It started with a Sparkle...
I have always kept lists of the books I've read (and want to read). When I started Crochet Nirvana I knew that there had to be room for books. I began with the LibraryThing widgets in the sidebar. Then there was a knitting blogger (Ginny at Small Things) who ran a weekly link party where she asked us to share what we were making and what we're reading. Yippee!! Book and yarn lovers! Next came the reviews. I wasn't content to just share the title, I felt the need to tell people what I thought about the books. Not in a super analytical way, or in a snobby way. Just a girl telling some friends what she thought and how the book made her feel. Turns out people were interested, curious to hear more. And so began Robin Reads & Writes. A blog that is still part of the Nirvana family, but is dedicated to my bookish endeavors.
I love having an outlet that lets me capture my true feelings about what I've read and share them with you. Plus it's a great way to keep a record - even though I still have my notebooks. Now here's the part about goodness in the universe. A few months ago I read a fantastic book called How I Came to Sparkle Again by an author named Kaya McLaren. As I was writing my review I watched a few You Tube videos that Kaya made. My favorite is her skiing in the rain with her very rambunctious dog. There was something about the style of her story telling and the genuinely good natured vibe of her videos that made me decide to reach out to her on Facebook. Something I'd never done with any author. It was simple enough, I shared a picture and a link to my review. I thought she might like to know how much I enjoyed her book.
A few days later I got an email from St. Martin's Press. In short, Kaya had shared my review with her publicist and she was wondering if I would be interested in receiving advance copies of new books to read and review on my blog. That's right, St. Martin's the really, really huge publishing house that handles some of the most talented authors in the world got in touch with me! How incredibly awesome is that?! I was flattered, happy, excited, nervous, astounded - well you get the idea! Oh, and of course I said YES!!
Here are my first books from St. Martins
I had no idea when I reached out to Kaya that I was in store for anything like this. As a book lover and librarian this is a dream come true. I haven't wasted any time and I got started reading straight away. I'm working on my review format. Mainly because I want to tell you what I think about the books without revealing spoilers. I'm digging a little deeper and hopefully I'll come up with unique and interesting ways to give you a sense of the story and my impression of it without giving away the details.
In addition to the fiction titles, I've been selected to receive craft books - which includes crochet and knitting, sewing, paper crafts and all kinds of other activities. One of the first questions that I asked is if I can give away my copies after I've read and reviewed them. The answer is Yes!! I plan to run giveaways on both blogs just as soon as I get my first reviews under my belt.
And if that wasn't cool enough
Kaya also introduced me to an author friend of hers name Leslie Lehr. Leslie has a new book coming out soon called What a Mother Knows, and is looking for bloggers to help spread the word. Of course I said I'd be glad to. Leslie's publisher (Sourcebooks) uses a website called NetGalley to make their titles available for early readers/reviewers. I was thrilled to find that in addition to Leslie's book I was able to request titles to review from other publishers. These are e-books, and while I'm not a huge fan of the format I'm willing to give it a go for the chance to preview new books!
It's all very thrilling and I feel thankful and blessed that not only do I get to work with books every day at the library, but now they are being sent to my home and publishers and publicists are interested in what I think! When I started Crochet Nirvana less than a year ago I had no idea where it would take me. In such a short time I have come to know people from all over the world. They have been kind, encouraging, funny, and generous. With each week there something new and unexpected happening. I'm learning new things and I'm interacting with people that I never would have meet if I hadn't ventured out into the world wide web. The law of karma tells us that all of our thoughts, words and actions begin a chain of cause and effect, and that we will personally experience the effects of everything we cause. For me I'm certain that this is true.
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing part of your day with me.
I'm looking forward to discovering new authors, experiencing different genres and broadening my crafting skills. I can't wait to see what wonderful opportunities the new year brings, and most of all I'm thankful that I get to share all of it with you!
Wishing you all the happiness words can bring!
Thanks so much for stopping by and spending a bit of your day with me!
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All of the opinions expressed here are my own and in no way represent the positions, opinions, feelings, views, or beliefs of the Athol Public Library.
I am not paid to write my reviews. Any mistakes or misrepresentations are my own and are not the responsibility of the library, publisher or anyone else.