We have reviewer Ollie here today! Ollie has been here for quite sometime so I am sure most of you have read quite a few of her reviews.
First off please tell the readers a bit about yourself, please.
Well lets see where to start. I'm a mom with two kids, one just starting university and the another one is in elementary. I have been married to my husband for 25 years and to tell you the truth it doesn't feel that long. It feels like yesterday that we started dating, so far so good. I have a a B.Sc. (Honours) in Psychology/Sociology and a M.A. in Counselling Psychology where I put it into good use working in the mental health care field for over 16 years in various different positions from administration, research, teaching at various organizations to having my own own private practice as a psychotherapist and being a intake counsellor.
I am also one of the co-founders of TrueBloodNet.com where I was the Editor/Administrator and a regular contributor to the news and editorial pages. I have to say that I had many wonderful experiences in my life. From helping people at times in their lives when they felt lost and giving them hope as a therapist to interviewing the actors from HBO's True Blood who were all so amazingly warm, funny and down-to-earth that it reinforced to me that even when people get up there on the ladder of success that many still remain humble. I also want to include the many wonderful authors I have become acquainted with who regardless of their hectic schedule still take the time to talk and respond to their readers. Thanks to all of you for enriching my life. Life is full of so many wonderful experiences, ready and waiting for us to grasp and savour.
Besides reading what do you like to do in your spare time?
Hmmm, that is a hard question because after working all day, helping my kids out and chauffeuring them where they need to go and taking care of the household (including my husband) I can't wait to sit down and read my books. However, if I still have some spare time I enjoy listening to music, surfing the internet, doing Pilates and martial arts and if possible squeezing in some time to buy some spikey shoes/boots (Steve Madden has some great stuff). :)
What the hardest thing to do when it comes to reviewing a book?
I think for me the hardest part is putting every that I am thinking and feeling in a coherent manner so readers will understand what I'm trying to say. I have all these jumbled thoughts and feelings about the book so I have to write them down point form and then try to put them in sentences that make sense. LOL you would think it would be easy but sometimes it is not.
What is the biggest thing you look for when you review a book?
I want a book where the characters develop a strong emotional attachment to each other and I, in turn, develop a strong emotional attachment to them. I want an author to write them with so much depth that they feel real so when they feel pain I feel pain, when they are happy my heart swells with happiness for their joy. That is what I look for in a book, a story that touches my heart and soul.
What are some of your favorite authors?
Oh there are so many wonderful authors out there and I keep on discovering new ones all the time. There are a few that are auto buys for me because their stories always make me forget everything else (don't know if that is good or bad). :)
Erotic contemporary romance: Kallypso Masters, Lora Leigh, Lexi Blake and Melissa Schroeder
PNR: Jeaniene Frost, Gena Showalter, Tina Folsom, Laurie London, Dianne Duvall, Eve Langlais, Felicity Heaton, Stacey Kennedy and Terri Garey
Fantasy romance: Adonis Devereux, Karyn Gerrard, Leanore Elliott and Christine d'Abo
Now there is one author I really want to read that I always hear great things about and it is Cherise Sinclair. Yes, I know where have I been in a cave, but don't worry I plan on reading her series as soon as I can.
Questions from Bitten’s Facebook users
Venus Batista- I would ask with so many titles available to them, what is the determining factor in choosing which to read next? :) Always my problem
There are 3 things that personally catches my eyes about a book, from the thousands out there, to put it on my TBR pile which are the genre, the blurb and the book cover (yes I am a book cover hussy). :). Now that it has caught my eye (whether from seeing it reviewed on a blog to seeing it on Goodreads) I check it out further on Goodreads to see if it will fulfill the purpose I want in a book which is to escape from reality and become completely engrossed by it.
Debra Smith- What things separate your favorite authors from the ones that are just "okay"?
For me it is escaping in the book and becoming completely engrossed by it. Not only do I see the scenes play out but I feel I am right there in the story, standing on the side, hearing, seeing, smelling, touching and tasting the world that the author has me lost in. Many times I get so engrossed in a good book that I can hear the character's voice and how they would sound, the pitch, the tone, the accent! My favorite authors have the ability to make their books 1000% times better then watching a movie when one of their books is well written. It causes everything else to fall away and all I see is the scene before me.
Dominique Eastwick -When you review what constituted a 5, 4, 3, etc. in your eyes.
For me a book gets a 5 rating if I become so lost in the characters' story and plight that I forget everything around me and I ache when I am torn away from my book. During those times that I can't read (because I'm at work or something) I find myself preoccupied wondering about the characters, the events that are occurring in the story, pondering what is going to happen next and just basically getting antsy until I can start reading where I left off. Oh yeah I get it bad when the book is that good. :)
A 4 rating is very close to a 5 but the distinguishing factor for me is that I am able to break away from the book without feeling those aches of withdrawal and I'm not left pondering.
A 3 rating means I like the book, but I could put it down and do other things and whenever I had a chance to get back to reading I would continue on just out of curiosity to know how the story will end.
A 2 rating means that I really had to force myself to read it because it didn't really have any depth to the characters or the storyline. I would place the book down and it may take me hours or a day or two to get back to reading it.
A 1 rating means that the book was a complete mess. There would be several factors involved to get a 1 rating including: shallow character development where I can't stand them and I cannot develop an attachment to them, inconceivable storyline that seem unbelievable, inconsistencies in the plot or timeline and just in general has no sustenance.
J.v. Altharas- What's your length preference? (giggity) How short is too short, how long is too long?
Hmmm now we are talking about books right? LOL! Well I will stick to it referring to books and my answer to that is it does not matter. If it is well planned out and full of all the stuff that I like then it doesn't matter how long or short it is as long as it satisfies me, leaves me content and in the end has me begging for more. Ummm we were still talking about books, right? ;)