Deb here, with our latest Book Blogger Guest, Ashley, aka, The Rustic Reading Gal!
Welcome Ashley! Tell me how long have you been reviewing and how did you decide on the theme for your blog?
Ashley: I started my blog in April 2017. I'd been reviewing books regularly for about a year before that and posting them on Amazon and Goodreads. My mom had been telling me for awhile that I should start my own blog. I'm a naturally shy person and don't like to put myself out there, so the thought of starting a blog was daunting. To be honest, it scared me. But one day, I woke up and thought, “Well... why not? What will I lose if I just try?” And I've loved it! It's been one of the most rewarding experiences.
Deb: I'm so glad you took that step AND that you're enjoying it. That's so important!
What’s the best part of being a reviewer?
Ashley: “Meeting” lots of different authors and other bloggers. Without my blog, I probably wouldn't have had the chance to meet them. I've met some wonderful people and been introduced to lots of books I might've never known about.
Deb: I agree. I think I stay on top of 'what's out there', but our Inkwell reviewers are always reminding me of great reads that I missed.
|My bottlefed baby- Her name is Evie and she's just the sweetest thing ever.|
Deb: What’s the most difficult part of the ‘the job’?
Ashley: Writing a review for a book I didn't enjoy. I feel so bad when that happens. I always try to be as nice as possible because I know the author has worked so hard on it. But I also know that I have to be truthful and I don't want to deceive readers.
Deb: Absolutely. I am always in awe of the efforts reviewers (awesome, thoughtful reviewers!) put into writing that review when it might not be 100% 'glowing'. Readers won't trust you if that's all you do, and I think Authors know that. No one loves them all!
|Jack, my Yorkie-Poo|
Deb: What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
Ashley: Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig. Just when I think she can't top her last book, she goes and outdoes herself with this one. There's nonstop action, twists and turns, intriguing characters. There was hardly enough time for me to catch my breath. So good!
Deb: She's a master at that! (runs out to put on TBR pile) What keeps you busy or entertained (beyond reading and reviewing!)?
Ashley: I enjoy spending time with my family, dogs, and goats. I love playing board games and video games. I've also been binge-watching Boy Meets World on Hulu. That was my favorite show growing up and watching it again has just reignited my love for it. Such a good show!
Deb: Somehow... I completely missed that show somewhere between parenting and working, but I appreciate the nod to it. Maybe I'll just find it one of these days!
|A barn from our trip to Wyoming six years ago-- this is at the Wyoming Territorial Prison.|
Ashley: Goodness, there's so many! It's hard to narrow it down to just one! But I'd have to say my favorite historical time period is WWII. I've always been interested in learning as much as I can about that time. I've read some wonderful, impeccably researched, WWII fiction that's taught me so much. I do enjoy a good fantasy, though, too, especially with steampunk elements. Those are so much fun! I read pretty much every genre, so I go through different phases where my favorite one changes. Right now, it's mystery/suspense or fantasy. Ask me in a couple of months and it'll probably be different, lol. :D
Deb: Yes, well it's not a fair question after all! :) 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?
Ashley: Umm... would it be weird to say any movie featuring Henry Cavill? I don't watch many movies nowadays, but I'm always sure to catch anything with him in it. ;) For food, I'd want a couple orders of steak tacos from Chipotle and some of their chips and red salsa. So yummy!
Deb: Photos of Henry Cavill have been known to show up on this blog. No worries.
If you could wiggle your nose and be in a new career, what would it be?
Ashley: I've always said if I was better at math, I would've been an architect. For as long as I can remember, I've loved architecture. There's times when I'll sit at my computer for hours looking at those floor plan websites, getting ideas and dreaming up the perfect house.
Deb: That's super! I always loved sketching out house plans too and looking at interiors. What fun! And yes, ugh, the math part. Something that must be exact in architecture because it's downright CRITICAL TO HUMAN SAFETY!
What piece of advice would you offer new reviewers-
Ashley: I'd say, do it because you love it. It's really easy to get overwhelmed, so don't push yourself too hard. Don't put so much pressure on yourself to be the best. And most importantly, have fun with it.