Carnivalesque: Your First Fictional Crush

Today our Carnivalesque: Travelling Blog Show exploits take us to Hayley E. Lavik’s blog were we’re confessing to our first fictional crushes. Not only that, but we’re also confessing to what that says about us. Should be interesting, so come join Hayley E. Lavik, Jana Richards, Joanne Brothwell, and Janet Corcoran.

I’ll give you a hint. One of my first fictional crushes had super fantastic wheels. I liked his ride almost as much as I liked him. It was the ’70’s and my favorite boy crush band was the Bay City Rollers.


We’d love to have to stop by and confess to your own crushes! You can also follow along on Twitter #blogshow @karyngood


Carnivalesque: The Value of Conferences

This week our Carnivalesque Travelling Blog heads to Joanne Brothwell’s blog where we’ll be talking about attending conferences and whether it’s worth the money? So come join Hayley LavikJanet CorcoranJana Richards, Joanne Brothwell and myself over at her place as we let loose our opinions. You can also find us on Twitter: @karygood, @jscorcoran, and @hayleyelavik and follow the discussion using hashtag #blogshow.

Carnivalesque: Liking, Tagging and Moving up the Queue at Amazon

Welcome to Carnivalesque and our Travelling Blog Show! Each week Joanne Brothwell, Hayley E. Lavik, Jana Richards, Janet Corcoran and I get together to start a discussion on a topic we think interesting. This week’s topic:

Like Me, Tag Me, and Moving Up the Queue at Amazon! Should we Like and Tag books or Review books we haven’t read?

Jana: J.A. Konrath, who is quickly becoming my hero when it comes to book promotion, says “Review each other. Buy each other. Support one another. We’re all in the same boat, and we all need to row.” So I’m inclined to say sure, go ahead and tag someone else’s book, even if you haven’t read it. Hopefully someone will do the same for you. I haven’t done a lot of tagging, but I understand that it helps to categorize a book. When a reader purchases a vampire romance novel by Big Name Author, another book with the same tags by Suzie Not So Big Name Author, may pop up when Amazon helpfully suggests that “Readers who have bought Big Name Author’s book, may also enjoy…” We’re merely categorizing books based on the description the writer gives us to make it easier for a reader to find that book.

Where things get murky, at least for me, is when we give reviews on Amazon. I got caught in a review situation once. An author I know asked if I would review her book on Amazon. In return she would review one of mine. I agreed, thinking it was a great idea. The only problem was that I didn’t care for her book. But she’d already given my book a nice review so I felt obligated to do the same.

I’ve been asked to write a review on Amazon on a few occasions since then by other authors. However, since my experience I’m reluctant to do so unless I’ve read the book and really liked it. I want to be able to give an unbiased, honest review, and if I don’t feel enthusiastic about the book, I’d rather say nothing at all.

Joanne:  Liking is different to me than tagging or rating books. I might Like a book that interests me, or that is on my to-be-read list. This seems okay to me.

Tagging? Before trying to answer this question, I didn’t even know what tagging really was or what it did. So I looked it up on Amazon: “Think of a tag as a keyword or category label. Tags can both help you find items on the Amazon site as well as provide an easy way for you to “remember” and classify items for later recall. You can add up to 15 tags per item.”

Based on this, I suppose it is fine to tag items you haven’t read yet, especially if you’re wanting to use it to find or remember items. I guess the added advantage is that the author will benefit from the tag as well. I don’t know, am I the only one here who doesn’t have a problem with it? I’m curious to see what you guys think!

Janet: My quick answer? No! The long answer? I am not a reviewer or a tagger, yet I do recommend books all the time. In person, usually, or over an e-mail – I have been known to be quite bossy when it comes to suggesting book titles to friends (especially when I know they would love it based on what they love to read). And in all those recommendations, I very rarely talk about what the book is about. Yes, I’m still having nightmares about school days’ book reports! I give a brief synopsis and then explain that because they love dark and edgy, they’d love this book or because they enjoy a good romance, they’d love this book. So to review a book online – yikes – and its something I struggle with considering my friends are writing amazing books and I should be helping to promote. And one day, it may be my turn. I’ll get over that one of these days, but if you think I’m going to tag or review a book I haven’t read, then you’re wrong. I take pride in my book recommendation ability and would feel like a heel if I suggested a book I hadn’t read to anyone – friend or stranger. Can you tell I feel strongly about this? You bet I do!

Karyn: I don’t mind tagging books and liking authors on Amazon. After all, I’m hoping people do the same for me when the time comes. Amazon sells a crap load of books after all! I don’t mind helping authors classify their books, especially if I think of a tag they might have missed. (Your welcome, Joanne.) It’s my understanding that the more tags you have the better chance of your book popping up when that criteria is searched out. Tagging books helps authors like me – the new and unknown – get noticed sooner rather than not at all. Amazon may recommend you read my book if you liked this book, and so on and so on. I just wish I had time to keep up with all the requests from my fellow authors!

But I draw the line at reviewing books I haven’t read. I don’t mind writing reviews for books I’ve read and enjoyed.Thankfully, I haven’t come across a situation where I didn’t like the book! Frankly, I don’t put much stock in reviews on Amazon. Especially, if I suspect three quarters of those glowing reviews have been written by your family and best friends.

Hayley: Clearly I haven’t spent much time on Amazon. I didn’t even know this was a thing. I don’t tend to do much about books after I purchase them. I’m bad about review sites, I forget to star things on Goodreads…but I’m huge on word of mouth. If I read something I enjoy, I tell people, I give copies as gifts, and from a reader’s standpoint, I feel that matters more.
The idea of trading likes and tags with people who may not have even read your book, for the sake of ranking, feels like a lot of work for very little result. A book won’t get anywhere on the fuel of small reciprocal groups alone. Yes, those tags and likes may help new readers find your book on page 1 instead of page 5, but I still feel like the energy involved could be better spent elsewhere gathering authentic readers who would like and tag on their own, and generate word of mouth.
But then again, I don’t like or tag, so who knows?
There you have it friends. What’s your take on the subject matter? Do you Like and Tag books on Amazon? Do you read reviews on Amazon?

Don’t forget to follow along on Twitter: #blogshow


Carnivalesque: Rating Reality TV

This week our Carnivalesque Travelling Blog heads to Jana Richards blog where we’ll talking about reality TV and whether we love it or we hate it. So come join Hayley Lavik, Janet Corcoran, Jana Richards and myself over at her place as we fess up to our likes or dislikes. You can also find us on Twitter: @karygood, @jscorcoran, and @hayleyelavik and follow the discussion using hashtag #blogshow.

Social Media: Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It

How did it get to be Thursday already? I don’t know, either. I do know it’s time to take our Travelling Blog Show on the road to Janet Corcoran‘s blog. This week’s topic? Social Media: Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. There’s a lot of different ‘conversations’ going on out there in cyberspace and a lot of places to have them. This one is happening on Janet’s blog. So come join Janet Corcoran, Hayley Lavik, Jana RichardsJoanne Brothwell and myself as we discuss the pros and cons of social media. We love to hear your opinions so drop by and leave your two cents.

Carnivalesque: Creepy Occurances

It’s Thursday and we’re taking our Travelling Blog Show on the road to Joanne Brothwell‘s blog. This week’s topic? What is the creepiest thing that ever happened to you that you couldn’t explain? I kid you not, that’s what we’re dishing on this week. Come join Janet Corcoran, Hayley Lavik, Jana Richards, Joanne Brothwell and myself as we confess to the creepy. We love to hear your about your experiences and hear your opinions!





This Saturday, April 21st, at 1:30 pm I’m at Chapters (in my home city of Regina, SK) reading from my writing group’s anthology: Love, Loss and Other Oddities: Tales from Saskatchewan. I’ll be sharing my time with four other lovely Saskatchewan authors: Annette Bower, Jana Richards, Anita Mae Draper, and Jessica Eissfeldt. Join us for an afternoon of reading.






On Thursday, April 26th, at 7:00 pm I’ll be at the Regina Beach Library reading from my upcoming release, Backlash. I’ll be joining Annette Bower as she reads from her new release: Moving On: A Prairie Romance. 

What he’s sworn to protect, she’s willing to sacrifice to save those she loves…


Carnivalesque: Geeky Pleasures

Join us today for another stop on Carnivalesque: The Travelling Blog Show. Today we’re at Hayley Lavik’s wonderful blog confessing our geeky pleasures! Those hobbies no one else gets but you. That doesn’t stop you from talking about it. Come join Hayley Lavik, Janet Corcoran, Jana Richards, Joanne Brothwell and I as we dish on each other’s geeky pleasures.

The Travelling Blog Show: Romantic Fiction


WELCOME to Carnivalesque: The Travelling Blog Show! Five writers (Jana, Hayley, Joanne, Janet and myself) are creating a travelling blog show. See yesterday’s post for a more in depth introduction of sorts. You’re invited to join us every Thursday as we pack up our opinions and travel to that week’s host blog. Each Thursday we’ll pick a topic  for discussion.

Yay! This week I’m going to start things off with:

It’s called the romance genre, but what’s romantic about it?

Jana: What makes a novel romantic for me is emotion. It’s all about the feelings the couple experiences as they fall in love. One minute they’re on top of the world and the next they’re totally dejected because they believe their love can never be. I want to feel everything this couple is feeling, and experience all their highs and lows on their journey to love. I want to feel like I’m the one falling in love. A romance novel falls flat for me if I can’t feel those emotions.

Hayley: I’m probably in the minority about this, but my first thought goes to consent. Both partners expressed a desire to sleep with each other in the sex scene? Their attachments formed through natural circumstances, rather than coercion or pressure? Score! That’s so romantic!

So many romance plots (in any medium) seem to rely on the assumption that we, the reader/audience, know those two are going to get together in the end, so even if they’re reluctant in the moment, we know what’s best *nod*. This creates an alarming number of stories involving stalking, one-sided relationships where one partner is just the prize, and sex where one person says “No,” but it’s okay because we know they both secretly want it. Not cool.

In the middle of all this, if I find two people forming a loving, respectful, and consensual relationship, that makes me swoon every time!

 Janet: Back in the day (I swore I’d never use that phrase and, yet, here I am), when you went into the bookstore and zipped to the romance section you were sure to get, well, a romantic read. Virile heroes saving the damsel in distress. Romantic gestures to woo said damsel in distress. And you were always guaranteed a happily-ever-after! Now, I don’t think you can count on that! Some of the recent novels read under the romance genre umbrella lack romantic gestures. Sure, there’s a romance between the hero and heroine, but the sub-plot (because I firmly believe the main plot in a romance story should be the romance), steals the show! So, should some of these books being shelved under Romance, not be better described as, for example, Women’s Fiction with romantic elements? Romance genre = the story of two people falling in love = romantic = my take on the topic!

Joanne: If I was to really think about the word romance, what comes to mind for me is the emotional connection between two people. Wikipedia defines it as:  Romance or romantic usually refers to Romance (love), love emphasizing emotion over libido. The books I enjoy the most always emphasizes the emotional connection rather than the hot, steamy sex. Although having both is fine, as long as sex isn’t the focus.

I find human relationships fascinating. Communication within those relationships is even more interesting; the nuances in pitch and volume, facial expressions, and word choice between romantic partners. The meta-communication that tells you the most about the relationship is often so subtle it would be difficult to pick up as an outsider. Those are the things I enjoy reading and writing about. The complexity of emotional connections.

Karyn: For me romance novels (and I’m not sure that’s an apt term anymore) are about the growing relationship between the main characters in the book. There’s no surprise ending. The heart of the story is in the developing connection leading to a commitment of sorts. But where’s the romance? Because I keep getting stuck on that word.

By far the majority of the books I read have alpha heroes (romantic suspense or paranormal). I love them. If we’re talking fantasies here? Then I want commanding, and I want confident, and damn it, I want big…brains. We’re often talking life or death here. But more than that I want to read about an intelligent and mutually respectful relationship. In and out of bed.

In the end, maybe it’s more about me, as the reader, being romanced by the heart wrenching emotional journey of finding the right partner.

We’re moving the party to the comment section! Please, weigh in with your thoughts and opinions. We’d love to hear from you.


A Travelling Blog

Tomorrow marks the virgin run of a new Thursday feature: Carnivalesque: The Travelling Blog Show. Each week we will meet at one of five blogs to discuss a topic question. We give our take on the subject, then we take the party to the comment section to await your opinions. Because who doesn’t have at least one of those. And opinions are for sharing! Right? Right.

The Participants

Jana Richards

Hayley Lavik

Janet Corcoran

Joanne Brothwell

and Me, who you already know.

See you tomorrow for the grand unveiling and the very first topic question!