Category Archives: General
Day 2 of our participation of this year’s event has us talking about what readers want. As always we encourage visitors to share their thoughts in the comments below, murr! =^.^=
What do Readers Want?
This is a question which generated a great many different answers among our team, but there were a few things that we all agreed on, and it is these that we’d like to share with you today.
1. Strong, intriguing plot.
When we select books to read, we look to see if the book has a plot that is going to resonate with us and keep us wanting to turn the pages. The stronger the intrigue created by the book’s back cover blurb, the more likely we’re going to pick it up. Nothing drives us crazy than a weak plot or a plot that doesn’t match the book’s description. We love it when we’re able to disappear into a novel and not resurface for hours, so the better the plot, the more likely we’re going to read and recommend the book to others.
2. An engaging cover.
True, it isn’t what is on the outside that matters, but what is inside which counts, but we’re going to be honest, if the cover of a book doesn’t look interesting, we’re most likely not going to investigate the contents further. Also, the cover should reflect the story and represent it in some way. Now there are times where you can find hidden gems behind horrendous covers, but the reality is, the better the cover the better the response you’ll get from readers.
3. Characters we can relate to.
This is something that is going to vary by reader, but we all agree that the more we’re able to relate to a character, the more likely we’re going to care about them and become invested in their story.
4. Strong, clear writing.
Nothing frustrates us faster than a book full of errors in writing. Whether those errors are grammatical, structural, punctuation errors, plot holes, whatever, the more we encounter in a book, the more likely we are to say something in our review and/or not finish the book.
So what do you look for when selecting a book? What things guarantee that you’ll read and enjoy a title? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below, murr! =^.^=
We’re excited to be participating in this year’s Armchair BEA event. If you are unfamiliar with this event, please click on the link above to learn more. And before we proceed into our topic of discussion today, we’d would like to wish everyone who is attending Book Expo of America a wonderful time and wish that we were there with you all, murr! =^.^=
Welcome newcomer’s to our blog! We, Sara, Dancer, Mimi, and Sammers are the felines of What the Cat Read. To learn more about who we are, we invite you to visit our Bio page, murr! To give you a brief summary, we’re four well-read felines sharing our love of the books we read and the authors we admire. Our blog came about when our original founders, Willow & Buggy, noticed that there was a severe lack of feline reviews in the world. In 2011 they sought to fill this gap and created this site for young kittens and cats to discover new titles and authors to enjoy. We cover a wide-range of genres and enjoy sharing our love of reading with others. Our hope is that you’ll enjoy your time here and discover something new to read every time you return, murr!
We’ve experienced a great many things over the years that our blog has been up. Some experiences have been positive while others have been educational and lead to restructuring and new opportunities for growth. While we are not experts in the field, we’d like to offer a few tips and tricks for newbie reviewers.
1. Blog because you enjoy it.
This is something we cannot stress enough. For most of you out there reviewing books is a hobby, it’s not a job. You don’t get paid to review, nor do you get any of the perks that come from having a job. If you aren’t enjoying working on your blog, if you don’t feel satisfaction for all the work you put into it, then perhaps it is time to consider setting your blog aside. When your blog becomes overwhelming and is no longer enjoyable, it might be time to take a break. There is no shame in setting it aside either temporarily or permanently. Blog because you enjoy it, not because you feel obligated to do so.
2. Don’t feel pressured to review new material.
Yes, it is great to be able to review a new book before the general public has a chance to read it, but you don’t have to review ARCs (advance reader copies) all the time. There’s no need to keep us with the Jones’s of the blogging world. Just because an older title has received tons of reviews, it doesn’t mean that you can’t review it on your site. Older titles deserve just as much love as new titles. Reviewing an older title allows you to both introduce new readers to something they might have never known about and allows for new discussion to occur among readers. Plus, by reviewing older titles there is no pressure to meet a new release deadline, you can review older titles as time permits. Review what you enjoy, and you’ll continue to have fun blogging (see point #1).
3. Maintain a blogging schedule/calendar.
As you blog you’ll probably agree to take on virtual tour events and special event posts. Keeping a calendar with all your events listed will go a long way in helping you keep track of what posts you’ve signed up for and when you need to have them up by. It also allows you to plan out a posting schedule that works best for your personal schedule. Whether you post special weekly posts, maintain a 4 day post schedule, whatever, keeping a calendar will let you map out your blog a month in advance or more.
4. Keep your posts original.
Your blog is your own work, as such it should be unique and fit your personality, theme, layout, etc. It is a reflection of you and your views/opinions. It is very easy to fall into the habit of copying and pasting created HTML content in order to save time. The problem that comes in with this is there is no originality to the post, it loses that which is unique to your blog. Now, we’re not saying that you can’t use created HTML content on your site every now and then, but if you are relying solely on HTML generated post material because you’ve signed up for more posts than you can easily create on your own then it might be time to reconsider your scheduling/posting practice. Yes, blogging is a hobby, but by taking on the maintenance of a blog it means that you are agreeing to take on the work necessary to create posts that are tailored to your blog’s theme/layout. Don’t expect the tour hosts, publishers, and authors to do all of the work for you in creating your posts. It’s your blog, you do the work.
5. Don’t be afraid to post a negative review.
If you read a book and end up not enjoying it, do not be afraid to say so in your review. There is no shame in posting a review that is under three stars. Not every book is going to resonate with every reader, and having both positive and negative reviews on a book allows new readers to decide if the book is right for them. This doesn’t mean you go on a rant bashing the author and the book. If you don’t connect with a book, your review should explain what prevented you from connecting with it. In other words, your negative review should have constructive criticism in it for the author. Simply saying you “didn’t like it” doesn’t help anyone.
So there you have it, a selection of our “best practices”. We hope that you enjoyed this post and we invite you to leave your thoughts in the comments below, or share your own best practices that you’ve learned over the course of your blogging experience. =^.^=
What the Cat Read is excited to be participating in Tracy A. Ward’s Release Week Celebration event hosted by Barclay Publicity. If you would like to see all of the blogs involved in the celebration, please click on the banner above. =^.^=
Here’s the set-up. Lucas Marshall, owner of The Marshall Theater, has just given Ashlyn an ultimatum—work with Noah, her big brother’s best friend and Ashlyn’s sworn enemy, to overcome her writer’s block that’s appeared at a very inopportune time (threatening her inheritance, career, and the fate of the theater itself). Noah, too, has a stake in the game. The town of Phair was founded around The Marshall. If it fails, so too will his bar. Equally important, Noah has just discovered another threat—a theater critic set on revenge against Ashlyn for a past transgression. But if there’s one thing you can count on Noah Blake to do, it’s protect what he considers his, no matter the cost. In this scene, from Noah’s point of view, he appears at Ashlyn’s door, attempting to convince her that Lucas’s plan to overcome her writer’s block and save the theater is valid.
About the Author:
After the birth of her children, Tracy had an epiphany: banking just wasn’t her thing. So she quit her corporate job, let her nanny go and became a not-so-desperate housewife by day, Sexy Women’s Fiction author by night. Her characters are every-day women, following their dreams, searching for that elusive happily ever after.
Tracy is offering one (1) lucky Grand Prize Winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of Fair Play, and five (5) Runner-up Winners a digital copy of Fair Play! To enter, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below:
What the Cat Read is thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for Lori Wilde’s newest novel in her Twilight, Texas series! If you are looking for a sweet romance to read this holiday season, I’ll Be Home for Christmas just may be the perfect book for you, murr!! My thanks to the wonderful folk at Avon Romance for letting me share this special excerpt with all of you today. =^.^=
Praise for Lori Wilde:
“Tempered with love, a caring community, a dash of suspense, and the romantic delight of a Twilight Christmas, this engaging story brims with strength and hope-definitely one to savor.”
— Library Journal on CHRISTMAS AT TWILIGHT
“Christmas at Twilight is a wonderful heartwarming story not to be missed. The characters are written with compassion as the love between the couple grows.”
— RT Book Reviews (4 Stars) on CHRISTMAS AT TWILIGHT
“Lori Wilde has created a rich and wonderful story about the charm of small town life combined with the power and passion of first love. Delicious!”
— Robyn Carr on A COWBOY CHRISTMAS
“A wonderful story… The ending will leave readers with the desire to make return visits to Jubilee, Texas.”
— RT Book Reviews, 4 stars, on LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
“A pair of engaging protagonists, a wealth of wacky townsfolk, and a mystery with a dangerous twist add up to a charmingly sexy tale that will leave fans smiling.”
— Library Journal on LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
“[T]heir personal development forms the heart and soul of the novel, a delicately revealing in-depth character study. Wilde’s clever combination of humor, sorrow and love brings a deeply appealing sense of realism.”
— Publishers Weekly on ALL OF ME
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lori Wilde has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and a certificate in forensic nursing from Kaplan University. She is a member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses.
Her first NYT bestseller, the third book in her Twilight, Texas series, The First Love Cookie Club has been optioned for a television movie. The town of Granbury, Texas, upon which her fictional town of Twilight, Texas is loosely based, honors Lori with an annual Twilight, Texas weekend each Christmas. http://www.twilighttexas.com
A popular writing instructor, Lori is a two time RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She’s won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Golden Quill, the Lories, and The More than Magic. Her books have been translated into 27 languages and excerpted in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Complete Woman, and Quick and Simple magazines. She lives in Texas with her husband, Bill, and her two New American Shepherds.
To enter for your chance to win a $50 Gift Card to an eBook Retailer of your choice and a copy of I’ll Be Home for Christmas, please click on the Rafflecopter Link below:
Read-along Week #3 Thoughts on Chapters 18-25
First initial thought: Don’t care what I’ve learned about Margg, I still don’t like her. Valek is currently an ass in my mind based on his actions. Rand, damn it! Loving Ari and Janco, as well as Maren (want more of her). Interesting vision that Yelena had. Yeah, I can see what people enjoyed this novel. Looking forward to seeing how it all ends!
Story thoughts: Well hells, this book managed to piss me off. Damn it, Rand! I mean seriously, why? WHY? I knew that Snyder was going to do something with him because she was obviously leading him up to this, but still! Why not Margg? I was anticipating Margg actually. And no matter what I’ve learned about her, I still don’t like her. And I’m not exactly thrilled with Valek, either. His behavior in this section, while I understand some might call it justifiable, did not sit well with me at all. Regardless of Yelena’s past, she’s more than proven herself trustworthy, so I don’t understand why he couldn’t give her the benefit of the doubt instead of instantly jumping to the conclusion that she was a betrayer. Ari, Janco, and Maren are great! Love their fighting scenes together and I hope I see more of them in the series. Snyder is definitely doing a great job in building her characters. They are all complex and I love that I am able to become emotionally invested in them, even when that investment proves to be heartbreaking, or leads me to want to claw them across the face.
The vision that Yelena has is extremely interesting, though it brings up a few questions. Yup, I’ve got more questions. And I’ll be honest, I read ahead (actually finished the book) and I’m still a bit confused on what is going on, so those questions remain. I may need to talk with some of the other readers to ask them for clarification, or I can as Snyder herself or wait for when I read the other books to discover what is going on there. It isn’t so much that I don’t understand the vision, it’s that I don’t understand the wording used with it.
Not sure I would want to live in a country without coffee. I need my caffeine. Though I suppose if I grew up in a place where I was never exposed to the drink, I probably wouldn’t miss it. And I’m now curious to try Criollo. Is this like some sort of chocolate? I don’t want the down side to this substance, but I do want to try just a small bit. I find it interesting how some people think it is the most amazing thing in the world, but others not so much. Actually, thinking about that scene now that I’ve finished the book, I now know why Valek didn’t think much of the stuff. Right, yeah, that should have been pretty obvious. Sigh.
This really is an engaging read, and like I said, I’ve been enjoying it so much, I had to finish it. But just because I am done with it doesn’t mean you’ll be getting my thoughts on the ending. You’ll have to wait until next week for that post. I will say that I’m glad Rockstar Book Tours hosted this read-along event because I probably wouldn’t have gotten to this book nearly as quickly given my TBR pile. Can’t wait to start the second book in the series soon! And you can expect my final week’s worth of thoughts, along with my review, next week. =^.^=
Favorite Quote: There was only one moment that stood out for me in this section. I hope you enjoy it.
“When you warned me that you would test me from time to time, I thought you meant spiking my food. But it seems there is more than one way to poison a person’s heart, and it doesn’t even require a meal.”
“Everyone makes choices in life. Some bad, some good. It’s called living, and if you want to bow out, then go right ahead. But don’t do it halfway. Don’t linger in whiner’s limbo,” Valek said, his voice gruff. – Page 241