Archive for the ‘Blog Stuff’ Category

After much consideration we have decided to close Novel Thoughts. It wasn’t an easy decision to come to but it’s what we feel is right for us.


The support of so many have made this blog what it is and have our eternal gratitude.


First, a big thank you to Nancy at RR@H, who gave us this platform and encouraged us.


Thank you to the authors and publishers who shared so many amazing books here.


Most importantly, thank you to the readers. Thank you for sharing our excitement for upcoming books, cheering with us on books we loved, booing the books we hated, for sharing your passion for romance. And when we found the truly ridiculous, thank you for taking that trip down the rabbit hole with us. The WTFery is a lot more fun when you share it 😀


Thank you all for seven amazing years.


We will still be around Romanceland and can be found dishing books on twitter. (@mad4rombks and @lillie_80)


All our love,
Mad & Lillie

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Happy holidays, everyone! Novel Thoughts will be taking a holiday hiatus this year as we spend time with our families but we will be back after the New Year. Thank you to all the readers and authors who have made this such a fun year! May your holidays be filled with family, friends, love, and book store gift cards! 😀

See you all in January!

Mad & Lillie

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Giveaway Policy

We have updated our Giveaway Policy page and we wanted to post it here as well so everyone will see it. There are no real changes but we are hoping it will clear up any confusion. And we want to add a big thank you to Shari at Delighted Reader for all her hard work on wording this policy and allowing us to tweak it for our use.



Information collected for giveaways including email address and/or mailing address will never be shared unless giveaway is from a third-party. All prizes come from us unless otherwise noted. At any time a third-party is used to giveaway gifts, it will be noted that they need your information. Please don’t give it if you are not comfortable with this process. Please do not put your information, like email or address, in a blog post unless it is asked for.We are not responsible for it being distributed when we did not request it. Winners will be posted here at the blog, usually on Sundays. It is the winners’ responsibility to check back and contact us regarding their prize.

Winners have 48 hours to email or forfeit the prize and another winner will be selected.

We will not be held responsible for any delays in claiming your prizes or damages to prizes in the mail. We cannot control what happens after it leaves our hands.

Gift Cards must be redeemed within 7 days after being sent, otherwise the winner forfeits the prize.

No substitutions will be made for prizes you win. Read the entire rules for the each giveaway for further rules.

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Prizes and email addresses


I’m not thrilled that I have to write this post but I do. Please make sure the email address you are using to comment with here is an active email account that you still check. We’ve had someone trying to claim prizes that they didn’t win. When we have a claim where the name doesn’t match with the winning comment, we’ll send an email through the address associated with the comment to confirm the identity.  If that email is closed or we don’t receive a response, then we won’t send the prize. A new winner will be drawn.

It would be a shame for someone not get a great book because of a bad email address but thanks to the dishonesty of a few, that’s where we’re at. I’m sorry for any inconveniences this may cause 😦

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For months now I’ve been wondering what to do with the extra print books I have in my house. I’ve done several giveaways on the blog but I wanted something new to do. I finally found it after seeing Karen Ranney’s post here. I’m totally borrowing her “Just Because” idea and want to use it here at RR@H Novel Thoughts. Every month I’ll pick two names and send them a book, along with some swag goodies. As I send out the books, I will remove your name off the list until there are no names left. If you’d like to be on the list, please fill out the form below and let the fun begin! 🙂

***This is open to all, both US & International readers.

Can’t get the form to embed into post so follow the link below to send me your info. Thanks!

Form Link

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The conversation has arose many times in Romanceland about how social media is blurring the lines between authors, reviewers, and readers. A lot of valid points have been raised. Can a review be honest if you are friends with the author? And what is considered a friend? Is it exchanging friendly tweets with the author? Where is the line? It’s a messy subject and I hope this post can clarify where Mad and I stand and give others a chance to weigh in on it. Because maybe we are wrong. It’s been known to happen.

Between the two of us, we have blurred the lines until they are tiny. We are both beta readers, moderators for author yahoo groups, and have friends who make their livings by writing books. Mad is also the assistant of many authors. Then we have this blog where we post about hundreds of books every year. Blurred lines? Without a doubt. It’s a balancing act to stay honest about our love of a book and maintaining the trust the blog visitors have given us.

For example, I stumbled across the Southern Arcana books by Moira Rogers through twitter. I loved the first book and reviewed it. I exchanged tweets with the authors on twitter, more books came out, I did more reviews. Then I was asked to beta read a couple of their books and the reviews stopped. Shortly after, Mad became their assistant. Moira Rogers is still welcome to guest blog at Novel Thoughts (all authors are welcome for promo posts) but we both feel it would be a conflict of interest for us to review those books. That’s where our line is. I have given my opinion about the book prior to publication and Mad is being paid to promote them. There is no way for either of us to be unbiased.

I’ve seen reviews by beta readers/assistants to a specific author and I don’t trust that review. I’ve also seen the “I’m a reader first!” argument and it just doesn’t fly for me. It may not be fair but I’m skeptical when I see that.

Then there is the line between friends and friendly. For me, a friend is someone who I talk with outside of social media. We talk about everything. They know personal things about me that won’t be put out for all the internet to see and I know the same about them. When it comes to an author friend, I won’t review their books. Period. If I loved it, will readers really believe me? And if I hated it, I’m not going to write a review that could potentially cost my friend one single sale. I love my friends and want them to succeed in the career they love. It’s a lose/lose situation and one I don’t feel is ethical. Is that fair of me, as a blogger and reviewer, to not tell others about a book I disliked? To me it is, but others may feel differently.

Now we are at friendly and this is where is gets messy for everyone. I’m “friendly” with a ton of authors. I follow them on twitter, maybe they follow me, I ask questions about their books, they laugh at me when I accidentally kidnap a strange cat thinking it’s mine, just random stuff. I’ve written both positive and negative reviews of those authors’ books. Earlier this year, I was reading a truly horrible book and tweeting about it. Misery loves company and I was miserable. Shannon Stacey offered me an ARC of her upcoming book if I would just stop my current read. She sent it to me with no requirements. She wasn’t looking for a beta read or review. She sent it to me because she’s nice (and possibly because she never wanted to see another tweet about a heroine with flatulence.) I read it, I loved it and wanted to tell everyone about it. When it was close to release day, I posted my review. I didn’t feel conflicted about posting that review at all.

That’s not the only time Mad or I have gotten a book just because. And usually, we’ll post reviews for those books. But what happens if someone sends either of us a book just because and we don’t like it? It hasn’t happened yet but what if I get the book I hate? Not just “certain elements didn’t work for me” but that rare book that sends me into a rage? Will I post a negative, snark filled review about a book that was sent to me by someone who was just being nice? I’m leaning towards no. And does that make it unfair for to give the honest good reviews?


We haven’t touched on authors also reviewing. Are they believable? Is it right? Do authors’ opinions hold more sway than average readers? Once upon a time, that answer was yes for me. If an author I enjoyed recommended a book, I was all over it. With experience came wisdom and I’ve learned to pay attention to what other books that author likes. Just because I like what she writes doesn’t mean I like what she reads. But newer readers may not have that experience to fall back on. So is it ethical for an author to review? My opinion is I don’t care one way or the other but I’m curious about others’ thoughts.

So what about you? Where are your lines as a reader, reviewer, or author? Do you automatically dismiss a review if you’ve watched the reviewer chat with the author online? Would you feel betrayed if you bought a book based on a review and later found out the reviewer had a business relationship with the author? Or is it really buyer beware?

And more importantly to us personally, is it possible to wear the hats of beta reader, author assistant, friend, blogger, and still keep the reviewer’s hat?

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Lillie and I have finally joined the big kids in the big kids’ playground & we now have our own URL. 🙂 Please update novethoughts.wordpress.com to rrahnovelthoughts.com Isn’t it pretty? 😉

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Regarding giveaways…

There seems to be a little confusion regarding the giveaways here so I thought I’d take a moment to clear up what I can.

When we have a guest blogger offering a contest with their post, the prize is provided by the author.

When we choose to spotlight a new release and give away multiple kindle copies of that book, it is provided by us. The books are paid for by Fatin or myself (usually Fatin) with no reimbursement by the author, publisher, or retailer. These are books we love and want to share.

The prizes are clearly labeled. If it says we are giving away Kindle copies, that is what the prize is. We don’t offer substitutions. If you do not read digital, please don’t enter the giveaways for digital books.

I’m trying my very best not to be rude but leaving comments complaining that a prize isn’t fair is ridiculous. Entering a giveaway for a digital book, winning a giveaway for a digital book, then demanding a print book is ridiculous. And all this ridiculousness is making me a very tired blogger.

If you have any questions about giveaways or anything else here at Novel Thoughts, please feel free to ask here in the comments or via email. We’ll be happy to answer. Then we can get back to the fun of giving away books. Because free books should always be fun! 😀

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Auction update

I posted this at Operation Auction yesterday but I want to put it here too in case anyone missed it.



Operation Auction will be going live on Sunday, March 27th at 12:01 am PDT. We will have all items in the Operation Auction ebay store.


None of the items will show up until the auction is live and not all items are going up at the same time. We have divided the items as equally as possible into three batches.

Batch One will be up March 27th at 12:01 am PDT, ending March 30th at 12:01am

Batch Two will be up March 28th at 12:01 am PDT, ending March 31st at 12:01am

Batch Three will be up March 29th at 12:01 am PDT, ending April 1st at 12:01am

All listings will run for three days. The only exception is the breakfast at RT with Angela James, Jane Litte, and Sarah Wendell. Because that event is approaching very soon, it will be in batch one and be a one-day auction only.

We are going to try our best to get lists up of what items are in which batch, but with new donations still coming in I’m not sure everything will be included. There will be categories in the store to help you find the items you want.

Shipping details will be in the description of each item. Please read those carefully before you bid to see if it is US only or international.

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Da Bwaha again!

I’m bribing again for votes sooner than I thought! HOLIDAY SPARKS by Shannon Stacey is currently losing in this round. While I don’t have Shan as my champion pick, I do need her to get past this round!

So here’s my deal and it’s similar to my last one. Go vote for Shan, let me know you voted, and I’ll buy one randomly drawn person a digital copy of HOLIDAY SPARKS from ARe, which you can download in the format of your choice. If you have a kindle, I can gift it to you through Amazon.

This round of voting ends at midnight, central time. The offer ends at that time. Any comments posted after that are not entered in the giveaway. Deal? 😀

Let’s get Shannon to round 3!


House-sitting for her parents seemed like a good idea, until the microwave blew up and the lights went out.

Now Chloe Burke thinks upgrading the electrical system of her childhood home while they are away would make the perfect Christmas gift. Fortunately, there’s an electrician in town who can get the job done by the holidays.

Scott Quinn has wanted to get his hands on the Burkes’ wiring for almost as long as he’s wanted to get his hands on their daughter. Chloe didn’t notice Scott back in high school, but she’s noticing him now, and soon they’re indulging in a little festive fun: no strings, no expectations. After all, Chloe plans to get out of this goldfish bowl of a town and back to her real life in Boston by New Year’s.

But Chloe and Scott discover they enjoy each other’s company just as much out of bed. Could their holiday fling turn out to be the real thing?

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