Religion In Romance Novels

This is a topic I´m not all too happy to write about because… Well, there are topics you just don´t discuss. Sadly though, I feel the need to get this off my chest.

Back in the day my first boss gave me some valuable piece of advice:

Never talk about religion, politics or money with a customer. Later in life I added the “raising kids” topic to that list because that´s also something people can easily argue over. A simple fact. I´ve lived by the “Never Discuss….” rule ever since.

 

After a happy shopping spree on Amazon I spotted a beautiful book cover with a great book title. When I saw the author´s name my excitement grew. Mia Sheridan.

more than words

One of my favorite romance authors published a new book! `More Than Words` was published June 12th! WOOP!

I didn´t hesitate with reading a few Amazon reviews. This one was what sealed the deal for me.

 

Wow. First off, I think the review was well constructed and perfectly written. The reviewer, despite her non religious beliefs, rated the book with  4.5 stars, whereas I….

… I wouldn´t have been so generous.

Some may see the review as a spoiler. I see the review as helpful.

I´m an atheist. A happy one, at that. I, too, respect and accept other people´s beliefs and would never judge them publicly for what they think exists or not just as I would never want people to judge me openly for not believing in God.

The reviewer is right: Some people think love and religion go hand in hand. I believe religion should stay far away from love and from romance novels. Unless you´re an author writing epic stories about badass vampires and demons who reveal just how twisted and corrupted the religious world is  (  Read Hedoschism by Lindsey Clarke on Wattpad  )… you shouldn´t really include religion in a romantic story.

Of course, there are many  subjects readers avoid, such as: adultery, erotica in general, rape, M/M, F/F, M/M/F, fetish, etc. But none are as controversial as religion.

I´m fully aware that authors will never reach everyone´s hearts with their writing, no matter what they write about or what topic they include. Opinions vary. Why shouldn´t authors be allowed to include religion in their romance novels, right?

Exactly.

But for me, the happy atheist who wants to read a new Mia Sheridan romance novel, it´s disappointing to find out there´s religion included. I won´t buy the book.

Yes. One single review had the ability to influence my book purchase. GOOD! That´s what reviews are for.

I´m actually grateful for the reviewer´s insight because if I had bought the book without knowing about the “issue” that bothered the reviewer I would have been a very unhappy book blogger.

Because I don´t believe in God. Because religion doesn´t make sense to me. Never has and never will.

Now, you´re probably asking what happens when I accidentally stumble upon a romance novel that has religion included.

Due to my lack of interest on the subject I immediately DNF a romance novel that has religious characters in it.

And I also bet you´re asking why I accept religion in paranormal / fantasy novels and not with romance novels?

The answer is simple: Fantasy or paranormal stories are basically modern-day fairy tales drawn out to extreme levels. There´s creativity in world building, character forming and storytelling. For me, God and the Bible fit perfectly in that niche.  It´s make – believe. It´s not real.

Whereas romance novels are set in realistic worlds and characters deal with realistic issues. God and the Bible do not fit in a world I can relate with.

I struggle to believe God and contemporary romance novels could ever go hand in hand.

I´ve probably offended many people with my opinion on the subject, even though I´ve tried my best not to discriminate religion or people who believe in God.

But just as religious people have the right to openly love and praise their God ( and those who do praise God do it rather loudly ), I am also allowed to do the unthinkable and state my opinion on how I think religion is nothing more than a waste of time. Seeing religion in romance novels does not sit well with me.

 

What are your thoughts on the subject? Are you bothered by religion in romance novels? Do you even care if religion is included in any story? Are you delighted to see authors including religion in romance novels?

Do not hesitate to leave a comment. I´m ( thankfully ) one of those people who agree to disagree.

NOTE FOR OVERLY RELIGIOUS MEMBERS OF SOCIETY: I´m happy. Please do not tag me in any religious posts on social media and do not pray for me. If you feel the need to block / unfollow / unfriend me due to our religious differences then I will not stop you.

 

 

 

 

Pros and Cons Of Co – Book Blogging

To be a single book blogger or to co – book blog….

It´s that one question that occupies a book blogger´s mind at least once in their book blogging career, no matter if they´re a single book blogger or not.

Should I blog alone or should I team up with a friend and co – book blog?

 

Unfortunately, I don´t have a simple answer for that question. It completely depends on the book blogger. Either a person is the type to be a co – blogger or they aren´t.

Both are acceptable and both seem to work wonderfully. There are single book bloggers doing all kinds of wonderful work with their blogs and there are book blogs who have 2-4 book bloggers working together, publishing a great mixture of content.

Despite both, the 1 – man – show and dream – teams being wonderful, they each have their downsides. Let´s do a quick breakdown to show the differences between the two by listing the pros and cons for being a single book blogger and for co – book blogging.

Pros for Co – Book Blogging

  • Spend more time with your bestie / friend and books
  • Blog content uploads more frequently ( more reviews, more promo, etc )
  • Include multiple topics to a blog
  • Divide blog activities ( give each book blogger a specific job / role, e.g. 1 concentrates on social media, 1 focuses on managing the site )
  • Networking is easier
  • Save time in many areas

 

Cons for Co – Book Blogging

  • Sharing 1 site
  • Not being in full control
  • Wasting time waiting for feedback
  • Not being aware of all blog activities ( social media, chats, author convos, etc )
  • Spending too much time with your bestie / friend
  • Uploading too much blog content

 

Pros for Single Book Blogging

  • No site sharing
  • Knowing what´s uploaded at all times
  • Freedom to make decisions
  • Not spending too much time with your bestie

 

Cons for Single Book Blogging

  • Networking is slow
  • Working all platforms alone
  • Less blog content
  • Waste time procrastinating

 

To sum this up – It all comes down to what a book blogger prefers. To what works best for a book blogger. Some enjoy having the company of like – minded people ( let´s call them besties for everyone´s sake )  while working on a single site.

There are many positive sides to co – book blogging, especially when there´s a huge goal they want to reach. May that goal be as simple as getting exposure or something as huge as becoming the world´s best book blog… When 2 or more book bloggers put their heads together they can achieve a lot more in a shorter amount of time.

It´s a simple fact that when you regularly upload content and divide blog work then you get more done. More reviews can be uploaded. You get more out of everything. There´s hardly a chance to become overwhelmed ( keyword: hardly )

But there´s one thing co – blogging doesn´t allow and never will: Being able to have full control.

This is where co – blogging might not be the right choice for someone who is a control freak or for someone who loves their independence.

Yes. You have to get back with your co – bloggers when you have an idea that might work for the blog.

No matter what kind of book blog system you work. No matter how tolerant your co – blogger might be. It doesn´t even matter if you say you´re best friends. There´s no way around the bush when it comes to making decisions regarding ANYTHING about the blog. You have to talk about your ideas / plans with your co – blogger. You have to, both, be on board with everything discussed before anything is published. And if not then you have to compromise. While that might not be seen as something negative for some book bloggers… it can become taxing when 2 ( or more ) can´t come to an agreement after a while.

It´s what I would call `restricted creativity`.

Of course, there are book bloggers who co – blog and make it all work.

“We do whatever we want, when we want, how we want… Our only goal is to have fun.”

And that´s perfect. If it works well then everyone co – blogging that way has my full support.

Like I´ve mentioned before – Co – blogging works out beautifully for some people and you can see that love on their blogs.

 

As for the sorry single book bloggers….

 

There might not be many positive sides to book blogging alone but there is one tiny thing that outweighs everything else.

The freedom of creativity.

Single book bloggers don´t have to ask for permission or run their ideas by someone else when it comes to designs, blog posts, social media posts, etc.

Yes. Networking is slow. Actually, it´s slower than slow. No single person can work as much as co – bloggers. Not unless book blogging is a full-time job for them, that is.

Single book bloggers will most likely post 2 reviews a week instead of 4.

And when a single book blogger becomes overwhelmed with blog work  then they know it´s their own fault and no one else´s. They can´t blame the co – blogger because there isn´t one available ( something co – bloggers occasionally do is shove the blame back and forth ).

Of course, all the slow networking and uploads doesn´t mean a single book blogger can´t achieve a lot or reach their goals. They can and actually do it.

Co – blogging with a friend is not always easy, either. It´s all about being able to find a common ground to work on and compromise.

I´ll say it again ( because this can never be said enough )… It all depends on the person who blogs. Co – blogging is wonderful and works for hundreds of bloggers. And being a single book blogger isn´t for everyone, either. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Co – book blogging or not – both have nothing to do with having / not having team working skills. Book blogging is a hobby for the majority of us all. You either want to share your hobby or not.

 

As for myself – I´m an ex – co – book blogger who now blogs solo.

While I definitely loved the positive sides from co – blogging I couldn´t help but feel the burden of the negative sides. I loved sharing the blog and dividing the blog work but I absolutely hated it when I had to wait for approval and not having my own voice.

Because when you share a book blog ( or blog in general ) only one voice exists. And that voice is the blog´s voice. There can be 2, 3, 4 or even 5 people sharing a blog…. the strongest voice is the brand itself and not the individuals who run it.

That´s the main reason why I left my first blog after 6 years.

Right now, I can say that being a single book blogger works for me better than co – book blogging. I just love my freedom.

 

What did we learn today?

That no matter what type of book blogger you are, you´re still awesome. You´re a great addition to the book universe whatever you decide to do.

 

Thank you for reading this post. Any feedback on co -book blogging or going solo is much appreciated.

Hope you all have a wonderful day! ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Funny But Painfully True Book Memes

Welcome back to Book Memes, y´all!

There´s been an awful lot of book meme posts making their rounds on social media lately. Some posted by authors and some by book bloggers.

But what I´ve noticed is that nearly all humorous book memes hold a certain painful truth to them.

Reading those wise graphic quotes is so bittersweet. You want to laugh because they´re actually really funny but then a second later you realize you either have a serious problem and need lots of therapy or it dawns on you that you´re even more weird than you thought you were. The truth book memes carry is terrifying.

Still… no one said enjoying funny book memes was a crime, right?

 

  1. I´m for crying. Who´s with me?

b meme

 

2.  This is how we basically make friends.b meme 2

 

3. There might be many many single bookworms in the near future. 

 

b meme 3

 

 

4. HA! Librarians and their humor – Priceless. 

b meme 1

 

5. There are life rules we need to follow: Rule #1 – Don´t ever start a book before bedtime!b meme 5

 

 

6. I´m still waiting for my local bookstore to honor me by making me their costumer of the years 2000 – 2018 

b meme 8

 

7. Mommy and loving wife by day. Alpha witch who uses lightning bolts as toothpicks by night. 

b meme 10

 

8. The Burrito of Sadness belongs to the 5 stages of book grief. 

 

b meme 9

 

9.  Just follow the rules and you´ll do fine. 

b meme 11

 

10.  If you can´t feel we can´t be BFFs. You feel? Just re-read the tips on meme #9 again if you need help. b meme 7

That´s it for today. I hope you all have a lovely day. And don´t forget to share the book love! ❤

 

Many warm hugs,

Morgana ❤ ❤

 

Skimming Pages and Not Finishing A Book

Have you ever heard of book skimming?

Well, if you´re a book blogger, author or even an avid reader then you´re probably well acquainted with the term.

Book skimming is nothing other than letting your eyes fly through words on pages in a book. Over – looking parts that feel insignificant for a reader. Or, dare I say… the boring bits of a story?

 

And what about not finishing a book? Have you ever done that? Save yourself from answering that one because I know you have at least one book in your bookshelf  you haven´t finished. Book people call that DNF ( Did Not Finish ). It´s when a book isn´t one´s cup of tea and a reader cannot be bothered to waste their hours to finish it.

 

But why do we do either?

Let me answer that one for you, too.

“D´uh. I skimmed through chapters because they were boring.”

“D´uh. I DNFed the book because it was awful.”

That´s usually the case.

The inability to grab a reader’s attention. The lack of excitement. Of course, there are many other reasons as to why a reader would skim story bits or DNF the whole thing right on the spot.

Personally, I don´t DNF a book but I do skim. I´ve done it, maybe, twice in my whole reading career. My reasons for both aren´t that confusing.

I don´t like to DNF books. No matter how awful I think the story is I will push myself and finish those suckers even if it pains me. The reason for that is because I buy print books. And printed books are expensive ( if you buy a few a month, that is). To DNF a book that cost me 10 – 15 Euros would look like I have money to throw away. I don´t. So, I grind my teeth together and finish reading. I´ll feel bad if I don´t ( and I don´t want the hassle with returning the book).

If you´re wondering why I don´t just go to the library and get my books there… Well, I would if there was a library near me. And I don´t consider Kindle Unlimited a library. Enough talk about Kindle Unlimited.

Others seem to have less difficulty DNF – ing a book. Which is perfectly fine. I understand when readers become aggravated with the story or when they can´t feel the characters or dislike the writing style.  I can easily understand a reader when they read a book that has more errors than not and decides to DNF. I feel everyone´s pain.

 

As for skimming a book – I do it and feel perfectly fine skimming a few pages here and there. Yes. It´s kind of like cheating. In a way, I´m skipping information that might be significant for the story. Keyword: Might. (I´m pretty sure when I´m reading a romance that the 10th sex scene will not be a game changer)

Sadly, the term is treated as a dirty little secret in the book world. No one likes to admit they skimmed or skipped pages of a book. That would be uncalled for.  A no – go. Just as an author wouldn´t like to hear about someone skimming parts of their book. And because of that, skimming through chapters becomes a secret sport done by all.

 

Skimming is normal, though. Any reader who skims isn´t commiting a social crime. They´re just not interested in stuff they probably already know /have already figured out on their own.

The main killer, the #1 cause that leads to book skimming are too many details. In depth descriptions that go on and on and on, without an end in sight. Story details.

But details are important, right? Yeah. They are. Without details in a story we´d be reading 200+ pages of dialogue. Readers need an author to help paint a picture. BUT (!!!) what readers don´t need it to know is how many stitches were required to make that fluffy, lavender, goose feather filled pillow. They don´t need 4 pages with a full  description of a pillow.

“We know what a pillow is. Some of us have pillows. Please, continue with the story.”

Many authors overstep the fine line between adding informative details and  including unnecessary page fillers.

But who decides what details are significant or not? A reader does. Always. Book details are a matter of taste. Some readers enjoy details. Some don´t.

It´s also not unheard of to skim through pages of a book you absolutely love.

Are there stories you haven´t skimmed through?

In my case, yes. There are quite a lot of books that had my full attention from start to finish. Only a few had unnecessary details that did not interest me in the slightest ( e.g. the 20th sex scene in a 250 page book ) Anything that receives more than a 1 page dedication is an overkill for me and will be skimmed through.

Then there´s that nasty book cheating issue. A book cheater is a person who reads enough reviews and claims to have read said story.

A very popular tactic among book bloggers. But that´s a different bedtime story for another night.

 

So, what did we learn today? That skimming through a book isn´t as terrible as it´s painted out to be. DNF-  – ing a book isn´t the end of the world. Book details can be buzz – kill.

It´s okay to do both or either, or none at all. It´s up to a reader.

 

Thank you for taking your time to read my post on Skimming Pages and Not Finishing A Book. If you enjoyed this post then do feel free to show it by liking or commenting.

Much Love,

Morgana xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project: Book Bloggers Connected

There´s nothing more satisfying and frustrating than book bloggers. We´re like witches who can create fabulous magic but we can also be vicious little turds and crush anything with a few words.

Book Bloggers are a cruel lot.

They´re the people who give worthy or worthless opinions on books. They´re the people who authors rely on alot.

Book bloggers have an invisible power, you see. These people can work some serious magic and make new friends along the way.

I was at my favorite bookstore the other day. And as always, a sales lady walked up to me and started recommending books.

That moment, I felt an incredible sense of joy because I realized we were book blogging, face to face. Call it: Indirect book blogging ( because book blogging happens mainly on the internet).

We had a nice chat. Swapped ideas, likes and dislikes… We talked about the popular genres and how much they influence the book world.

One thing led to another and somehow we ended up exchanging social media links.

Mind you, our personal reading tastes went in complete opposite directions yet we still found we had more in common than not.

The love and appreciation for books. 

That´s when an idea hit me.

If book bloggers can meet on a neutral ground and discuss the rights and wrongs of the book world without making the discussion into a piss contest… Why not offer a neutral ground, a platform for book bloggers to connect!

The problem with the already existing book blogger groups / forums / chat rooms are:

There aren´t enough discussions and opportunities for bloggers. It´s always about pimping author X and making sure that author Y gets more exposure.

But what book blogger´s needs? What about sharing experiences or talking about the latest, wackiest book accessories?

That´s why I brought Book Bloggers Connected to life.

Book Bloggers Connected is a place where book bloggers are invited to chat about blogging and even create discussions ( light or deep, all are welcome ) for other fellow book bloggers. 

bbc

If you happen to be a book blogger then feel free to join the Facebook group!

If you aren´t a book blogger but you know quite a few that might be interested in joining – add them! Spread the word!

Book bloggers are fun people who love to interact! Let´s get all in one place!