I remember the first time
I came across a book tour company. It was some years ago, and reading
book blogs had just become one of my obsessions. I’d spend hours in
front of the screen, going from one blog to another, saving them to my
“favorites”, and adding lots of titles to my ever-growing TBR list. And
one day I came across Bewitching Book Tours
and I was blown away by the genius idea of book tours and how they
offered bloggers the opportunity to connect with the authors. Yes, I’ve
always been one of those people who believed authors are some kind of
evolved species, made up of wisdom and pure awesomeness, who forged
ideas, characters and plots by the fireplace, while muses cheerfully
danced around their desks.So, this is how
it all looked like in my mind: book tours = bloggers meeting authors =
great books to read and review = bloggers interviewing authors (I mean,
who wouldn’t want to interview a member of that evolved species, who
forged ideas by the fireplace?) = authors getting promoted = bloggers
dying of happiness because they’re a part of something so big and
exciting.Conclusion? If I was ever going to make my own book blog, I promised myself I’d tour with Bewitching.
Yeah, well, that happened
eventually. A year ago. By the time I built up the courage to create my
own blog, there were so many book tour companies out there that I
wasn’t sure which one to check out first. Of course, I kept my promise,
and the first one I signed up for was Bewitching. Then I chose two or
three more and I kept an eye out for the books that really grabbed my
interest. However, my enthusiasm had died down, and I tried to keep
myself from singing up for too many book tours. When I did sign up for
one, I usually tried to choose a book that I also wanted to review, so I
wouldn’t only post a promotional thingy, like a guest post, a book
spotlight, or an excerpt. Why, you might ask? Here’s why:
Many of the book blogs I
was following were now doing lots of book tours. I mean, lots of them.
Some blogs that used to post reviews and other interesting stuff about
books ended up posting only book tours, book blasts, and memes. The
posts were all the same. Sometimes they would also have a review that
went along with the promotion, but there’re only so many books one can
read. Even some of the blogs I follow now on Bloglovin’ post only book
tours. Twice a day, if possible. They don’t seem to filter the books
they promote to choose only the ones that they truly, truly want to
feature on their blogs. They don’t personalize their posts. Obviously,
they don’t get many comments. Maybe they do get a lot of hits because
most book tours have giveaways now. Do I still follow them? Yeah…
they’re there, in my Bloglovin’ feed, but I rarely check them. Because I
know I’ll find the same content. Over and over. The same content with a
different cover and a different blurb.
what’s your opinion about book tours? Do you do them on your blog, and
if yes, on what principles do you choose them? Do you check them out on
other blogs? Do you leave comments? And please don’t hate me for
this post. I just think that sometimes…. sometimes… there are too many
of them everywhere, and they all look the same.(You can read the whole post on Oana's blog page.)
Easter is one of the
most important celebrations of Christianity, commemorating the moment when
Jesus came back from the dead. Romanians start preparing for this special day
long before the day itself as Lent lasts for 48 days. During these days
people go to church, many of them give up meat, eggs, or dairy
products. It’s considered a ritual of purification for both the body and soul.
In my country, the
symbol of this celebration is the red Easter
egg. Eggs, in general, were a traditional symbol of fertility, and rebirth
Why do we paint the
Easter eggs in red? It is said that when Virgin Mary came to cry for her
crucified son, she placed a basket of eggs under the Cross. The eggs turned red
as a symbol of the blood that flowed from the wounds of Jesus, and since then
we paint Easter eggs. At first, the eggs were painted only in red, but later we
started painting them in many colors, including green, yellow, orange, blue,
and even black.
On the night before
Easter, Romanians put on new clothes and go to church. At midnight, everyone
lights a candle from the priest’s candle. The light from these candles symbolizes
the return of Jesus from the dead. It’s a very special moment and the sight of
hundreds of candles in the night can take your breath away.
At dawn, after
attending the religious service, everyone goes home, carefully holding their
candle. On Easter morning we wash our faces with water from a bowl , into which
we put a red egg and a coin. It is said that if you wash your face with this
water, you will be healthy and beautiful – just like an Easter egg.
Even after Easter is
over, there are some words that can be heard on the streets for weeks to come.
When a person sees a friend or family for the first time after Easter has
passed, the normal introduction is skipped and the first person says, “Cristos a inviat (Christ has risen).”The
second person responds by saying,“Adevarat
a inviat (Indeed, he has risen).” This verbal exchange is very much part of
the celebration and is a way for people to remind each other of the importance
of Easter even after the holiday is over.
Wishing all my awesome followers, bloggers and fellow authors, who celebrate Easter this Sunday, a sunny spring with lots of joy and accomplishments!
5.0 out of 5 starsShadows of the Past, February 27, 2014
By Hotcha (Glen Carbon, IL, United States)
This review is from: Shadows of the Past (Kindle Edition)
Anne got home earlier than expected only to find her
business partner and her boyfriend sleeping together! Gillian was stunning and
could have any man so why had she picked Neil?
After a two year separation. Anne decided to give Neil
another chance and agreed to a holiday, but they were lost in the words, and
she had visions about a red headed woman that looked remarkably like
Ms. Stefanescu spins an intriguing story about a nun and a priest
falling in love and an evil Abbess reeking havoc on the sisters of St. Mary's!
Geneieve was the only survivor of her family when her father went crazy and
killed her mother and her siblings and if she'd not went to help for her
younger brother, she'd be dead as well. She had never been on her own before,
yet she had no home since it had burnt leaving only ashes of her family raining
down on her.
The Query Letter
Reblogged from: http://readfulthingsblog.com/
The Query letter.No, really–it is not an
evil device of torture sent from the writing Gods just to make you suffer.
Okay, well it might be, but the ability to write a good query letter is also an
integral part of any writer’s repertoire.
It is difficult to write a captivating and effective query
letter that will not only command the attention of an agent/editor, but also
shed light on your fiction/non-fiction project and make them care enough about
your protagonist/story/piece that they want to see the entire manuscript.
Imagine condensing a 100,000 word book into a query letter of less than 200
words…wait…where are you going…I’m not trying to scare you. I’m trying to
explain how to do this without tearing out your hair.
The first part of the
Depending on whom you ask, a standard query letter will
either have 3 or 4 essential parts, also depending on what type of work you are
presenting and your personal preference. An outstanding query should include
The introduction, or
You only have one chance to make a first impression. This is
a common enough phrase and also very true when it comes to a situation where
your first hand-shake must be done via paper or electronic media. It is
somewhat of a disadvantage to not have the ability to make eye-contact and use
your presence when trying to command attention. Still, there is no reason why
you cannot exude confidence and let your personality shine through when
presenting yourself via the written word.
It may seem like a good idea to use a crazy hook at this
point in the query. You want to stand out, right? Asking a rhetorical question
or being silly will land your letter in the dust bin. Guaranteed. The
agent/editor is busy. They are looking at your query letter to find out basic
information about your book. Is it interesting? Is it marketable? Does it have
the potential to turn a profit? What makes it unique?
You should begin this section with a brief introduction of
yourself and your work. If you have any relevant credits to your name, use
them. By relevant, I do not mean “I am a stay-at-home mum and this is my first
book.” I mean: “I was a journalist with the Chicago Sun Times for 13 years and
have also published previously with-” Relevant information that supports your
ability to write well and handle business is all the personal info you should
include. You should also include the genre, title and word count of your
manuscript at this point.
Example of poor query opening:
Dear Editor or Agent, –Always address queries to a specific
What would you do if you were abandoned by your husband in
the middle of nowhere?–Beginning with a broad and general question like this
detracts attention away from the point in your inquiry. My name is Jane Doe and
I have been a nurse for 20 years. Please consider my teen romance where you can
find out the answer to my above question.–Unless she is writing a book on nursing
in some fashion, her job is irrelevant. She does not give anything other than
Example of a well-written query opening:
Dear Mr. Waltham, –Query addressed to specific person.
I found your agency on “AgentSearch.com” and noted that you
are currently open to submissions from speculative fiction authors. After
reading your guidelines,–She has noted where she found his listing and let him
know that she read and put some thought into the agency’s guidelines before
submitting. it is my belief that you may be interested in my novel “The
Whispering Brook,” a speculative fiction novel of 55,000 words.–Book title and
length included. My book is about a woman in a small Eastern village who must
teach her people to trust conventional medicine in order to save the lives of
children during a diphtheria outbreak.–A little preview of the book without
going into too much detail. Your synopsis will be in the next portion, so this
does not need to be detailed. I have a history of small press publishing and
have won a couple of awards for my fiction entries in national contests.
–Credits that are relevant to fiction writing and support her cause.
* you may choose to refrain from mentioning credits until
the third part of your query, the author bio. I personally, enjoy reading
queries that give a hint of any expertise the author in question may have,
right up front.
This concludes the opening of the query letter. Please stay
tuned next week for part 2: the synopsis.
Here are some things to keep in mind until then:
Double and triple check your query for spelling and grammar
errors. There is never a more critical time to avoid making these mistakes than
when you are trying to impress your abilities as a writer upon an editor/agent.
Ensure that you have spelled the name of the person you are
addressing as well as the name of the agency correct. There are so many
uncommon spellings that it is easy to address something to “John” instead of
Remember to include your contact information. Epic fail if
you expect an editor or agent to take the time to look you up.
The best query letter in the world does not guarantee you a
win, but it can’t hurt.