Trying Something New

Hey there. Still with me? Sweet.

As is the premise of this blog, about two months ago, I got serious about writing my first book. I created time frames for completing certain tasks/steps in the process, I wrote outlines, I began reading books about writing (instead of observing my normal ‘just wing it and see what happens’ method), and I began seeking the community of readers and writers, particularly readers and writers within the genre I wish to write, male/male romance. And in doing this, I joined several Facebook groups related both to reading and enjoying these types of books, as well as a few pertaining to the writing and promoting of these types of books.

One of the groups I joined is for the limited distribution of free ARCs (advanced reader copies of books, mostly in e-book form these days) in exchange for reviews on various platforms, mostly Goodreads and Amazon. And until two weeks ago, I just lurked, never volunteering to actually read and review anything. The pressure of that seemed a bit much for me. Reading something within a certain amount of time and promising to rate/review it? What if I couldn’t make the deadline? Worse, what if I didn’t like what I read?

But then, two weeks ago, I managed to meet my 2017 Goodreads goal of 25 books. With just under 3 months left in the year, I’ve not only met my goal for the year, I’ve read more in just over 8 months than I have in the past 2 years. And I have no intention of slowing down or stopping. I can’t. Between honing my writing, researching for the particulars in my book, and just plain enjoying the genre I now call ‘home’, I really can’t stop. I actually think the ‘fabled’ 50 books in a year may finally become a reality for me.

With my writing ahead of schedule and still going so well, and with my original 2017 reading goal already accomplished, I decided to take the plunge and try something new. One ARC offer appeared in my Facebook feed that day (that I remember). Satisfied with my interest level after reading the synopsis, I PM’d the author with my interest.

Now, I’m only required to post a rating/review on Amazon and Goodreads, but I figured since this book is the same genre as mine will be, and since I’d really like to help other authors (and put some good karma out there), here is my review.

Dirty Mind by Roe Horvat– I absolutely loved this book and I am so happy that it was my first ARC experience. Alex and Chris’ dynamic reminded me of Derek and Maxim from Strong Enough by Melanie Harlow and David Romanov. But the issue in Dirty Mind wasn’t self-inflicted homophobia, but rather, a twelve-year age difference between the main characters. Alex is 33 while Chris is 21. Normally, that would be a bit much for me. But since both characters are of age, I decided to go ahead. And I am very glad I did. This is one of those books that made me clutch my Kindle to my chest several times while reading it like the big sappy girl I am. By the end, my only regret was that the ARC was free. For the amount of enjoyment I got out of it, that didn’t seem fair. So I bought the author’s other e-book, The Layover, to make up for it (review to come if I enjoy it as much as I did this book).

Since I’ve enjoyed this so much – and I’ve proven to my anxious self that I can do it – I want to make this a regular thing in my reading life. Don’t get me wrong, I will still read already-established authors and mainstream works. But I value being one of the first to read an author’s work and provide some of the ratings/reviews crucial to a book’s success. I’m thinking maybe once or twice a month, I’ll see what’s being offered through the ARC group and try to make this a regular habit.

Yay for being brave and trying new things!

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