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Let’s Talk: Blog Hosting

I’ve been trying to come up with a neat little theme for my so-called “random” or “miscellaneous” posts, mainly so I can categorize them in some way. Today I’m trying on the “Let’s Talk” meme for size.  What do you think?


Today I want to discuss blog hosting, and I apologize in advance to my readers that do not blog.

Right now my blog is still “free,” meaning that it has the added to the end of my web address.  I decided last month that I had committed 6 months to this blog and I was ready to take the next step and actually pay for it.  There are things I want to do that I just can’t with the free blog.

Originally I had intended to just Upgrade with WordPress.  I figured by doing that I could knock several things off my list, like get my own domain name, customized design, etc etc.


However, I feel like this is NOT the route most bloggers take.  Is that true?  If so, who do you host from?  How do you go about designing your blog?  How does it tie in with using WordPress?  Do you have to manually transfer all your posts to the other host?  Can you use affiliate links/advertise/book blog tour host if you are using WordPress but self-hosting? (By the way, I recently found out that if you are doing book blog tours without original content, you are violating WP’s terms of service.  Look it up, it specifically says “book blog tours”.)  And a million other questions I’m probably not even asking.


To put it simply, I have spent all of July, which is when I intended to go the pay-for-my-blog route, discovering that it isn’t necessarily that easy.  I feel a bit overwhelmed with it all at the moment, and find it difficult to find the information I’m seeking.  I could be TOTALLY off-base with how this even works, for all I know.


So here’s what I want to know:

If you have your own domain, who are you hosting from?

How do you do your blog designing?

How does hosting from other sites play well with WordPress?

Do you have any good sources of information that you could send my way?

Do you have any answers to questions I haven’t asked?


Top Ten Tuesday {17}: Authors I Own The Most Books From

TTT2As always, this weekly book blog meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


I have a pretty big mix of authors on my shelves, and don’t really collect authors much unless they are series, so this post is going to be a bit short this week.


1)  Stephen King.  Well now, if you didn’t see that one coming first and foremost then you haven’t been around my blog for very long.  🙂  I have an entire filled shelf of his works, and really, that’s just skimming the surface where he’s concerned.  There are also quite a few books that went missing from my mother’s house when I still had belongings there, and I still lament over what might have happened to them.  If I buy any more books beyond his newest Mr. Mercedes, I’m going to have to start another shelf.

2)  Anne Bishop.  I have the original Black Jewels Trilogy (very well worn from multiple readings), plus a good handful of other books set in the same world as the trilogy and often involving the same characters of the trilogy.  I’ve been meaning to look for other work by her, but haven’t done so.

3)  J.K. Rowling.  Because of course I own all the HP books.

4)  Nicholas Sparks.  I’m a sucker for a make-me-cry romance story from time to time; these books are made up of a few I actually decided to keep and a few I haven’t read yet.  I’m pretty picky about which of his I keep, often they will just go right back to the used bookstore or library sale after I read them.


Aannnndddddd, that’s about it.  Every other author I own I only have 4 books or less, and most of these are series.  I guess I just like to read a vast majority of authors!


What authors are your favorites?

Book Review: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Hey everyone!  I am back from vacation (sadly), and boy do I have a lot of reviews to catch up on after a week of reading on the beach!  I’m also hoping going back to work doesn’t kill me, haha.



 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was June’s Lost or Forgotten Book.  You may have noticed that I didn’t do a LOF book this month, and that was for several reasons.  First, I wanted to spend July reading ONLY what I was super excited about reading.  Second, I heed and hawed through this book all of June.  At the end of the month, I was sitting outside at lunch reading it when I thought to myself, UGH, I’m tired of this book and just wish it would be over.  So, despite having gotten through two-thirds of the book, I called it a DNF at that moment and decided I needed a month’s break from LOF.



Goodreads Summary


This book did not turn out to be what I thought it was.  It’s actually non-fiction, about a true-case murder that happened in Savannah.  It left me thinking of The Great Gatsby without all the grace and elegance of Fitzgerald’s writing.


Most of the book is centered on describing Savannah and it’s residents.  We learn intense details about each and every person, including outlier characters that seem to have very little to do with the murder, but were included because the author interacted/became acquainted or friends with them.  We get so much information about these people, but it was SO hard to actually care about most of them.

It also took AGES to even get to the actual murder.  I mean, years go by as the author discusses these people.  Then out of no where, BAM, a guy is dead.  And then life continues on for a while, as if nothing ever happened, until the actual trial happens.  By this point I was just bored with it all and gave up.


Overall, this book wasn’t the suspense/mystery I was expecting, and it sort of bored me to tears.  I eventually decided it wasn’t worth reading any longer and put it down, despite being two-thirds of the way through.  Sometimes that’s just what you have to do.


Have you ever read the majority of a book only to suddenly find yourself incredibly bored by it?


Hey everyone!  I am headed to the beach for a week, so the blog will be going on hiatus until I get back next weekend.  Looking forward to soaking up some rays and doing lots of reading!


There will probably be some status updates on twitter while I’m gone, like which books I’m reading, etc, so start following me if you want to stay in the loop!  @bookjunkiekrys

Books Are My Thing will be resuming on Monday, July 28th.  See you then!

Guest Book Review: Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

Guest PostToday is the second installment of our Round Robin Guest Posts!

Mel from Reviews in a Pinch, Ali from No Money 4 Books, and I are all reviewing books on each other’s blogs; this is our second time around.  If you’d like to read our first posts, all about Stephen King books, you can find Mel’s review of Firestarter here on my blog, Ali’s review of The Eyes of the Dragon on Mel’s blog, and my review of Doctor Sleep on Ali’s blog.

You can check out today’s reviews by clicking on the links to the blogs above – mine is over at Reviews in a Pinch today!


For this second round, we decided to recommend books that were a little out of the ordinary for each other.  Ali and I have very similar tastes in books, so I decided to go out on a wing and suggest Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff.  It’s a book I really loved, and it’s even got a lake monster in it, so I figured Ali would enjoy it.

Without further adieu, here she is!


Hello Books Are My Thing readers! I am Ali over at No Money 4 Books and I am very excited to be a guest here today. I typically read and review YA, science fiction, and fantasy books, and I rate all the books I read by what I would be happily willing to pay for them. Here’s my review for Monsters of Templeton, recommended to me by Krystal.




What I’d Pay: $14 (~4.5 stars)

To sum it up: An archaeology graduate student heads home after a disastrous affair, at the same time as a giant prehistoric creature surfaces in the lake near her small hometown.


It took me awhile to warm up to this unique story, but I ended up loving it.


This packs a ton of emotion and history into a complex story that spans different time periods and multiple narrators. It tells the complicated story of one young woman who is researching her own personal ancestry in order to discover the identity of her father, and somehow successfully mixes in her current personal problems and the story of the small town’s history. As the main character discovers bits and pieces about various ancestors, the next chapter is told from that ancestor’s perspective. There are also old pictures of these people at the beginning of each chapter. As the main character fills in the missing gaps in her own genealogy, her family tree gets more and more detailed with each subsequent chapter. I really loved those details in the book because it made it seem so real. Slowly, the truth behind some dramatic decisions and secrets in her own family history, and the history of the town, is revealed.


I will admit that at first I didn’t like the main character at all. I thought she was annoying, harsh, and definitely a little crazy, but she grew on me and I really enjoyed discovering the truth of her family tree along with her.  She definitely had a lot to deal with and once she calmed down and focused on her genealogy research, I had more sympathy for her.  I loved how there were some supernatural elements woven into the story, such as the friendly but cleanliness-obsessed house ghost and the weird sea monster in the lake. The elements all really worked together to enhance the story and capture the emotion and timelessness of the tale so well. I also really enjoyed that there were answers for the mysteries in her family history, but the main character’s own future was left open to interpretation. This seemed very realistic and hopeful – like there were so many possibilities in the future for her, in contrast with the hopelessness she felt at the beginning of the story. I can’t give away any details, but the final chapter is told from an original narrator that wasn’t present in the rest of the book, and it was a fantastic ending.


I was a bit confused at times by the family tree, but I attribute that to reading the ebook format which makes it difficult to flip around the book and remind myself who’s who as the story progresses. For that reason, I’d recommend an actual physical copy of this book for the most reading enjoyment.


Bottomline: This is one of the most unique stories I’ve ever read, but somehow all the odd supernatural details and different narrators work together and create this amazing journey of a book. It’s not a fast read, but it kept pulling me back in because I wanted to know what happened to all the characters and the writing itself was just beautiful. I will definitely be recommending this to friends of mine, especially those who appreciate a little magical realism and some mystery.


Thanks to Krystal for recommending this one since I never would have picked it up on my own!

Books Are My Thing

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