Interview with Rachel E. Carter, Author of the Black Mage Series

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There are countless ways of discovering authors and their books online. In the past two years, my top three sources have been Twitter, blogs, and Goodreads. That last site is where I met YA fantasy author Rachel E. Carter. While her books are still on my TBR list, I’ve enjoyed reading her book reviews and watching her interact with fans there. She isn’t just an author who adores YA fantasy; she’s one who engages, encourages, and respects other readers, including those who review her work.

Today I’m thrilled to have Rachel here to talk about her Black Mage series, whose third installment Candidate comes out on Tuesday, October 27th. You’ll learn more about her love for kick-butt female protagonists and bad-boy love interests, how music influences her writing process, and her tips on writing and social media platforms. And maaaaybe some Harry Potter and Song of the Lioness fangirling – which I wholeheartedly approve of!

Also, if you like e-books, you can buy the debut Black Mage novel First Year for 99 cents from Kindle, Nook, iBooks / iTunes, and KOBO through October 31st! Look for the links at the end of this post. 😉

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Respecting Others’ Privacy and Opinions: What Authors and Bloggers Can Learn from the Kathleen Hale Controversy

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In the past week, the book blogging world has exploded in reaction to YA author Kathleen Hale’s article at The Guardian. In it, Hale describes her decision to confront a book blogger who had given a negative review of Hale’s debut novel No One Else Can Have You and then purportedly harassed Hale online as well as other bloggers who gave positive reviews for Hale’s book. By “confront,” I mean that Hale followed the blogger’s social media accounts, gathered personal information about her, and rented a car so she could drive to what she believed was the blogger’s home address. Turns out in the end that the blogger didn’t live there and (like many book bloggers do) may have been using an online pseudonym to keep her real-life identity private.

Complicated as this story is, readers have been quick to lash out at Hale since last weekend. Reviewers at Goodreads have either posted mostly 1-star reviews for No One Else Can Have You or vowed not to read Hale’s work. #HaleNo has become one of Twitter’s most popular hashtags in the past few days. And regardless of whether you’re a book blogger, a writer, or both, it’s nearly impossible to escape the uproar Hale’s actions have caused – and equally difficult to not have an opinion about it.  Continue reading

Now a Member of Goodreads, myWriteClub, and Steepster

Good news: You can now connect with me at three more social media sites! (You can already find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon.) Here’s the low down on where you can find me and what you’ll find there.



I signed up for the book-cataloging site two years ago and neglected that account until last week. (Oops…) Now you’ll be able to follow my Recent Reads reviews there as well as here and on Amazon. You can also check out my bookshelf to see other books I’ve read as well as my reading wishlist.

Goodreads Main Page / My Profile Page


myWriteClub logo

Geared specifically toward writers, myWriteClub allows users to set deadlines for projects, then track their progress toward those goals. The site also generates real-time graphs to chart your progress visually. Neat, huh? myWriteClub also allows you to follow other writers, who can follow you in return, and then cheer them on for each project. That way, the site helps us find a supportive online writing community. Yay! myWriteClub is still in beta mode, so not all of the features have been rolled out yet. However, I’m excited to see what they have in store – and if you’re a writer, I encourage you to join! You can find me at SaraL_Writer there.

myWriteClub Main Page


Steepster logo

I just joined Steepster last week, so this site is still very new to me. It’s like Goodreads for tea aficianados. Users can keep a tealog to review teas, create a “cupboard” that reflects their personal stash, and connect with other tea lovers from all over the world. Right now I’m still exploring the site, but I’ve already started sharing my tea reviews from A Bibliophile’s Reverie there. And who knows? Maybe I’ll find some awesome vendors to query for future samples!

Steepster Main Page / My Profile Page

Are you a member of any of these sites? If you are, feel free to follow me. I always follow back! 😉

Tweet Tweet! Guess Who’s On Twitter?

After contemplating it for a while, I finally decided to join Twitter! Now you can follow me there for updates on my writing projects and other related things. I’ll still use this blog and Facebook, of course. Just think of the Twitter account as another way to reach out to fellow writers and potential readers. 🙂

Click the link below to find me on Twitter. I look forward to seeing you there!

P.S.: Been trying to get the “Follow Me On Twitter” widget to work, but I’m not sure how. Any suggestions? Should I go to either WordPress or Twitter for tech support?

Coming Soon: Another installment of Mini-Review Monday is coming next week. Plus, WANACon February 2014 has begun, and I enjoyed the first presentation I attended – so I’m looking forward to the second one later this evening!

I’m (Finally) On Facebook!

Good news: You can now connect with me at my official public Facebook page! Just click “Like” on the Facebook widget in the lefthand sidebar, or click here to go directly to the page.

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A screenshot from the (admin side of) my official Facebook page.

I’ve toyed with the idea of having a Facebook page for a few months. But it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I finally acted on it. Now, all of the key pieces (profile photo, banner, and bio) are finished, and I’m ready to share it with you.

What do I plan to share with Facebook followers on this page? Here’s what I’ve thought of so far:

  •  Links to my poems, articles, and blog entries, focusing primarily on new content as it’s published (and maybe the occasional retrospect)
  • YouTube or ReverbNation clips of artists I’m listening to or reviewing in the near future
  • News announcements regarding my work and scheduled events (readings, festivals, etc.)
  • Other posts (status updates, photos, videos, and polls / survey questions) related to poetry, literature, music, the writing craft, and other interests
  • Sharing links for books / book series, literary journals and events, other writers / poets / authors, and more

My plan for the Facebook page is to have it be an interactive and engaging media and news resource. Writing and poetry doesn’t interest everyone. I totally understand that. So, the question I will always leave open for my audience is this: Besides keeping people up to date on what I’m doing, what can I do to make this page interesting without straying from its purpose? Any suggestions or feedback will be welcomed warmly. Feel free to also contact me there to ask questions about my work, future readings and events, review and publication inquiries, ideas for future blog entries or “Chronicling The Craft” topics, and the like.

I should note that the Facebook page will not replace this blog. They’ll function as two separate yet connected entities, constantly linking visitors from one source to the other. Plus, this blog is like my online portfolio; it houses links to all of my published articles and poems since 2008. I suppose I could move those lists to Facebook – but that would require a lot of time and effort that could be spent on more worthwhile things. And blogs still have their audiences, too, as I’ve seen here and at other blogs. So, I see no reason to get rid of this site.

Hope to see you there!