Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday With Ali - The Dragon Slayer

I'm so pleased to have Alison Drew from Ali - The Dragon Slayer in the spotlight today.  I met Alison online earlier this year and she was kind enough to help spread the word about Ethan's release in April.  An avid reader at heart, she's so supportive of authors and I'm so pleased to have her on my blog today.

Ali, tell us a little more about yourself:

I am currently fighting cancer so relishing the opportunity to indulge in my passion for reading. I have loved books for as long as I can remember, there is never a time when I am without a book or my Kindle.

I have varied taste and particularly like to try new authors. I am based in the UK but am open to meeting people worldwide. I enjoy spending time with my family and a great animal lover. Perfection is a roaring fire, cup of tea and the cat!

Describe yourself in five words:

Loyal, Kind, Honest, Tenacious, Sarcastic

How did you come up with the name for your book blog?

I thought of all kinds of bookish names for my blog but eventually settled on the first idea. My particular cancer uses the slogan 'Slay the Dragon' so in keeping with that 'Ali -The Dragon Slayer' was born. Just seemed highly appropriate and also helps to raise awareness of Leiomyosarcoma.

What made you start your blog?

When I became ill I had the prospect of spending many long hours in hospital. I have always read but now I wanted somewhere to share my love of books and connect with other like minded people to keep my mind occupied and not dwelling on the seriousness of my illness. I wanted to be known as ME not the poor lady with cancer. The blogging/author community are fantastically supportive. I never anticipated my little blog would develop and become as popular as it has!

When you're not reading, you're ...?

I love music, movies, entering competitions and travelling .. when I'm not blogging if health allows you will either find me touring the USA in a muddy field at a festival or at a music gig. We have a huge collection of DVD's/Blu Rays so there is always a movie to watch, plus Netflix .. I'm amazed I find the time to blog.

What are your blogging pet peeves?

I'm sure a lot of other bloggers would agree, my major peeve is when an author expects me to drop everything else and review their book NOW. My schedule is booked months in advance, and if I accept a book I generally give a date when it will appear on the blog. So I'm afraid any amount of emails, DM's, tweets etc are not going to make it happen any faster. In fact having to reply eats into precious reading time. I have been known to push the book down the TBR instead if the pressure gets too heavy. Bloggers do this for fun/hobby we are not paid and do have a life & families as well as books to read, posts to prepare etc

Do you have other interests besides your blog?

I know a couple of people may know but not many, I am a HUGE NFL fan. (American Football) I watch as many games as possible during the season. I have traveled to the US whenever possible to see live games. Usually it's freezing cold, snow, wind, rain but nothing will stop me if my team are playing. And by my team I mean the fabulous New York Giants!

Do you have any advice to offer to authors?

I have a review policy on my blog which clearly states genres I read, preference of book format, whether I have any space or taking a break. If requesting a review please use my name and not just Hey Blogger or similar. I can easily be found on Twitter or Facebook, say hi, interact I'm very approachable ... it's always nice to see what makes an author tick in day to day life. I like to build up a relationship with authors so they know I will give wide coverage of their book and be available when the next book is due but also be interested in non-book aspects of life. A simple thank you also goes a very long way.

Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse of the warrior woman behind the blog, Ali!

For book reviews, book news, author spotlights and a lot more, check out Ali's fabulous blog here.

Thanks for reading!
Rae Rivers

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wednesday With Star Crossed Reviews

I'm so pleased to be introducing my 'Wednesday With' series of blog posts again.  Every Wednesday, for the next few weeks, I'll be hosting a book blogger for a 'behind-the-scenes' look at life as a blogger. I have some fabulous guests lined up, many whom have offered me incredible support with my Keepers trilogy, and I look forward to getting to know more about them!

Today, in the spotlight, I've snagged the lovely Emma Poulloura from Star Crossed Reviews to tell us more about herself and her blog:

Describe your household / family.

My household is quite small. There’s just me, my boyfriend and my french bulldog puppy. My pup is only 5 months old so he’s in that so cute it’s hard to be angry at him stage. I also have 5 younger brothers, 2 nephews and a niece.

Describe yourself in five words

1. Indecisive
2. Bookaholic
3. Chocoaholic
4. Inquisitive
5. Compassionate

What made you decide to start your Star Crossed Reviews?

I was actually reading I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk, in this book the main character starts a blog and I was so inspired by this character that I thought yes I can do this.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

I wanted a name that incorporated the two main book genres that I love (Romance and Fantasy). Star Crossed refers to Star Crossed Lovers which is a rare and magical thing.

What are the blogging highlights?

I LOVE it when someone tells me that my review made them decide to buy that book. There is nothing better.

What is the most challenging thing about being a blogger?

juggling….It’s difficult to fit everything in. Between, work, household chores, spending time with my boyfriend and my little pup sometimes it can be a struggle to fit everything.

What are you currently reading?

Christmas at the Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant and Beta reading for On Thin Ice by Aven Ellis

Do you have any advice to authors about how best to approach bloggers and develop relationships with them?

I know that it saves a lot of time but one thing I hate are mass emails from an author I have never spoken to before. In fact so much that I instantly delete them. The other thing that is irritating is when someone emails you about a genre you have outlined that you do not read.

Quick word associations (Please answer all these questions with the first word (s) that comes to mind)

Vampires - Blood
Holidays - Reading time
Treat - Chocolate
Abs - Hot men
Wine - White
Chores - zzzzz
Bliss - tea, chocolate and a book
Outdoors - summer
Gym - hard work
Mondays - suck

Haha, I love these word associations!  :)  Thanks so much for the chat, Emma.  Some great answers here - and your pup is adorable!

Check out Emma's fantastic blog and her review of The Keepers: Ethan here.

Thanks for reading!
Rae Rivers