Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Since becoming an author, I've met some wonderful book reviewers. These reviewers take their job seriously. Whether they love a book or hate it, they know how to maintain a respectful and professional attitude and web presence. Please welcome our fourth book reviewer of the month (and my good "twin"), Misty from The Top Shelf:

From what corner of the world do you call home, and what do you do when you’re not reading and reviewing?

I’m from Columbus, Ohio!  When I’m not reading and reviewing, I’m gaming, playing around with photoshop or writing with my friends in an online wrestling federation.  It’s like a big rpg.

Tell us a little about your blog and what sorts of books you prefer to review there?

The Top Shelf will be four years old this November!  I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for that long.  I review books of all genres although I have a preference towards fiction.  I think that might be because I feel there’s a lack of interesting non-fiction out there.  That may change though.  Did you see that book about the guy who believes his dad is the Zodiac killer??!?!?!  I wanna read that!

Is there any genre you won’t read?

No closed mind to me just closes doors. 

How do you structure your reviews (ex: summary, positive, negative, conclusion)?

Sometimes I change it up.  Depends on how I feel about the review.  Sometimes it’s easier to summarize the book while talking about it and sometimes it’s easy to just say okay this is what the book is about and this was what I thought was awesome about it.

Find it HERE!
If you find the book you’ve read is just not your thing, how would you go about reviewing it (or not)?

This is a really hot subject.  I’ve had authors ask me not to review their book if I feel the book wasn’t four stars or better.  I don’t like that and I feel it’s kinda tacky.  For one the author is skewing their reviews which is something nobody wants and for two, if readers find out you’re discouraging negative reviews, there’s gonna be a bit of a sense of “Woah…well then!”  In some ways it’s like paying for reviews.   When I got that for the first time I was like okay I really need to think about this.  This author may not work with me if the book is “bad” and I tell the truth.  Should I be swayed by this?  The answer to that question is pretty simple.  No!  We are reviewers.  Our first priority is to our readers.  The audience who comes online every
day and goes to your blog while drinking their morning coffee.  They’re the reason I’m able to do this.  None of the people I work with would work with me if they didn’t think I had a followship.  It’s important to be true to that followship.

Now does that mean be a complete troll and destroy someone’s work?  No!  There’s a way to say you didn’t like a book and why you didn’t like it without coming off as a troll.  I actually had a review where I loved the book but it really could have been like three books and it felt like an outline.  The author had footnotes and a timeline of events at the beginning and I said in my review it felt like he was trying to cram too much into 131 pages.  I also offered to help him as a beta reader.  I never got an answer. 

Can you share the opening line/paragraph from one of your favorite review books? 

I recently read Everything to Lose by Andrew Gross and it has a really gripping prologue but I really like the beginning of the first chapter:

I read somewhere that every life is the story of a single mistake, and then what happens after.  Whether it’s brought into the light and opened up to.  Or left buried in the darkness of the soul where it all just multiples in consequences and festers into something worse. One wrong decision that can be taken back. Even the best of lives has one.

What’s coming up next on your review schedule?

My review schedule is insane right now.  I’m kinda working backwards while working forwards.  There was a lot of sickness in my family over the last two years and my father died in August.  So I have reviews that I’ve promised and I’ve read the books but have been unable to write them.  I also have things I scheduled months ago coming up.  I’m on The Soul of The Sun blog tour.  Genevieve Crownson is great.  I suggest everyone read her.  I’ve signed up for the blog tour for Brandeby Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki and that’s coming up sometime in June.  Patriot by AS Bond is also coming up in June I think.  I need to start using a calendar again! There’s always something going on!

Here’s a totally random question for you: Did you know that in Kentucky, there is a law stating that one may not dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale unless more than six are for sale at once? Find one dumb law from your state or city and share it with us. You can use this link:

I had no idea!  Wow.  What about the other colors?  Did you know that conducting or participating in a duel is prohibited in Ohio?  I guess there must be some sort of exception for renaissance fairs because they’re tons of them there!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

No problem!  I always love taking over your blog.  At least I leave the furniture alone!

Well, you ARE the "good" twin :) 


The Top Shelf was created by Misty Rayburn on November of 2010 with the goal of introducing readers to books they may not have found otherwise.  We review all genres, even erotica and we also review audiobooks!  For the reader, we offer deals, freebies and neat events on our Facebook page and for authors, we have many resources to get your book out there.  We hold chats, Q and A sessions, contests and interviews as well as guest blogs and book blasts. For any questions. Please email me at misty @ or contact me on Facebook or Twitter!

Twitter: @topshelfebooks

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