Sunday Post #199

October 9, 2016 Sunday Post 50

sunday post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
Itโ€™s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

What happened this week?

This was pretty busy! I managed to do quite some hours author assistant work and got four new sign-up posts live. I am doing my first audiobook tour, a blitz and cover reveal for a contemporary romance book and a review opportunity for a science fiction romance book that I just did a cover reveal for. I ended up with a headache on Thursday. Probably also due to the not sleeping too well, there’s some construction going on in another apartment and some days they start drilling early in the morning, disrupting our sleep. Let’s hope they are finished soon.

I’ve fallen behind on comments on my blog quite a bit and I realize it’s stressing me out, so my plan is to get caught up soon so I have a chance of staying up to date again. This might mean I don’t get to comment back on some blogs and I apologize for that, but I will reply to all the comments at least.

There has been an amazon policy change and I’ve been seeing posts about it on social media the whole week. I just wish there was some clarity about what the new disclaimer in reviews should be. What I understand so far is that publishers, authors etc can still provide reviewers with copies, but they can’t require a review just ask for one. And as reviewers the phrase “I got a review copy in exchange for an honest review” might not be right anymore. So far all my reviews still seem to be on amazon. For now I think I’ll just go with stating that I got a free copy of the book. I also have to see how if I have to reword things when it comes to my review opportunities. For now I just added a line to my tour hosts page to clarify reviews aren’t required.

Oh and did you see the new graphic about becoming a tour host in the sidebar? Michelle from Limabean Designs made it for me. I am slowly getting some graphics made with some promotional messages for Lola’s Blog Tours so I can use them in my sidebar and on social media. I love the ones she made so far and she’s always so patient with me.

Blog Ahead
Yay it’s time for blog ahead again! I always love this challenge. I started Blog Ahead with 23 posts scheduled. I am hoping to end with that many at least and hopefully add a few more. We’ll see.

Posts I’ve written this week that count for Blog Ahead: 2
– Lola’s Ramblings: What do you like to see in author newsletters? – 1 December 2016
– Review: How the Ghost Was Won by Erin Hayes – 2 November 2016

The Ramblings posts was thanks to a sudden bout of inspiration and I had to write it. The review was one I had already drafted and was waiting to hear when the release day was and the cover was on goodreads so I could schedule it. I have some ideas for other posts, but this week was so busy I didn’t got around to writing any other posts.

Picture of the Week

Grabn-Crunch
Sometimes our grocery store send out an e-mail about a free product we can get. I usually try them out, we had some hits and misses so far. But it’s fun to try out a new product for free this way. This latest one was definitely a hit. They call it Grab n’Crunch, it’s basically cruesli but then in an easy small portion package. You can eat it without milk and yogurt like just that and it tastes pretty good. It tastes similar as their normal sized packages though, so it’s probably cheaper to just buy that. But I think making small portion sizes like this is a good marketing wise decision as this format is nice for a snack. I might actually buy this in the future now and then as it’s easy to take with you and it’s both filling and yummy.

What did I read this week?

Damned if I Don'tMurder at the Mansion

I managed to read two books this week. Damned if I Don’t was quite the dark read. It’s about vampires and a vampire hunter and the vampire hunter is in love with a vampire and lots of bad things that happen. Murder at the Mansion was a good cozy mystery, but not as good as book 1. My current reads are good ones so far.

What did I cook for dinner this week?

  • Sunday: leftover Wraps with veggies in chili sauce and veggie nuggets
  • Monday: Curry Rice
  • Tuesday: Curry Rice
  • Wednesday: Pasta with scrambled egg, peas and corn
  • Banana Bread
  • Thursday: leftover Pasta with scrambled egg, peas and corn
  • Friday: french bread with soup
  • Saturday: Indian Cauliflower Mash with wraps

This week I blogged about:

Lola’s Advice: How to Run a Giveaway
Review: I am not Afraid of Wolves by Erin Hayes
Review: His To Protect by Karen Rock
My To-Be Read List #26: the winner

What to expect next week on the blog:

– Review: Ratatouille
– Review: Jared by Alisa Woods
– Lola’s Ramblings: My favorite 5 game genres
– Lola’s Kitchen: Cake with Cinnamon swirls Recipe

Tours open for sign-up on Lola’s Blog Tours:

Review Opportunities:
Secret Baby Scandal by Joanne Rock
Micah by Lee DuCote
Across Borders by Lee Ducote
Don’t Call Me Kit Kat by K.J. Farnham
Before I Shatter by Mandy Peterson
Name of Ra by Kelsey Ketch
Single Chicas by Sandra C Lopez
Here Comes the Witch by Ani Gonzalez
Newborn by Edward HoorneartNew!
Check the full list of open review opportunities here.

Cover Reveals:
Happily Ever Alpha – 15 October
Amanda Lester and the Red Spider Rumpus by Paula Berinstein – 18 October
Playboy Assistant by Roe Valentine – 19 October – New!

Tours:
Blog Tour: The Best Part of Me by Jamie Hollins – 10 till 23 October
Book Blitz: Saven Box Set by Siobhan Davis – 11 till 18 October
Book Blitz: Audiobook Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy by Paula Berinstein – 24 till 30 October – New!
Book Blitz: Playboy Assistant by Roe Valentine – 1 till 7 November – New!

Book Haul:

A Cotswold ChristmasOff KilterMasking for TroubleThe Illusory Prophet

I had a great haul this week, some new e-copies and two paperbacks. A Cotswold Christmas looked like a cute and fun Christmas book and that cover is so cute. I saw it on netgalley, hit request and got accept. Off Kilter sounded like a fun one with sheep and Scottish highlands. I had it on my wishlist on the bookdepository and got an e-mail about a steep discount and then my boyfriend bought it for me. I really enjoyed the first Costume Shop mystery book and had this one pre-order for a long time now, I am looking forward to reading it! I got The Illusory Prophet for review and am really excited about this one as I love Susan Kaye Quinn her books and this series has been good so far, so U am excited to finally have book 3 and hope to read it soon. And how pretty is that cover?

Freebies I grabbed:

I got the following freebies this week (they were free when I got them): Whatever it Takes (Paranormal), Banana Coconut Murder (Cozy Mystery) and The Arrangements Box Set (cozy mystery).

50 Responses to “Sunday Post #199”

  1. Sophia Rose

    Yes, it does sound like you were busy. Your Cruesli sounds like what we call granola and I do love to munch on it, too. Neat that you got it free.

    You’re tour partner button looks great. That reminds me that I wanted to take a look at your review opportunities.

    I thought the vagueness about the Amazon book review declaration was confusing, too. I like how you decided to word it. I have a feeling it’s just the first of changes that will happen as Amazon makes these types of decisions.

    Oh neat that your boyfriend bought you a book off your wish list. Hope his mouth is feeling better. Sorry that you had a headache from the construction noise next door.
    Looks like you got some good ones between your haul and your freebies. Cotswold Christmas does look cute and I’m glad you got the new Susan Kaye Quinn because you love those.

    Have a good week, Lola!
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Counterpoint by Rachel Haimowitz, Narrated by Craig Beck #AudioReviewMy Profile

    • Lola

      I totally didn’t realize cruesli wasn’t a word they used in the US. It’s like these bigger chunks of sugary and crunchy muesli, it’s quite good. I guess you could compare it a bit with granola.

      It seems you got the chance to look at the review opportunities as you signed-up for one :). Did you like the way they are organized by cover now? I recently changed it and I hope this is easier for the reviewers.
      I am really glad with the button and it’s nice to have a picture to add to social media as well.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more changes to come. Amazon always seems to be changing things up.

      I was really happy he bought the book for me. He’s doing better, he still takes some painkillers each day, but much less than first.

      It was a good haul this week with the paperbacks, the freebies and the two new review books. I am waiting to receive a beta read and will probably read the Susan Kaye Quinn book afterwards.

  2. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    Hahahaha we both said almost the same exact things today about the policy change. I’m also wondering what it is that we’re suppose to put in our disclaimers now. Amazon really ought to be more clear about things like that if they’re going to make changes. Some people think we just shouldn’t put the disclosure at all, I’m wondering if we should just say the book was free and leave it at that or if we should specifically state that the review is voluntary? But I also saw something about how if you break the rules regarding promotional stuff, you won’t be allowed to try and repost that specific review, so I don’t want to go experimenting and get it wrong and screw over an author who gave me a book I really do want to help promote :-/

    Oh! I requested Damned If I Do and Damned If I Don’t when I saw it offered on a website! I remembered your review and decided to give it a chance, but I haven’t heard back yet if I’m going to get the books or not.

    Ok so… I still don’t know what the Grab N Crunch is because I don’t know what cruesli is lol.

    The Illusory Prophet does have a pretty cover!

    Sorry about the lack of sleep and the headache :-/ but it does sound like you were at least productive. Have a great week this week!
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…The Weekly Update: 10/9/16My Profile

    • Lola

      Lol that we said almost the same thing about the policy change. It’s always a pain when they change things and there are so much rumors and posts going around. I think I’ll just say I got the book for free. So far none of my reviews have been removed due to this as far as I can see, but I’ll keep an eye on things. But for now I just think I’ll leave it like this and use a new disclaimer for new reviews. I mean I have almost 300 reviews on amazon and a big part of those is review books, it would be a pain to change them all.

      I hope you get the books, else you might try contacting the author directly? I think you will enjoy this series and it would be fun to actually have read the same book for a change ;).

      Wikipedia told me cruesli is a crunchy sweetened variation of muesli. It’s such a concept over here, I didn’t even realize others would know what it was, sorry! They are quite big pieces and often there is pieces of fruit or chocolate added. Normally you eat cruesli with yogurt and milk as breakfast, but this grab n crunch thing is more as a snack.

      The whole series has pretty covers, I really like how the artsy side and the futuristic side combine here.

      It was a good and productive week, but it was a bit annoying to wake up due to the drilling some mornings, I was able to sleep through it a bit luckily.

      • Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

        So far my reviews are still there. I edited an old one and changed the disclosure to “I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has in no way influenced my review,” and it took the edit, so I think that’s a good sign. Haven’t posted any new reviews for review copies yet though.

        Oh, you’re right, if I don’t get the books from the tour company, I’ll contact the author. I actually did that a few times since asking about it on my blog, and it’s gone great for me. And in this case, she actually is offering review copies, so even better lol. You just have me really wanting to try those books!

        I also don’t know what muesli is, hahahaha. I don’t know if it’s not an American thing or just not a me thing? I looked it up though lol so that you don’t have to keep trying to explain.
        Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Book Review: Something Wicked by Carol OatesMy Profile

        • Lola

          I posted a new review with the new wording today and it went through well. I haven’t lost any review so far either. Definitely a good sign!

          I really hope you get to read them as I think you will enjoy them and we so rarely read the same books, so it will be interesting to have read the same book for a change. I hope you get the books from the tour company or else from the author.

          You don’t have muesli either? Breakfast cereal then ;)? Glad to hear you googled it and now know what it is.

  3. chucklesthescot

    I wish Amazon would stop messing bloggers about over their reviews. This is why I now refuse to review books on Amazon when I get given review copies from authors. It’s not worth the personal hassle. I only review non book items though if I ever get time I might do a few for books I purchased myself from the site. For books I only rely on Goodreads reviews anyway and so do most of my friends. Have a good reading week!
    chucklesthescot recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #150My Profile

    • Lola

      Same here, it would be nice if they made one policy and stick with it, instead of constantly changing things. I still post reviews on amazon, but I do wish they are clearer when they change things. I personally only use goodreads as well to read reviews, but I know others might look at amazon.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #199My Profile

  4. Michelle @Because Reading

    I realized the other day that I don’t add that line to my reviews, only at the top of my review on the blog but it doesn’t carry over to amazon or goodreads. However I tend to stay away from Amazon lately unless someone asks me to post there. I just can’t deal with all the BS and rules they have against reviews. They have so many fakes ones and they seem to always pick on the books.

    Sorry you are not sleeping well, I hate when they have construction on our street, they always start so early in the mornings. Even the guy next door mows his lawn earlier than any human should be away on a Saturday.

    My job is to be patient and you are always awesome to work with. I like when people know exactly what they want, it makes my job easier! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a great week, Lola! Happy Reading! ox
    Michelle @Because Reading recently posted…Hair Cut, Anniversary and a fight~ WIR & TSPMy Profile

    • Lola

      I can see why people stay away, but I know how much posting reviews on amazon helps authors, especially with the way amazon alogarithms work. So I figure I just post my reviews there and if they remove them it’s a shame, but at least I tried. So far though it seems they haven’t removed any of my reviews. I just wish they would be a bit clearer about their policy changes sometimes.

      It’s ridiculous that they always start to early with construction and the weird thing is that they start on nine o’clock , but then at noon they usually stop with loud noises. Why can’t they do that in the afternoons.

      Well I am glad you’re always so patient, I feel like I am always asking you to change a little thing here and there. I always feel like you as a designer are able to visualize nicely what I want in a graphic even when I feel my descriptions might be a bit vague.

  5. Greg

    I hate construction when it starts early morning and keeps you up. I had that once and it drove me nuts. Sounded like jackhammers next door! The Amazon thing is tough, because it seems like there’s not nearly enough guidance. So everyone’s guessing. Kinda sucks.

    Grab and Crunch looks kinda good!

    I find sometimes the discussion posts that I like the best are the ones where it just came to me and I hurry and type it out. So I get that! Looking forward to your game genre post. And Off Kilter looks like something I’d like.
    Greg recently posted…Sunday Post #163My Profile

    • Lola

      It was annoying that they made loud noises early in the morning and then once I was awake they would stop.

      I just wish they would be clear about it and have a bit more guidance, than there would be less rumors and guessing.

      Yes sometimes those spontaneous discussion posts are the best. I suddenly had inspiration for that one and just started writing. I hope you’ll like the game genre post! And I am really curious about Off Kilter, love the cover with the sheep on it.

  6. Lampshade Reader

    Hi Lola, Here is what Amazon has said: “Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.”

    I’ve started saying “I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.”

    Your book haul looks good! I can’t wait to read more Christmas themed stories ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you have a great week! ~Aleen
    Lampshade Reader recently posted…Sunday Post #4: I’m in ARC Heaven…Sort OfMy Profile

    • Lola

      Yes that what I heard as well, but I still think the requiring a review thing is a bit vague. I mean it’s not like authors ever could force anyone to review even though it is the unspoken rule that if you read the book you review it. I probably just go with something along those lines for my disclaimer now.
      I think this is my first Christmas themed story of the year, I am really curious about it ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Berls

    I love the new button! Michelle always does a great job ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you had a productive week – that always feels good. I’ve given up on being up to date with comments. I try to reply and I’m definitely doing better but I had to stop stressing about the number of unanswered comments I had. Good luck catching up, but don’t feel bad if you can’t. I’ve learned that people are very understanding ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hadn’t heard about the Amazon change. I don’t post many reviews anymore – pretty much only if I’m reviewing for an indie author without many reviews. I stopped because I got tired of the comments I would get from people who either loved or hated the book I was reviewing. But all the changes Amazon is constantly making to their policies didn’t hurt my decision to stop worrying about reviews so much!

    Have a great week ๐Ÿ™‚
    Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | The best job on the planetMy Profile

    • Lola

      Yes Michelle always does an awesome job on the graphics :). I always enjoy seeing what she comes up with for the graphics and my tour banners as well.

      It was pretty bad this time with me being a whole week behind on comments. I am trying to catch-up today as I know that when i am up to date I can stay close to that, but once you fall behind it’s so difficult to catch up again. I do agree that people are very understanding.

      I never got many comments on amazon reviews, I once got someone who didn’t get why I didn’t gave a book 5 star, but besides that I only get some helpful votes now and then and that’s it. I mostly review indie books, so I just made it a habit to review on amazon as well. But I wish they would stop changing their rules every so often.

    • Lola

      I feel behind and once you are behind it’s so easy to stay there. I am working on the last few comments now, so it seems I made my goal of getting caught up again, now let’s hope I can stay up to date!

  8. Lillian @ Mom with a Reading Problem

    Sounds like a very busy week! Love the new logo ๐Ÿ˜€ Michelle does an awesome job. Good luck catching up on comments. I’ve been there and I finally just said I couldn’t respond to all of them. I’m trying to be better going forward though. Don’t feel bad if you can’t though. It’s completely understandable ๐Ÿ˜€

    The amazon policy has driven me insane this week. So many people seem to be taking it out of context. I’m glad you made the point that authors are still allowed to provide a book. Some think that isn’t allowed either and I’ve even seen a few author say just not to disclose that you received a copy. That’s so dishonest!! I’ve always used this phrase as my disclosure: “I received an eARC of this book from (source) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.” I think I’m just going to leave out the in exchange part and keep the rest. None of my reviews have been removed so far, though I have had reviews removed in the past citing that I knew the author. Amazon put those back up after I argued and changed the wording on one of my sentences. Hopefully there aren’t problems in our future.

    Hope you have a great week and enjoy your new books ๐Ÿ˜€
    Lillian @ Mom with a Reading Problem recently posted…Sunday Post #96 – Out of Pixie DustMy Profile

    • Lola

      I now have three of these promo graphics, so I can vary what’s in the sidebar. Michelle really does an awesome job with designs :). I already visit so few blogs, so I try at least to reply and comment back. I managed to get caught up today, so I hope I can keep it that way :).

      Yes there is so much talk about it and I feel also some misunderstanding, it also doesn’t help amazon isn’t too clear about things. I think removing the exchange word from the disclosure would work already. not sure if it’s true but I heard the word exchange isn’t allowed anymore. I just keep an eye on things and hope they won’t remove any of my reviews.

    • Lola

      10 posts is great already! I hope I can write a few more this week. It really is nice to have some posts written for when the holidays get here.

    • Lola

      I read a cozy mystery set in that region and thought it sounded like a fun Christmas book. I think this is the first christmassy read I got this year.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #199My Profile

    • Lola

      I just wish they would stick with one set of rules or at least make it clear what people have to say in their review snow. Glad to hear you enjoyed Masking for Trouble! I hope to read it soon.

  9. Kathy

    You had another busy week and you are doing really good on the blog ahead. I love the host graphic Michelle made for you. She designed some for my blog and I love them. I heard about the Amazon policy and it sounds similar to what I heard a couple years ago. I only mention if I received an ARC on Goodreads or my blog. I hope you have a great week!
    Kathy recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up #106My Profile

    • Lola

      I am glad with the posts that I have written already for Blog Ahead, it’s a great challenge. Michelle really does an awesome job with graphics.

  10. sjhigbee

    Hope the building work next door is over soon. Our new neighbours had quite a lot of work done when they first moved in and it was surprising just how intrusive the noise was, even though they were considerate when they started. You’ve certainly been busy this week – the Amazon thing is a pain, isn’t it? The paranoid part of me is guessing that Amazon-published authors may not find this such an issue… Hope your sleep improves and the headache clears up, very soon.
    sjhigbee recently posted…While the Morning Stars SingMy Profile

    • Lola

      I think they were working for a bit again today, but not as long luckily. I think it’s a house in the row next to us a level below us, but the noise carries well.

      The headache is gone already, luckily they only stay around for 24 hours usually. The Amazon thing is a bit of a pain, I just don’t get why they keep changing things and then aren’t clear about everything.

    • Lola

      I am almost getting used to the noise and try to sleep through it most mornings, but it still is a bit of annoyance to wake up from the sound. Let’s hope it doesn’t take too long.
      Lola recently posted…Review: RatatouilleMy Profile

  11. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    Glad you are getting lots done, and don’t worry about commenting back to people. Just start over right now and I think you’re good to go! Sometimes we get behind and it’s harder to go back and comment on those and then do all the current ones. Sorry about the construction near you. Hopefully that ends soon so you can sleep better.
    Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance recently posted…Wonder Woman…Queer?!My Profile

    • Lola

      I managed to get caught up yesterday, I did a lot of commenting yesterday, I only had a few where I couldn’t comment back. It sure takes a lot of time to catch up once you fall behind.

  12. S. J. Pajonas

    Oh man, I bet I’d love that Cruesli! Although that’s kinda a weird name in English. Lol. The review stuff stressed me out a little last week. Not that I was worried about my reviews going away but that I would advise people the wrong way on what to do. Sigh. I hope that I’vs set things right otherwise.
    S. J. Pajonas recently posted…Sunday Update โ€“ October 9, 2016My Profile

    • Lola

      I am accidentally showing my non native-ness again ;). A few other people also pointed out cruesli isn’t a word in english. It’s slightly larger sweetened and crunchy chunks of muesli, it’s quite comment here.

      I feel like there was confusion on both sides about the review thing. As authors on what to advise reviewers to do and on reviewers their side on what to mention in their reviews. I also was wondering what to do with my tour company, although I usually was quite loose with the review thing. I still felt I had to clarify things now. I hope this is the last of the changes.
      Lola recently posted…Review: RatatouilleMy Profile

  13. Bookworm Brandee

    It sounds like you had a pretty great week overall, Lola. That’s wonderful. Hopefully the construction will end soon so your sleep won’t be disrupted. ๐Ÿ™‚ You had a nice reading week as well and I’m curious about Damned If I Don’t.
    I know what you mean about getting behind in commenting back – I stay perpetually behind it seems but I’m working at doing better because it is a stressor.
    I hope your week is off to a great start! <3
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…#OctobeRecFest Review ~ Becoming a Jett Girl ~ Meghan Quinn (@AuthorMegQuinn)My Profile

    • Lola

      I think the construction is still going on, but not as loud or long anymore or at least I didn’t hear as much of it these past two mornings. Then again I am a bit sick so I might just have slept more deeply because of that.

      Damned if I Don’t was a good one and it ended in a big cliffhanger, so now I am hoping the third and last book will be out soon.

      I usually do well with keeping up, but I had fallen behind and it was stressing me out to see all the unanswered comments in my e-mail all the time. I managed to get caught up this weekend and I’ll do my best to stay there now :). I appreciate everyone’s comments, so I find it important to reply and comment and back.

    • Lola

      Basically authors can’t require a review or influence it anymore, but it’s a bit vague what exactly that means. I just keep posting my reviews there and see what happens, I used the new wording on a review yesterday and it posted.

  14. Lorna

    Sorry I am so behind as I have had two eye surgeries in the last two weeks and couldn’t read very well. Last one was yesterday and since I am doing well I am trying to visit blogs. I’ve not heard of that Singularity series but I love that cover. And I am listening to Jace now after you recommended the rest of that series to me. Don’t you love it when they deep discount a book you have been wanting? Glad your boyfriend was so nice to buy it for you! Anyway, I hope you have a good rest of the week!
    Lorna recently posted…Review: Night Betrayed by Joss Ware (@Mollykatie112, @colleengleason, @avonbooks)My Profile

    • Lola

      I hope your surgeries went well! I just started reading The Illusory Prophet. It’s a great series so far.
      I hope you’re enjoying Jace! And yes deep discounts like that are the best, always makes me feel happy if I manage to catch one of those.

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