Our special guest for today is blogger and reviewer multitaskingmomma. Her blog features reviews on different books but her personal favorite is the m/m genre. If you’re looking for great reviews on m/m books, free ebooks and more, check out her blog!
Tell us about you and your gay romance blog. Where can we read it?
multitaskingmommas Book Reviews is made up of two women: myself and my sister-in-law, Ramona. I am basically focused on LGBTQ books while she leans more on the Gen-Fic and MF books. However, we do review all genre, even children’s books for the sake of our little nieces and nephews.
We can be found here: http://www.multitaskingmommas.com/
What got you started as a m/m blogger or reviewer?
By accident! That is the truth!
I saw this book, specifically And Call Me In The Morning, and it had doctors in it. I love doctor romances and just clicked without really thinking. I read, I was honestly shocked that it was an MM book???
I actually finished it and felt curiously woozy hehehee
I dismissed it from my brain and settled on another book, Curiosity Satisfied, which I thought was a murder mystery because of the cover. At that time, I just clicked and I liked the blurb. Then I just got so into the book and I saw it was a book #8 which left me wanting for more. So I said: why not and just got the rest of the series. Curiously, it was an MM series???
So, I had this blog I had previously set up for my thoughts and reviewed the books. After a while, a friend told me to post it on Goodreads and I asked: what is that? facepalm
So I posted something there then got scared and removed it. Erased it. Which I now regret really, but I was just plain scared because I had cultural and religious issues to consider. Then again, I am quite independent-minded and I thought no one can call me stupid for posting reviews of books I loved to read but they could do that if they found out I was cowardly. So I posted and I kept posting. Soon, Ramona and I were talking and she had her own opinions on books we read together or she had read on her own. I told her, post your thoughts in the blog – and she did! That was the beginning, I guess.
Why are you passionate about reading and reviewing m/m books?
The passion came later, much later: like a year later.
I kept reading the books and, cliché as this may sound: I loved that this genre had so many diverse themes and plots which just tickled my fancy and I was honestly tired of the same thing over and over.
To be honest, I was not really so much a supporter of the LGBTQ community because of my upbringing. When I started reading the books, I had an epiphany of sorts when a good friend died in the hands of a serial gang murder. He was gay, I still miss him. When I heard that the reason was because of Hate Crime I think I lost it.
I looked around me with eyes wide open this time, not shut, and realized my family had gay members who could be next on that hate crime list. I finally took time to realize that I had a handful of friends I really counted as ones I loved and 60% of them were gay. I finally faced reality and admitted my best friend whom I grew up with, was gay. That was a turning point in my life and psyche and from then on.
Many of my readers love reading m/m blogs but what makes yours unique compared to others?
Unique. Hmmmm, that is a hard word to connect with the blog.
I don’t know how ‘unique’ we are compared to others out there but I do know that our reviews are honest and we write it as we feel it during and after the read. We both read the books sent us or bought, we never skim through or invent(?) reviews. It helps that Ramona and I are pretty fast readers. I can finish up to 6 books on a good day, but when real life comes invading, I can read two at most. I don’t consider editing issues as ruinous to a read unless the plot gets out of sync because of it. Edits are for the editors and publishers to do, not the author.
Also, I think we are both ‘wordy’ when we review and we both do not really go for gifs or images for we can still feel the tongue lash of our professor in English who would push and push us to express our thoughts and feelings into words.
Another I can honestly say makes us a bit different is that we review the books and the works – not the author, not the story, not our feelings. If we love the book, we say it. If we hate it, we would both back off and inform the authors who sent us their review requests that we cannot ruin their work because of negative perception. Ramona and I, we don’t like to say anything bad about anyone and anything, we don’t compare one author’s work to another, and we highly respect all authors. They can do something we both cannot do: they write. Yes, we can read, and review, but we cannot CREATE like authors do. I wish!
Define success as an m/m blogger and reviewer.
Success is really just feeling good about getting the word out there: “Hey, look you guys! I just read this book and this is why I liked it!” then realizing as we look at the Stats that people actually read and they got to read them.
That just feels awesome!
What are some of the best m/m books you’ve read this year?
Oh, this is such a timely question. I was actually playing around with this list.
In the blog, we have this rating where 1-5 Star Ratings are as much in effect as practically everywhere. Then there are these books which just jump right at you and you realize: this deserves more than a 5 Rating. So, we have this: (5 of 5 Stars) 5 The Rare Multiplier Takes Effect.
Take note that this list may not be complete as the year is not over yet, and I know many will agree and disagree with my rating: (list not in order)
Always by Kindle Alexander
Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires (Baal’s Heart #2) by Bey Deckard
Love and the Real Boy (Coming About, Book 2) J.K. Hogan
Obsession (The Obsession Series, #1) by Steve Genis
Crimson Ties (The Crimson Nights Saga #2) by JT Cheyanne and VL Moon
It’s Not Easy by Nic Starr
Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder
The Half of Us (Family #4) by Cardeno C.
What would you like to see more in m/m literature you don’t see now?
This is the question I left for last and honestly, I have really nothing to say. This genre is so diverse the way it is right now and I just love it that it is the way it is.
What advice can you give to aspiring m/m reviewers and bloggers?
I actually wrote something around this thought a while back: How To Review A Book Without Making New Enemies (http://www.multitaskingmommas.com/2014/01/how-to-review-book-without-making-new.html ) There are some basics on how to review there, too.
In it, I ramble about my frustrations about supposed reviewers who rate and ruin an author – not the book or work itself. The worse thing is when the supposed review is filled with bullish HATE speech. That just… hey, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it! Rating for the sake of hating, nuh uh. Tsk tsk
I guess the real thing behind reviewing is to review from a logical head. Some things that come immediate to mind are: How did you feel while reading the book? Did the characters or plot develop? What possible constructive criticism can you give that would help the author? Are you rating the right genre? Did you read the book at all?
Probably the best advice I can say to those who want to be included in this lofty position (cough) called ‘reviewer,’ (clearing throat!) is to write about the read like when you would talk to a friend. No griping, no whinging, no hate, just talk in a constructive manner with the thoughts: If I were the author, how would I do it? Can I do what this author did? How can I help get this work out there and help give it the recognition it deserves? If I was reading this review and I am the author of the book, how would I feel?
If all you can achieve were to write in the negative, I would say, STOP! Rewind! Go back and think with a logical head. Don’t go down in history as someone so filled with hate people look to your name as: Hater.
And last but not least, if you are here to gain money for reviews, I say: sigh sigh sigh