Pinterest & Blogging

When I first started this blog almost four years ago, that was kind of all you did–blog. Now, I’ve noticed that bloggers are also using Twitter, bookstagram, booktube, and Pinterest to promote their blogs. So, as one does, I’ve decided to give Pinterest a shot. If any of you would like to follow me, I’m just over at www.pinterest.com/whatsshereading. I created a board for my monthly TBRs (all two haha) and then another where I pinned a bunch of cool/cute/amazing book nooks (so jealous of all the home-owning people who can create something like that).

But now, I’m looking for tips (because I, honestly, have no idea what I’m doing). Do any of you guys use Pinterest for your blog? What type of boards do you suggest? Do you find it difficult to keep up with? I’m a little intimidated by the number of graphics I feel like I’ll need to create. Is there anything you wish you knew before you started using Pinterest for your blog? Please give me all your advice in the comments!

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I disappeared! Here’s why.

I owe you guys an explanation. I was just getting my blog up and running again, but something happened that made me need to take a quick, unexpected break:

Some of you may have already known I was pregnant, and my due date was May 11. Well, this guy decided he wanted to be an April baby instead and he made his appearance on April 3rd. He was in the NICU for a couple of weeks and then we were able to bring him home. My husband and I were COMPLETELY unprepared (we didn’t even have his crib set up). Luckily we had a little bit of time to get things together while he was in the NICU, but we’re still getting the hang of things with him home.

The next thing that’s happening is that we’re moving for the summer. My husband has an out-of-state internship that we’ll be leaving for soon. So, with the baby and moving, I’m not sure when exactly I’ll have time to start blogging again, but I am planning on coming back! It just might take me a bit. In the mean time, what are you guys reading right now? Let me know in the comments!

Blog posts to share | March 2018

Here are some of my favorite blog posts from other bloggers for the month. Enjoy!

Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm talked about staying motivated to read¬†– I definitely have periods of my life where I read less than others. Sometimes I get home from work and all I want to do is eat, watch Netflix, and then go to bed. And that’s okay! It’s okay if I don’t read every day, because I know that some days I will literally spend 6 hours reading.

Angelica @ The Book Cover Girl discussed how YA is moving away from the trilogy to other formats¬†This is definitely something that I’d noticed. For the most part, I agree with what she’s saying and I definitely agree that the duology is underrated. I also think that single books are underrated, but that might just be me.

Jess @ Reads and Dreams reconsidered some books that she had previously DNF’d –¬†This is something that I definitely need to look into doing as well. It’s hard because I already have so many other books that I want to read, but I think it’s worth doing every once in a while. Sometimes you start a book and it’s just not the right time for YOU even though the book might actually be great.

Savannah @ The Book Prophet talked about why she likes reading negative reviews I wholeheartedly agree here. I LOVE reading negative reviews. For some reason, those reviews just feel more honest to me and it’s always fun when you’ve got an unpopular opinion about something and find someone else who shares it. I also like reading negative reviews when I’ve really enjoyed a book because a) Sometimes it opens my mind to things that I hadn’t considered before, b) Sometimes I just have an argument with the reviewer in my head.

Cristina @ Girl in the Pages gave some non-traditional advice for getting into audio books –¬†Again, my struggle with audio books. This post really got me thinking about how I choose to listen to audio books and which books I choose. I already know that I’m very picky when it comes to narrators, but I didn’t even consider that some genres might be better suited for me than others–I just assumed I would listen to the same kind of stuff that I read, but that may not be true.

Kristilyn @ Reading in Winter talked about some reality checks when it comes to blogging –¬†I really loved this post because it’s SO TRUE. I can’t really do it justice, so I’m just going to say GO READ THIS POST. If you’ve ever felt overly pressured as a blogger, you need to read what Kristilyn has to say.

Krysta @ Pages Unbound discussed why she limits the amount of books that she owns –¬†This is similar to the previous post in a lot of ways because I think it tangentially touches on pressures that bloggers have. I think sometimes we think if you don’t have a gorgeous shelfie on your Insta, are you even a real book blogger? The answer is YES. You can still be a great book blogger and not own that many physical books. If you know you’re never going to read a book again, there are so many other places that it can go!

Marty @ The Cursed Books talked about how blogging might be bad for your reading and what we can do about it –¬†This is definitely something that I’ve struggled with and I think she gives some really good advice about dealing with the pressures that blogging brings. The struggle is real!

To monetize or not to monetize?

Hi Everyone!

I’m still on my semi-hiatus and it’s felt really good. I took a step back from NetGalley and have almost completely disconnected from the blogosphere. I’ve just been able to relax a bit and not really stress about getting ARCs read on time, etc. I’ve also been able to read some books that I’d been meaning to read, but hadn’t been able to get to (and even reread a couple of old faves!).

But there are some changes looming on the horizon. Baby is due in May and at that point I’ll be quitting my full-time job to become a full-time mama. I feel that at this point I will need some kind of project for myself and I hope that reading and this blog can be that project.

Now I come to the question in my title. I’ve briefly thought about upgrading my WordPress account in order to monetize in the past, but I didn’t feel that I posted regularly enough or generated enough views for that to really make sense. Now I find myself thinking about it again and I just wanted to find out what experience you guys have had with monetizing/not monetizing.

To those who decided not to monetize:
What made you decide not to monetize? Do you ever see yourself monetizing in the future?

To those who did decide to monetize:
What made you decide to monetize? Do you feel that it’s worth it? How much time per week do you spend working on your blog? (And if you don’t mind my asking) how much do you generally make per week?

Thanks for the help!

March Reading Update

For some reason, writing reviews has become SUCH a struggle for me lately. Any tips on staying motivated?

ARCs
Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge – Read, and reviewed
These Ruthless Deeds by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas –¬†Read¬†and reviewed
Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik –¬†Read, review coming
At First Blush by Beth Ellyn Summer
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray – Currently Reading
The Takedown by Corrie Wang

Other
When We Collided by Emery Lord
Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger
The Crown by Kiera Cass –¬†Read, review coming
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – Currently Reading

So far I have finished 4 books this month. How’s your reading going?

Love in the Time of Colonial Louisiana | The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green [GIVEAWAY]

The Mark of the KingThe Mark of the King
by Jocelyn Green
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian, Romance

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SYNOPSIS: After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

REVIEW: This book kind of surprised me because I didn’t really know much about colonial Louisiana. I felt that the author did a really good job of describing the setting for those of us who are unfamiliar with it–I almost felt like I could walk out my front door and into a humid Louisiana summer. I appreciated that some of the characters and events were real so that if I was interested in learning more, I would be able to.

The characters were all nicely fleshed-out. I could really feel for Julianne throughout the book. She had to go through some really tough things, but she (mostly) kept a really positive attitude and it was obvious that she just wanted to embrace her fresh start and get to work. None of our characters are perfect and we definitely see their flaws, but that just makes them relatable and more likable in my opinion. One thing that I especially appreciated was that this book spanned over a few years so we could see Julianne, her relationships, and the city of New Orleans grow and develop.

The plot was interesting, though a little slow-moving at times. I wasn’t really surprised by any of the plot twists, but I still found reading the book to be enjoyable. I don’t read a ton of Christian Fiction (though I have been reading more since partnering with Litfuse) so it’s still a little hard for me to swallow the Christian storyline at times. It’s not that I don’t like the message (I, myself, am a Christian) but sometimes that part of the story seems a little forced or preachy. It just doesn’t come across as natural as I would hope it to be.

Overall, I really liked this book and I felt that it brought to light an aspect of history that’s often overlooked. I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in learning more about colonial Louisiana or who just likes a good, clean Christian romance.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: None
Violence: Heavy
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: Moderate (nothing explicit, just a lot of references to French soldiers spending the night with Native American women)


The Mark of the King Giveaway

Click on the picture above to be taken to the giveaway!



Jocelyn GreenABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of Gettysburg; Yankee in Atlanta; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa.

Website|Goodreads|Twitter|Facebook


Litfuse Publicity

Note: I received this book free from the author/blog tour in exchange for an honest review.