Author Interview Featuring Author Candace Robinson

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Hey guys I am super excited to feature this awesome author/blogger on my blog today! She is such an amazing lady with a sweet presence and beautiful soul. I was so glad I connected with Author Candace Robinson!!!

So I am going to shut my babbling mouth up and start this interview because I am so excited to feature her on my blog! Woot!

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Will you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a writer or at least try to be. I have the tendency to fight with the little demon in my head who constantly tells me that I’m not good enough. Besides that, I live with my husband and daughter who support me through all my insanity. I also have a migraine condition and sometimes they are in the form known as hemiplegic migraines which are utterly debilitating.

Can you tell us about one or more of your novels?

I wrote Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault back in 2016 and ended up self publishing. After one of my new books, Clouded by Envy, got picked up by The Parliament House, I submitted Quinsey and the sequel to them in which they picked them up. After the new editing process, Quinsey is now how it should have been the first time. It’s full of retellings because I absolutely love them, and I chose the ones that shaped me as I grew up. Other than Quinsey, another of my books that I co-wrote titled Bacon Pie also just released. It has bacon and pie and some romance.

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Are the characters in your stories that are based off yourself or anyone else?

So, I have two manuscripts I just finished that aren’t published and I put a little of myself in there. I sometimes use moments that have happened in my life and sprinkle that in as well. In Hearts Are Like Balloons, the opening chapter about my dad ending his life is the same way it happened to me, except I wasn’t a teen when it occurred. Writing that book helped me get through things a little more easily.

What has been the hardest part of becoming/being a published author?

Marketing! Also trying to get an agent. I’ve been on a mission for a while now to find one, and I’m hoping eventually one will fall in love with my words.

When did you first start writing stories or any other kind of writings?

I wrote poems a little after my senior year in high school, but I didn’t actually write anything until I wrote Quinsey in 2016 right after my dad died. I figured life is always unexpected, and you can’t sit there and keep waiting to do something about it.

What inspired you to become an author?

I don’t really have a great answer for that. I just always have little images in my head that are waiting to be pulled together into a story. It knocks, knocks, and knocks some more at my head until they are written down.

Did you take writing classes or are you self taught?

No writing classes! I’m sure someone would argue that I need to! Lol!

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Believing that what I’m writing isn’t a big mess. In all honesty, the first draft is most likely always a catastrophe, but then you can go in there and sew it all back together with new words and removing words. Eventually, it all comes together!

What are your hobbies?

Reading and taking care of my daughter. She’s a huge Harry Potter fan so I’m pretty sure that makes Harry Potter my hobby!

Are there any authors that have inspired your love for writing?

I haven’t read a lot of the classics, so it’s mainly YA for me. And that would be Tahereh Mafi and Sarah J. Maas. I just can’t put their books down!

What is your favorite book? I know this can be a difficult question for readers!

The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi and Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi

Can you share with us your favorite literary quote?

It’s not literary lol, but my favorite quote is actually by the singer Jewel back in the 90’s “I’d rather see the world from another angle”

If you could give young writers (who’s dream is to be published) a piece of advice that has anything to do with the writing process, what would that be?

Just keep at it. If you want to get published, it is probably going to take a while, but there is someone out there who will love your work. We all just have to find them.

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Author Bio:

Candace Robinson spends her days consumed by words. When she’s not writing stories, she maintains a book review blog. Her life consists of avoiding migraines, admiring Bonsai trees, and living with her husband and daughter in Texas—where it can be forty degrees one day and eighty the next.

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Website: http://authorcandacerobinson.wordpress.com

Blog: http://literarydust.wordpress.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/literarydust

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/literarydust/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/literarydust

20 Facts About The Girl Behind Touch My Spine Book Reviews

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Hey there lovely people! I have missed everyone so much and have to admit that I am in a huge blog slump… I went from a twice a day poster to a where the hell did that crazy girl go poster. Shit happens and life happens but we all float on… This isn’t a post to talk about how much my life sucks and I have lost all my income and could be evicted with 3 kiddos. No freakin way! This is a post that I share 20 things about me and whatever shitty hand I have been dealt that is not who I am. I am more than that and I am a wild and free spirit. I wanted to post something random to help me get out of my blog slump so I figured why not share what’s behind the girl that loves everyone and is the owner of Touch My Spine Book Reviews.

I have so many reviews to post and I have been overwhelming myself with posting. I don’t have any idea how I suddenly developed a fear of posting my reviews. I tell myself that I am going to post them or at least some and I will get overwhelmed by it then I procrastinate all of it. This makes things way worse! Now I have so many to post and I don’t know where to start or what to do!

WOAH! I think I just overwhelmed myself and probably others by that last paragraph. Well.. I will just put it this way, Fuck all that Shit and let me break that barrier of posting by sharing 20 random facts about myself besides I love books because we all know that! Once I get back in the groove of everything and get over my low self esteem issues all will be good in the hood. Thanks so much for checking out my post and sorry for the rambling, my loves! I miss all of your faces and hope you guys have a fantastic week! Xoxox😍😍

*20 random facts about Dani from Touch My Spine Book Reviews!*

  1. I have 3 children. Zoey 9, Gabriel 6, Vincent 2.
  2. I cuss like a sailor and say things that are inappropriate. IE: Buttsex, Stuff about other kinds of sex, your mom inappropriate sayings. I just have such a random personality that you don’t know what will come out of my mouth next!
  3. I am a free-spirit/free-bird. I even want the song Free Bird by Leonard Skynard played at my funeral.
  4. I dress in gypsy/hippie skirts and dresses pretty much every other day.
  5. I wear goth clothes the other half of the time with lots of black, fishnets, spikes and spiked biker boots. Had to accessorize with my hair being every color under the sun at one point or another.
  6. I have 15 piercings and remember getting half of them.
  7. I have 21 tattoos.My other spunky personality got me a tattoo that says “Supa Soaka” on my ass. *hides in shame*
  8. I have been on my own since I was 15 years old.
  9. I battle/have been diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder. *If you receive a random comment or see a random post that sounds crazier than me(I know, how crazy can you get¿?), that means an alter has made it through my security set up on one of my devices and I apologize ahead of time.*
  10. I am an Intuitive Empath and just discovered this and I am going through a Spiritual Awakening. Being an Empath I physically and mentally feel the emotions of others. Even if someone gets embarrassed on t.v.I have to step away because I hurt for them. I have went broke many of times, spending 90% of my pay on others and helping them through hard times. Lately I haven’t done any of that though since me and my kiddos are just trying to stay afloat.
  11. I am an open minded Christian with a twist.
  12. I am a pansexual. I fall in love with hearts not parts.
  13. I am polyamorous lady. I believe love should not be restricted and you can love more than one person and have more than one soul mate.
  14. I am disabled and haven’t been able to work since 2015 and now battle an agoraphobia and other illnesses that keep me homebound.
  15. I started blogging to meet new people who love books because majority of the people I know don’t read. I even had a close friend ask me, “Why do you read when you’re not in prison?” Lol.
  16. I live in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. I do have a southern accent to folks that live out yonder and not in my neck of the woods. Southern Belle or a Crazed Hick? You take your pick.
  17. I use to travel all over the States without a destination or any plans whatsoever. I would go wherever the wind took me.
  18. I am a survivor of extensive childhood abuse and abuse as an adult. It made me who I am and I am a warrior!
  19. I kicked cancer’s ass 4 years ago!!!
  20. I love others immensely and I cannot hate a soul even those that have abused me. I am all about “free love” and giving peace a chance. Yep, I am a hippie.

Thanks for listening to me ramble on about myself! Tell me something random about yourself in the comments below!!!

Publication Dates, ARCs and NetGalley ~Do I have to post by publication?~When is the best time to talk turn in our EGalleys?

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Hey my fellow book enthusiasts!😍 I hope everyone is having a fantastic day and gets to snuggle up with an awesome read today!

I know it’s a Tuesday and you might be thinking “Not her rambling, I’m too exhausted” but “We got this!” We are bad mama jammas and whatever is going on in your life I’m sprinkling some glitter on you because I am just majestic like that! You guys have seen those cute fat fluffy unicorns that are the trend with their majestic ways. That’s it, that’s me! Well if course to make it more like me it better have a supreme pizza 🍕, an assload of books, and is majorly behind on her reviews but you get the picture!😍 No doubt about it, I’m majestic. Now you may think what does that have to do with NetGalley and my ARCs? Well honestly, not a damn thing. I have issues and I’m very random. I frequently burst out with random rambles but my therapist encouraged me to “let it all hang out on my blog or wherever, balls and all!”. Well… she said just be who you are if they don’t like it that’s okay but just be all of you unapologetically but potato/po-TOT-toe. So that’s me a fat fluffy unicorn who’s going to tell you about ARCs, NetGalley and Publication Dates. I completely understand if you don’t trust my credibility and want to exit my page! It’s all good but the information I am sharing comes from personal experience and publishers that I have asked directly about these sort of things! The publicists professionals asked me not to quote them directly because all publishers are different but they said if anyone has any questions they can message me and I can give you their info for any further questions. I talked to professionals with different questions at Penguin Random House and Kensington Books. I am posting based on the information they provided me. Anything that is a mistake is from my translation and not on the publishers I have asked. The choice is yours but I am going to stop running my mouth and get to the topic at hand.

What is NetGalley?

When I was new to blogging and to NetGalley, I had no idea what I was doing. To be honest I’m some ways I still don’t but to make things better I have lots of Books on it! Anyways I had so many questions about NetGalley what is it first of all and I kept seeing everyone post these “Thank yous” to NetGalley so it had to be something good.

NetGalley is a place where you can get free books but you are expected to give an honest review for said books. Everything is electronic at NetGalley. So you can read on your phone, kindle, other ereaders, tablets, and computers. Unfortunately, they do not directly offer print copies but from my experience when I started NetGalley and turning in EGalleys it opened up a lot of opportunities for me. After five months of having NetGalley, I have publishers write me personal e-mails and offer print copies. I also can get the publishers info and send them requests and they send me print copies by seeing how reliable I am on NetGalley.

For Beginners

  • You can join NetGalley when your blog has just started.
  • You are also able to join NetGalley as a reviewer on Goodreads or another site only. To be honest, you must likely won’t get approved for big titles unless you have shown that you have high credibility, high following or what not though.
  • Even as a new blogger or a Goodreads/other Reviewer you have access to the Read Now copies! There is a large selection of “Read Now” books and there not just unknown or books people haven’t heard of.
  • I would say currently 1/4 of my NetGalley books are from the “Read Now” selection. So it’s a way to get in the front door and get free ebooks. This also gives you the possible opportunity to meet publishers, authors and/or other book related shenanigans.
  • The”Archive Date” is when the publishers take down the title so you are not able to download the title anymore.

  • I choose the Kindle option everytime because I don’t have to worry about the title expiring. I found that when I used an epub or pdf format with Aikido that the title was only available for about 60 days.
  • If you use other formats besides Kindle, I would suggest going back to the title on NetGalley and re-downloading it before the archive date.
  • With kindle format you can have the title in your cloud forever. You can also use Text to Speech! Which I love because it helps me read along with my mild dyslexia and if I need to do something I can play the audio and listen to the TTS while I do daily activities. It’s a very handy thing for people with reading disabilities as well and there is no extra charge like with most audiobooks. The only difference I found is that every once in awhile the digitised voice may say some words funny but overall I love having the kindle format and you can have it on about any device.

  • If you would like to use kindle format on any device you have then you can download it for free here:

Amazon.com – Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices

For my awesome U.K. friends visit: Amazon Kindle App Download For U.K.

*Anyone who is outside U.S. or U.K. can click on any of the links and select their country because I don’t have accounts yet for other locations yet but you are still awesome and count the same!😊*

I have to tell you guys that if you download the kindle app using my link in the pic it helps me as an amazon affiliate but it costs you zip! So it’s a win-win!

  • I also have to share because I love free stuff that kindle has thousands of free book offers and you can find new ones daily! I have like 800 titles in my library that are free from kindle! Woot! Sorry back to the topic at hand. I get carried away about free stuff. If its free than its for me! Back to NetGalley!
  • Your profile is very important on NetGalley. You would want to list info about you, info about being a professional reader/whatever you do that benefits the reading community (book reviewer, beta reader, media professional, bookseller, educator, librarian and/or associates/assistants)😁📚❤ and your stats.
  • If your stats are low and you are new, you can show off other good qualities you posess like examples of your book reviews, lists of your different social medias and share about your passion of reading.
  • Where it says company name on your profile, do not leave that section blank! For some reason this gets many bloggers turned down! Your company can be your blog name for example mine says: Touch My Spine Book Reviews. I also added the library I volunteer at and the bookstore I work/volunteer at.
  • If you are a part of any associations, it’s very beneficial to add that as well.

There is other questions I have asked publishers here and there over the last two months. The biggest questions that I faced as a newbie and other friends/new bloggers have asked me is..

  • When is the best time to turn in our eGalley review for NetGalley?
  • Do we need to turn our NetGalley reviews in before publication?
  • Is our ratio that important? Will it effect our chance at getting reviews?

So here’s the answers that I received when asking different publishers such as Penguin Random House, Kensington and etc., asking on the NetGalley blog and putting all the information together.

  • When to turn in your review depends on the publisher’s preference. If you go to the publisher’s page on NetGalley, you will see a preference section when you click it sometimes it will say the approval preferences and when they expect reviews to be turned in. Go by those guidelines when possible.
  • If the publisher’s page does not have their preferences listed you can contact them by looking up the company and you would want to go to the publicity contact for that company. It would look like publicity@entangledteen.com as an example.
  • When you cannot and/or do not wish to contact the publisher, from the advice I was given it looks good to post your review around a week or even within the month before the publication date. Anytime before publication or within a week after the publication is the best but if not just do the best you can!😁
  • Publishing companies understand shit happens. Now they didn’t say it like that but a publisher completely knows that sometimes people are not able to review the book or that their review is late. It’s Life and Shit Happens! We all have our lives to live outside of the blogosphere.
  • So try not to stress yourself if you can’t meet publication and your worries about your reviews are piling up. I know, I know easier said than done! I am guilty of stressing about this myself quite frequently but I want you to remember this whole reviewing books and book blogging shenanigans is supposed to be fun! “Don’t stress, you got this!” Remember you are a Book Reviewing Rock Star!❤😁📚🤓💃
  • The preferred ratio for NetGalley is 80%. You want to strive for this ratio but if you are not there don’t fret you can still get good titles at a low percentage. Like I said before, it all depends on the publishers. I have a 60% ratio and I get approved 9 out of 10 times. I’m not saying “screw it, it’s not important”. What I mean is that whatever your ratio may be there is going to be opportunities out there for you. If you don’t want to deal with requests in the beginning, there is always the “Read Now” selection which is pretty darn good at times and I usually can find a few great titles in the “Read Now” section at a given time.😁💯📚

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*Couldn’t help myself, I had to add a sexy lady reading to this post!😂*

My Advice About NetGalley to New Users

  • I know it’s tempting but when you first start out try not to request 30 titles because you are scared you will be denied and are tempted by all the cover porn and opportunity of free books. I know it’s pretty hard to resist. I did this and ended up with 28 books as a new user with publication dates that are not too far away!😨 Many of users have told me they made the same mistake.
  • Try to avoid the addiction of clicking request too much!! I know it’s so hard! I will admit, I am a Netgalley addict and man it can be overwhelming!

  • Try and be mindful of the publishing dates and see what best suits your schedule but don’t worry if it’s too much. As I said earlier, all of us are behind at one point or another and publishers understand we are not perfect.

  • You can turn your reviews into the publisher through NetGalley and then send all your links later when you get the time or when you schedule your reviews to go live. The reason I mention this is I got this advice from the NetGalley blog and found it really helpful. Sometimes we are freaking because the publication date is around the corner and you don’t want to post all your reviews at once. Well, you can post your reviews on NetGalley and come back and edit your feedback to add your links later at a better date for you.
  • Do not stress about the publication dates so much! We can’t be perfect all the time and many authors understand and want there coverage to be spread out. You can always contact them to let them know it will be late if that makes you less stressed!😁
  • What counts the most is regardless if your review is late, early or whenever, is that the review is turned in. I was told that when the publicity contacts are viewi ng your profile they just want to see that you are consistently turning them in.
  • As long as you are reading and turning in your reviews, everything will be fine and handy dandy!
  • You got this and I love seeing everyone’s NetGalley reviews!

Sorry about all that rambling and hope that I made sense! I missed you guys and I am going to try and be more active! This post was mostly done sitting in my drafts and I have been fretting about my reviews so I figured I should post it and take my own advice! I also have to mention as a new member to NetGalley that I wouldn’t have made it through without the help of my bloggy friends Kim and Carrie’s help! They are the bee’s knees and gave me so much support and advice as well!

~Do you have any advice as a veteran user that you would like to add to new NetGalley users or new bloggers who are interested in eARCs? Was this post helpful to any? Do you love NetGalley? Are you interested in joining?

Thanks for reading my post and I look forward to your feedback! I lost someone close to me and have been grieving but I am working on catching up with all my bloggy friends! You guys are the BEST and have missed yoyr faces!

#Motivational Monday

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Hey guys! I am still battling some rough times with a loved one’s health concerns. To say the least, it has been a sleepless and hectic last few days! The good news I have been able to read a lot and working on catching up with reviews. I miss talking to you guys daily and will be at full force soon! I got this like a Boss! *crosses fingers* I may be having a rough time but I am learning to dance in the rain.❤ I hope that every single one of you have a fantastic week and if there is a chance of stormy weather, you can also dance with me! Xoxo❤

*~1,000 Followers!!!!~*

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Look what I signed into my account to see guys!!!! Within my 6 months of joining the blogosphere, I had no idea I could achieve receiving 1,000 followers in such a short time! I love you all and thank you so much!!!! I am over the moon and doing Dani-style happy dances!

Now it’s time to celebrate!!!😄🥂🎊🎉❤ Yay for Touch My Spine Book Reviews!

*~Book Review: No Sad Songs by Frank Morelli~*

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I want to thank the author for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Rating:

To View or Buy via Amazon Click Here

To Check Out on Goodreads Click Here

Following a family tragedy, 18-year-old Gabe LoScuda suddenly finds himself thrust into the role of caregiver for his ailing grandfather. Between the shopping trips and the doctor visits with Grandpa, Gabe and his friend John try to salvage their senior year, meet girls, and make the varsity baseball team. It doesn’t take long for Gabe to realize that going to school and looking after a grandfather with Alzheimer’s is more work than he ever imagined. And when long-lost Uncle Nick appears on the scene, Gabe soon finds that living with Nick and Grandpa is like babysitting two grown men. Aside from John, the only person who truly understands Gabe is Sofia, a punk-rocking rebel he meets at the veteran’s hospital. When these three unlikely friends are faced with a serious dilemma, will they do what it takes to save Grandpa? If there’s a chance of preserving the final shreds of Grandpa’s dignity, Gabe may have to make the most gut-wrenching decision of his life—and there’s no way out.

What a freakin’ fantastic book! When Mr. Morelli contacted me about “No Sad Songs”, I was going to start taking a break from author requests to help myself catch up and what not. Well, I read the synopsis and saw the book cover and was SOLD!

From the very beginning, I was sucked into the story and so invested in Gabe. He made me laugh and my heart wrenched for him at the same time. I enjoyed seeing him grow as the story was told. I LOVED all the characters in this story including Grandpa! He was a bit wild at times…

Okay maybe not that kind of wild but he was something else!😘 As a caretaker of someone that I love and see the person that they were diminish because of a severe traumatic brain injury, I could relate in many ways to Gabe. I know every single day is a battle and so hard to see someone you love forget what happened five minutes ago and not be able to remember the past you shared. Different illness, same battle.

Reading this story, you can really see how connected the author was to this book and how much he invested in this story with the fantastic descriptions and real emotions. Mr. Morelli wove the perfect blend of emotions and reality to create a remarkable tale that I won’t soon forget. Also I have to add that I loved Sofia!😍🤘 Of course, I would adore an awesome punk rocker chick!😊

I’m so glad that I read this story and I highly recommend putting this one on your TBR!😄📚❤

Frank Morelli and I did an interview and you can find it here. I used one of his answers to tell you a little about him.

ABOUT:

I’m from the Philadelphia area originally, but now I live just outside of Greensboro, NC with my best friend/partner in crime/chief critic, Alexandra, and our crazy gang of cats and dogs. We don’t have any children, but we’re passionate about rescuing animals, so the second we bought a house with a big, wooded backyard we adopted lots of pets. At the moment, we have two doggies (Stan and Brooklyn) and two cats (Jackie and Henry Aaron). Both of us are massive baseball fans, so we named our buddies after some of our favorite players and baseball towns. We spend the vast majority of our time reading, writing, editing, and cooking.

https://frankmorelliwrites.com/about/

*~Celebrating 900 Followers!!!~*

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I am so flippin’ excited that earlier I received notification that I have over 900 followers and I am over the moon!

When I first started Touch My Spine Book Reviews under 6 months ago, I had no idea what I was doing! I didn’t know how to write a review for a blog and I was scared to be myself because if fear of rejection. So just really didn’t mess with the whole blogging shenanigans and then last year’s eclipse wanted me to rant and I said “screw it, I’m just going to be myself!” I posted this post: https://touchmyspinebookreviews.com/2017/08/21/2017-eclipse-in-moncks-corner-south-carolina/

After posting this post and my first time really stepping out there I got great feedback! What really helped was that Kim @ By Hook or By Book reblogged my post and she helped me gain the confidence that I needed to just be me!

I never thought that in under 6 months that Touch My Spine Book Reviews would go over 900 followers yet alone people look at my stuff! Last month I received 9,200+ views! Woot, Woot!!!

I have so many amazing friends and followers now! I just love them all! To name just a few because there are so many more, I want to thank Kim, Michel, Fraggle, Pete and Carrie! You guys are my top commenters! I am so glad I interact with you awesome people, daily with your loyal commenting! I also want to thank Sophie, Adrienne, Didi, Shalini, Shannanigans, Trang & Lashaan for all their support throughout these months of opening up to The World of Blog. There are so many more awesome people that follow me and want to name you all but it would take all day to write all your names so I am just going to say thank you to you all and you guys are the BEST! Now some more celebrating with Dani-style happy dances!💖💛💙💚

P.S. I am a bit sad that I don’t have time to list all of your names and sorry if I didn’t mention you or someone feels left out! I love you all so much!