Armchair BEA, Giveaways

Giveaway Winners

No – I didn’t forget all you guys. Life just got in the way and I hadn’t turned on the computer in a few days.

So, picked out the winners. ANNNNND stupid me forgot to include a place on the form for you email address. SO, I have no way of contacting any of the winners 😦 I *hope hope hope* they’re followers and will see this post come through and will contact me ASAP – tara (at) talesofabookaddict (dot) com.

So, the winners are:

Lauren Guilbeau

Tina Kohrman

Shelly Hammond

Carrie Rundhaug

Lauren was the first winner chosen, so she will get first choice of the books and I will go down the list from there. If I don’t here back from any of these winners within 24 hours, I will move everyone up a spot (meaning Tina would be first winner and so on) and choose another.

Thanks everyone for participating and sorry for the inconvenience to the winners.

Armchair BEA

Armchair BEA 2013: Keeping It Real


Design credit: Sarah of Puss Reboots

Well, I’m a day late on this post. I apologize, but yesterday was crazy insane – it was our son’s first birthday party (I will write a post about that later!). We got home relatively early, but I just didn’t have the energy to even turn the computer on.

So .. keeping it real, fresh and fun? Talk about something that I struggle with all the time.

I’m not exactly creative. I always struggled in college when I would have to write a paper that I had to come up with the topic for. It was always a challenge for me to try to think of something “new” – I actually found that it’s almost impossible.

So how do I keep my content on the blog fresh? I’m not going to lie … it’s hard!

I strive to have at least 1 book review to post a week. Sometimes this happens, most of the time it doesn’t 🙂 I also like to have one new recipe to share with my readers each week. Once again, sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t!

I try to participate in numerous memes throughout the week. I love Mailbox Mondays (and very rarely don’t have anything to share for this one! HAHA!). I also enjoy First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesdays.  Top Ten Tuesdays are fun too. There are all kinds of different memes out there if you look for them … they help you create a schedule of sorts. This can be very helpful when it comes to making sure you have fresh content every week. For example, if you know you have a Mailbox Monday post and a First Chapter, First Paragraph post you’ve already got two post ideas for the week. That leaves Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for other stuff – reviews, recipes, etc.

It’s easy to post five days a week, it’s just a matter of taking the time to sit down and PLAN, PLAN, PLAN it all out 🙂

Now if only I would take my own advice …..

Armchair BEA

Armchair BEA 2013: Ethics


Design credit: Sarah of Puss Reboots

Welcome once again, Armchair BEA’ers! I sure do hope that the week has been treating you as well as it has me!

I had trouble deciding whether or not I would focus on ethics or non-fiction. In the end I figured ethics would be a better route for me to take. Not necessarily because I don’t read or like non-fiction, because I do, it’s just that I haven’t read enough non-fiction lately to really feel comfortable discussing it.

So. Ethics.

Where to start? Let me start with a story.

Way back when (not that long ago, though), I was a freshman in college taking English 201. It wasn’t a hard class, but my teacher was a little on the tough side. We were assigned a research paper. I have no idea what my topic was but I remember very clearly spending a lot of time on it and being very proud of my work. I turned it in and was confident that it was an A or B caliber paper. Then I got an email from my instructor asking me to come to his office hours to discuss my paper. I was a little nervous because he didn’t give me any indication as to what was wrong, but I figured it couldn’t be too bad. Boy was I in complete and utter shock when he announced that my paper verged on total plagiarism and that he was up in the air as to whether or not he should bring it to the attention of the administration. I was horrified. All I could think of was that this man was going to completely ruin my college career in my second semester! For whatever reason, he took pity on me and let me go back and revise my paper and properly cite everything. Needless to say I over-cited everything after that day. Every single time I wrote a paper I would have footnotes that would be like three pages long! But I was definitely not wanting to have that experience ever again.

So what does that have to do with our discussion about ethics? Well, everything.

I don’t remember if it was last year or the year before, but I kept hearing a lot of buzz around some bloggers that there was a plagiarist amongst us. I never found out who the alleged culprit was, I never really cared all that much. But I know it was a she and she was bashed big time. If she still blogs I can’t imagine how she would have any readers left considering the word-of-mouth that got around.

So it’s very important that as bloggers we do not plagiarise! Most bloggers are okay with you branching off something that they’ve already done before, but you must, must, must either run it by them before you do it, or say something like “such-and-such blogger posted this here <insert the link to the original post> and it made me start to think about it and here’s my opinion”. It’s not hard to do. But it’s something that needs to be handled with care.

Here’s another example that I know of. My college had a chancellor who came in and did a lot of good things for our school. But it was also a lot of expensive changes that were met with some resistance. Everything was going good until come to find out that he had pretty much plagiarized his entire plan. The catch? He plagiarized himself! Yes, you read that right. He had implemented changes at the school he was chancellor at before our school. Then he came to our school and intended to do the same exact thing. But apparently he just took the report that he prepared at the first school and changed some names around and submitted it to our school. It was a slippery slope. It was all his original ideas, after all. But they were original ideas that he had implemented elsewhere and it just looked plain bad. I mean, could the guy not come up with something else? Or at least prepare a brand new report?

So as you can see from that example, plagiarism is not always cut and dry.

Personally I try to only glance at reviews for books that I know I am going to have to review for authors/publicists/blog tours, etc. I do this so that when I sit down to write my own review I know that there hasn’t been any outside influences. It’s all coming from my head. Sure I might still come up with some of the same praise or complaints, but it’s going to be worded in my own way.

But I think that the best advice I can give is something that I really lived by when I was in college: it’s always better to over-cite than under-cite.

Armchair BEA

Armchair BEA 2013: Giveaway


Design credit: Sarah of Puss Reboots

Good morning, friends!

I’ve really been enjoying Armchair BEA! I’ve “met” a lot of great bloggers that I never knew existed! So awesome! So today I am participating in the giveaway part of all this bookish goodness!

I have decided that I would give away 5 books. The way this will work is you will sign up through the Google form below. Your spot on the spreadsheet it generates will be your number that I will then use on to chose the winners. There will be a total of 4 winners for this giveaway … the person whose number comes up first on will be winner #1 and so on for the other 3 winners. Winner #1 will be given the first choice and will choose two books. Winners #2 and #3 will have their selection from the list with winner #4 getting the remaining book. I hope that makes sense … I’m not sure I worded that appropriately. If you have any  questions at all, do not hesitate to ask me.

So … what are the books you’re signing up for? Here goes:

Untold Damage A Case of Redemption The Last Victim Deadly Harvest 20130331-102247.jpg

Okay, so Untold Damage is an ARC that I have read once, A Case of Redemption is an ARC that I have read once, The Last Victim is brand new mass market paperback that I have an extra copy of, Deadly Harvest is an ARC that I have read once, Evidence of Life is a finished copy that I have read once. I have not read The Last Victim, but all of the others in this giveaway were highly enjoyable reads in my opinion.

Fine print: Open to US residents only. (Sorry to my international readers). Signups will close at 10pm central time on 6/1. The winners will be contacted by email for their selections shortly thereafter and will be announced on the blog 6/2 in my wrap-up post. As always, your contact information will be kept confidential and will be deleted as soon as the winners have responded with their choices.

Armchair BEA

Armchair BEA 2013: Blogger development


Design credit: Sarah of Puss Reboots

Hello fellow Armchair BEA’ers! Today I will be discussing blogger development.

First I need to say that I’m not necessarily a “big” blogger … I don’t have a million followers. I don’t have book after book arriving in my mailbox (well, not review books anyway!). I don’t write posts that garner hundreds of comments.

But you know what, that’s all okay with me. I like how I have developed within the book blog world. I like the “spot” that I have carved out for myself.


When I started blogging in 2008 I had no idea where I really wanted to take things. But I saw how some of the “big” bloggers were doing things and I knew that I wanted to be just like them. Oh how my feelings have changed over the years as I have seen blogger after blogger burn out. Especially since I have been on the edge of burnout myself more than a time or two 🙂

For those of you who were blogging back in 2008, you may remember J.Kaye. Well she put out a note that she would pass along your info to her publisher contacts since she was stepping away from things. I took advantage of that, and she is how I got my foot in the door as far as cultivating relationships with publishers/publicists/authors.

So I guess you could really say that word of mouth is huge, huge, huge within our community. Without J.Kaye’s help it would have taken me a lot longer to really start getting on people’s radars.

Last year I took the plunge and bought my domain. Best. Decision. Ever. Seriously, if you have the funds I highly recommend doing this. I think all total it was like $32 (but that is a yearly fee). I took the easy route and stuck with, but I was able to become “” And I felt so much better, I felt like one of the “big” bloggers. Silly, I know. But I really enjoy it.

There are still a lot of things that I could be doing to develop myself more. I don’t have a blog Facebook page. I’m not as active as I should be … considering this is my first time participating in Armchair BEA, I’ve only done Bloggiesta once, I’ve never done the read-a-thon, oh and I definitely don’t comment nearly enough. I’m just now starting to come out of my shell more and converse with other bloggers on Twitter.

If you ever really want a good laugh at yourself, go back and look at a few of your first reviews and/or posts. I guarantee you will die of embarrassment. At least I do. Sometimes I really wish I could make some of the things I said go away (like the time I ripped an author for not liking his book … only to have him stop by and comment … oops!) You live and learn. You grow. You develop. It takes a lot of time to do so.

I always think of blogging as a side thing. There have been a lot of times when I have seriously considered hanging things up. Just giving it all up. Heck, no one in my real life other than my husband even knows that this blog even exists. It’s not something that I have ever shared with anyone else.  But then I realize that  I have some loyal readers that  take the time out of their day to post a comment on my blog – something that makes all of the work, hassle, time and effort completely 100% worth it.

Sometimes I wish I had done things differently. Since you can’t undo the past, all you can do is continue developing. And that’s what I’m working on right now. My loyal followers know that this blog has become more than just a book blog. I occasionally write personal posts. I like to share recipes with my readers. My life consists of more than just books and I want this blog to reflect that … which I hope it does.

Armchair BEA

Armchair BEA 2013: Introductions


Design credit: Sarah of Puss Reboots

Hello, hello! I’m super excited to participate in Armchair BEA this year! For whatever reason I have never participated in this and decided that this was the year to jump right in 🙂

So on this kick-off day we are supposed to post our introductions. Here are the five questions that I’m choosing to answer:

  1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
    • My name is Tara. I’m 27 years old. My husband and I have one son, Garrett, who will be celebrating his first (!) birthday this week on the 30th.
    • I have been blogging since January 1, 2008. Sometime in late 2007 I stumbled across some various reading groups on Yahoo. Through those I found the book blog world. I guess I just decided why not? My blog was born on 1/1/08 on Blogger. Sometime in December of 2008 I made the switch to WordPress.
  2. Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures.
    • I am blogging from Paducah, Kentucky. We are originally from Harrisburg, Illinois, but have been living in Paducah (which is about 1 hour from “home”) since April of 2008 when my husband took a job with the city.
    • Paducah’s claim to fame is that we are the Quilt Capital of the World. No joke. Every April people swarm our area for a quilt show that is put on downtown. It’s a nightmare for those of us who live here, but it brings a lot of money to our town.
  3. Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event?
    • This is my first time participating in Armchair BEA!
    • My online presence is a lot like my real-life presence – I’m shy, quiet and I keep to myself a lot. In other words I don’t comment nearly as much as I should and I tend to not participate in events like these.
    • I figured it was time to participate in this. I remember seeing everyone’s posts last year and really regretted not joining in last year so I figured this year would be the year to hop in!
  4. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013?
  5. Name your favorite blog(s) and explain why they are your favorite(s).
    • In no particular order:
      • Trish at Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity  – Trish has managed to really break the book blog mold, she does so much more than just books and she does it so effortlessly it seems. I’m always anxious to see what she will post next!
      • Wendy at Musings of a Bookish Kitty –  I’ve “known” Wendy through a Yahoo group for a while. She is a go-to for book reviews for me – I’m always finding new goodies from her blog! Highly recommend checking her blog out if you have the chance. Plus I’ve enjoyed watching her Mouse grow on Facebook and her blog 🙂
      • Sam at Booked on a Feeling – Sam has been a follower of mine for a few years now and I really always enjoy what she posts. She writes some good reviews, we read just about the same type of books and I really enjoy her blog.
      • Jackie at Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories – I’ve “known” Jackie for a few years now. I always enjoy having her stop by my blog and comment and I love to read her blog – even though I don’t comment nearly enough, I hope she knows I read regularly 🙂
      • Stacy at Stacy’s Books – I stumbled across Stacy a year or so ago and really enjoyed her Sunday’s with Gage series that she sadly retired this year (which is understandable – it had to be a ton of work! But what a wonderful record she has now!) She’s also got some great reviews and her weekly quizzes are always fun!!