For What It's Worth

Friday, January 19, 2018

the friday 5

I had meant to do a series of posts for my 8 year blogging anniversary but ended up taking the whole month off – which is soooo me, I will always do the opposite of what I decide to do if I make a plan. lol

I’m going to do it as a series of Friday 5 posts instead. I’m kicking it off with the 5 things I wish I new before I started blogging. I have a few topics in mind but feel free to offer suggestions.


1. HOW TIME CONSUMING BLOGGING IS: Blogging takes up so much time. SO. MUCH. TIME. Between reading, reviewing, FORMATTING (the bane of every bloggers existence), cross posting reviews, responding to emails, answering comments, visiting and commenting on other blogs, social media & a million little things you never thought you would be doing – like finding the PERFECT graphic or font. Even if you don't do all of that - just basic reading and reviewing/commenting can become a full time job. Easily.

Blogging really is hard to keep up with long term and sometimes life gets in the way or your mood/tastes change. Go easy on yourself and understand that almost all of us struggle at some point.

2. I WISH I KNEW PEOPLE WOULD READ MY BLOG: This sounds like a dumb one, but I honestly, never in a million years, thought anyone would even find my blog – never mind interact with me or care what I have to say.

This wasn’t even supposed to be a book blog when I started. It was more like…Hey, I went to the movies today and saw___, I heard this cool song on the radio this morning, or I read a book and it was good. lol

This is not a bad thing, of course! I’m thrilled that my little old blog was successful and has lasted this long – but I was totally stunned to that anyone would read it. I think I would have planned things  a little better - or like - had a plan at all - had I known this was going to become a long term thing. Viewed by actual people. Or maybe been paralyzed by fear and not started a blog at all.

Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

3. I WOULD HAVE COORDINATED MY BLOG AND SOCIAL MEDIA BETTER: Kind of related to number 2, but since I didn’t think anyone would read my blog, I signed up my blog on one email – quickly realized I needed an official blog email and created a different one, used @teamsheltie as my social media handle instead of the blog name, but used my real name or blog name on other things. It’s sort of a hot mess lol

I'm intensely shy and I had never intended to use my real name. I planned on doing all of this anonymously. Again, thinking no one would read it and never imagining that I would actually meet or be friends with any of you in real life!

The first few years I went to BEA, I would meet other bloggers and they would ask where I blogged. I would tell them For What It’s Worth and…blank stare. Then they would look at my badge that had my Twitter name on there and be like “OH TEAMSHELTIE! I know your dogs! I love them and I do read your blog!” I learned that my pets are way better ambassador's for my blog than I am. lol

Yes, I could fix some of it now but honestly, it kind of works for me at this point.

4. THAT I CAN’T READ OR LOVE ALL THE BOOKS: This was a real shocker for me. I read fast and can easily read up to 200 books per year and before blogging, I loved almost every single book I read – regardless of genre.

Once I started getting review requests, I accepted them all. Yay! Authors like me and are giving me books! Book cons – FREE ARC’s! OMG, are you serious??!!! Grabs all the ARC’s.

If you blog – then you know what happened next. I was completely overwhelmed by review books. I didn’t love them all and I didn’t have time to go back to my own books that I would have enjoyed. I didn't want to read at all.

This is probably the hardest lesson any new blogger will learn. Don’t say yes to everything! Don’t grab every book at a book con. I guarantee, for 99.999999% of you, you will not read or love most of those books.

Just the act of blogging will ruin your love of books. Once you turn on that reviewer gene – you can almost never read a book in the same way again. Even if you read a book for fun, some part of you will be mentally cataloging flaws or things it does well.

4. I WISH I HAD A BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF HTML/CODING/SEO: You absolutely can have a blog without knowing code but it will be limiting if you do anything other than straight up text. Oh the nightmares of weird spacing/font changes/uneven picture alignment. *stabby blogger*

I was lucky. My husband does know some coding and worked night shift back in my early days. I would be practically crying at home and he would work his magic and have my post ready to go in the morning. But I could have saved myself a lot of headaches if I took a beginner’s class or read a book. At least now, there are literally hundreds of helpful posts out there.

I still don’t get SEO. I’ve read articles. I understand what it is and how it can help my blog – but incorporating it? It’s gobblygoop (as my dad used to say) to me. I need someone to stand next to me and do it so I can see lol

I could probably be here forever with this, which is why I tried limiting it to five - but please, jump in with the things you wish you knew before you started blogging…

*Related: My friend Amber has a fun post up called Thoughts Every Blogger Has

Thursday, January 18, 2018

review: the glamour thieves (blue unicorn #1) by don allmon

36134723Book one in the Blue Unicorn series

JT is an orc on the way up. He’s got his own boutique robotics shop, high-end clientele, and deep-pocketed investors. He’s even mentoring an orc teen who reminds him a bit too much of himself back in the day.

Then Austin shows up, and the elf’s got the same hard body and silver tongue as he did two years ago when they used to be friends and might have been more. He’s also got a stolen car to bribe JT to saying yes to one last scheme: stealing the virtual intelligence called Blue Unicorn.

Soon JT’s up to his tusks in trouble, and it ain’t just zombies and Chinese triads threatening to tear his new life apart. Austin wants a second chance with JT — this time as more than just a friend—and even the Blue Unicorn is trying to play matchmaker. ~  Goodreads

Source: Purchased

Recommended by: Kristen – Metaphors and Moonlight

Review: The Glamour Thieves was a pretty wild ride of a book. It was all sex and adrenaline/testosterone fueled adventures with orcs, elves, necromancers, wizards, virtual reality, unicorns and a fennec fox thrown in for good measure.

I struggled to get into it at first. The characters – JT, an orc trying to leave his life of crime behind, and Austin, an elf, that just can’t let go of his sister's death or his memories of JT, are flawed and just come barreling right at you – no apologies. Then throw in the sci-fi/cyber punk/fantasy elements and it was a touch difficult to get a handle on everything but once I made it through the first few chapters and settled in, I enjoyed the ride.

This book is weird. Like I said, it throws a lot of elements at you all at once.

JT and Austin have a complicated past but are forced to work together to save a mutual friend, Buzz, from really bad dudes who want something he stole from them.  JT and Buzz get a little closer than Austin can handle and it’s just a hot mess of angst, jealousy and longing while trying to survive constantly getting shot at, betrayed or chased by zombies.

There's a love triangle-ish vibe but it’s not one IMO. JT and Austin aren’t together (even if that's what Austin wants) but their bittersweet interactions had my heart melting because - despite letting themselves be controlled by their fears – there’s a lot of love there. It’s just going to take time. Buzz is sweet guy and a nice distraction for JT for now. 

Having just explained all that, this isn’t really a romance book at all (honestly, it’s more raunchy than romantic). This story is more about cool tech, virtual reality, revenge and magic leading to an off the wall adventure with a rag tag group of anti-heroes.

There was some awkward phrasing that had me re-reading certain passages but it's hard to say if it was a question of editing or that's just the authors voice. Either way, it's something that grew on me.

If you can handle a not quite romantic romance, world building that’s more of a tease than fully formed - but quite cool! and rough around the edges dialogue then give The Glamour Thieves a try. It’s fun and inventive and the guys really struck an emotional chord with me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

tell me something tuesday

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Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Topic: What books or series that are languishing in your TBR pile are you finally going to give a try this year?


Ummm….ALL OF THEM! lol

As I’ve said, repeatedly, my plan is to read and whittle down my physical TBR pile this year but I do a have a few books that are at the top of that list.


Crooked Kingdom: I read and loved Six of Crows – thought I might die during the one year wait to read Crooked Kingdom – ordered the purty boxed set and everything. I started reading it and…didn’t like it so I set it aside. I couldn’t bare to end this series on a bad note so I’m avoiding it. I did start reading it at a tough time. My dog was sick and ultimately had to be put to sleep so yeah – not in the mood for deep reading. So either way – even of I cave and DNF it – this comes off the shelf in 2018.

Queen of Blood: I really enjoy Durst’s writing and even though I don’t love fantasy, I think I’m in the mood for this. ~ Goodreads

End of Days trilogy: I have book #1 on my Kindle and I started it, got distracted, and never got back to it. That would clear 3 books off the TBR and a series done! ~ Goodreads

Certain Dark Things: This one kind of pisses me off lol I actually donated to the kickstarter for this book. It got picked up by a publisher and I received the HC as a reward. I REALLY wanted to read it! I hear it’s really good! Somehow I keep reading other things before it. If I only read one book from this pile this year I want it to be this one. ~ Goodreads

Dreams of Gods and Monsters: Another book that I bought on release day and never read and the final book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. I loved the first book, thought the second was a tad confusing and heard mixed things about this one so I’ve been hesitant to read it. I’ll probably start it and if I’m struggling – let it go. ~ Goodreads


And I Darken: I got this book on sale a while ago and it’s another one that I want to read but it just slips my mind. ~ Goodreads

What long neglected book are you planning on reading this year?