Claim Your Free Book!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hi, My Name Is Belinda And I'm A Romance-A-Holic

**Recycled Post from 2011**

Hi, my name is Belinda and
 I'm a Romance-A-Holic.
A Swoon Junkie.

It's been a good ... 5-6 years now since my hubby brought me my first romance book and life hasn't been the same since. I was a huge reader growing up, with my nose always in a book but a period of my life came when I didn't read because I was too busy trying to survive. A trip to a Harry Potter movie with a close friend of mine reintroduced me back to the joy and power of reading and my love for it spread like wildfire. I devoured everything young adult and found that I was completely fascinated with all things paranormal. Then it was Christmas and I remember my hubby passing me a present, saying that he hoped I liked it. Knocking on it and hearing the noise that bounced back, it wasn't hard to guess it was a book  - Dark Curse by Christine Feehan. "I know babe, it's not young adult but it looks good so maybe you should give it a go." I cringed a little because it was an "adult romance" *insert gasp here* and didn't everyone say that books like this were nothing but diluted smut? Something drew me in though, maybe my inner radar for all things amazing was going crazy so I picked it up and started reading. The rest, my friends, is history.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

You Are Important. You Matter.

I saw this in a cool Geek group I'm a part of on Facebook and it was definitely the kind of advice I've needed to hear lately. 

Life isn't always fair. It can change in the blink of an eye, and unfortunately sometimes those changes will rock you to your very foundation. You'll start questioning who you are, what kind of purpose do you now serve, and whether you truly are as important and value in the grand scheme of things. It's painful asking those questions because it requires you to hear the truth, not the lies you whisper to yourself.

"I'm broken now."
"I'm useless."
"I was given one role and I failed."
"I hold absolute no value. Just toss me aside."

Those discouraging words hurt almost as much as the event that caused the avalanche of doubt and fear. But there's one thing I know for certain - where there is bad there is good ... Darkness there is light ... Negative there is positive. You can balance yourself out if you know how.
Like my best friend told me, you can change your coat. For the sake of this post, let's say change your bow tie. Bow ties are cool!

I'm thankful for the Doctor. To others it may be a family member, a friend, a song, a memory, a story, a show ... Something that grounds you into joy and reminds you that life doesn't always suck and it is possible to rise above the insecurities.

So, today, as I struggle to sleep and reclaim my life from depression I see one of my beloved Time Lord, a person I admire, point at me and say, "YOU ARE IMPORTANT." Three easy enough words but they carry the weight of truth.

Each of us are important. 
We are relevant. We are enough. We most definitely matter.

Never forget that - WE MATTER. 

Just some food for thought on a long hard day. Sweet dreams and keep on swimming!

Friday, January 16, 2015

So I Was Thinking: Eggs And Potatoes.

I saw this on Pinterest and while I get what it's saying, it got me thinking.

Can't I be both? I want to be hard/tough enough to face whatever life throws my way and not break under pressure ... yet keep a soft heart that still hopes for the best, sees the good in people and life while keeping a positive attitude.

I don't want to lose what makes me ME.

Sometimes it's hard. REEEEALLLLLY hard. Sometimes just the slightest thing causes a crack and there's no holding back tears. It's in those moments where a choice has to be made - do you shake your fist at the sky with anger, wondering why the hell must you endure something so unfair OR do you cry, feel what you need to before taking a deep breath and going on.

Life's going to happen regardless and sometimes ... sometimes shitty things happen to good people. Sometimes we don't get the outcome we want - what we've dreamed for - what we desperately long for. It's a bitter pill to swallow.

But, we'll survive. We'll get through it.

We'll adjust and keep on going.

So, be an egg AND a potato. Actually ... just be you. You'll get through it. I'll get through it. What doesn't kill you, defines and refines you, right?


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Recycled Post: How Do You Decide Which Book To Buy?

(This post was originally released 1/11/2012 on my first blog, The Bookish Snob)

I've taken to stalking the lists over at Amazon - both the Top 100 paid and free - for my Kindle. Heaven knows, I don't need any more books, but I'm addicted and I'm planning for the apocalypse where I'll need to bunker down and wait it out. I'm determined to be prepared and if I have a full Kindle, I'll be entertained *shakes head* Yeah, my husband didn't buy that either.

I caught myself doing something, and made me wonder whether I was the only one. How do other readers decide what to gets - especially amongst the free? You would assume a free ebook means you automatically click, but I know that's not the case for me. Don't get me wrong, when I first got my Kindle I went "click" happy. I would get everything in the romance section and surprise, surprise, I either haven't read some of them, or deleted them. So it got me thinking - what influences me?

Here's what I noticed about my self:

Top influencer -  The Cover

This is the very first thing I look at. I am a complete cover whore. Plain and simple. I am almost positive I'm missing out on some phenomenal reading simply because the cover doesn't pull me. I will skim lists and my eyes gloss over the books that don't attract. Does that make me fickle? No. It means I like what I like. I'm the same whether I go to a bookstore or shop online. The cover has to appeal. It has to catch my eye. The same amount of time that went into the story and perfecting needs to go into having the best cover. I've bought books JUST for the cover. Sometimes they are just as convincing as the blurb and if both are amazing, there's no stopping the purchase.

Second Influencer - The Blurb

I always look at the blurb. If I'm intrigued by anything by the book, I'll read it. If I love the cover, I go straight to the blurb. I love those that give me just enough to get excited, but doesn't give everything away. I read somewhere readers look for keywords when they're trying to decide based on the description, and I realized I do the same. Don't get me wrong, I read the whole thing, but my mind does look for what it knows I'll like. When the blurb is long, my mind looks and will continue reading if it sees "Oh ... Scotland .... Laird ..... Warrior .... Feisty ... Clan." (just example) The only time the blurb doesn't sell me is if it's so vague, I still don't have a clue after reading it a few times. Paired with the book's cover, the blurb is a strong selling point. It has to give a glimpse of the amazing story inside.

Third Influencer - The Author

I know I'm not alone with this - we have our favorite authors. There are those books where it doesn't matter if everything else sucks, I'm buying it because I love the author. It's a fun feeling when you're shopping and realize there's new work out you didn't know. You're looking at everything and then BAM ... you see who wrote it and it's an instant click. With me blogging, promoting, and being a social media junkie, I see a lot of names and I'm a firm believe in name recognition. I may not have bought "Author One's" book last week, but hey here it is again, the time is right so why not ... click to buy.

Fourth Influencer - The Title

Sometimes the title pulls me in, even if I'm not diggin' the cover. I need to be able to pronounce it so I can tell everyone, it needs to intrigue me, and it needs to make sense. I've read some titles and thought I knew the genre, only to find out I was nowhere close. I've also wanted to learn more about the book because of how it sounds. It's not a deal breaker for me, though. Not like the cover.

Last Influencer - The Rating

I want to say I'm not swayed, but I am just a little. It doesn't prevent me from purchasing a book though. I'm also not one who if the cover and blurb don't do it for me, say "Well it's a 4 star book, I should read it." I do look at it when I'm taking in all the information, and if I see it's pretty low, I'll check out the reviews. I don't always hit this stage, though because I'm influenced more by the above. 

So there you have it. That's how I decide when I'm looking through hundreds of books a week. It was interesting discovering exactly what held the strongest influence for me, and now I ask you same the question ...

How do YOU decide which book to buy?

Feel free to comment below!