Welcome Kaley Stewart of Books Etc. to the Celebration of Bloggers Tour

I am thrilled to host Kaley Stewart from Books Etc. on the Celebration of Bloggers Tour.  Before I became friendly with Kaley, predominantly through Twitter and our mutual love of The Bachelor/Bachelorette, I was very familiar with her reviews. Kaley is not afraid of providing her honest opinion and it shows.  I’m not saying that her reviews are mean spirited by any stretch because she is very kind, but when Kaley has an issue with a novel, she’s not afraid to express it in her reviews.  I often seek out her reviews after I read a book to see if she agreed with me and I hold her opinion in high regard.  That being said, as I confessed to Kaley after she reviewed A State of Jane, I was a bit afraid of what she would say and her opinion meant a lot to me because I knew if she said she really liked it, it meant she really liked it and if she didn’t like it, our witty banter over Twitter would not prevent her from telling me (and all of her followers) so!  For those who are wondering, Kaley really liked A State of Jane (4 stars and she compared it to a Kinsella book – woot) aside from the ending which didn’t quite satisfy her. I, however, was more than satisfied with her review and I can’t wait to see what she says about Blogger Girl.  I recommend everyone check out Books Etc. right now. Er, right after you read Kaley’s post below about how being a Blogger Girl has introduced Kaley to whole a new set of friends.

 

 

Hi. My name is Kaley and I’m a bookaholic.

I’ve known this about myself for many years. I started reading at a really young age, always had my nose in a book growing up, and even worked at both a library and a bookstore in my teens and early twenties. Obviously, I was a booklover.

While I’ve worked with books and several awesome bookish people, it wasn’t until I started blogging in November 2010 that I realized there were a lot of other bookaholics out there. These were bloggers who loved books so much that just reading them wasn’t enough. They constantly needed to talk about them with others and could gladly do so for hours on end – usually with a cup of tea. I like to say that these bloggers are my people.

You’ll hear from a lot of bloggers that “meeting” and getting to know other bloggers is one of the best parts of the book blogging community. I completely agree. I’ve met some amazing bloggers online and consider them my friends even though we’ve never met in person – and probably never will. One of the first contacts, and friends, I made was Samantha of Chick Lit Plus (and Marching Ink and author of two novels and organizer of CLP Blog Tours…the woman is a machine). I’d love to meet her in person and chat about books and life over drinks but we live about twelve hours apart and in different countries (she’s in the US, I’m in Canada). I also have a virtual bestie in Laura of Change the Word (we bonded over a love of Laura Ingalls Wilder) and a bookish twin in Lisa of Lost in Lit (we usually have the exact same thoughts on books). I likely won’t meet these ladies either as they’re both in the US as well. But that’s the beauty of the internet and this community – we can still become friends even though we won’t meet in person.

I’ve also been lucky enough to turn two fellow bloggers into friends. I write for another site, Novel Escapes, and I’ve met with the founder, Lydia, in person a few times since 2011. Whenever we meet our talk always turns to books and we always chat for longer than we have. I’ve also become friends with Natalie of Browsing Bookshelves. We joke that the way we met would make for a great meet cute for a romance book or movie. We were going to the same blogger event and decided to meet at the train station. Fast forward several months and we’re now getting together for regular bookstore/Starbucks dates and weekly Bachelorette viewings. To be able to have in person meetings with people who get my obsession for books is such an amazing thing.

Sure, there are tons of perks of being a blogger (yes, being able to get free books for review is pretty sweet) but I say getting to know other people in this community is my favourite. To know that there are others out there who have a TBR list they’ll probably never get through, just like me, is an amazing thing. I may not be able to meet some of these amazing people in person but we can always chat through our blogs and social media.

So, if you’re like me and don’t have a lot of people in your real life who understand that sometimes you’d much rather spend time with a book than going out and being social, remember that there are fellow bookaholics out there. You just have to find us on Twitter. We’re there…just not when we’re reading a book of our own, of course!

Blogger Girl – Coming August  28th:

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

 

A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

 

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

 

Celebration of Bloggers/Blurb of Blogger Girl

Before writing books was even a blip on my radar, I was a blogger.  I blogged about everything from my friendships, to my family, to my BFF from high school who turned out to be a pretty horrible friend, to the effects of PMS on my personality, to unrequited crushes, to romantic relationships – especially romantic relationships.  I often surprised myself by how honest and open I was, even when it left me feeling very vulnerable or didn’t paint me in the best light.  I loved it.  There is something about putting all of your deepest thoughts in writing that is extremely cathartic.  While I was blogging, I became friendly with other bloggers across the globe, from Virginia, to Florida, to Kentucky to Belfast to Pittsburgh, to North Carolina to Australia and everywhere in between.  These “virtual” friends became as important to me as my off-line friends and I felt a stake in their lives just as they felt one in mine.  In many cases, these people knew more about me than the people I saw on a weekly basis.  After my first novel came out, I became less comfortable putting myself out there to such an intimate degree but I still keep in touch with some of these bloggers.  In fact, one has become a best “off line” friend and I’ve planned a vacation to visit her later this summer. 

Back when I was blogging personal experiences, I thought that was what “blogging” was – publishing an online personal diary.  At the time, I was not aware of book bloggers, beauty bloggers, mommy bloggers, fashion bloggers, food bloggers etc.  After Just Friends with Benefits came out and with my introduction to social media, I became very familiar with other types of bloggers, especially book bloggers.  Book bloggers have become a very important part of my publishing experience and some of them have become good friends of mine as well.  To take the influence of book bloggers on my life to a whole new level, they inspired the plot of my third soon-to-be-released novel, Blogger Girl.  Keep reading for the blurb of Blogger Girl, to be released in August, 2013.

To celebrate the launch of Blogger Girl, I have decided to celebrate blogging and bloggers in general beginning, July 16th.  Each day, I will host a different blogger on my website.   I have asked each blogger to either write a post about anything related to “blogging” or take part in an interview.  I have been the guest on a countless number of blogs over the past three years as an author and I think it’s time to turn the tables and give these amazing bloggers the spotlight.  So, stay tuned for guest posts from amazing bloggers like the following:  (I plan to continue the blogger celebration well after the release of Blogger Girl and so if you’d like to be featured, please let know!) 

Samantha March, author and founder of Chick Lit Plus
Kelly Perotti, author and founder of mommy blog Crib Notes Kelly Isabella Louise Anderson, founder of Chick Lit Goddess
Marlene Roberts Engel, founder of Book Mama Blog
Francine LaSala – author and founder of Clippings in the Shed
Stephanie Territo, founder of Steph the Bookworm
Eleanor Parker, founder of The Writing Life
Melissa Amster, founder of Chick Lit Central and Merryland Girl Blog Laura Chapman, founder of Change the Word
Kaley Stewart, founder of Books Etc.
Ashley Williams, founder of The Book Fetish Blog
Samantha Stroh Bailey, author and blogger
Michelle Bell, founder of Michelle’s Book Nook
Julie Valerie, founder of Chick Lit Chit Chat

And now, without further ado, the blurb to Blogger Girl!

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. And it’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over all the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.