Rosepoint #BookReviews – Welcome December – November Recap

Welcome December-November Recap

Oh my gosh! I got SOOO busy I totally spaced on getting out the recap for October. I got in some great reads in October and November, however, including cozies, crime fiction, paranormal, psychological thrillers, and even some sci-fi! I posted a total of twelve reviews for the November–as well a couple spotlights. Definitely ramped up the book tours and have greatly benefited by utilizing NetGalley almost exclusively as I achieved my 100 Reviews Badge!

Still learning whatever I can about Instagram and bookstagram, though obviously have a long way to go. Since I pretty much shoot from the hip, there is little in the way of actual scheduling other than the night before (wink, wink). It’s not a business–it’s for fun. And it is. I’ve seen some amazing technology and would love to pass it on, but “regramming” is also something I’ve yet to learn. (Another app download? — not when my poor ole Galaxy 5 is already maxxed.)

My book reviews for November (many of which included Giveaways):

If you missed any of my full reviews, just click the link below.

Nov 2  – A Different Kind of Reunion by Joann Guidoccio (Spotlight)

Nov 4  – Yeast of Eden by Sarah Fox

Nov 6  – Thread Herrings by Lea Wait

Nov 7  – Harvest of Secrets by Ellen Crosby

Nov 9  – House of Ashes by Loretta Marion

Nov 11-  Murder in Her Stocking by G. A. McKevett

Nov 13- A Vintage Death by Mary Ellen Hughes

Nov 15- The Darkness Prequel Tour by C. S. Duffy (Spotlight)

Nov 16- A Cold Brew Killing by Lena Gregory

Nov 18- Murder at Harbor Village by G. P. Gardner

Nov 20- Purls and Poison by Anne Canedeo

Nov 23- Zephyr by Andrew Cooke

Nov 25- Love You Gone by Rona Halsall

Nov 27- The Body in the Attic by Judi Lynn

At this point, I’ve achieved my personal goal for Goodreads of 100 reviews. I’ll need one more for the NetGalley Challenge of 75 reviews, but missing Q (currently reading Quantum Marlowe), J, W, and X for the Alphabet Challenge. There are three books scheduled so far for December and none of those will fill the missing letters. If you fail to add the #NGEW2018 tag for the reviews, are they still included in the tally?

How are you doing on your challenges? Anyone have a J, W, or X book for me?

A big thank to all my new followers and as always so appreciate you who continue to read and comment! Thank you!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

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Rosepoint #BookReviews – September Recap

Review Recap - September

Oh my gosh! Got into some super reads in September, (eleven!) stretched my reading chops with a horror, a couple thrillers, political conspiracy, and K-9 (service dog) mysteries. I really love the stories about those valiant, stout-hearted canines who do so much for us without so much as a clue what it all means. (Or maybe they do! Long as we’re happy–they’re happy.)

Greatly enjoy working on graphics and sometimes when I see a particular cover love to stretch the imagination into a bookstagram. And it’s fun heading into fall to switch themes now with harvest colors and later, Halloween. I stay on the lookout for new tutorials, but so often when I’ve tried the technique discover it’s for business or paid accounts only. (Either that or my programs are just way too old.) And “stories”? Gees, I could write a book on what I DON’T know about stories. So, no I don’t know what I’m doing, but at least I can still deliver a review on a timely basis.

My book reviews for September:

How many have you read? Did you agree with my analysis? Click the links below to read any reviews you might have missed.

Sept 2 – The Forbidden Door – a #BookReview – #greatreads – Dean Koontz

Sept 4 – Nice Try, Afton – a #BookReview – Brent Jones

Sept 7 – Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery by Melinda Mullet #BookTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Sept 9 – A Borrowing of Bones – a #BookReview – Paula Munier

Sept 11-Cast No Shadow: A Short Story #Review – Brandon Dragan

Sept 14-Malice at the Manor – a #BookReview – J Marshall Gordon

Sept 16-Read and Gone – a #BookReview #BookTour #Giveaway – Allison Brook

Sept 18-Lackbeard – a Children’s Fantasy Pirate Adventure #BookReview – Cody B Stewart and Adam Rocke

Sept 21-In Cold Chocolate by Dorothy St. James #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Sept 25-Malice by Jennifer Jaynes – a #BookReview

Sept 27-High Crimes by Libby Fischer Hellmann – a #BookReview

The books above came from author requests, NetGalley, and/or part of book tours. The ole October TBR is stacking up to include a number of cozy mysteries from NetGalley for reviews and book tours as well as an author request. The Throwback Thursdays have included books published more than a year ago but reviewed this year by the CE. My conundrum has become the skewed stats on Goodreads and Amazon accounts as I receive his books through BookBub but they appear on both Amazon and Goodreads. (EEK!) Taking his reviews out of my numbers, I’m still five short of achieving my Goodreads Challenge. Yes, I’m working on fixing that…in the meantime

A big thank to all my new followers and as always so appreciate you who continue to read and comment! Thank you!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Will Bookbloggers Abandon Pinterest? Maybe–Here’s Why

Will Bookbloggers Abandon Pinterest?

So, was the Pinterest platform created for people with too much time on their hands, or as a serious media form with myriad connection capabilities?

I’ve mentioned before my attempts at understanding the attraction and heaven knows I’ve been bombarded with invitations by “experts” for advice on learning how to expand my followers and make significant gains in either monetizing my blog or directing traffic to sales through Pinterest. (Except that my blog is not particularly sales driven.)

I have twelve boards and umpteen “pins” and the one that catches the most traffic is the one of Iris Apfel, whose repins (at age 93) greatly outnumber my own and does nothing for my stats. How fair is that?

Launched in 2010, Pinterest was designed to discover information on the www mainly through the use of images. Images were where it was at! In particular, I do enjoy the Infographics you readily find on Pinterest.

However, I like that Instagram may become a powerful adjunct to my blog. It’s simple! Even I can do it! And I get a lot of positive engagement from Instagram, second only (and sometimes tying) to Twitter (not facebook). I’m still fairly new to posting on Instagram, but adding followers at a consistent pace. I particularly appreciate the ability to add appropriate hashtags and find that authors and other book bloggers, as well as publishers, haunt your posts. There is a limit on the use of hashtags of course, but many can do double duty, where appropriately added to your twitter post. Here are a few of my favorite hashtags for Instagram/Bookstagram (keeping in mind these are not to be used for every post–change them up!):

#book #booksofinstagram #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #igreads #igbooks #epicreads #booklife #bibliophile #read #reading #reader #booklover #bookaddict #booknerd #bookworm #booksbooksbooks #bookstagramfeature #readingforfun #booksworthreading #readinglist #bookswag #readingisfundamental #currentlyreading #amreading #bookshelf #newbook #goodbook #reviewbook #mybooks #goodreads #bookrecommendations #bookblog #bookblogger #tbr #indieauthor #bibliophile #mustread

Rather than using Pinterest as a major source of traffic, I see a few of my fellow book bloggers using Pinterest as a side link, sort of a sub-blog. In fact, I found that shockingly few post a link to Pinterest. It appears most bloggers opt to link to Instagram and Twitter. (If you also have a Pinterest account that I missed it here, please let me know and I’ll be glad to follow.)

Lynne at Fictionophile

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Adventures of a Bibliophile

The Cozy Pages

Of course, more than images now the use of videos, vlogs, and gifs. Videos–videos are where it’s at! Well, I won’t be doing many of those soon, so I’ll continue to work on images, particularly through the use of Instagram and Bookstagram, which I’ve also alluded to rather recently.

I’m still not sold that the hours and hours of time I’ve spent on Pinterest has been worth it, but I see huge inroads of web interest in Instagram and the buzz says this is where the major focus will occur in 2018. I’m thinking that besides the time spent on my blog, that is where I’ll focus my secondary hours. How about you? Do you still use Pinterest or has Twitter and Instagram taken a new lead for you? I’d love to hear your comments! ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Instagram vs WordPress – Want More From Your Pics?

Rob Moses PhotographyRob Moses at Rob Moses Photography started his blog about the same time as I, was one of the first to follow me, and I’ve followed with interest his beautiful and unique pictures. I’ve mentioned him before. He takes a lot of pictures; a lot of different types of pictures. Street photography and city skylines are some of his most favourite things to shoot, but he also finds himself shooting more landscapes than he thought he would.

Most recently, he ran a rant about Instagram vs WordPress which I found so exactly echoed my own sentiments, as well as recent discussions with many of my own followers, that I thought I’d share with you. No doubt you agree. Instagram is too much fun, gets too much attention, and so rewarding that’s it’s difficult to get back to the WP blog subject of the day. For me, of course, the time is spent in crafting “bookstagrams.” (And you have my invitation to follow my efforts in the widget column on the right or @rosepointpub.)

New Review!

For me, Instagram is an attractive alternative to either Pinterest or Facebook. The two image-sharing platforms were both released approximately 2010 and I’ve yet to really figure out Pinterest. According to Digital Guide, there were approximately 400 million Instagrammers to 100 million Pinteresters back in 2016. Currently, there are almost 75 million WordPress sites out there with over 50% of those (or 37 million) on the free WordPress.com. There are articles on WP vs Tumblr, WP vs Squarespace and Instagram vs Flickr. (And I did try Flickr.) But Instagram–and further–Bookstagram really caught my attention.  Now that Instagram has the “story” capability, the ability to add dialogue has expanded dramatically. I love books and they make some gorgeous pictures and now stories (posts) as well!

Time is at such a premium–especially at my age–and I no longer have a full-time job. As jmeyersforeman noted in part, “I think both Instagram and WordPress have their purpose, as you said, Instagram is great for it’s immediacy, while WordPress gives you a longer format to explore topics and it takes time to develop those posts…we only have so much time in the day and we have to decide where we get the most reward for our time.”

And everyone loves pictures! What do you think? Love to work your pictures into your Instagram and blog? ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Rosepoint Reviews – November Recap

Happy Holidays! Christmas tree decorations

We are now on a frantic race to the end of the year! SOO much to do on top of regular blogging, reading and reviewing activities. Gifts, wrapping, cards, dinners, and events, one of which I’m participating in tomorrow at the Lake County Public Library! I will be presenting the new edition of Sole Survivor, new cover, as well as the story of how the painting came into my possession almost 90+ years after it was painted.  If you just happen to be in the area….

Author Event - Lake County Public Library

Gearing up on holidays, and down on books, I read and reviewed seven books including many ARC’s, as well as #ThrowbackThursdays highlighting two of my favorites (Dr. Jan Pol and M. D. Grayson). Spent some heavy time doing #AmReading posts, as well as #TBR pics, which is a great way to introduce what I’ll be reading and reviewing next. These are concentrated on #Bookstagram and shared with this blog. Bookstagram gives me the opportunity to use that artistic inclination my grandfather bestowed on me, and it’s been a lot of fun.

My November reads, all ARC’s through NetGalley:

  1. November 06 – Outside the Wire by Patricia Smiley
  2. November 07 – Stay Calm and Collie On by Lane Stone
  3. November 11 – The Tell All by Libby Howard
  4. November 19 – The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz
  5. November 21 – The Compass Island Incident by Wade Fowler
  6. November 26 – The Plot is Murder by V. M. Burns
  7. November 28 – Mayhem & Mass by Olivia Mathews

Here’s hoping all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a good day of food and family, but many of you not in the U.S. will also have a chance to do that on Christmas. There is something magical this time off year; in our part of the world, snowfall and the beautiful sights and smells of leaves, fireplaces, and winter-time activities. In my younger years, that included skiing. Now I’m looking wistfully at snowmobiles. Definitely on my bucket list!

Not all of my December reads are ARC’s from NetGalley, but the month has filled in very quickly. Hope all of you are avoiding the puddles and finding just the perfect gifts! Winter is a great time to read. Do you have one you are excited about? I’m always open to recommendations! ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#AmReading – The Plot Is Murder (Mystery Bookshop) by V. M. Burns

#AmReading - The Plot is Murder by V M Burns

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting V. M. Burns and her book The Plot is Murder (Mystery Bookshop). I received an ARC from the publisher Kensington and NetGalley. The book will be released on November 28, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, crafts and hobbies, culinary, and animals (really!) and is the debut novel in a new series at 256 pages. It’s a shortie, y’all! (We can DO this!)

I will be presenting my review on Sunday, but in the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb: (Blurb from Amazon)

The small town of North Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan is about to have a new mystery bookstore. But before the first customer can browse its shelves, the store’s owner is suspected of her own murder plot . . .  

Samantha Washington has dreamed of owning her own mystery bookstore for as long as she can remember. And as she prepares for the store’s grand opening, she’s also realizing another dream—penning a cozy mystery set in England between the wars. While Samantha hires employees and fills the shelves with the latest mysteries, quick-witted Lady Penelope Marsh, long-overshadowed by her beautiful sister Daphne, refuses to lose the besotted Victor Carlston to her sibling’s charms. When one of Daphne’s suitors is murdered in a maze, Penelope steps in to solve the labyrinthine puzzle and win Victor.  

But as Samantha indulges her imagination, the unimaginable happens in real life. A shady realtor turns up dead in her backyard, and the police suspect her—after all, the owner of a mystery bookstore might know a thing or two about murder. Aided by her feisty grandmother and an enthusiastic ensemble of colorful retirees, Samantha is determined to close the case before she opens her store. But will she live to conclude her own story when the killer has a revised ending in mind for her?

Author: (From Goodreads author page)

V M Burns, authorV.M. Burns was born and raised in northwestern Indiana, but is now thawing out in eastern Tennessee with her two poodles. She has a BA from Northwestern University, a Masters from the University of Notre Dame and an MFA from Seton Hill University in Writing Popular Fiction. She spent many years working as a trainer and now works as a training manager for an appliance manufacturer. Ms. Burns is represented by Dawn Dowdle at Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Contact her at author@vmburns.com ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#AmReading – The Tell All: A Locust Point Mystery by Libby Howard

 

#AmReading - The Tell All by Libby Howard

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! Today I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and (part of) my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Libby Howard and her book The Tell All: A Locust Point Mystery (Volume 1). I received the download in exchange for a fair review by Erin Zarro, an assistant for Ms. Howard. The book was released in July, 2017 the first in the series of three. Amazon classifies the novel as a cozy mystery, thriller & suspense, and women sleuths and at only 156 pages will be a very fast read for most of you bibliophiles!

I will be presenting my review shortly, but in the meantime (from Amazon), here is the:

Book Blurb:

Life at sixty isn’t quite what Kay Carrera expected. She’s working as a skip-tracer for a PI who is desperate to land his own reality TV show. She has a new roommate who arrived with more than the usual amount of baggage. And her attempts at knitting are less than stellar – way less than stellar. Worse, the cataract surgery that restored her sight has also delivered an unexpected and disturbing side-effect. Kay sees ghosts. And when the dead turn to her for help, she just can’t say no.

Author:

(Amazon) Libby Howard lives in a little house in the woods with her sons and two exuberant bloodhounds. She occasionally knits, occasionally bakes, and occasionally manages to do a load of laundry. Most of her writing is done in a bar where she can combine work with people-watching, a decent micro-brew, and a plate of Old Bay wings.

©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#CoverLove – Color Themes

#CoverLove – we do love our colorful, eye-catching book covers!

It’s the first, all-important impression of any book. It’s an instant yea or nay. Pick up and investigate further or lay down and look for something else. Unfortunately, we are a “judge the book by the cover” sort of animal. As with any artistic endeavor–we know what we like or don’t like.

We love beautiful covers, those that catch the eye, and as always, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” Pick your favorite!#Cover Love - orange

Continue reading “#CoverLove – Color Themes”

Rosepoint Reviews-September Recap and #Bookstagram Fun

September was busy! Reading and writing furiously, nine new books including many ARC’s, #ThrowbackThursdays highlighting some of my old favorites, and a new #Bookstagram feature I created called “Wharf Reads.” (I love that tree!)

Wharf Reads - Hello Again by Brenda Novak

Well, I didn’t really name it, but looking to ramp up Instagrams, got myself into yet another project consuming WAY too much time! Continue reading “Rosepoint Reviews-September Recap and #Bookstagram Fun”