Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BBAW Day 2 -- Interview Swap with Brooke @ i blog 4 books!!

Welcome to day two of Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2012!! This year, I took part in the Book Blogger Appreciation Week Interview Swap and had a blast interviewing Brooke from i blog 4 books!! 

I learned a lot about Brooke's blog, i blog 4 books, through visiting her blog and interviewing her for today's post. I am really impressed with Brooke's blogging skills and the layout and look of her blog. You can tell that Brooke has a lot of passion for both reading and blogging. 

Have fun reading my interviewing with Brooke and don't forget to visit her blog, i blog 4 books!

1) I see that you've been blogging since 2010. What prompted you to start blogging? 

I started i blog 4 books in February 2010 as part of a “Radical Experiment” that our church was doing. The premise was to sacrifice anything and everything you possibly could for one year in order to spend that money on advancing the gospel around the world. Hubs and I took a close look at our finances and evaluated
everything. It was hard.

Two things that immediately came to our attention was how much we eat out and how many books I buy. I have a ton of books but it seems that I always find reasons to buy new ones. So I committed to not purchase any books for the entire year. I dusted off my library card and was ready to go. A couple of weeks in, though, I learned about Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program where bloggers could get free books in exchange for posting reviews online. What a great deal! One thing led to another, and here I am: 2.5 years later, reviewing for multiple companies, and enjoying a hobby I didn't really even know existed!

2) I noticed that your blog is primarily comprised of Christian fiction reviews - with a few other things mixed in like hosting author interviews, participating in blog tours, hosting giveaways, and a few bookish memes. What do you enjoy most about blogging? What motivates/inspires you to keeping blogging?

The thing I enjoy most about blogging is also the thing that has surprised me the most—the new friends I’ve made through my blog. It’s been fun to get to know other bloggers and trade recommendations or see what new authors they’ve discovered. I
love talking about the books I’m reading so this has been a great avenue for me to do that.

3) Your blog is quite successful. Congratulations to you on all your hard work and dedication!! You have over 100 followers on I Blog 4 Books. What attributes make your blog so successful? 

I don’t know that my blog is all that successful. Honestly I’m surprised that people take the time to read it at all! In the past year or so, I’ve added in a couple of memes that I thought were fun to read on other blogs and that’s helped me “meet” some new people. Plus, I’ve done quite a few giveaways this year, which is always helpful in introducing your blog to people. But I suppose what keeps people coming back after they first find my blog is that they are looking for a good book to read. Hopefully, I can help them find something that fits their interests and maybe help them find a new author or two as well!

4) What tips or advice can you give to new book bloggers (or those wanting to improve their blogging skills), to make their blog more appealing to readers who visit their site?

The biggest piece of advice I would offer is to blog about what interests you. Ofcourse, the reviews are often required by the publishers/authors who provide the books. But if you want to try to post a more creative review, go for it! (I posted a Review in Haiku earlier this year and it was a lot of fun to write!) If you think hosting a book chat or author interview or meme would be fun, try it out. If you aren’t pleased with it, make some changes and try again or move on and try something else. I’ve posted many things that I thought would be weekly/monthly features that I didn’t come back to. As long as you’re enjoying blogging, you will probably find a few readers who will love what you’re writing and spread the word.

5) A) Who are your favorite authors?

Oh, I’m so bad with choosing favorites, but here are a few recent favorites: Laura Frantz, Jody Hedlund, Tricia Goyer, Deeanne Gist, Francine Rivers, and Karen Kingsbury.

B) Do you have a top 10 list of favorite books?

I don’t know if I could make a top 10 favorites of all time, so I’ll give you a top 10 list since I began blogging. (Grin!) In no particular order …

1. Love’s Reckoning by Laura Frantz – I just finished this one and it is incredible. Epic. Sadly, I’ll have to wait until next September for the next in the series!

2. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen – I somehow missed out on Julie Klassen until earlier this year. I read this book in March and still find myself sighing over how great it was. Fans of Downton Abbey will love it!

3. The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz – Ah, another incredible book by Laura Frantz. She’s amazing!

4. She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell – I wasn’t a fan of historical fiction until I began book blogging. This is the book that cemented my love for historical fiction (as evidenced by the fact that eight of the books on this top 10 list are historical fiction!).

5. Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond – This was Cathy’s debut novel. Let me just say that she wrote a totally sigh-worthy hero. A man every girl dreams about!

6. The First Gardener by Denise Hildreth Jones – After reading several of Denise’s chick lit novels (and loving them!), I was blown away by this emotional drama. So good, but read with tissues in hand!

7. Masquerade by Nancy Moser – Love the Gilded Age! And throw in a marriage of convenience, a bride swap, and lots of secrets. Yep. Sign me up!

8. City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell – So different from anything else on this list. This is a story inspired by the author’s grandparents life in China. Completely fascinating. AND my non-reader mother loved it too!

9. Marta’s Legacy series by Francine Rivers – This two-book series covers four generations of a family’s legacy. Absolutely incredible books. They focus a lot on the mother-daughter relationships from generation to generation and are just so poignant. Love them!

10. Scared & Priceless by Tom Davis – Yes, I totally cheated on these last two by including two books, but I can’t choose. They’re a series. Tom Davis wrote these two incredible “realistic fiction” books about the AIDS crisis in Africa (Scared) and human trafficking (Priceless). Some of the content is a bit on the mature side due to the topics addressed, but I highly (!!!) recommend them! They will change the way you think about these issues!

Favorite book of all time? Little Women. If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out!

6) Which new books and authors have you discovered this year that have really made a great impression with you that you think other readers will enjoy reading as well?

Ahh! There are so many . . . it’s hard to choose.

I loved Becky Wade (My Stubborn Heart) and Beth K. Vogt’s (Wish You Were Here) books. They read so much like the romantic comedy movies I love. Think The Wedding Planner or Runaway Bride or Sleepless in Seattle.

Cathy Gohlke (Promise Me This) is also a new-to-me author whose book I fell in love with! It starts on the Titanic and is just this incredibly moving story of sacrifice and love. Beautiful!

I also discovered Dan Walsh and am not sure how I missed him before. I’ve read two of his books this year (The Discovery and The Reunion), both incredibly moving novels told from a male perspective. I think I sobbed while reading both!

I just recently discovered Jordyn Redwood (Proof). Her debut novel is a fabulous suspense novel. It’s got just the right amount of intensity to make me yelp but still make me want to keep reading.

I’ll finish this list with Krista McGee (First Date and Starring Me) who writes amazing YA fiction! She totally gets teenagers and writes funny books that are right-on-target with how teens think. She’s funny while writing books with really great messages!

7) Please share a few of your favorite book websites with us!

I follow tons of bookish blogs, but these are a few that I make sure to check in on every day. They always have great recommendations and usually have a few other fun and creative things to post about!

Legacy of a Writer
Relz Reviews
Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Christian Novels
The Overweight Bookshelf

The other book website that I’m sort of obsessed with is Goodreads. I thought I would just keep up with the books I read, but I love seeing what other people— especially some of my favorite authors—are reading.

Thanks so much for hosting me! This was a ton of fun! Your readers can find me at the following places . . .

Blog – iblog4books.blogspot.com
Twitter – @iblog4books
Facebook – facebook.com/iblog4books
Goodreads – goodreads.com/iblog4books

Brooke, Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my interview questions for the 2012 Book Blogger Appreciation Week Interview Swap. I had a blast interviewing you! I truly enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about you and your blogging experience! I wish you all the best in your continued book blogging success. Keep in touch!

Please be sure to visit Brooke's blog, i blog 4 books, for her interview with me!


  1. I find the answer to number one very interesting. It is amazing how much people eat out and don't realize it. That money could go to many places and do good in the world. Now I am off to visit Brooke!!


  2. Wow really interesting interview, both the questions and the answers. I love your answer to trying new things on our blogs.

    Tanya Patrice

  3. Lisa - Thanks so much for hosting me this week. I'm so glad to have "met" you through BBAW. This has been a lot of fun!

    Angie - Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by my blog and check it out. :)

    Tanya - Thanks for commenting. Yes, I'm a big believer in making sure fun things (like blogging) really are fun!

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    2. Brooke, I'm so glad we "met" through the BBAW Interview Swap too.

      As a side note, I saw that one of your favorite books is Little Women. So, I was wondering if you've read Geraldine Brook's novel March?

      You might be interested in reading this book if you haven't done so already as it ties in with Little Women in a way.