Monday, September 23, 2013

A blogging how to

 In my last post about blogging I discussed reasons for starting blogs and what I like to see in blogs that I decide to read. This time I want to talk a little about how to go about starting a blog. I know when I first decided I wanted my own blog I felt overwhelmed, I took things one step at a time and was lucky enough to have a friend who already had a blog around to help me. The first thing you are going to want to decide is what platform you want your blog on, obviously I use blogger, and if you are considering using blogger as well this page will be immensely helpful in getting you started. That page discusses everything from creating posts to customizing your blog. Speaking of customizing you can find all sorts of free things online to really make your blog personal to you. I love leelou blogs and have used some of her freebies on my own site. Once you have picked your platform and your design you are ready to choose the main focus for your blog. It is fine to blog about more than one thing, however, I would suggest you make sure your blog has a general theme or focus so that your readers know what kind of material to expect. At the very least try to ensure there is some sort of order to your blog, make sure people can easily find posts and don't have to search a million different areas to find what they are looking for. At this point you are ready to blog! Go out and make your first post, and don't forget to spread the word about your new blog to friends and family and anyone else you can through social media!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blogging..Are you doing it right?

 156 million...that is a lot of blogs! Imagine how many blogs have been added to that number since 2011. One might ask how on earth can I get my blog noticed among all the millions of other blogs? My advice to you is blog about what you love. When you blog about something you love you will blog often and people who subscribe to your blog will see that you have new content posted frequently. I personally prefer to read blogs that I know will have new posts often, if they don't I tend to forget about them. I would also say don't start a blog based solely on the idea that you can make money from it. Honestly it can take years, if it even happens, for your blog to catch the eye of a company or to become popular enough that people want to pay you to make posts. There has got to be something to drive you beyond the hopes of making money or it is likely you will quickly become frustrated and lose interest. Of course you don't have to take my advice there are plenty of suggestions posted online daily about how to keep your blog relevant. If you are looking for some reading material to start with I suggest checking out this page here and this page here. Remember blogging is something you should do because you love it and you love what you write about. A blog become your own personal space to share your opinions on the things you love. Good Luck!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


By: Kelly Carrero
Kindle: 146 pages
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc (2012) 
ASIN: B007YX9X18
Rating: 4 stars

What Amazon has to say
Seventeen year old Jade Sommers' life is turned upside down the moment she sees the inch long cut across her face heal right before her eyes.

Jade thinks she is going insane, but her boyfriend, Aiden Scott, knows better. He knows what she is. And like him, she was born this way.

Now if finding out that people like her shouldn't exist isn't bad enough, Jade's best friend is kidnapped by the psycho who terrorizes her dreams. With the help of Aiden, Jade has to figure out how to save her before it's to late.

But what Jade doesn't know is not everything is what it seems. She is merely a puppet in a sadistic game to find out what she is truly capable of, and that game has only just begun.

My review: I am having a few formatting issues at the moment so I apologize if this post is not pleasing to the eye format wise. Any who lets move right along to this book! I found this book for FREE.., that happens to be a favorite word of mine, however after reading it I can honestly say that had I paid for it I would have been happy with my purchase. I also found the second book in the series and purchased it shortly after finishing the first. The story centers around a girl named Jade who unexpectedly discovers that she is not what one would call normal. As if struggling to accept that she can do things like heal her own body and read minds is not enough she is pulled into one dangerous situation after another. This book has plenty of twists to keep the reader interested in the storyline. I found the characters of the Scott family to be charming and Jade holds her own as the main character. I found myself not only interested in the story but in the story's of the characters. I wanted to know their back stories and how they came to be where they are in the story currently. There are at least another two books in this series that I know of and I am excited to read each and every one.

About the Author: Unfortunately I was unable to find a bio with information on the author, however, I did find a link to her blog which contains some info on her books as well as a link to her facebook page.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Are you a visual learner? Visual learners are those who tend to comprehend and retain information better when it is accompanied by something they can see, like a photo, or a video. The majority of people you meet are probably visual learners as it is very common. I myself happen to be a visual learner, I remember things much better if I can associated them with related pictures. I once had a history teacher who did a wonderful job of making humorous picture filled power point presentations and while I have never been great at history I kept my grade at an A all semester long. This page discusses what it means to be a visual learner and gives tips for how to use this to your advantage. I tend to draw charts and use colored pens to make the important phrases or words in my notes stick out. In a page of gray pencil a red word sticks out and my eye is drawn straight to it and for me it sticks in my mind. This links to a pdf document that also discusses what it means to be a visual learner. Whatever kind of learner you may be it is important to learn how to make your study habits to work best for you. Take some time to try and to determine how you learn best and begin working it to your advantage.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

UnEnchated..A new kind of fairy tale.

UnEnchanted: An Unfortunate Fair Tale
By: Chanda Hahn
Kindle: 216 pages
Publisher: Chanda Hahn (2011)
Rating: 4 stars

What Goodreads has to sayMina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated, that is until she saves her crush's life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But with her new found fame brings misfortune as an old family curse come to light. For Mina is descended from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business. Which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her its next fairytale victim.

To break the fairy tale curse on her family and stop these deadly events, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end

My Review:  In all honesty when I first began reading this book I read a few pages and then sat it down and forgot about it for a few days. I picked it back up a couple of day later and I am very happy that I did. Once I got further into the story and learned about the curse that follows Mina I was totally drawn in. I personally love fairy tales of the more grim sort, I love the morbid creepy factors that play into stories like Hansel and Grethal. When I realized how integrated these elements would be in this story I was ecstatic. I thought it was rather imaginative how the author morphed the stories to work into Mina's everyday life. She uses the characters to represent those from the stories in a unique way and speaking of characters I love Mina. I find her to be such a likeable strong character. She is selfless and clever and certainly a character I want to spend more time reading about. The male characters in this story are decent, I felt myself drawn to Jared more than Brody. Brody is your typical rich boy living life according to what is expected of him, and Jared is mysterious and magical and just a little bad-ass. I cannot wait to see what Mina comes up against next and hope to get Fairest ( An Unfortunate Fairy Tale book 2) soon,

About the Author:

Pronunciation: Sh-and-uh   H-ah-n

Chanda is the  author of the popular YA Unfortunate Fairy Tale Series which includes UnEnchanted and Fairest.  Both books have topped the ebook charts in 5 countries. She also pens YA epic Fantasy.

She was born in Seattle, Washington, raised in Nebraska, has lived in MN, IL and currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and twin children. She's a former children's librarian and children's pastor. Currently she spends her free time penning new novels and a daytime taxi driver for her kids. Check out her site here!

Blogging, A History

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 I'll be honest I have never really had a love of learning history. That being said I do occasionally browse websites related to historical people and events, funny enough, being that I am a blogger, I never really bothered to read up on the history of blogging. During my searches on this matter I found numerous websites with the history broken down, however, I found this wiki page and this New York magazine online article to be most helpful. The New York magazine add breaks it down short and sweet with short sentences noting some of the important points of the history..or at least what the writer felt where important parts. The wiki page separates it into sections based on the year. For instance they have a section with background on the events related to blogging that happened between 1983-1993, and another for things that happened from 1994-2001..etc. If you want to brush up on your knowledge of the history of blogging don't just stop with those two links, there is plenty of information out there. I for one am so thankful that the idea of blogging came about as it is one thing that I truly enjoy doing. Even more so since I tend to spend my time blogging about books which, as I am sure you could guess, are my favorite things on this planet. So...what are you waiting for? Go out and learn some blog history!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Art portfolios...need a little help?

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Have you ever had an interest in going to an art school? One of the first steps to achieving this goal is creating a portfolio of your work.  This can be a little harder than it may seem, however, if you know where to look you can find things to help you along the way. This page here gives simple step by step suggestions on how to make your portfolio and this one here does as well, though it goes a bit more in depth with each suggestion. This site allows you to create and online portfolio for free, and here you can look at suggestions from St.Ambrose University on how to make the best portfolio you can. Also don't under estimate the quality of help you can receive from an art teacher at school or any other adult with knowledge on the subject, sometimes the people around you can be your biggest asset. If getting into an art school is your true dream I urge to do whatever possible to make that dream come true. Too many people these days give up on the things they really want for easier goals or ones that they feel are more easily achieved, Don't let that be you! Give your dreams all that you've got, and good luck!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Brands and why we blog about them!

Infographic Credit

 As bloggers we love to spread the word about brands we love. It is not something that only happens in the blog universe either, I spend much of my day conversing about brands I like or don't like. Once we have decided we like a brand and have had positive interactions with it we will consider it reputable. This site recently posted some interesting statistics about the connection between bloggers and brands. I like that the author asked other bloggers why exactly they blog and mentioned the ever known stereotype about bloggers only being in it for the money. There are so many bloggers working hard everyday to promote brands they feel are deserving of promotion and get paid nothing at all. We blog because we love to blog, it really is as simple as that. The world of blogs can really be a rather helpful place for brands to exists, these days there are so many places for us to share our opinions whether it be on our personal blogs or on Facebook, twitter, etc, which means more people see our positive or negative reviews on brands of all sorts. There are many things that play into shaping our opinions on how reputable a company is. I feel this page does a pretty great job of explaining some of those things and it also lists what companies where voted the most reputable of 2013. Almost all of those listed are very well known companies with Amazon taking the lead. I believe as bloggers it is not only important for us to blog about what we love but to also try new things often so that we are spreading the love around and not focusing on only a handful of brands. Who knows maybe something you say will lead someone to purchase from a lesser known brand and they will spread the news and then before you know it that lesser known brand is a favorite of many. Long story short, brand blogging is a great thing and while I think everyone should support their favorite brands I want to urge everyone to also give new brands a try, you never know what you might fall in love with.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dying to Forget

Dying to Forget
By: Trish Marie Dawson
Kindle: 216 pages
Publisher: Trish Marie Dawson (August 3, 2012)
Rating: 4 stars

What Goodreads has to say: With trembling fingers, I reach up and touch the hard and chiseled contours of his chest while Ryan's large and strong hands roam over my entire body, feeling and squeezing everything. I've never been touched like this before and my insides are starting to freak out.

"I want you, Piper," he murmurs into my neck.

My mouth drops open in surprise and even though my brain seems to be telling me to jump and run out of the room, I’m unable to move, stuck firmly to the same place on the mattress. With my nerves on high alert, I glance at the door repeatedly, sure that someone will come bursting through it at any second but the steady thumping of the music downstairs reminds me that no one can hear what is happening in this room. No one cares that Ryan Burke took me, of all people, into a bedroom. That realization hits me suddenly. Oh. My. God. What am I doing here?"

Piper Willow dies the summer after her high school graduation but she doesn’t make it to Heaven or Hell…instead she finds herself in a spiritual terminal called the Station. She’s given only two choices: Return to Earth as the subconscious for a person in need of some outside assistance, or move on and spend an eternity lost in her own sorrow and pain.

Does Piper have what it takes to save a life - to be the nagging voice inside someone else’s head - or will she fail and end up lost and tormented in limbo...forever?

My Review: I found this book to have a rather interesting premise. I know that many books have approached the subject of suicide, however, I felt that this one took it in a new direction that really drew me into the book. I was drawn in by the idea that Piper's journey does not end in her dying and going to heaven or hell but rather starts with her arriving at the station and being given a choice. The characters in the story feel real and the author does a fine job of giving them all qualities that help the reader to find a reason to care about what happens to them throughout the story. That is so important in a story, for me, the fastest way to get me to lose interest in a book is to provide characters that have nothing about them that keeps me interested in them as characters. I need to be invested in the characters to want to continue reading and with this story I was hooked all the way till the end. The story does deal with some graphic and serious matters and that should be taken into consideration when deciding the appropriate age range for this book, having said that I really do feel that this book has a unique take on things as well as takes something as confusing as suicide and shows it in a light that makes it easier to understand. I am excited to continue on to the next book in the series and would certainly recommend anyone and everyone check out this first book in the series. 

About the Author:

I was born and mostly raised in San Diego, California where I live now with my  family and pets. I’ve been writing short stories and poetry since high school after an obsession with Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’. After over fifteen years of crazy dreams and an overactive imagination, I began my first book ‘I Hope You Find Me’ in December of 2011. When I’m not writing, I am homeschooling my amazing daughter and mildly autistic son, reading whatever I can get my hands on, or enjoying the Southern California sun. As a strict Vegetarian, I hold a special place in my heart for animal rights and dash into the backyard weekly to rescue lizards and mice from our mini-lab/aussie shepherd/cocker spaniel mixed dog, Zoey…who is always getting into some sort of trouble.

Check out her blog here!