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{Monthly Recap} February 2016 | A Brand New Blog!

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It’s been a quiet month here on the blog, but there has been a lot going on behind the scenes, and I am so excited to share some of that news with you soon. Stay tuned for a huge reveal next Tuesday. If you’re a book blogger, trust me, you don’t want to miss this.

Other than working on some blog-related projects, February has been a very quiet month for me. The second semester started at school, which means I get to take some new classes, and I am really enjoying (almost) all of them. I was also on the crew for my school’s drama festival with a few of my friends, which was incredibly fun, but nothing much has happened other than that.

Here’s what else happened:

Surprise! I started a second blog!

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I’ve spent 3 years growing Bookish Serendipity to what it is today and I’ve loved every minute of it. So obviously, I’m leaving you. Just kidding. You may have noticed that I’ve been starting to write a lot of posts about running a blog and being a blogger and I eventually decided that I wanted to start an entirely new site dedicated to the topic AND continue to run Bookish Serendipity. Because, you know, I wasn’t busy enough already.

I launched my second blog, Fierce Blogging, last week. It’s a site all for teen bloggers who want to learn how to build profitable and successful (whatever that means to you)  blogs. It’s a completely new experience for me, and I’m really enjoying it so far. Just click over here to check out the new blog and you can follow it via Bloglovin here.

I’m Also In A Reading Slump 🙁

glassBesides all my behind-the-scenes excitement, one of the main reasons I haven’t been posting as frequently as I usually do is because, well, I’m in a reading slump. I’ve read less than 3 books this month, which is awful, especially considering how many February pre-orders and ARCs I’ve had coming in. It’s not fun!

I’m trying to boost myself out the slump by reading and rereading some of my favourite books, like Red Queen (which you should definitely read, if you haven’t already!) The sequel, Glass Sword, also came out this month and I picked it up right after finishing my reread of Red Queen. I’m about halfway through and absolutely loving it. If you haven’t already gotten your hands on either of those books, you absolutely need to. Seriously, right now. They’re amazing.

Anyways, I’m slowly working my way out of the slump.

Besides that, there are many exciting things to come in March

I have INCREDIBLY exciting news to share with you next Tuesday. Just a few days away! I’m going to be unveiling one of the top secret projects I’ve been working on that I have a feeling a lot of you will be excited about and I am even more excited to get to tell you so soon. I’ll also be sending out the announcement to my email subscribers with bonus details so if you haven’t already subscribed, you might want to get in on that before Tuesday. 😀

Could I be any more vague? Probably not, but make sure to check back Tuesday for the big announcement!

Oh, and want to a free blog planner?blogplanner

One of my goals this month  was to create even more epic bonuses for you. My email subscribers already have access to a library of free worksheets, checklists, infographics and more, and this month I decided to add something even greater! If you subscribe via email, you’ll get your own printable planner that you can use to plan your blog and track your reading process. It’s the perfect thing for book bloggers, and I am so excited to let you all have it.

You can enter your email address into the form in the sidebar and after confirming your subscription, you’ll get instant access to the free bonus content library as well as your own copy of the blog planner. It’s so easy and you can print it out and reuse it as many times as you like.

Let’s talk! Tell me all about your month in the comments below!

How To Use Twitter For Your Book Blog

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It’s not secret that I love Twitter. It’s the social media that I use most for my blog and is also my #2 referrer to my blog, just behind search engines. Pretty cool, right? Twitter has had a huge impact on the growth of my blog, especially recently, and I regret not hopping on the bandwagon sooner. Still, it took me a while to figure out exactly how to utilize Twitter effectively, so I was really excited to get this question from my Book Blogger Advice Column:

Do you have to have Twitter? It seems to scary and complicated… my brain can’t comprehend how to use it. Why must all the other bloggers adore it? Is there some super special reason that everybody loves it, or am I just messed up? Help!

-Maha

Firstly, let’s just get something out of the way: no, you definitely don’t have to have a Twitter account! You really don’t. There are so many great social media outlets out there, and I seriously think it’s important to only focus on the ones that you genuinely enjoy using. For me, that’s Twitter, but that doesn’t mean you must have a Twitter account if it doesn’t really work for you.

On the hand, sometimes it is just a matter how how you use Twitter rather than whether or not to use it. Twitter is, by definition, a micro-blogging site. It’s a way to spread your message using only 140 characters. I like to think of it as a mini-version of my blog. It’s the same me, same topics, just on a different platform and using fewer words. So when you’re creating your Twitter, think about the types of things you try to do on your own blog:

What I Try To Do On My Blog

  • Start conversations: That’s why I add a question to the bottom of each posts. I want to talk to you! It’s the same thing with Twitter, except Twitter makes it even easier than on your blog. You can easily reply to someone’s tweets, tweet out your opinions, and ask questions that allow others to easily get to know you.
  • Connect With Others: I love getting to know other bloggers and people who have the same passions as me. It’s seriously the best! On Twitter, it’s easier than ever to connect with others through replying to tweets, DMs, and Twitter chats.
  • Helping Others: When I was a newbie blogger, there was so much I didn’t know and had to figure out for myself. Now that I’ve been doing this for a while and I’ve figured out what I’m doing, I like to try to help out other bloggers.

So I like to think of Twitter as an extension of my blog. I can only connect with my blog readers if they visit my blog, but on Twitter you can reach almost anyone through having others retweeting your content, tagging people in tweets, and more. If you need more reasons to love Twitter, I even wrote a post about it that you can check out.  (more…)

{Blog Tour} 3 Reasons You Need To Read INTO THE DIM

Into The Dim Blog Tour Evite

About The Book

intothedimWhen fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.

Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.

Happy Monday, everyone!

I’m so thrilled to be bringing you a post about one of my favourite reads this month, Into The Dim by Janet B Taylor, and thank you so much to Raincoast Books for having me on the blog tour! I’m really excited to be talking about Into The Dim, which is an upcoming release that involves time travelling, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and mysterious family secrets. You need to read this book, all.

Here are 5 reasons why you need Into The Dim in your life.

1. YA Outlander

When I read that Into The Dim was being pitched as a YA version of Outlander, I was pretty much sold. I mean, how cool is that? Still, being compared to Outlander is a pretty hefty responsibility, and I had no idea if it would live up to it.

I was so wrong to have doubted it. Into The Dim is a spectacular book that absolutely swept me away with its vivid descriptions of the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and gorgeous prose. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump, but I could barely put Into The Dim down. Trust me, you want to pre-order this book!

2. Eleanor of Aquitaine

When I was younger, I read one of those “Royal Diaries” books about Eleanor of Aquitaine, and I thought she was fascinating. She’s one of the most fascinating monarchs I’ve ever read about (not including King Henry the 8th, of course), which is why I was really surprised by the lack of YA books about her. She’s an incredibly powerful and determined woman, and totally went against the social norms of her time. I was able to talk to the author of Into The Dim about what inspired her to write about the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and this is what she had to say:

Aside from the romance that is the Medieval era…Kings and Knights and Castles…What mostly drew me was Eleanor herself. This was a woman who was crowned Queen of France AND Queen of England. Eleanor was the wealthiest and most powerful woman of her day. Exquisitely intelligent, by all accounts, she ruled as regent over England while Henry was away at war, which was exceedingly rare for that time.

Of course later, after Henry had a number of very public affairs, she incited her own sons to go to war against their father. This to protect her favorite son—Richard the Lionheart’s—birthright. (After which, Henry locked her up in a remote castle for EIGHTEEN YEARS!) Eleanor advocated education for girls, gave birth to ten living children. And outlived both her husband and her sons, living to the age of eighty six, in an era when the average mortality age for women was the mid-thirties. She was one tough cookie!

-Janet B Taylor

Is that cool or what?

3. The Characters

While Hope could be frustrating at times, I still thought she was a strong and realistic character. I’m definitely not in the same situation as her, but I think lots of teens will be able to relate to her. She’s a little bit awkward, a little bit broken, and more than a little bit determined to save her mother, which I loved.

Can we also talk about the romance? It was GREAT. Although the ending left some questions unanswered, I’m really excited to read the next book (a whole year away, yikes!) and find out what happens to Hope and the rest of the cast.


Are you convinced yet? I hope so because guys, this book is seriously gripping and entertaining. You can snag your own copy when it comes out on March 1st (only a couple days away), or you can pre-order and have your copy delivered to your doorstep. Either way, trust me, you want this book.

preorderintothedim

Welcome To The Hype Your Book E-Course Launch!

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I’m so thrilled to be launching my new e-course for authors, Hype Your Book! This is an e-course for savvy authors who want to learn how to connect with bloggers and create buzz for their book, taught by yours truly, and is packed with fantastic actionable information, useful worksheets and resources, and advice from lots of REAL book bloggers.

‘I’ve heard about how reviews and being featured on book blogs can give my book a boost, but I don’t how to to convince bloggers to review my book. What do I have to do?”

Does this sound like you? In a world where information is available at the click of a button, bloggers have become more important than ever. As all authors know, word-of-mouth is the most effective form of marketing. Aren’t you more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend over a stranger’s opinion? Book bloggers are like that likable friend who seems to know everyone–except with audiences often numbering in the hundreds or thousands. Getting your book recommended or featured by a book blogger means more people will find out that your book exists, and give your sales the boost they need.

As a book blogger myself, I’ve helped to spread the word and connect enthusiastic readers with hundreds of great books. In this course, I will be giving you a behind-the-scenes peek into the mind of a book blogger and give you practical, actionable advice that will teach you how to interest and excite book bloggers.

15 Practical Lessons

The Hype Your Book e-course includes 15 full lessons, a package of actionable worksheets, and a bonus section full of tips and advice from REAL book bloggers and reviewers. You’ll also get a full PDF of all course material upon registering.

The lessons include:

  • Where to find and connect with book bloggers who are perfect for your boo
  • How to write a review request letter that will excite and interest book bloggers and online influencers.
  • Major mistakes to avoid when pitching your book to a blogger
  • How to leverage a positive review to jump-start your sales
  • Bonus advice and tips from over a dozen influential book bloggers
  • And more!

Oh, And Get An AMAZING Free Bonus If You Register Right Now.

Yep, really! If you decide to register within the next 7 days, you’ll not only save 10% (meaning the course will only be also get a bonus FREE review request critique (a $15 value). That means that once you finish the course and learn how to master writing a review request letter, I’ll give you feedback and ideas for how to improve your blogger outreach process. This is ONLY available if you register within the next week.

Convinced yet? This is top-notch information that you won’t find anywhere else. Register today and get access to fantastic course lessons, worksheets, AND the bonus review request critique.

clicktoregister

Happy Valentine’s Day! Let’s Talk About Our Favorite OTPs

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m so excited to be bringing you a collaboration post here to celebrate Valentine’s Day (also known as the day before all the chocolate goes on sale). Valentine’s Day is all about love and when it comes to books, there are so many great romances out there. If you read my reviews, you know how much I love talking about adorable romances and bookish couples, so today I’ve gotten a few lovely blogger friends to pop over and talk about their favorite OTPs.

Here’s what we’re going to be talking about:

What is your all-time favorite ship or OTP from a YA book? Why? 

My all-time favorite ship from a YA book would have to be Cricket and Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins! They are so cute together perfect for each other. I was ECSTATIC when they finally got together and it gave me a serious case of the feels! I loved seeing them again in Isla and witnessing their dynamic through another character’s eyes. All three of Stephanie Perkins’ books are amazing and have A+ ships!

-Deanna, Books A Blog

One of my favorite OTPs ins Sloane and James, from Suzanne Young’s the Program. One thing I love about Sloane and James is how different their relationship is. Every couple has their own unique story, but they have a story that I don’t read much about in books. Can’t say anything about that, only because it will probably spoil the Program. However, I can tell you that they are able to take care of each other and make the other a better person, which is so important in a relationship. Even after everything they go through, they stay together and I don’t know about you but I believe that is fate and even more proof for why they are one of my OTPs.

-Kaitlin, Next Page Please!

My favorite OTP would have to be between America and Maxon from The Selection series. I absolutely love these two together and I had to wait so long for them to end up together, which made them ending up together even better. Plus they’re so sweet and protective of each other. They are the definition of relationship goals.

-Melanie, Books Are My Children

I have a feeling this might be quite a popular choice, but I’m going to have to say Anna and Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I really enjoyed reading their story and seeing their relationship grow; not only are they cute as a couple but I like how they are best friends as well and know a lot about each other. Anna and the French Kiss is a book that never fails to cheer me up and any mention of Anna and Etienne always makes me smile – I have a lot of exams coming up at school, so I’ll definitely have this book on standby to cheer me up! All I need now is my own Etienne St Clair *sigh*. Although, I’m going to be a bit sneaky here and say an honourable mention must go to all the budding romances in Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

-Rebekah, Wings Made Of Words

I have SO MANY OTPS from YA books, but my all time favorite has to be… Inej and Kaz from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo!

I’m SO unpredictable.

I adore everything about this couple. The banter, the friendship, EVERYTHING. It is so fun to read about. I love how it is the complete opposite of insta-love, and that it’s not a romance filled with cliches and easyness. Their romance is difficult, and it feels real. You can see that they’re perfect for each other, and that they work well together. I LOVE IT.

Also, this book is freaking amazing, so if you haven’t read it yet, GET ON THAT.

-Ava, Bookishness And Tea

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Our all-time favourite ship/OTP from a YA book is definitely Cinder & Kai! They are just so perfect together and we love the way their relationship evolves throughout the series. Cinder is a super strong main character and Kai is passionate but still authoritative. Basically, any ship/couple in The Lunar Chronicles works for this, but Cinder & Kai have to be our favourite!

-Sarena and Sasha, The Pendant Trilogy

Anyone who knows me well, knows that my OTP is Jily – James Potter and Lily Evans. Why? There are so many reasons – here’s just a few! Jily showed me that differences don’t matter when it comes to love. James Potter was a rich, well known, entitled pureblood. Lily Potter was an unknown Muggle who despised arrogant toerags. Despite the differences in their background, economic status, Lily’s initial distaste of James, they ended up being happy in their short time together.

Jily showed me love in the face of adversity. Despite being targeted by Voldemort, they still loved each other, never gave up on each other and kept fighting on, for each other, for Harry, for their family. Ultimately, Jily represents triumph to me – the triumph of love over barriers. It doesn’t matter what the barrier is – love will always transcend it.

-Geraldine, Coralling Books

When Jessica presented me this question, I had an answer in .2 seconds. Though I have many ships, PERCABETH is my ultimate OTP. In case you somehow don’t recognize this ship, PERCABETH = Percy Jackson + Annabeth Chase, both from the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series by the infamous Rick Riordan. Why are they my OTP? Because, simply, they were my first. I shipped them before I even knew what shipping was. I rooted for them the minute Annabeth saw Percy drooling. They are so cute together! They compliment each other so well, with Annabeth’s smarts and Percy’s jokes. They have been relationship goals since I was eleven. Someone find me a Seaweed Brain, please.

-Jess, Princessica Of Books

My most favorite OTP is Vin and Elend from the Mistborn trilogy. I think the reason I loved this couple is because they worked so harmoniously together. They knew when they needed to be together, and they knew when they needed to be apart. They really got each other, and that’s what made me adore the pair of them. They worked well as a team, and you can see how their relationship develops over the course of the trilogy. This wasn’t something that just sprung out of nowhere, and reading their relationship was oddly peaceful. There was nothing to disrupt this ship, and I enjoyed that. Their relationship also made the plot so much better. There were certain events that occurred (no spoilers!) that wouldn’t have been as effective and strong without their relationship. Vin always made decisions that she knew would help Elend, and Elend did the same for her. All in all, this is definitely one of my favorite ships in all of the books that I have read, and I think it is such an underrated one. (p.s. the mistborn series is epic!)
-Nisha, Nxrao 
My favorite OTP would be Will Herondale and Tessa Gray. I shipped them so much from the beginning of The Infernal Devices trilogy. They both love books. They “live and breathe words”, and let’s be honest, which bookworm/bibliophile/book lover doesn’t love a couple who loves books. Even before that, the first time I read a scene of Will and Tessa, I was like: I SHIP YOU BOTH. AND I LOVE YOU BOTH (I just ran out of words to express my love, so I’m gonna leave it here).
– Maha, Younicorn Reads

Can we give a huge thank-you to all the lovely book bloggers who participated! I love all of these responses, and I’m hugely grateful to have all of these book bloggers here today.
Happy Valentine’s day, all! I hope you all have a seriously great day (and get to read something great.) I’m going to spend the day curled up with my newly arrived copy of Glass Sword, and then work on the launch of my top secret project (coming tomorrow!).

How are you spending today?

 

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