s meeting of BA Shapiro- author of The Art Forger- a book that I ABSOLUTLEY loved. I wanted to climb in this book, I loved it that much. Mystery, art, lust and love- I LOVE books like that. Allison was super-kind to send me an autographed copy because she knows how much I love this book!

My review of The Art Forger is HERE.

7. Looking for books to read for May? Read Bookmagnet’s suggestions!

8. She Reads articles you should read:

The Editor Recommends

Two Movies You Didn’t Know Were Books First

9. Like Cozy books? Want to join an online book club that only reads cozy books? Try Cozy Mystery Reviews

CMR is reading Mum’s The Word by Kate Collins for May!

10. #giveaway: The Fantastic 4 Cozy Mystery Giveaway

 

 

Literary Friday ya’ll….

Friday. The week has flown by. Supposed to go to Double Decker Art Festival tomorrow with my cousin- but appears to be rain in the forecast. So we’ll see!

1. Deep South Mag– the #literaryfriday edition celebrates Harper Lee’s birthday, Reese Witherspoon, and several festivals and writing events. Plus there’s a mention or 2 about The Great Gatsby!

2. Today, on my blog, I reviewed Mitiz Kelly’s Deadly Policy. Perfect for fans of #cozy books, or for readers looking to read about characters over the age of 40- it’s a quick read. Interesting. Nice plot. Mitiz Kelly is also being generous- and is giving away the 2 books in the Silver Sleuths series to each blog in the Cozy Mystery Reviews DEADLY POLICY blog tour. Go to my review of Deadly Policy, follow the directions (super-easy!) and you’ll be entered to win! Contest ends April 30th! Winner announced May 1st.

3. Monday, April 29th, Patti Callhan Henry will be Twitter chatting about her latest book, AND THEN I FOUND YOU. The Twitter chat will be hosted by yours truly- so def stop by! Did I mention there will be a #giveaway? We’ll chat from 2-3pmEST. Use #srchat to join in!

4. Can’t make it to Twitter chat? 😦 😦 Don’t worry! The AND THEN I FOUND YOU discussion will begin on April 29th and go through May 6th at She Reads. Again- yours truly will be hosting that as well!

5. What is your #fridayreads? Mine is The Glass Wives by Amy Sue Nathan!

6. With all this talk of AND THEN I FOUND YOU- have you gotten a thought of “this would be perfect for my book club?” Or maybe “I want to make something for my book club that goes with this book?” “Or I need music for my book club while we’re drinking a glass of wine- but what music?” She Reads has all these answers. Read the next articles for more info.

1. Books and music: The Playlist for AND THEN I FOUND YOU

2. Featured Recipe for AND THEN I FOUND YOU

7.  Yesterday I packed my fictional beach bag with the books I plan to read over the summer- tell me what you want to put in your beach bag! Here’s my Beach Bag Reads list!

8. She Reads recommended books this week as well: A Tisket A Tasket A Book-Laden Basket

9. Remember my book-ish bucket list? Beginning in June, I can cross 1 thing off the list! Intrigued? Traveling With T will be having an ONLINE BOOK CLUB! The book is RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA by Kimberly McCreight. It’s been getting some great reviews- and it looks like it’s going to be a fun book to read. More details to come as it gets closer to time- but if you’ve been wanting the book and needing people to discuss the book with- this is a chance!

10. ICYMI:

Meeting Rita Leganski: The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow

Interview with Kimberly Freeman author of Lighthouse Bay

Meeting Jill McCorkle- author of Life After Life

Happy Reading!

 

The Great Gatsby…..

As I confessed in a previous #literaryconfession, I’ve never read The Great Gatsby. With the movie coming out in December and the fact that I’ve never read it before, I decided to read it. I finished it today. Some of the lines in the book are quite good.

Not being really sure what to expect, I just went into reading with an open mind. I’m still deciding how I feel about the book, but I have some questions and thoughts. If you’ve read The Great Gatsby, please chime in!

1. Tom- he tells Wilson that Gatsby was driving the car that kills Myrtle;  was his true motivation because his mistress was dead and he saw a way to keep Gatsby away from Daisy OR was it because Daisy loved him and he loved her?

2. Daisy- at first I felt sympathy for her, for her character; but then- it was like whether she planned to have these 2 men fighting over her in New York or not, having them both together was not a good idea. Was she THAT clueless or that manipulative? Or am I reading the scene wrong?

3. Gatsby- for all that he was, all that he became and how he invented himself- in the end, few people were around to celebrate his life/mourn his death. Is that a telling view of society and how we forget people in death?

 

Overall opinion- I liked the book. I thought it was interesting and neat. I think if I had read it earlier, I’d probably not appreciated the intricacy of the book.

Thoughts on The Great Gatsby? Come on and spill them!

Literary Confessions…

I’m a huge fan of reading, but I have a confession: I’ve never read Jane Austen (or really any classics). I remember reading Tom Sawyer for school, which I enjoyed; but it was not an easy read at first. I also remember going home and telling my mom that the other kids in my class was getting the Cliff’s notes versions and why couldn’t I just do that because I had other books that were far more interesting to read than Tom Sawyer- which my mother told me that I’d do better on the test if I would just read the book (she was right- the questions were about more than the Cliff’s Notes version).

Back to the classics, though- I guess for me I’ve always equated the classics with a reader who is quite intellectual (think Ivy League- intellectual) and I felt not quite to that level of reading-skill.  I still have that view-point (to an extent), but I’m now more willing to explore some classics. I’m thinking Jane Austen will be a good place to start.

Now that I have about knocked the wind out of you from that confession- here’s another: I’ve never read The Great Gatsby (although seeing the previews for the movie has intrigued me). So I believe that I’ll be adding that to my list as well.

As you can tell from my 2 confessions, a book snob I am not. I don’t throw around the names of literary greats, I read what intrigues me because I want to read; not because of anything else. While I won’t call the books I read the equivalent of “reality- tv”, I’ll more liken them to great sitcoms, feel-good movies, and the like.

For me- reading is about good times and just letting the story go. I don’t usually try to figure out the bad person, I may make guesses as to where the story will head; but I’m not really trying- I just want to wrap myself in a cozy blanket and enjoy the characters.

Any literary confessions? Has everyone else read The Great Gatsby? Feel free to stop by with literary confessions- no judging on my blog!