Thursday, June 28, 2018


Debra asks: Sydney, how long have you been reviewing and how did you decide on the theme for your blog?

Sydney answers: I first began book review blogging in April of 2015.  So it’s been a little over three years now and it’s been an enjoyable journey. 
I have always enjoyed reading and singing.  When I was in college, I took private voice lessons as well as lots of music classes so I could learn how to teach singing.  Because of my love of books and reading, once I completed my undergraduate degree, I went on to obtain an MLS (Masters of Library Science).  So as far as the theme of my blog goes, I combined two of my favorite loves—singing and books!

D: That's wonderful! Not many of us get to do that.
What’s the best part of being a reviewer?

S:  The best part of being a reviewer is all the reader and author friends I have made along the way.  I love getting to know other readers and discussing books and authors.  And getting to know authors on a personal/friend level is so much fun!

D: What’s the most difficult part of the ‘the job’? 

S: Honestly, right now it's time.  I am a stay-at-home mom of a sweet 17 month old little boy (he is just the sweetest) with little boy #2 coming in early August.  I also work part time for Southern Utah University (SUU) teaching an Information Literacy class.  I enjoy this though.  Additionally, I am part of a group blog, Hoarding Books (, where we currently host what is called First Line Fridays. This is another fun way to spotlight/promote authors we love.  And last but not least, I have started writing my own stories. J  So between being a mom, teaching, writing, and finding a balance to spend time with my little family, as well as reading and actually creating blog posts and writing reviews can be a bit of a challenge.  But it’s totally worth it!

D: Well, you are busy and will be busier. Congratulations on your growing family! I can't imagine trying to find time to write with two little ones. Even now, it's frustrating for me to find 'the groove' and then have to put the computer aside to attend to something else. I'm intrigued by your other news, too. Best wishes on your writing endeavor!  (I first wrote this endeavour, and couldn't figure out why blogger considered it 'wrong'!)

What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?

S: A book I read recently that I absolutely couldn’t put down was Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan.  This was a short and sweet contemporary romance novella that was extremely well written.  A lot of times in novellas because they are so short I feel that the romance goes too quickly and just boom happens.  But in this story McMillan does a fabulous job of investing the readers in her story and her characters and the romance takes place gradually throughout the novella.  This is an excellent read that I would highly recommend!

D: I expect that it's because of Rachel's love of Vienna! And because she's an excellent author, of course. And I agree with you about novellas and that quick 'love' resolution.
What keeps you busy or entertained (beyond reading and reviewing!)?

S: I love spending time with my little family.  Whether it’s a dinner date with my sweet hubby or hiking in the mountains with the baby in the hiking pack.  There’s nothing I’d rather do then spend time with my family!!  I also enjoy spending time with my sisters (I have 5 of them) and parents, grandparents, and cousins, etc., as well as time with my in-laws.  Family time is the absolute best!

And…as much as I love books (and having a home library), I also have a deep love for music and musicals.  I own over 100 musicals on DVD.  That’s how crazy I am about them.  LOL. ;) Some of my favorites that I watch over and over again and would highly recommend are Singing in the Rain, Roberta, Kiss Me Kate, Annie Get Your Gun, The Music Man, Court Jester, I Love Melvin, and I really could go on and on…

D: Oh, me too! But I've never heard of I LOVE MELVIN. (makes a note...)

What is your fiction favorite…setting? Place and time? Genre’?

S: I am a HUGE fan of historical fiction.  Any place and any time.  I’ll pick it up and begin a new journey.  But I’d have to say my top favorite historical setting is definitely Regency and of course it has to have some romance!  For some reason that time period has always fascinated me.  And it’s been fun to see this genre take off over the past several years.

D: Yes, I can think of multiple authors who are now known for that era!
What person from history would you most like to text with?

S:  That is a tough one.  I’d have to say either Jane Austen or Queen Victoria.  I love all of Jane Austen’s books and the movies based off her books and just find her to be an interesting person.  As for Queen Victoria, I have always been fascinated with that time period, so when the TV show of Victoria with PBS Masterpiece began, I instantly started watching it and love it.  Queen Victoria is such a fascinating woman and I love learning about her.  I may one day even do enough research to write a book during that time period and have her appear in it.

D: That show is so good that I think Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes could sell me on any old unknown couple too, not just the royals! The way he looks at her...oh. my.
And, of course, many people have come up with faux Jane Austen texts and they've been hilarious.

If you had a rainy afternoon alone to watch a movie what would it be? And what meal would you have delivered if that afternoon included a quiet evening as well? I’m paying with my virtual bank account!

S:  I would put on the musical Singing in the Rain (it’s an all-time favorite that I never get tired of) and I’d order Panda Express.

D: Haha! You're a cheap date, Sydney!
If you could wiggle your nose and be in your dream career, what would it be? Or are you already living it?

S:  A few years ago, while I was going to school, I worked at a small public library.  I absolutely LOVED it there.  It was definitely my dream job.  And the librarian that hired me helped me come to realize that I too wanted to become a librarian.

But as life goes on, my little family has moved several times and I am no longer working at that library, but the plan is when my kids are a little bigger and in school all day to find another fun and exciting job working at a public or school library.

D: It has always sounded like a dream job to me. I wanted to do that for a time while I was in Junior High. I think it was both the smell of books and the 'quiet'!

What piece of advice would you offer authors who are just starting out?

S: Get readers involved with your book from the beginning.  It’s a lot of hard work to write and then promote a book.  Start a street team or influencer team and get readers and bloggers involved in helping spread the word about your book from the beginning.  They play a big role in getting a book into the hands of new readers!

D: (Yes, and thanks Sydney for being on mine - Deb's Dream Team!)
Same for new reviewers...

S: Blogging and reviewing is definitely a full time job. And it can be hard and tiring at times.  But it can be a blast at times too!  Just keep that in mind when you realize you’ve taken on too much and cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel and you’re buried in books!  Be responsible about your deadlines and be dedicated!  And make a schedule for yourself (this can be done in so many different ways: Trello, Google Spreadsheets, Calendar, etc.) so you don’t get overbooked and burned out.

Believe it or not, I'm still on the paper calendar myself... One just for blog posts. One for everything else. Problem is, I use a pen!

Thank you so much for being my guest! I've enjoyed getting to know more about you and I thank you for ALL YOU DO for Christian Fiction Authors and promotion of 'clean reads'!

Okay, readers, here are a lot of ways to TRY and keep up with Sydney. I've used her book tour service and I'll be doing my second Summer Reading Safari with her this year!

Personal Blog: Singing Librarian Books:
SLB Tours Facebook:

Group Blog: Hoarding Books:


And, while you're all here. I'm doing a newsletter promotion in  May, June and July. New subscribers will be eligible for a $25.00 Amazon gift card. Here's the link if you're not already on the list! 

We'd love to hear from you. Please comment and greet Sydney and tell us what you look for in a blog post or review. Have you entered rafflecopters on book tours? Do you follow any of Sydney's social media? You should! the Singing Librarian facebook group is a great place to keep up with new books, reviews, giveaways and other happenings!


  1. Hi, Sydney! I feel as if I know you already! But mow I have a face to put with the name. You are one busy lady! Congratulations on the new little one. How do you do it all? It doesn’t seem as if you’ve only been blogging since 2015. I guess I discovered your blog soon after you started. You are doing a fabulous job with it all. I always look forward to Singing Librarian in my inbox. I’m excired about this year’s Sunner Safari and am already signed up! That will be so much fun. Last year was a blast! I’m making my list of books to shoot for from your site! Debra, thanks for an interesting interview. You ask the best questions!

    1. Sorry for all the typos, my old eyes can’t see the tiny print! See you soon!

    2. Hi Paula! Sometimes I wonder how I do it all. LOL. I have a wonderful and supportive husband and a pretty even tempered 1.5 year old. :) I am so glad you enjoy my blog and are excited for this year's CFSRS! It should be a blast! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I love Sydney's blog. It is always excellent. Definitely a go-to blog when I want info on quality books!!!

    1. Thanks so much, Nicole! It's good to hear that I'm a go-to-blog. Sometimes blogging/reviewing/promoting can get overwhelming and discouraging, so I'm glad I'm making a difference!! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I'm so far behind. I haven't even had a chance to welcome Sydney on time! I'm so pleased to host Sydney. She does SO MANY things for readers and authors besides her blog. As Paula mentioned, there's the Summer Reader's Safari coming up soon, and all her efforts to host a fun facebook page, run blog tours, and add in extra activities to get readers and authors hanging out together! She's been a fabulous supporter for me all along the way and I look forward to working with her in the future!

    1. Hi Debra! Thanks for having me on the blog!! :) I LOVE helping readers and authors! It's been a dream come true helping and getting to know so many wonderful readers and authors like you! Thanks for being a great support of my blog!! :D

    2. Yes you certainly do so much for the reading community! It's been so much fun to get to know you all over the last few years, so I really enjoy these interviews.

  4. Another fantastic interview! I loved hearing more about you, Sydney!

  5. *waving* Hi Sydney & Debra!
    I enjoy visiting Sydney's blog and reading her reviews! She is for sure one busy lady!

    1. Hi Trisha! Thanks for reading the SLB blog! And for stopping by here! :)

  6. You look so cute, Sydney! I recognize that dress. ;-) Reading your list of stuff that keeps you busy makes me feel like a bit of a slacker! Haha

    Congrats on the addition to your family, and thanks for spending time with us on here! I can't wait to get started on the Summer Reading Safari!

    1. Hi Karen! Oh yes! It's definitely a fun dress!! ;) I do keep busy. But there is definitely a balance! LOL.

      Thank you! And I hope you have a splendid time with this summer's CFSRS!! :)

  7. Hi Sydney and Debra! Great interview/post!
    Congratulations Sydney on the new little one! I enjoy reading your blog posts and facebook page, Sydney and look forward to receiving Singing Librarian emails.
    Blessings, Tina

    1. Hi Tina! Thank you so much for your support of the SLB blog ! It means a lot! :)

  8. Hi Sydney! I feel like I know you already, too! Oh, wait--I do know you! For those who don't know, Sydney grew up in the same neighborhood that I live in. I still get to see her once in a while when she pops in to visit her parents. It's good to see you here!

    Sydney is an awesome lady--so talented and amazing. Follow her on all her social media for some fun times. I'm especially excited for her Christian Fiction Summer Reading Safari! It's such a treat (literally, if you win some books on it!)

    1. Hi Winnie! Good to see you here. Thanks for stopping by!

      I love seeing you when I'm in town! And I'm so glad your excited for this year's CFSRS! It's going to be a blast! :)

  9. These interviews are amazing! So lovely to see other reviewers (many of whom are in the First Line Fridays group with me), or I only 'know' from social media and the blogosphere.

    Would it be rude to ask how one gets selected for these interviews? I'd love to give one.

    1. I slowly build a list of bloggers that I've followed or worked with. My goal is to host two a month but I've been on one too many deadlines lately. It's important to me as an author and reader that the amazing amount of time that goes into posting book blogs and reviewing is recognized. Authors and publishers depend on book bloggers, yet they are basically working for 'free books'! They need all the support they can get!

    2. Oh, I don't know if you follow mine or not, though I think you may have commented a time or two. I don't think I have read any of your books yet, but I just got back onto Kindle Unlimited, so....

      My email, if you want it is

  10. Nice to get to know more about you Sydney! Great interview, congrats on the (almost) new little one, too. Motherhood is fun and challenging :-)

    I love being part of street teams and spreading the word about new books & authors. It's a great opportunity to get other readers excited about them.


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