Becoming A Bilingual Book Blogger

English. French. German. Spanish.

 

The languages I speak fluently. I guess this can be blamed on the fact that I live here, in Germany. How I would love to blame this on ( what I lovingly nicknamed to be ) the “European curse”. Everything´s so multicultural here that it´s impossible to speak just one language. It´s not the curse, though. I´m a cultural mutt who happens to have a knack for speaking languages.

“You should become a translator!”, they said when I first started applying for jobs. Back then, I couldn´t have thought of anything more boring than translating. Now, I kind of regret not having gone that route. To be able to speak four languages does have its perks. It comes in handy when going on vacation, watching TV shows in OT, etc. But with perks also come downfalls: Out of the four languages, I´ve only mastered the art of writing in two. English ( which is my native language ) and Spanish. German and French? Not so much, if at all. So, that´s my personal burden. This explains why I only blog in English – Why I only read English written books.

Just recently, I started to dabble into German romances. Never, not even in my wildest dreams, did I believe I´d pick up a romance written by a German romance author. I mean, why would I? The language is hard enough as it is to speak. Reading a German romance novel would take me months, or so I thought.

Since I´ve been spending lots of time in bookstores lately ( gotta support your local bookstore ) I´ve been noticing lots of new romance releases by German authors squished in between translated novels by American writers. Which is great for German readers. It´s nice to see the niche branching out over here and not just in the U.S and U.K.

 

German romance writers are stepping up their game.

 

It was only a matter of time before I´d stop before one of the German romance titles. One thing I´ve noticed was:  German romance novels definitely know how to grab someone´s attention with their covers. Bright colors and great contrasts with fun elements ( glitter, metallics, prints ). Personally, I feel like the Germans have visual book marketing down to a T. You can´t walk past a beautiful book cover (s).

I began to think. What if I started to read a German romance novel? But then a little voice inside my head reminded me that I´d only be reading a German book, not reading & reviewing it. Because I´m a total disaster when it comes to writing anything in German. The book blogger in me wants to review everything I read, though. It´s become a second nature for me to give feedback. How weird would it feel to only read and not review, especially for a new release?

So, I asked my husband. He´s German. He´d be able to help me with my feedback, right? “I think I want to write reviews in German.”, I started. The look on his face said more than he did. “Please, don´t.”, was his reply. I couldn´t help but laugh at his horrified expression. “I´m serious. I think it wouldn´t hurt to try. Maybe you can spell-check my reviews before I upload them.” 

After a short, panicked discussion ( hubby was panicking, not me ) he agreed to help me out. We agreed on one German book review per month. That´s more than acceptable for me. If I´m honest, I don´t think I´d be capable of doing more.

So, that´s it. The start of a new chapter in my book blogging career. A new challenge. I can officially call myself a bilingual book blogger now. Even if the majority of my book reviews will be in English, I´ll have one German review each month to offer.

Do I have any doubts about my new blog feature? Kind of, yes. I´m normally a confident person. I´m nowhere near confident when I even think about writing in a different language, though. Maybe what I´m feeling isn´t self-doubt. Maybe it´s just a weird sense of excitement for the unknown. Something like being nervous in a positive way. Who knows what´ll happen. I might end up filing for a divorce after the first review. Perhaps I´ll slay the German review thing. Whatever will happen, I´ll be prepared.

 


 

What about you? Do you speak more than one language? If so, which ones do you speak? Do you blog in a different language? Let´s chat. ❤


 

Thank you so much for reading this blog post. I hope you enjoyed.

Share the book love,

Morgana

 

The Book Blog Changes

So it begins…

 

I´ve had a good few weeks to prepare for this moment. Many hours of brainstorming were invested into this pimp-my-book-blog project. Now, I think I´m happy with the end results.

Thanks to the harsh critique I received from close friends regarding my blog ( which can be read in my It´s Time For A Book Blog Change blog post ) I was able to see why I was not feeling my online baby. Even if I didn´t like most of the critique that was thrown at me I still understood each point and decided to sit down and think about my blog´s future.

As much as I appreciated the feedback… not everything I was advised to change truly needed a makeover. Which made this somehow a more difficult project than it would´ve been if I were to start from scratch.

Here´s a quick rundown on what the professionals thought needed improvement:

  • everything ( including my blog name ) except my blog content

What a way to kill a book blogger´s mood. So, I began thinking about my blog structure. Since I won´t be changing my blog name I figured I could rethink my setup. The features I currently have are:

Monday:  Mug Monday

Tuesday:  Book Reviews

Wednesday: Discussion Topics

Thursday: Simply Book Covers

Friday: Random

This isn´t a popular book blog schedule as many of the most used themes done by other book bloggers aren´t included ( and probably never will be, but more on that in a future post )

I think uploading five times a week is a lot so I´ve decided to remove a few days. This not only gives me more room for spontaneous posts but also allows more time for research ( should I need to do my homework on certain topics ). Without further ado, my new upload dates will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The goal here is not to become overwhelmed by my hobby and to not spam the hell out of everyone.

Good to know is that whatever I deem worthy of uploading on my blog- There will always be a book involved just to keep the connection with the book blog. This means there won´t ever be a post that doesn´t show or at least mention a book.

So without any delay… The new uploading days ( with their touched up features/themes ) will be:

Monday – Mug Feature with either a book-related topic and/or hot beverage & book talk, and/or mentionable stand-out line from a book.

Wednesday – Book reviews. This day will be dedicated to standalone reviews, collective reviews and DNF´d reads. Also, I´ll include a review in a foreign language once a month.

Friday – Book Discussions & Book Findings.

I know. This doesn´t seem like anything ground-breaking. But as I said… This is a touch-up. A rearrangement that fits my schedule a little better. I can preschedule posts better and spread these out more. This, in turn, also gives me more time.

Of course, there will be uploading exceptions every now and again in the future. I´m planning on doing some more Bookstagram recreations and even including book blogger interviews before each major holiday.

Another critique point was the Bitmoji images I´ve been including, with the addition of my self-made graphics. * takes deep breaths * I was told they´re shit. As in shittier than shit. If you want to see me curl up in the fetus position and watch me cry my eyes out just tell me the hours I spent creating banners have been for nothing. Okay. Critique noted. This is why I contacted a photographer friend of mine to help me out a little.

Let´s all bid the Bitmoji´s and self-made banners a farewell and welcome creative book photography ( not the Instagram kind ). I´ll admit that this is the weirdest change for me because these new images that are supposed to represent my book blog will have my face on them. Not every picture but a few for sure. I figured that not many book bloggers like to expose themselves this way so I might as well stand out. If my book blog is going to be judged for its appearance then I might as well expose the face behind it all and have that judged, too.

Now for the blog appearance. I was told that white is the way to go. Simple layouts that offer easy readability. Nothing too flashy. Nothing too dark. Personally, I don´t think I can get things to be simpler than they already are on my blog. So, my layout will remain. The white will stay. The only thing I´ll do is rearrange the menu and clean up the sidebar.

My greatest goal for my “new” book blog is to be as transparent as possible. Aside from spilling a little bookish Tea, I´d love for my book blog posts to help others.

With all this having been said- I think I´m good to go for now. I´m liking the changes I´ve made so far ( they all look fab on paper ). I´m excited to see how they´ll be received. Should all go downhill for whatever reason I can still go back to the same old, right?

Here´s to changes!

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. I hope you enjoyed. Get in touch!

Warm book blogger hugs,

Morgana

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Book Blogger Quit Book Blogging

 

The other week,  my ex-co-book blog-bestie contacted me on Messenger with this:

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” The fun times.”  she texted after sending me a poorly self-made banner we once used for our Facebook page. The fun times, indeed.

For those who don´t know- This isn´t my first Book Blog. I used to share one with 2 of my book besties years ago. Different interests were the reasons for us going our separate ways. To this day we´re still close as we were back during our glorious active book blogging years.

 

After her text, I called her ( to my shame – without considering the 9 hour time difference ). Because you don´t just send a random picture for no good reason, right? It´s been years since we´ve book blogged together and we don´t often talk about our first online baby. We did this time, though.

We talked about the fun times.

 

“We winged the crap out of everything,” she said.

 

How true. We didn´t have the slightest clue what we were doing but we made the most of it. We had a great laugh, as you´d have when going down memory lane. Then the laughter died down. We entered the phase of awkward silence. Then THE question was asked.

“So, how´s the blog doing?” Bah. How to answer that without killing the mood?

“It´s different,” I answered truthfully. “Things aren´t the way they used to be.”

It surprised me when she agreed. It surprised me, even more, when she announced she was quitting her book blog. When I asked her why she simply said:

 

“The community has become too vicious for my taste.” 

 

A sad statement coming from someone who´s so full of book blogging goodness. This woman is more than capable of running a successful blog. She has it down when it comes to mingling with the book crowd. Out of all three of us, she was everyone´s darling. Authors adored her. Our followers loved her. For her to call it quits is heartbreaking. But, I understood. After she unleashed the tsunami of other reasons upon me I couldn´t blame her for wanting to quit.

 

“Reviews seem to be worthless,” she said.  Sometimes they feel that way, yes.

“I´m doubting my posts.”   Oh, I can sing a song about that.

“I´m making my husband read my posts, to see if he thinks they´re offensive before I upload them. “    Uhm, okay. I´m not that at that stage yet.

“Book bloggers aren´t what they used to be.”  * nod *

“The hate is unreasonable.”  * choke, cough * Unreasonable is a nice word.

 

All this boiled down to one thing: Things have changed. It has yet to be revealed whether this is actually the case or if we´ve simply overstayed our welcome in the book community. The bottom line is- A book blogger is quitting for alarming reasons.

 

I´ll admit- Just like my book bestie, I doubt my posts. I don´t doubt my ability to create content. I doubt the way my posts will be perceived. But I´m not at that stage where I won´t want to upload my posts, yet. Who knows,… If I have to create more graphic notes I might decide to hang my blog on the nail.  My bestie never doubted her content. Not once did she say anything about not being sure about blog posts. She´s not the type. But then again, neither am I, and here I am… doubting things. This is understandable.

 

As for reviews feeling like a waste of time: I see her point. Reviews are pretty much the same as they´ve always been, though. It´s the lack of response to the reviews that´s changed. And this makes reviews seem worthless. Personally, I´m not too worried about feedback for reviews because a review will always be read at some point. Somewhere down the line someone will need an opinion and will stumble upon yours.

 

I had to laugh when the bestie said she´s been forcing her husband to read her posts. Even if the reason itself is sad, it´s such a comical moment picturing her husband´s face. I´ve never asked my husband to check my posts but I can understand why the bestie asked hers. She´s afraid of discriminating a bookish group/an author/anyone. It´s easy to step on people´s feet in 2019. All it takes is a misunderstanding. We´ve trained ourselves to care too much of what people think that it´s influencing our personalities and messing with our minds. We have to remind ourselves that it´s not our fault if someone doesn´t agree with us. 

Pissing someone off ( even for the stupidest reason ) can cause a hurtful online backlash. We don´t want to start a war over our opinions, thoughts, or ideas.

 

“I`m tired of having to defend my posts.”

 

As for the unreasonable hate… * sigh * Yeah, I´ve seen content being attacked for no good reason. Hell, I´ve seen these attacks become personal. Never would I´ve thought the bestie would be subjected to this behavior and crumble underneath it.

 

“At first I didn´t react. Ain´t gonna waste my time with people who don´t understand what they read. But when the hate added up I wasn´t able to sit here and let it happen. Who the fuck are these people and why do they have internet access?”

 

Oh, ain´t that the truth. I had an easy answer to her question- People who´re living in a state of constant frustration. I imagine these people being those cringe-worthy folks you see on Youtube in one of those public freak out compilations * shudders *.  Angry, yelling, at a loss for reasonable words, lacking the ability to be civilized over stupid shit.

 

I cannot begin to tell you how gutted I feel that a wonderful person felt the need to quit her passion because of a few special members of the book community.. Because of the unnecessary building negative feedback, my ex-co-blogger bestie deleted her book blog.

 

“The community has become too vicious for my taste.” 

 

In what universe is this okay? If anyone feels the need to quit then it should be because of not being able to invest enough time or other things.

I´m more than pissed that people claim to be passionate readers but can´t seem to read and understand a blog post.

 

Our phone call lasted an hour. The bestie felt liberated and I was ready to open up a bottle of wine.

Here´s a sad fact: I´ve seen quite a few fellow book blogger friends quit in the last few months because of the same reasons.

 


So, there ya have it. Another book blogger resigned. How sad to see someone leave.

 


 

I´m pretty sure this post will have some people´s panties in knots so I´m not going ask questions on what all your thoughts are. I´ve already been accused of being the reason why book bloggers are quitting. “It´s because of people like you…” Not into another round of that. This post wasn´t about me. It´s about a close friend of mine ( who happens to be my ex-co-blog bestie ) quitting her book blog because of the actions from fellow book bloggers. If you´d like to add something useful in the comments below then I´d be more than happy to get back with you.


 

Thank you for reading this slightly depressing blog post.

XO´s

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Book Reviews: MacCarrick Brothers Trilogy – Kresley Cole

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A friend of mine urged me back in 2009 to check out what she referred to as “Wolfy Scot sex on Vampire fire”. A book with the title `A Hunger Like No Other´ by an author I hadn´t known- Kresley Cole. After having read a few books from the captivating  Immortal After Dark Series  ( and liking what I was reading from the author ) I was stuck with waiting for the story to continue. That´s when I noticed the author had more than just Vampires, Valkyries and Lykaes to offer. Kresley Cole also wrote Historical Romances? Highlander Historical Romances? Move out of my way!

The deal was sealed. I purchased the MacCarrick Brothers Trilogy, To be honest- I didn´t know what to expect when I ordered these books. All I hoped for was to receive the same captivating reading experience I had with her paranormal books.

Now, I´m able to say that these HR treasures are on my sacred golden bookshelf. They´re exactly what I crave for when it comes to reading. Great Heroes, lovable Heroines ( except for the first one. Didn´t care much for her ) and exciting stories. * sigh *

 


 

If You Dare  ( book #1 ) – Kresley Cole

 

If you 1

We meet Courtland, the first of the three fierce and cursed Scottish brothers, who´s a mercenary. He lands on the wrong side of the fight and ends up beaten by a river where he´s rescued by a beautiful hot-tempered woman named Annalia. From there on their journey is passion-filled and adventurous.

If you´ve read books from the author you know things won´t roll smooth for her characters. And her stories are most definitely not half-assed.  `If You Dare´ was an okay read, though. I loved the writing and the story but the Heroine was a buzz-kill. At times I wished the Hero would kill her by accident. That didn´t happen, though. Nonetheless- An exciting Highlander read with so many steamy scenes that I feared my glasses would fog up on their own. Although I enjoyed the story I will say that I thought book # 1 was the weakest of the trilogy.

 

hearts 3

 


 

If You Dare  ( #2 ) – Kresley Cole

 

If you 2

 

Meet Huge MacCarrick, second cursed brother of the MacCarrick lot. And because of this family curse, Hugh decides to forget his ultimate crush and leaves home, ultimately becoming an assassin. Years later he´s back and has a job to do- to protect the woman who stole his heart before he left home. From there on we accompany both on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

I loved this book so much. I loved how frustrating these characters were. Hugh, the reluctant, superstitious Highlander killer and the elegant English lass, Jane, with her sharp mind and quick mouth. They were explosive as a couple and miserable on their own. ` If You Desire ´ by Kresley Cole is one of those exciting and intense Historical Romances that makes a reader beg for more.

 

hearts 5

 


 

If You Deceive  ( #3 ) – Kresley Cole

 

If you 3

 

Hands down- This one was my favorite. It´s, in fact, my favorite HR from all HR I own. If You Deceive,  introduces the oldest and deadliest of all three cursed MacCarrick brothers. For me, Ethan is the ultimate Hero. Ruthless, dangerous, dark and such an asshole who´s gradually brought to his knees by a beautiful and clever young Madeleine. This is the type of story I could never get tired of. Lots of deceit, a few heartaches, and the glorious heroic ending. * sigh * I´m a lost cause when it comes to this book. Know that whatever I say will never do this story justice. My favorite from the trilogy.

 

hearts 5

 


 

The MacCarrick Brothers Trilogy by Kresley Cole is available on Amazon.com

If You Dare  ( book #1 )

If You Desire  ( book #2 )

If You Deceive   ( book #3 )

 

 

 

Do You Tag Authors In Negative Reviews?

This post is dedicated to everyone in the book community.

A huge shout out goes to Drew@The Tattooed Book Geek for inspiring me with his post. If you haven´t already be sure to check his thoughts on the subject out right here.

Unfortunately, this to-tag-or-not-to-tag-authors issue has been around for some time now. It pops up on social media and vanishes just as quick as it came. It´s no secret that many authors hate being tagged in review posts on social media. Why? Well, because it´s hurtful. It´s mean. It´s degrading and humiliating. How dare someone put an author on the spot like that.

 

 

That´s what people say. On a few occasions, I´ve seen some authors post something like this on their social media.

“It´s not nice to be tagged in a negative post. Please don´t tag me. It´s rude.”

 

And even some book bloggers will join in and offer their two cents into the mix.

 

„This is NOT okay. Do NOT be cruel by tagging authors in negative reviews.“

 

And I agree to some degree. I agree that you shouldn´t be a hurtful asshat then go off and rub it under an author´s nose. That´s about it, though.

Personally, I don´t see myself siding with the people who believe negativity is harmful. Because I´m the type of person who thinks negativity is necessary. Even if it´s a tag in a post that leads to a negative review. So, to answer the question above:

Yes, I tag authors in negative review posts. And if I´m honest, I don´t really lose a night´s sleep over it, either. I´m okay with sharing my opinions, positive and negative alike, and tagging the people who wrote the books I reviewed online because that´s what I do. That´s my purpose as a book blogger. I´m confident about my work and know that nothing I upload is harmful. Maybe thought-provoking but never harmful. Some book bloggers don´t write negative reviews at all, which is also okay. But I do and I can totally live with myself.

 

Now, before anyone who´s already disagreeing with me or thinking of accusing me of being mean, rude or tactless… Please hear me out because this isn´t meant to be rude or insensitive. This is just my take on the problem. Thank you in advance.

 

After having given this topic lots of thought I´ve come to less than pleasant conclusions as to what the real issues are.

 

#1   Tags are just tags. I think tags can be compared to flies. All´s good until one of those suckers manages to get inside your house and ends up bugging the shit out of you at night when you want to sleep. But, it´s just a fly, you know? That itsy bitsy little flying insect can be dealt with. Well, it´s the same with tags. The negative ones are annoying as well when they appear. Fortunately, tags can be dealt with. Unfortunately, some authors feel the need to lash out on social media. All because of a tag. I admit- this is interesting to see but I can´t help to feel uncomfortable. Why react when you could just deal with it? There´s always time to complain after having tried to iron out the problem.

 

#2   Some authors are spoiled. I know, it sounds so awful but if you think about it, it does make sense. From what I´ve seen, some of the authors who´ve complained about being tagged in negative review posts have been carried on a silver platter for so long by book bloggers they´ve forgotten that negative opinions exist. The end result is: They´ll throw an online tantrum via social media posts and complain about how rude it is to tag their name to a negative post.

 

#3   Some authors are picky. So, it´s okay to tag them in a positive review post but not a negative one. Because that´s what their complain posts say: “Do not tag me in a negative review post. That´s rude.”  Or, am I missing something here? They´ll share/retweet a positive review post but will complain about a negative one. They´re basically rewarding good behavior online and protesting against an opinion they don´t approve of. If authors want feedback, they´ll get feedback. 

 

#4  Negative reviews aren´t always truly negative. I´m sure many can agree with me on this one. There´s a huge difference between wanting to share an opinion and being a cold-hearted bitch on a mission. What helps here is just taking some time off to find out why there was negativity in the first place. If someone has said that the book wasn´t their cup of tea or that they weren´t able to bond with the characters then that can´t be classified as negativity and should be accepted without further ado. Didn´t like what I offered? I´m sorry you feel that way. I hope you´ll find time to check out my other works. I´m sure I have a book you´d like.

 

#5   Authors aren´t the only beings wanting attention. Shocking, I know. It´s hard to believe anyone else wants to make a name for themselves. This point is so damn obvious that it hurts to think about it. There are reasons why a book blogger will tag an author in a negative post.

  1. They want the attention
  2. They want the author to see the review

I can´t fault a book blogger for wanting attention. They have goals just as any author does. What can also come across as a little shocking is: Some book bloggers aren´t working their blogs for authors. They´re doing it for themselves and their followers who rely on their opinions. When they tag an author in a negative review post they´re saying:

“Just dropping by to let you know I read your book. I ended up not liking it.”  And then they move on, allowing an author to check their review out. When this happens they don´t think about an author´s feelings just as an author won´t think about theirs. Is that terrible? I don´t think it is.

 

#6   Feelings. Some authors will not hold back and share their feelings. “Just stop and think about how this makes me feel.”   * nod *  * shaking head * Without wanting to sound like a complete bitch- Book bloggers should be mindful at all times? Book bloggers need to be considerate AND careful not to put a dent in a book´s reputation? This is asking for the impossible. Look, this whole thing is basically an exchange. Author publishes a book and book blogger/reviewer leaves a review.  Not every book blogger can puke rainbows for everyone. Many reviewers aren´t interested in walking on eggshells. 

 

#7   It´s about the book, not the author. This point can be tied with #4. Some authors fail to recognize that they´re selling a product. If someone doesn´t like the product they´re going to complain to the manufacturer. In most cases, that´s exactly what a book blogger is doing- letting the author know what they thought via social media tag.  But authors take this personally because the books they´ve written are often considered to be their “babies”.

 

So, what´s the real problem here? Is it the review, the reviewer/book blogger or the tag? Or perhaps it´s an author?

 

The core of this evil is a combination of all four. Without the reviewer, there wouldn´t be a negative review and without both and social media there wouldn´t be a tag. And without some authors, there wouldn´t be complaints. Sounds like we could all be living wonderfully quiet lives, huh?

 

After having been a part of the book universe for so long I´ve learned that whatever you do, things won´t ever play out the way you want them to. You, as a book blogger, will always be judged. Your blog will always be judged. Your opinions and posts will be judged. You can be as fake or as genuine as you like- your critique ( no matter how mild or diplomatic ) will not be accepted.  The same applies to authors: No matter what you write about there will always be people who´ll have strong opinions. You can´t keep away the hate. You can´t avoid a tag. You can´t prevent tags in negative review posts from happening. A post about it will not convince someone to stop.

 

Of course- all this is worthless when an author comes across a bitch on a mission. The book bloggers who are hateful and personal should rethink their blog philosophy and work on their social skills. Just as sensitive/stubborn authors who´re constantly offended by everything that´s not a praise should.

 

This is a community. We´re in it for a reason. We need each other to exist. Book bloggers depend on books to read and review and authors need readers and reviews. As annoying as negative tags are for authors, there not worth the fuss. Because in the end- It´s a tag.

So you see, there´s no win/win situation here.  * sigh *

The key is to be civilized. If we can´t act in a civilized manner then we need to step away and breathe.

 

On a friendly note: As stated above- None of this is meant to hurt someone. I´m not pointing fingers at anyone in particular. I´m only sharing my observations. I´m positive many will disagree with me on this subject and some will actually agree.

On an even friendlier note: Remember- It´s okay. If you´re a book blogger who does or doesn´t share negative reviews on social media then you´re okay. You´re not going against any rules because there aren´t any. It´s also okay to tag authors in positive and negative review posts, as long as you´re being civilized, no harm is done. Always keep in mind that just because someone doesn´t approve doesn´t mean you´re doing something wrong. Tag authors. Give them feedback. Let them know you exist.

 


 

I´m afraid to ask: What about you? Do you care enough about this topic to chat about it? Do you tag authors in negative review posts? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. 

 


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed. And if you didn´t then that´s okay.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Take care,

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