I’ve been saving this one for December for a reason, and that reason is because this is the month that Release finally comes out. Val from Stuck In Books has been an integral part of my writing. She’s supported me, cheered me on, and helped me in more ways that I could list. Val is the reason the Release blog tour sign-ups were such a great success. She was the organizational mastermind behind it, as well as the promotional tour for Exiled and Shift. And most importantly, she’s been a wonderful friend to me.
Stuck in Books is a very well respected book blog, and one of the things that originally drew me to it, was Val’s excitement. When Val loves a book, it truly shows. Not just because she is a driving force in promotion for the stories she loves, but her reviews are genuine. She’s honest, polite, and a great asset to the book blogging community. She takes her own free time to help others, both authors and bloggers alike. And one of her best traits, in my opinion, is the commitment she has to her readers.
In honor of all that she’s done for The Protector series, I want to tell Val how thankful I am. For all the hard work and time she’s put into it, and for all the support she’s given me. So without further ado, let me introduce you to a book blogger I think everyone should get to know. Whether you’re an author or a blogger, Val’s blog is one you don’t want to miss.
1. You’re coming up on the two year anniversary of your blog. That’s an impressive feat. So many people get burned out and lose the passion they once had for blogging, but you’re holding steady and strong. Is there anything specific that keeps your passion alive, and if you ever feel yourself getting into a blogging slump, do you have any tricks that help you get out of it, or prevent it altogether?
Hmmm…I do get overwhelmed and discouraged with blogging. About six months ago, I seriously considered quitting. I spent some times considering why I wanted to quit. I realized that the part of blogging that was getting me down was when I accepted a book to review that I wasn’t passionate about reading. It made blogging a job instead of a joy. I decided then that I would read what I wanted. I had to learn to say no to requests. I suspect that I will always have to be reminded of that little discovery or the discouragement will return and StuckInBooks could go away. That would just make me sad so I will continue to say no.
2. You’re a huge J.L. Armentrout fan. You found her books, fell in love with them, and devoured them. Because of your passion for her stories, you’ve become a driving force in all her promotion from giveaways to blog tours. What is it about this series that hooked you so much?
I totally remember the very first time I saw a JLA book. I stumbled across her blog and she was doing a giveaway for Half-Blood. I won it. The book didn’t come out for another 3 or 4 months but I had it. I was so excited because I had never had a book before it was available to everyone. Then I started reading it. Her books speak to me like no other. Her heroines are strong and spirited with plenty of snark. The story is fast paced, not predicable but action packed. Totally love the worlds she comes up with. Her hero’s are strong, very male and always HOT. The romance is scorching. I’ve said this lots of times, but I’d stand in line to read ANYTHING JLA writes.
3. What is your favorite genre to read, and what is it about that genre that holds the number one spot?
Urban fantasy hands down in my favorite. I grew up loving fantasy but I love the grounding that urban fantasy gives a story. It’s fantasy based in things I already know, making the story flow faster for me. The magic, the powers, the angels, whatever they all exist in a modern world hiding in plain sight. Love the idea that it’s out there among us.
4. Obviously you have a passion for books and that is something that could ignite the urge to share it with the world, but blogging is sometimes a full-time job, especially for someone as committed to it as you. You never miss a day, and some days you have multiple posts. What made you decide to start a book blog?
My blog was the result of surviving my master’s degree. I spent two years going to school while teaching full time. It about killed me. I decided I deserved a reward so I spent a whole summer doing what I wanted – reading books. I went to the library every day. I read 75 books in 3 months. Then I realized that I loved to talk to people who were interested in the same books that I was. Having just finished my master’s degree in instructional technology, I turned to technology to find ways to share the books I loved. My blog was born from that. The name came from my husband, who teased me all that summer about being stuck in a book.
5. Things, for the most part (or at least to my knowledge), have been fairly drama free for a little while in the blogging community, but there were a few outbursts this year where the blogging world was filled with the unfolding of fairly dramatic events. How do you avoid getting caught up in all of that?
It’s funny because I usually come in late to the party for the drama. I seem to be the last to find out and I’m glad. I think it’s because I’m just so busy that I don’t linger long enough to pick up on what’s up. It has to really blow up for me to notice and then I usually have to ask a friend to fill in the details. I like it better that way anyway. Spend enough time dealing with drama working at a middle school. I prefer to lead a dramaless life.
6. Most book bloggers have a review policy. One that should be well read before any author submits their book to you. But is there anything not listed in that review policy that could give an author the upper hand in getting accepted onto your review pile?
Honestly, the only advantage an author would have is if I’ve read their work before. There are a handful of authors that I’ll accept their books no matter how busy I am. Sometimes I accept authors I don’t know if someone I do know recommends them. Beyond that, it’s the luck of my calendar and whether your book calls to me.
7. If there are any avid readers out there interested in sharing their love of books via a book blog, what kind of advice can you give them?
I actually get asked this a lot. My advice is always the same. It’s your blog, do what makes you happy.
8. You read a lot of books, that much is a given, but is there a specific type of story you’re looking for right now? Maybe something you haven’t seen a lot of, and something that if it came up, maybe you’d be willing to sneak to the top of your TBR pile as a “must read now?”
I continue to be drawn to the male POV. It’s not as common in YA as the female POV but I really love hearing how a guy thinks. When I hear about a book written from the male POV, I’m all over it. THAT is why I picked up Exiled.
9. Let’s step away from the book chat for a minute and get to know you. What other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time besides reading and blogging?
Spare time? What is this spare time you speak of? Haha. Can I trust you will keep my secret? Um…probably not, whatever I’ll just tell ya. I write. I have for as long as I can remember. Wanted to be a journalist when I was in high school. I was the editor of my high school newspaper. Opened a fortune cookie recently that said, “You are a lover of words someday you will write a book.” I guess that answer is cheating since I write on my blog all the time. What else? I’m also a techy girl. Love the tech toys. Oh and music – constantly looking for more tunes.
10. Hypothetical – Rabies infested werewolves have conquered every corner of Colorado. They’re massive, bloodthirsty beasts that never seem to have their appetite sated, and their closing in on your city. You have 24 hours before they’re everywhere. What do you do to prepare for the oncoming invasion?
LOL, well if it’s hypothetical then I can pull out all the fun stuff, right? So, I’m thinking I need a few characters from my favorite books to help me out. Gonna need your Chase, Liam and Chase from THE ONE (by Heather Self), Aiden from HALF-BLOOD (by JLA) and of course Daemon from OBSIDIAN (by JLA). Oh and we need a mad genius. I’m thinking Mihir from COMMENCEMENT (by Paige Cuccaro).
There’s an old building up on a hill not far from where I live that looks like a castle. We’re gonna hide all my family and loved ones there along with my incredibly talented protectors from books. The large grounds and sloping landscape will be perfectly defensible for the group of hot guys I have gathered. All of them will be on guard duty except for Chase (THE ONE) and Mihir. Those two will be in the creepy basement (yeah, I’ve been there) working on the cure. Chase can travel (he has that skill) anywhere in the blink of an eye to get whatever Mihir may need. I can see the wild scene before my eyes. Smoke raising from the dungeon, Mihir laughing, Chase cursing that he has to go get something else, and Daemon & company fighting the creatures outside. And at the very last minute, the cure is found bringing the rabies-infested werewolves back to being happy shifting cuddle buddies.
Well, that or Chase (THE ONE) can blink us all to Canada.
11. What’s one book you took on for review this year that you weren’t expecting much from, but by the end had completely blown you away?
I think the book that really surprised me was Alibi: The Complete Series by Annie Miles, John Byrne, Isabel Eckersley, and Sorrel Provola. This book is actually 4 smaller books, each written by a different author from a different characters point of view. It starts with a death and we don’t know who did it. As each story tells a different perspective of what happened, we learn more and more until the final piece drops into the puzzle. It’s not my style of book at all but I couldn’t put it down. It’s a great read to understand how different people see things so differently.
What’s your preference?
Love Triangles Yay or Nay: I love to hate them.
Best Concert You’ve Been To: Won a trip to LA to see The Who when I was dating my husband. It was our first trip together. Totally awesome.
Dream Vacation: Anywhere as long as my kids (and grandson) are with me.
Cats or Dogs: Pfft…DOGS!
Spiders or Snakes: Spiders (Don’t ask how I stayed married after my husband brought a snake he found outside in MY HOUSE. Guess I really do love the guy).
Chocolate or Caramel: Um…this is a totally UNFAIR question! Hence, I will give an unfair answer. BOTH and preferably together.
Food: Pretty much all Mexican food
Color: Seriously? You’re asking ME this? Purple, of course.
80’s Movie: The Indiana Jones movies! Harrison Ford is my all time fave actor. Dark hair & blue eyes is totally my type!!!
Scene From a Book: Evil question this is! How can I possibly answer this??? Hmmm…gonna give you something that rocked my world just recently but I’m not claiming it as my all time fave scene. I cannot tell the exact scene because it’s too spoilery so I’ll tell what’s leading up to it. There’s a scene in DEITY by JLA where Aiden is playing his guitar for Alex and she discovers what’s on the chair around his neck. Right after that scene is this incredible scene that was perfectly timed and placed. It made me love those characters so much more.
Smell: Cinnamon rolls baking
Special thank you to Val for taking even more time out of her day for me. I hope every body goes to check out her blog, and see what it’s all about. She has posts daily, and regularly hosts some pretty great giveaways. Want to find out more about Val? Find her here: