SLIDER

Blogging 101 | How to Start a Blog

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

For a long time now, a collaborative idea for Finding Wonderland has been bubbling. The problem was I hadn’t sat down to put words to paper sharing said idea. The idea isn’t so much inventive as it is an event that will hopefully offer interested readers a chance to ask some questions, and my fellow blogging friends a chance to offer their expertise (and more importantly to this girl) allowing me to advertise their amazing creativeness. Submit your questions, and find out more in the Introduction post.
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Today, the Blogging 101 series continues with another awesome guest contribution. I'm really excited about this because our guest is Miranda Uyeh. Miranda is not only a talented blogger at
To Be A Person, she's also the author of To Die Once.

As is the case with nearly all of the blogger's I've met or formed friendships with, I don't know when or how I met Miranda, but I'm glad to know her. She's a lovely blogger who has a heart for introducing new authors to the blogging world to say nothing of the Christian entertainment world which she supports with graceful aplomb. This includes everything from music to movies. Miranda, thank you so much for joining the Blogging 101 series! I so appreciate your well written and concise contribution.

Without further ado, read on for Miranda's insightful post and advice. You don't want to miss it!
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Blogging 101 | How to Start a Blog
by Miranda A. Uyeh  
 

Blogging has turned out to be so much more than what it was initially intended to be—an online journal to document personal thoughts. From topics on food to sport/entertainment and everything in-between, the blogosphere is one massive network and communication hub that vibrates with excitement! Through blogging, you ‘meet’ wonderful people who will journey with you, and who you can learn tons of beautiful things from. You’ll grow in ways you never thought was possible, and may even achieve heights that were only a dream a time ago! I know folks who turned successful authors because they were first, bloggers.  

With so many exciting articles and—on the flip side—so much noise, how do you create a neat spot on the web that you can call your own?  

This article is intended as a soft guide to help you start a blog if you’ve never had one before. Take your time to consider the points below so that they can help you make certain that your answers to the questions fit what you hope to accomplish with a blog.

1. What will you blog about? | The biggest mistake you can make in blogging is to blog about random topics. Blogs may have been initially set up to be online journals—and in journals, you can write down your random thoughts—but the blogosphere has changed so much, and so have the rules of successful blogging. When readers don’t know exactly what to expect from you, they are less inclined to follow your posts. With so much information and people fighting for attention these days, readers have become more specific in what they search for, both on a shelf and online. Having a specific topic helps a reader choose to follow your blog because they are interested in the topic you’re blogging about. For instance, I blog about Inspirational Lifestyle, Books & Entertainment. My readers know that every time I release a post, it falls within these three topics.

Putting into words what you blog about can also give you a solid idea of what your blog’s tagline should be. Inspirational Lifestyle, Books & Entertainment is my website’s tagline. 

2. What’s your bottom-line message? | Similar to the above point, you need a specific theme that you can pass across to your readers as a direct message or subtly, as an undertone for your posts. For instance, the undertone of my posts is: encouraging people to be exactly who God has called them to be. Every article is prepared in a manner to encourage Christians to not be afraid of who God has created them to be, even in a secular world where Christianity is near hated. Within the frame of Inspirational Lifestyle, Books & Entertainment, my posts appear as Book/Music/Movie Reviews, Interviews of professionals in the Christian literary/entertainment industries, guest posts, and inspirational musings for lifestyle articles. Imbedded in each of these posts is my bottom-line message.

3. What name will best represent your blog’s impression/message? | This is simple. However, take your time to think about a name you believe will best represent what you hope to portray. Now that you know your topic, and you’ve defined your underlying message, combine these two into one element and put a name on it. For instance the name of my website/blog is To Be A Person (TBAP). To me, To Be A Person represents my topics and message perfectly.

4. How often will you post? So you’ve laid out your topics, defined your theme, and picked a name; it’s time to decide how often readers should expect posts from you. This is essential, especially for beginners who have no loyal followers yet. A new blogger on the block with an awesome topic/message and an interesting name, who posts periodically, is sure to garner some positive attention. It could be as often as three times a week or as occasional as once a month. This may be difficult to keep up (and I’m guilty here, too), but don’t worry about it so much if you slack at first. Over time, you’ll get used to it and develop the discipline to handle it. Don’t be afraid to go on a hiatus if you need to. Letting your readers know that you’re on break puts you in the clear. Another way to help keep up is to create a calendar and then stick to it; this helps your reading schedule, too. Also, writing a post ahead of time and scheduling its release via your blog’s admin is another way to win.  

5. Create an awesome ‘About Page.’ | When a visitor finds your blog, the first thing to pique their interest is your front page, which could be static or a post page. The second is your posts. If they like what they see, they move on to your ‘About Page’—in that order. After viewing your front page, taking note of your blog’s name, and reading a few of your articles, the reader has some idea of what your blog is about. Your ‘About Page’ seals the deal. In other words, it plays a vital/final role in helping a prospective reader become a devoted follower. Whatever you do, do not write your ‘About Page’ shabbily. In concise and clear language, introduce yourself by name so that the reader knows that it’s a human being behind the blog. Tell a bit about yourself, your interests/passions, and more importantly, what it is you have to offer on your blog. And, finally, invite them to join the party! An ‘About Page’ full of confidence, excitement, and cheerfulness is always a winner.

6. Put a picture to the words. | While this is not a strict requirement, it’s a huge booster. When a reader knows what the author of a blog looks like, it creates a connection that is superbly organic. Imagine if you had no idea what any of your favorite book authors looked like; the experience would not be the same. The fun activities between authors and readers online today are helped much by readers knowing their favorite authors on an organic level. A blog with no picture of its author creates a scenario similar to speaking to a person behind a curtain constantly, but never knowing what they look like. There will be a disconnect, and the experience will not be the same as with a blog that has a picture to its name.

I hope this helps! I wish you all the best in your blogging experience. May you make many, many friends and find no trolls! *wink*
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My name is Miranda A. Uyeh. I’m TBAP’s editor, the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, a Mogul Global Ambassador, and a professional blurb/tagline writer. I’m a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards, precisely in 2014, in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category. 

SHARABLES 
 
Blogging 101 continues with @Rini_MAU! http://bit.ly/2bTCtzi Swing by to read her valuable #BloggingTips on starting a blog!

Blogging 101 | @Rini_MAU shares her #BloggingTips on How-To start a blog http://bit.ly/2bTCtzi #Blogger #BookBlogger
 
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Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

Top Ten Tuesday | The Art of Shelf Dust Gathering (Or a how-to Guide on Giving Your Books a Vintage Vibe)

Monday, August 22, 2016


Happy Tuesday, book nerd peeps. Today's Top Ten Tuesday prompt is likely to cause many of us to shake our heads at the neglect we've shown our bookshelves and perhaps even admit these things with a sheepish attitude. As I scrolled through Goodreads to find appropriate titles for today's prompt, I really didn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I went deep into "research" for this week's topic.

The things I do to further my book nerd status.

Broke and Bookish August 23rd Prompt:

Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven't Read Yet

So. Here's what I did and the lowdown on how today's post stacks up. I searched through my old Amazon orders to find the final three books on this list which means those are novels I have owned (and NOT read) since before I began blogging - and perhaps even before blogging was a thought in my mind. The seven books you'll see first are novels I've had on my shelf for FAR too long (aside from making my shelf pretty, they're mainly, sadly, gathering dust) and were released in or prior to 2011 but I've not owned them that long.

Let's get this bookish party started.

1. Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carringer | These novels look, sound and no doubt are, fierce. Amazon | Goodreads  

2. Heist Society by Ally Carter | If I didn't already, having reading Ally's All Fall Down earlier this year, I've been made all the more aware how much I'd like to read MORE of her fun and flirty, complete with cozy-mystery-vibes novels. This must happen. Amazon | Goodreads

3. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen | I've not read anything from Sarah, but trusted blogging buddies enjoy her books, and since I own a few, I figure one of these days I'll get around to reading one. Amazon | Goodreads

4.  Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg | Jane Austen. 'Nuff said. Amazon | Goodreads

5. Where She Went by Gayle Forman | I was surprised how much I liked If I Stay, and as a result, reading this follow-up is high on my mental TBR. The problem with that is, sometimes my mental TBR and actual know-I-must-read TBR don't always play nice. Amazon | Goodreads

6. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han | Someday I WILL read a novel by Jenny Han. Amazon | Goodreads

7. The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade | I know this one has made frequent appearances on my Top Ten Tuesday memes, but what can I say? It sounds darling. The all-important question to self: WHY HAVEN'T YOU READ IT!? Amazon | Goodreads


8. Delivered with Love by Sherry Kyle | I just spotted this one again on my "overflow" shelf and was looking at it. It sounds as cute as it ever, plus do we detect some Signed, Sealed and Delivered vibes!? Amazon | Goodreads

9. Texas Heat by Debra White Smith | I read a contemporary Jane Austen series by this author (which, by the way, are absolutely perfect as I remember) and enjoyed her style and writing. It would then stand to reason that I'd also like this, the first in a romantic-suspense series. Amazon | Gooreads

10. Reclaiming Nick by Susan May Warren | Who doesn't love a cover with a cute dude on it? I think that's all that needs to be said. Amazon | Goodreads
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Those are the books I was able to come up with for today's topic. What books have been sitting on your shelf since before you began blogging? Do you recommend any of these as must reads right now!? Let me know down below! I'd love to chat with you, and as always, visit your top ten Tuesday meme posts.

PS: for a mere 10 more hours, enter the Indie Book Giveaway or enter to win a copy of Lynette Eason's Without Warning.
 
Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

Without Warning by Lynette Eason – Smart, “Elite” and Gripping Romantic Suspense

Friday, August 19, 2016

 
About the Book:
Author: Lynette Eason
Publisher: Revell
Source: Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2016
Find the Review elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Blogger ǀ Goodreads | Wordpress
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Series: Elite Guardians, 2
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Rating: 5 out of 5
Without Warning is a wonderful novel not to be underestimated or overlooked. Its brilliant writing coupled with its kick-butt heroine (and hero who had me at “Marine”) who is as capable of rescuing as she is of being rescued... 

Katie Singleton’s personal and professional life is wrought with tragedy. But the one constant in her life is her work as an elite bodyguard at Elite Guardians. Her current client she happened upon quite by accident. Though he’s known for his string of popular gourmet restaurants, Daniel Matthews never expected to be the subject of a stalker. When Katie becomes involved in Daniel’s life after a suspected arsonist sets his restaurant ablaze, and the discovery of a body, Katie assists the former Marine in discovering who is behind this.
 
 
To begin this year, one of the best at-the-time books to release was Always Watching, the first novel in this series. At the time, not only was it a wonderful read, but it has since maintained that same ranking as one of my favorite reads. Following up its impressive feats was something of a challenge, but Katie and Daniel’s story did just that, proving it was a force to be reckoned with. There are many surprises and unexpected twists in this novel, both of the nail-biting variety and the diverse nature of the story. As I read Without Warning, the greatest surprise inside its pages was how fast-paced it is. There’s barely a moment given to Katie or Daniel to breath, and yet, throughout this race for identity, there are still some memorable moments.
 
In the rare “quiet” conversations between these two, some good building blocks for what we know leads to an inevitable future begin to weave together. Their teasing, flirty banter counteracts the more serious nature of the story. There is one particularly sweet and swoony-romantic moment that comes in the latter fourth of the novel. An interesting character angle was also the presence of Daniel’s niece Riley, a character I didn’t expect. Her addition to the story dynamics was a wonderful one. I loved the interplay between her and Daniel. She was a mature teen character written well to the page and her presence brought out a sweet protective side to Daniel we’d have not otherwise seen were it not for her.
...her heart [overflowed] with love for the man who held her, for the God who gave them a beautiful new sunrise each morning, for... life."

An Eason signature is the adrenaline rush that comes with every story she pens, and this one is no different. The pace clips through the story at breakneck speed weaving in and out of the whodunit type questions the prose ponders. Everything comes down to a simple fact. Lynette Eason trademarks the best in smart, “elite” and gripping romantic suspense. Without Warning is a wonderful novel not to be underestimated or overlooked. Its brilliant writing coupled with its kick-butt heroine (and hero who had me at “Marine”) who is as capable of rescuing as she is of being rescued (yes there is a distinction and yes, there is nothing wrong with either scenario). Fans of authors like Ronie Kendig or Dani Pettery are sure to discover another must read inside the pages of Without Warning. So you’ve been warned: don’t miss it!  


Synopsis: Katie Singleton, a partner with the Elite Guardians Protection Agency, stumbles upon her next assignment quite by accident. Spotting blue lights at a familiar restaurant, she stops to investigate, only to discover that owner Daniel Matthews has become the target of someone who will go to any lengths to put him out of business.
 
Daniel might be concerned, but he's not convinced that a bodyguard--and a female one at that--is necessary. A new attack and his niece's urgings are enough to make him reconsider. He and Katie must figure out who's behind the intimidation and threats--before a would-be killer strikes again.

Witty dialogue and a simmering attraction will have readers flying through this tension-laced thriller. Eason exercises complete control of her readers' emotions as they race through the pages to discover the truth. - Goodreads

Coming Next from Lynette Eason: When Maddy McKay and Quinn Holcombe don't show up for Quinn's surprise birthday party, his friends know that something is very wrong. Their search turns up little beyond evidence that Quinn and Maddy just decided to take off for a long overdue vacation. But it soon becomes apparent that they did not leave of their own accord.

Maddy awakens in a cement room with no idea where she is. But it's not long before she realizes she's in the clutches of a madman exacting revenge by hunting. His prey of choice? Humans. Now Maddy and Quinn must run for their lives, hoping to find their killer before the next game begins. Because if they don't win this game, they die. - Goodreads, Amazon | Goodreads

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes. 

Review text is © Copyright 2011-2016 Rissi JC and first appeared on Finding Wonderland (Dreaming Under the Same Moon), RissiWrites.com

Book Giveaway | Lynette Eason's Without Warning


Good afternoon, friends and readers. We're on the edge of another weekend, which is worthy of some confetti don't you think? This is the first summer weekend in a long time we're forecasted to have rain on Saturday although after today's hot and humid weather, a cool down might be welcome. We can't have it all, right?
 
 
I've got another giveaway to close out the week because I happened to have two copies of Lynette Eason's latest, Without Warning and I want to share that copy with one of you. It's a fast-paced, exhilarating romantic-suspense novel that you simply MUST read if you like Eason novels or the likes of Dani Pettrey. (If you want a more coherent, specific review, my review is linked above and below.)
 
Let's look at the official synopsis of Without Warning.
 
Synopsis: Katie Singleton, a partner with the Elite Guardians Protection Agency, stumbles upon her next assignment quite by accident. Spotting blue lights at a familiar restaurant, she stops to investigate, only to discover that owner Daniel Matthews has become the target of someone who will go to any lengths to put him out of business.

Daniel might be concerned, but he's not convinced that a bodyguard--and a female one at that--is necessary. A new attack and his niece's urgings are enough to make him reconsider. He and Katie must figure out who's behind the intimidation and threats--before a would-be killer strikes again.

Witty dialogue and a simmering attraction will have readers flying through this tension-laced thriller. Eason exercises complete control of her readers' emotions as they race through the pages to discover the truth. - Goodreads
 
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And now let's get the rule details out of the way. (If you're a pro in giveaway's around here, just skip to the good bit: the widget!)
 
The giveaway(s) is open to US readers. The prize will be a paperback copy, unless otherwise noted (US readers might have a paperback option when applicable). I do ask that anyone who leaves a comment under "anonymous," please leave the same name you enter into the widget in your comment - it's not easy to try and match comments when there is no name and in fairness to everyone else, I want to be able to be sure everyone who used the Rafflecopter correctly has a fair chance at winning against those who abuse it - there have been a few people I could not verify. So please, I don't mean to overwhelm, but just keep this in mind when entering future giveaways. I'd sure appreciate it! Winner(s) will have 48 hours to respond to the email notification (you'll be contacted at the email address in the Rafflecopter form) before another winner is randomly chosen.
 
To be entered in the giveaway, just enter as much or as little as you like into the Rafflecopter widget, which you'll find down below. The Giveaway ends August 27th. Happy Rafflecopter-ing.

http://www.rissiwrites.com/2016/08/without-warning-by-lynette-eason-smart.html
 
Tweet any of the following "shareables" (if you use this as an entry, make sure to enter them in the Rafflecopter widget):

#Giveaway | Enter to win Lynette Eason's WITHOUT WARNING http://bit.ly/2bmyWY7 #MustRead #RevellReads #Romance
 
Enter the #BookGiveaway on Finding Wonderland http://bit.ly/2bmyWY7 Win a copy of WITHOUT WARNING
 
PS: for another four days, enter the "Indie Books" giveaway (select book from list in post). 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogging 101 | Page Views, Stats and More

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Our “Blogging 101” series continues today with a boring (in comparison) topic. What might this be? Well, it’s taking a look at the technical side of blogging and what that ensues.

Five years into my blogging journey and I will be upfront: I am still clueless (for all intents and purposes) about analytics and all this entails. But I have learned MORE about the ins and outs in the last year than I did in the first four years of blogging. Let me just say this to get us started: if ever you thought these things didn’t matter, they do. I’ll clarify more of this down below, so let’s get started. 

Page Views | I never paid any attention to my page views that I can remember until more recently when I began to open up to advertising. (This is another topic that is controversial, but isn’t one I’m going to talk about exclusively for today’s purposes.) Let me say this: pageviews aren’t the end-all for a blogger. Getting caught up in them isn't healthy even if you are in this for the "bigger picture" as opposed to the sheer joy. Are they important? Yes.  

Let me clarify.

If you’re a hobby blogger who simply enjoys the outlet of writing and aren’t concerned with stats, then you needn’t worry about upping your page views.  

If you’re a blogger who is serious about turning your blog into a professional outlet (a controversial topic we can discuss in a future post if there's interest), then page views are important. For book bloggers, some publishers and/or authors also have a specific requirement that must be met before they’ll add you to their list of approved bloggers or influencers.  

How to boast your page views?  

The remedy for my sluggish page views is simple: social media. It amazes me how much my stats spike when I’m active on social media. The one that works to the advantage best (for me) is Twitter, so this is why I invest so much time in Twitter (if you’d like to know more about how I use Twitter to Finding Wonderland’s best benefit, let me know). But depending on the blog/person, I think this can be different for everyone. Some bloggers might find Pinterest or Facebook to their best advantage. You simply need to check your stats and see what helps most.  

Tips To Boost Your Stats | As I said above, one of the best ways to boast your stats is utilizing social media. The pros are that most accounts are free to create. The cons are keeping up with multiple accounts can be time-consuming. Let’s look at some helpful tips.  

Consistent Content | I have no proof this helps, but personally, as a reader of blogs and a blogger, I believe consistent content assists in readership. I do notice my blog readership will drop off if I’ve had a lax publishing week, but again, this could be due to other patterns for whatever reason.  

For myself, I don’t like to publish multiple times a day or feel pressure to publish something 7 days a week. Ideally, I like to publish 4-5 times a week.   

TweetDeck | Keeping a social media updated can be daunting and overwhelming for some of us. Fortunately Twitter has many apps that are there to help with this. These apps let you schedule tweets. I use Tweet Deck and love it. Seriously, it’s a blogger survival tool. When I have the time (I usually take a day or two every week or bi-weekly, depending on time), I sit down and schedule tweets like nobody’s business. Sometimes (if I’m lucky), I get them scheduled two weeks out. 

Of course, as you add new content to your blog, you will want to open Tweet Deck and add your new posts to the varying posts you have already scheduled.  
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That's a wrap for today. If you have any specific questions or would like to see something discussed in greater specificity, let me know.
 
Thanks for visiting Finding Wonderland.

Disclosure: this series was created with you, the reader, in mind. The tips myself and the contributing bloggers have shared aren’t the only methods on how to blog. They’re simply a collection of helpful ideas and tips that we’ve found useful.

Book Giveaway | Indie Books

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

 
Hello, readers. Welcome to Finding Wonderland. Our blogoversary month of giveaways continue today with another "winner's choice" giveaway option. Inspired by my review today, this one will feature a variety of Indie published novels. So, let's not waste time discovering what those are.
 
 
Today we are spotlighting some of the Indie authors who I'm familiar with. Though one of the books listed below has not made it onto my "read" list, I adore this authors traditionally published novels, and the others have. There's five books from which you can chose and it's a nice variety of genres. Or I hope it is. There's contemporary, historical and YA in the mix.
 
 Let's take a look at the specifics of today's featured books.

http://www.rissiwrites.com/2016/08/told-you-twice-by-kristen-heitzmann.html
 
The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof  Amazon | Goodreads
Forever Safe by Jody Hedlund  Amazon | Goodreads
Told You Twice* by Kristen Heitzmann Amazon | Goodreads
I'll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones Amazon | Goodreads
The End of the World* by Amy Matayo  Amazon | Goodreads

*these novels, while still "inspirational," would earn a PG13 rating for some mature content.
_____________________________________________________
 
And now let's get the rule details out of the way. (If you're a pro in giveaway's around here, just skip to the good bit: the widget!)
 
The giveaway(s) is open to all readers. The prize will be a Kindle copy, unless otherwise noted (US readers might have a paperback option). I do ask that anyone who leaves a comment under "anonymous," please leave the same name you enter into the widget in your comment - it's not easy to try and match comments when there is no name and in fairness to everyone else, I want to be able to be sure everyone who used the Rafflecopter correctly has a fair chance at winning against those who abuse it - there have been a few people I could not verify. So please, I don't mean to overwhelm, but just keep this in mind when entering future giveaways. I'd sure appreciate it! Winner(s) will have 48 hours to respond to the email notification (you'll be contacted at the email address in the Rafflecopter form) before another winner is randomly chosen.
 
To be entered in the giveaway, just enter as much or as little as you like into the Rafflecopter widget, which you'll find down below. The Giveaway ends August 24th. Happy Rafflecopter-ing.
 
Tweet any of the following "shareables" (if you use this as an entry, make sure to enter them in the Rafflecopter widget):
 
#Giveaway | A "winners choice" Indie Book http://bit.ly/2blflKi #MustRead #IndieBooksBeSeen
 
Enter the #BookGiveaway on Finding Wonderland http://bit.ly/2blflKi (You could win a #Kindle copy of an Indie novel of your choice)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Told You Twice by Kristen Heitzmann - Emotionally Investing and Raw


About the Book:
Publisher: bHd Books (Indie)
Source: Author Provided (via Rel's Author Services)
Publication Date: 2016
Find the Review elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Goodreads | Wordpress
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Barnes & Noble ǀ Goodreads
Series: Told You, Book 2
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 

Stars are finally aligning for Alexis Murphy. She has an adoring fiancé, Jeffrey, and with him, she’s planning a fairytale wedding with Grace Evangeline. All is made sweeter since Grace is married to Exi’s cousin, Devin, the guy who still affectionately calls her by the childhood nickname. Her otherwise ideal life hits a snag when Exi meets Bo Corrigan, the one man Devin distrusts most.

GIVEAWAY | Indie Books

Bo is walking, breathing trouble. Grace sees more to him, but when he expresses interest in Exi, all Devin can see is an infuriating charmer out to break hearts. Bo is struggling internally with his lifestyle. He isn’t sure what he wants and questions everything: including his sketchy past and his infatuation with Exi. All of which could cost Bo a great deal more that he is willing to give.   

As with everything I’ve read by Heitzmann, this second Indie novel from her is another emotional roller-coaster. Like its companion novel, this digs beneath the surface of contemporary romance to look underneath all the uncomplicated happy moments most consist of. Primarily this might be because of the characters and their well-developed characteristics and strong personalities. As someone who grew up with the inspirational fiction that was of the proper variety – both as an emotional outlet and in terms of the procedures of the era (think historical prairie fiction), reading “edgy” fiction is something new. This is the reason why reading this novel is such a gratifying experience that, for those of us willing to look past the tragedy, is beautifully rewarding. 
...you are everything that's right with this world. Don't let anyone dim your light. No one knows who you are inside so don't let them define you. - Kristen Heitzmann
For many, the characters will be, and should be, the greatest incentive of this novel. They’re so well-written, explored and examined, there isn’t anything left wanting. Everyone is genuine and fighting to come out the other end of a “hopeless,” traumatic or unhealthy experience. Exi is seeking something she didn’t (really) know she was searching for. Bo, though aware of what people think of him, is, as Grace wisely knows, (in part) hiding beneath a façade. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t thoroughly disappointed in Bo over something he does that winds up being a key turning point in the plot. That said, I understand the reason for this and appreciate that it makes the journey, story and experience all the more satisfying. Fans of Told You So will relish in experiencing Grace and Devin in a healthy place as they are more than secondary afterthoughts. (A reason why you should read Told You So first.)

If you’re looking for something that will shake up the safety net of your usual reading, Told You Twice is it. If you’re hungering for a romance that, while about the attraction, digs beneath surface appearances, Told You Twice will not disappoint. It’s raw, powerful and unapologetic for its intentions. The story has a solid message that becomes its goal to tell, and in the end, it does this without fear.  

Content: There are minor innuendoes or sexual references (all “behind the door” classy than graphic) in this novel on the same level as its predecessor. A (light) PG13 rating would likely be affixed to this if it were under the film rating system. 

 
Synopsis: Alexis Murphy is done messing with the wrong kinds of men. She could not be happier planning a personalized Grace Evangeline wedding with her fiancé, Jeffrey, who is so…right for her. Or is he?

Stage star and spokesmodel, Bo Corrigan, could be the ultimate disruption. Alexis—Exi—is caught by his talent and sexual magnetism. Yet under the glow, she senses trouble, not only danger from Bo’s past mistakes, but something inside tearing him apart.

From the moment Bo sees Exi, he knows she’s special, but not only that—she’s real. Unlike the theater scene he’s been immersed in, she sees the man he is and won’t stop until she’s reached inside and brought that person from despair to life … if only they have time. With violent forces against them, can they get beyond the damage to love that heals and restores? – Goodreads
 


Sincere thanks to the author and Rel for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes. 

Review text is © Copyright 2011-2016 Rissi JC and first appeared on Finding Wonderland (Dreaming Under the Same Moon), RissiWrites.com

Top Ten Tuesday | Making the Grade

Monday, August 15, 2016


Aside from a few places within the States, I’m not what one would call a seasoned traveler. In fact most of the trips I have taken involved wide open spaces and had a warm hug waiting at the end of a long 13 hour drive. Translation: said road trips involved visiting my grandmother.

My lack of travel experience isn’t for want of wishing to see some of America’s wonders or even, perhaps, in my wildest dreams parts of Europe, but stars don’t always align. It’s for this reason (#2,847) that books give us all such a joyful experience. 

Broke and Bookish August 16th Prompt

Top Ten Books With X Setting (top ten books set near the beach, top ten book set in boarding school, top ten books set in England, etc) 

Though I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go with this prompt, I decided to scratch going straight British because we did recently talk about books that took place overseas. Also, I recently watched the pilot of Gossip Girl (definitely something I "get" being addicting, but golly, the drama would do me in), which helped inspiring today’s topic. As a result, I went with the boarding school (or a “private,” “prep,” “elite” school however you wish to coin it) prompt though my intention may have been for nothing as many of these are British set.

Still, since boarding school is (thankfully) not something I ever experienced nor is it something I read much of in books, I decided to feature some books set in a boarding school that I’m interested in reading. 


1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte | I had to laugh at myself for adding this one since saying I’m a classic lit novice would be an understatement. That said, I do adore this story as a cinematic masterpiece (so much so that I have a review of a certain version and blog post left unpublished on my trusty USB file blog folder). Plus, it’s one of the most famous “boarding school” stories I’d wager. AmazonGoodreads 

2. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett | Say what?! Another classic on my list? Yeah, so… that happened! Again, I don’t know if I read this one in school or not, but either way, I adore it as a story. Amazon | Goodreads 

3. Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carringer | These novels look, sound and no doubt are, fierce. I’d love to read them in the near future because I’m unfamiliar with the steampunk genre with exception to one or two books. Amazon | Goodreads  

4. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter | This is another one on my must-read-ASAP list. They might be well past my target reading age, but as someone who loves spy stories (read: once addicted to Alias and Covert Affairs), these look way too fun. Amazon | Goodreads 

5. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro | Sherlock Holmes inspiration? I’m in! Amazon | Goodreads 
 

6.  Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg | If there's a hint of Jane Austen, I'm so there! Which is why I'm puzzled as to why I've not yet read this one. Must. Remedy. Amazon | Goodreads

7. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins | Another one I've been meaning to read for eons. In fact this one is sitting pretty on my bookshelf as we speak. Amazon | Goodreads
 
8. Mandie and the Secret Tunnel by Lois Gladys Leppard | Added this one for nostalgia's sake. Read these as a young kid, and though I didn't make it through the entire series, what I did read were awfully cute. Amazon | Goodreads
 
9. Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout | Read this one last summer, and the result was a quirky and sweet little YA contemporary romcom. Has anyone else read it? Amazon | Goodreads
 
10. Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor | I've read some friends reviews of this one, and it sounds interesting, so yeah, why not add it to today's list!? (That's reason enough!) Amazon | Goodreads 
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What books do you like that are set in an exclusive boarding school or any kind of “unique” school setting? Comment down below with your bookish or not-so-bookish thoughts! I’d be glad to chat with you.  

Happy Top Ten Tuesday, friends and readers.  
 
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